The spiritual quest was always the predominant aspect of my life. It's always been there. But there's also an incredible passion connected to it; it's not just a dry investigative process. I have been extremely emotional about it, and that comes out in the songs.
Life is a journey, you know; and a lot of journeys, you go out, you come back.
I became alienated from this religious upbringing, and started making music. I wanted to be a big star. All those things I saw in the films and on the media took hold of me, and perhaps I thought this was my god: the goal of making money.
Though times have changed, it's a nice surprise to see that youthful feeling of anti-war sentiment returning once more to the cobbled main streets of Europe.
I was brought up in the modern world of all the luxury and the highlight of show business. I was born into a Christian home.
Salman Rushdie, indeed any writer who abuses the prophet or indeed any prophet under Islamic law, the sentence for that is actually death.
I had to learn my faith and look after my family, and I had to make priorities. But now I've done it all and there's a little space for me to fill in the universe of music again.
In those days a concert was a personal experience. I wanted to be as close as possible to the audience, and of course big stadiums didn't enable you to do that. It wasn't my style.
It is part of my faith as a Muslim to try to help those who are suffering from poverty or economic or political injustice.
If Rushdie turned up at my doorstep looking for help, I might ring somebody who might do more damage to him than he would like. I'd try to phone the Ayatollah Khomeini and tell him exactly where this man is.
Ever since I became a Muslim, I've had to deal with attempts to damage my reputation and countless insinuations seeking to cast doubt on my character and trying to connect me to causes which I do not subscribe to.
This is the beauty of the Qur'an: it asks you to reflect and reason, and not to worship the sun or moon but the One who has created everything. The Qur'an asks man to reflect upon the sun and moon and God's creation in general.
The very first lesson that I learnt from the Qur'an was the message of unity and peace.
Because I don't play guitar any more, African harmonies and rhythms have been an inspiration to me. I love the raw origin of the sound. It complements my voice and words naturally.
Music is a lady that I still love because she gives me the air that I breathe. We need all sorts of nourishment. And music satisfies and nourishes the hunger within ourselves for connection and harmony.