In an interview on NBC's "Today" show, a grieving Jermaine Jackson said he wished he had died instead of his brother.

Jackson, a practicing Muslim, said his younger brother Michael was a "gift from Allah." Michael reportedly converted from Jehovah's Witness to the Muslim faith a few years ago.

"He went too soon," said Jackson, 54. "I don't know how people are going to take this, but I wish it was me."

When asked why he felt that way, Jermaine Jackson said he always felt that he was Michael's "backbone."

"Someone to be there for him. I was there and he was sort of like Moses. Things he couldn't say, I would say them. During the trials, during everything ..."

Jermaine Jackson said that when he rushed to UCLA Medical Center last Thursday, where the 50-year-old pop singer was pronounced dead, "I wanted to see Michael, and I wanted to see my brother, and seeing him there lifeless and breathless was very emotional for me, but I held myself together because I know he's very much alive."

"His spirit is, and that was just a shell, but I kissed him on his forehead and I hugged him, and I touched him and I said, `Michael, I'll never leave you. You'll never leave me.'" READ MORE...

Jermaine also said he would like to see Neverland Ranch as Michael's final resting place. A public memorial service was planned for July 3 on the estate in the rolling hills of Santa Barbara, CA. But the billionaire who co-owned the property with Jackson wasn't able to get a permit in time.

  • Daisy

    Heartbreaking and I def. Feel he is gone to soon. RIP MJ

  • SunnyPA

    I bet the doctor wishes it were him too.

  • http://myspace.com/rayne215 spongebobfan

    How long does it take to get a permit... put him on ice til it goes through he shouldnt be buried anywhere else..

  • goat76

    @Sunny.....I wouldn't be surprised if somebody tried to get him(If you know what I mean)

  • iscream

    @ sponge I agree.

    & while I know its sickening for the neighbors they really should fall back for a day or two and let the fans have their day.

  • SunnyPA

    That doctor won't be able to walk the streets anymore. He will have to have plastic surgery...if he doesn't go to jail first.

    I agree that the neighbors should allow a memorial at Neverland. They have money, leave the country for a few days. Hell, Cali writing IOUs ... they need the money.

  • http://myspace.com/rayne215 spongebobfan

    I dont know how graceland is compared to neverland... but those neighbors need to fall back... then Gary In want him buried there.. AS IF, he dont wanna be buried in lil detroit no not even on 2300 jackson st

    They, meaning the jacksons, gotta get the ish together, i know its a shock but they gotta get his affairs, burial handled ASAP

  • goat76

    @Sunny......It won't matter if his name is cleared of any wrong doings....He's been marked....you could give them the facts, and people still gonna believe what they want.....it's been displayed on here....

  • Nina

    I'm sure the guilt of this will eat away at that doctor for the rest of his (possible short) life.

    Neverland Ranch should be Michael's final resting place just like Graceland is for Elvis. Its a reflection of Michael and the home he built. I just don't understand why a permit is holding this up...The mayor or governor could step in and allow a special exception on that permit. City of Atlanta does it all the time and fix paperwork later.

  • goat76

    If MJ would've left in his Will it woulda been a done deal....
    I think he should be a NLR too if that what MJ wanted.....Cali needs the help....

  • Daisy

    Nina everybody aint as gangsta and shady as the folks running the A lol

    Goat u are PREACHIN today amen amen and amen lol

  • Nina

    @ Daisy LOL - ur right about that one.

  • Shauny

    I don't think SB wants Michael buried there. They're already complaining. I also think they should have his funeral but wait on the permit to bury him at Neverland but I don't know if that's possible.

  • Daisy

    Per TMZ Debbie plans on fighting for her kids and willing to take a paternity test to prove she is the real mother and get a re straining order to keep Joe away lol

    To bad MJ didn't say where we wanted to be buried.

  • coaretained

    Imma need
    a)Them to get whatever they need to do to bury this man @ Neverland
    b)Debbie Rowe to get the runner up for the sitchoazzdown awards ( her and Joe were neck and neck)
    c) someone to tell me what NLR is...

  • goat76

    NLR=NeverLand Ranch........I had to shorten it up

  • coaretained

    I'm tired Goat...lmao

  • Anna

    Nina Says:

    I’m sure the guilt of this will eat away at that doctor for the rest of his (possible short) life.

    Neverland Ranch should be Michael’s final resting place just like Graceland is for Elvis. Its a reflection of Michael and the home he built. I just don’t understand why a permit is holding this up…The mayor or governor could step in and allow a special exception on that permit. City of Atlanta does it all the time and fix paperwork later.

    ~~~~~~~~~
    Possible short life. LOL.

    About the permit, we have to remember that ppl live nearby. Most of the ppl who will go there do not even reside there and the Mayor or Governor once everyone leaves are left with their community residents. Who will pick up the tab for securtiy, porta pottys, clean up? We all want it to happen at Neverland. I can't imagine Mike being laid to rest anywhere else, we also have to look at both sides of the coin. I think everyone is trying to make sure everything is done in fairness and with no special treatment so not to piss off those who live there. No one likes to foot the tab for something had wanted no part of. This is not how I feel aobout this. Just thowing it out there.

  • coaretained

    That would bring so much revenue into CA it ain't even funny...

  • Anna

    typos, oh well. I got my phone call for the day and I am happy. The man who pays my salary called and said we are closed tomorrow. An unexpected 3 day weekend.

    I can't imagine losing a sibling especially in adulthood. This family is going through enough without all the allegations and Debbie Rowe got paid twice for the kids she needs to go somewhere. The kids don't know her anymore than they know what a public school is. LOL. Just because you had them does not make them yours. We forget what a circle that one person can travel. Look at all that is going on with Mike's passing.

  • Nina

    Anna, I see your point. I feel like others - its the best location for him to be buried, but up to the family of course. I wouldn't suggest that NLR (thx goat) opens up in 2 weeks for the public to pour inside, but in the months to come when they figure it out (i.e. limited surrounding infrastructure, etc). I would hope some creativity is thrown in there by city officials and the co-owner to make it work. If they charge a price like at Graceland (I went there with my parents once), the tab will be paid for. Michael has serious die hard fans...I can't think of anyone else with fans like his. They would pass out just seeing him.

    My heart just goes out to his family...this is a devastating loss for them. That interview makes me want to just give Jermaine a big hug.

  • coaretained

    I hope that woman doesn't get those kids... she doesn't even know them.

  • http://myspace.com/rayne215 spongebobfan

    The public memorial for Michael Jackson will take place on Tuesday, July 7, 2009, in Los Angeles, Access Hollywood has learned.

    The "private and public memorial" will be held at the Staples Center in downtown LA at 10 AM, AEG Live president Randy Phillips told NBC News.

    Phillips said all of the details would be finalized when he meets with the Jackson family Thursday afternoon.

    "Everything is in preliminary stages except the place and time," Phillips told NBC.

    AEG Live is the organization which was behind Jackson's planned 50-show stint in London.

    Should capacity be reached for the nearly 20,000-seat stadium, Phillips said the overflow crowd will be able to watch the memorial on large screens at nearby Nokia Plaza.

    Despite reports that the public ceremony will be a funeral, a source close to the situation previously told Access Hollywood executive producer Rob Silverstein it will actually be a memorial to the King of Pop, who died last week at the age of 50.

  • kcicero

    This made me tear up, so sad. Despite the craziness all of them except for that crazy Letoya seems to genuinely love each other.

  • Kymystry

    Ummmm .. i need someone to bootleg that jacket ... it's in my must-haves for the fall ...

  • iscream

    Great interview. He said it best the world wasn't ready for the gift known as Michael Jackson.

  • Krysi J

    I don't know about Allah, but in some way I do believe he was a gift simply because he did do so much good, on this earth and he did do so much for the Music Industry period. He did more than set trends, he set standards, and he's really the only artist who could sing a song almost about anything and make it sound appealing to his audience, plus include a good message in it. No one else will ever reach his status....there is not enough time left to do it. And obviously his talent is non-comparable IMO to anyone. Jermaine, really hurt my feelings with this interview.......I'm sad all over again. I'm really sorry for the things I said about Michael I really hope his soul found peace somewhere.

  • kcicero

    Krysi hun, Allah simply means God in Arabic nothing more nothing less and in that sense we are all gifts from Allah. Some choose to waste the favor that God gives us by bringing us into existence and some use their potential for greater good...

  • Krysi J

    I tell you what, for him to say Allah, instead of GOD or JESUS...probably means he's muslim, now thats his business....but I only call GOD by one or 3 names...GOD the father, JESUS the son, and the HOLY GHOST. So I meant exactly what I said. I know what Allah means to a muslim, this is why I said "I don't know about all that"....Our beliefs aren't the same, but at the same time I still believe Michael was a gift nothing more nothing less.

  • kcicero

    Krysi hun you're showing your arrogance. Arabic is a language not a religion. Christian Arabs call GOD Allah as well. It's not that deep.