"That took me through many different religions, philosophies, andthought processes. I felt that there was no one religion that couldsatisfy my unique outlook on life. I think everybody in our generationwas espousing this kind of individualistic lifestyle concept."
You can hear the searching in his music. His career prospered,especially in the United States, where idealistic young people foundthemselves drawn to his reflective songs. Questing is a recurring theme.
"I suppose if you look back into those albums, 'Tea for theTillerman,' 'Teaser & the Firecat,' 'Catch Bull at Four,' and so on, aperson today would see quite clearly that there was a man who was notreally comfortable; looking for something higher, better, and more real,"Islam wrote in a booklet describing his transformation.
"In a rather unorthodox way, I was trying to find out the truthwhilst still being a so-called 'superstar.'"
In 1976, his brother, David, knowing Stephen's fondness forphilosophical and religious books, bought him a copy of the Qur'an on avisit to Jerusalem.
"I was given the opportunity, in the last stages of my journey, toread the Qur'an," Islam said. "The big change came here. Accepting theconcept of revelation was a big, important step forward.
"I kept on looking and tried to understand who authored the Qur'an.In the end, I realized the author's name was at the very beginning ofthe book."
He pauses naturally, not for dramatic effect, and turns to hislistener, a smile on his face. "It says, 'In the name of God.'"
"It was at that point I had to accept a new form of knowledge, or anew way of receiving knowledge, and that is through trusting the word.I couldn't do that until my heart had accepted. That happened when Iread a chapter of the Qur'an called "Joseph and the Story of Joseph, Sonof Jacob."
"It says in the Qur'an, this is the most beautiful story. When Istarted to cry, I just knew this book was from God."
On a wintry Friday a year after receiving the Qur'an, he went toa mosque, enlisting the support of a local imam to learn howto become a Muslim. After making his testimony of faith that same day,his spiritual journey deepened.
He married his wife, Fawzia, a devout Muslim, in 1979. Today theyhave four daughters and one son, ranging in age from 12 to 19. In Great Britain, he is a leader in Muslim education andhumanitarian projects. And in his heart, he said, he is at peace.