Did Muhammad have epilepsy ?June 6th, 2011 | Category: Prophet Muhammad
Some people who reject the Prophethood of Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon
him) agree because of the historical evidence of Muhammad’s (Peace and Blessings be
upon him) impeccable character and truthfulness that he would not have deliberately
fabricated the Qur’an and his Prophethood, so they allege for some reason that he
either had epilepsy or was delusional and actually believed that he was a Prophet.
Firstly, again keeping in mind that Muhammad is perhaps history’s most well
documented man, there is absolutely no evidenc e from his life to support this claim, and
all evidence suggests that Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) lived a
normal and sane life all the way up to his death at the age of sixty-two (62). However in spite
of that, we will nonetheless prove that this claim is false and malicious.
Secondly, even some Orientalists (non-Muslims who have achieved considerable status
as authorities on Islam) themselves have rejected these claims of epilepsy as false and
ridiculous. Daniel commenting on the claim of epilepsy said:
“…epilepsy as applied to the Prophet was the explanation of those who sought to
amuse rather than to instruct”
Khalifa, Mohammad The Sublime Qu’ran and Orientalism p. 13
John Davenport said,
“This remark that Muhammad has suffered the atta cks of epilepsy is one of the false,
awkward sayings of the Greeks by which they meant to stain the prestige of the
propagator of a new religion, and turn the world of Christianity against his moral
behavior and qualities.”
Udhri Taqsir, p.20
There are various types of epilepsy, the main ones being grand mal, petit mal and
Grand Mal includes generalized convulsions in which there is sudden unconsciousness
with falling and shaking of the limbs. Sometimes the person screams just before the
seizure and it is followed by stiffening and halted respiration. Next come jerky moves
and one can bite one’s tongue and the person experiences a headache. Afterwards,
they have no recollection of what happened.
When Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) received revelation, it was
described like the ringing of a bell, while other times the Angel Gabriel came to him in
the form of a man and delivered the message directly. When one compares grand mal
to the description of Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) receiving
revelation, it is obvious that he did not suffer from grand mal.
Petit Mal involves momentary lapses of awareness and more than seventy percent
(70%) of patients have their first attack before the age of twenty. It involves no
involuntary movements and can happen several times in a day without interruption of
consciousness. This too, is in opposition to the description of Muhammad’s (Peace and
Blessings be upon him) receiving revelation.
Firstly, Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him) was forty (40) years old when
he began to receive revelation. And each time he received revelation, it was for several
minutes – not moments.
Psychomotor seizures involve convulsions. They last only a few seconds are
accompanied with screams and mumbles which do not make words and sentences,
much less entire chapters of a book which are not only completely understandable, but
of the highest eloquence.
Epilepsy takes control of one’s thoughts during seizures, yet Muhammad (Peace and
Blessings be upon him) was in complete control during the revelation and was able to
recall the event in detail, unlike one who would have an epileptic seizure.
Beyond the above facts, one must ask how could Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be
upon him) unconsciously know about previous nations? How could he unconsciously
answer questions people asked him and be so correct? No one ever stood up to claim
that they too are familiar with these stories.
How could he know about future events which would later come to pass? How could he
have known that the Persians and Romans would go to war and who would win the war
years in advance?
Therefore when the facts are examined, the epileptic seizures theories can not only be
easily ruled out as absurd but we can only conclude that this claim is made out of
outright maliciousness because the evidence is overwhelmingly against them.
Norman Daniel commenting on the slanders made against Muhammad (Peace and
Blessings be upon him) said:
“All writers (referring to Western Writers) tended - more or less - to cling to fantastic
tales about Islam and its Prophet… The use of false evidence to attack Islam was all but
Norman Daniel, Islam and the West, One world Publications 1993, p.2 6 7
Daniel also goes on to explain: “At the worst there was the assertion of the fantastic,
and its repetition without discrimination; at the best there was the selection of only those
facts that served the purpose of controversy.”
Epilepsy is ruled out when any unbiased reader looks into the life of
Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him)
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