He had Epilepsy?
Other 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 evidence 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 (60). 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 psychomotor.
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 universal." Norman Daniel, Islam and the West, One world Publications 1993, p.267
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." ibid, p.268
Nonetheless, material gain; desire for power; desire to unify the Arabs and ever having had epilepsy are all easily ruled out when any unbiased reader one looks into the life of Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him)