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Claiming that the Quran is the result of epileptic seizures which Prophet Muhammad used to have

Jamal Badawi
11/12/2013
4141 views

It appears that someone made a gross misdiagnosis.  In order to objectively decide whether this is a misdiagnosis or not we can refer to the state Prophet Muhammad was in at the time when he received the revelation.  Then we can perhaps go back to what the authorities say about what epilepsy is and what the types and symptoms are.  To start with the description of what he went through at the time of receiving revelation, we find an authentic saying in both Bukhari and Muslim in which the Prophet said that “The revelation sometimes comes to me as if it were the ringing of a bell.”  Some people describe it as an attention grabber in order for him to be receptive to the dictation given by Gabriel.  The prophet continues “after this ring and the revelation which is hardest on me, Gabriel leaves and I fully retain in memory what he dictated to me.”  It is not just an experience but is imprinted in his heart and the portion of the Quran which is revealed is fully memorized by the Prophet.  Second he said “He (Gabriel) sometimes came to me in the form of a human being-he would talk to me and then I comprehend, understand and memorize what he tells me.”  When he says that Gabriel came to him in the form of a human this doesn’t mean that everyone around him was able to see Gabriel.  It was more of an assurance to the Prophet that he saw Gabriel so that it would be a little easier on him.  That is why we find in Bukhari that the Prophet was telling Aisha “Here is angle Gabriel sending you greetings of peace.”  And she said “You see things that we cannot see.”  In Bukhari and Muslim Aisha describes his state when he received revelation and said “when a revelation comes to him, even a very cold day after the revelation is finished we find that his brows are steamed with sweat.  There is some form of deep and intense concentration which results in this sweating.  In Muslim there is another description “When revelation came to him he became a bit perturbed and his face changed.”  In one narration it says that he sometimes nodded his head and when the revelation was over he raised his head up.

 

 

There are a couple of references in the Quran which describe the state of the Prophet at the time of revelation.  It was narrated that whenever the Prophet received revelation he was so eager and so careful not to miss any word, realizing that this was the word of God, that he used to repeat the words quickly after Gabriel so that he would not forget anything.  A passage in the Quran came down to assure him that he should not worry about forgetting the Quran in (75:16-17) “Move not thy tongue concerning the (Qur'an) to make haste therewith.  It is for Us to collect it and to promulgate it.”  A similar reference was made in (20:114) “High above all is Allah, the King, the Truth! Be not in haste with the Qur'an before its revelation to thee is completed, but say, "O my Lord! advance me in knowledge.”  There were also historical narrations as we find in Zad Al Muath by Ibn Al Qime that when the Prophet received the revelation if he was riding a camel his body would become so heavy that the camel would have to sit down.  If his body or leg was leaning on someone it would become so heavy that the person feels this heaviness without falling.  This was the phenomena that the people or animals around him felt.  This is basically what has been mentioned describing his state at the time of revelation.  It appears that some people might have looked into these descriptions and came to a hasty conclusion that since revelation is unexplainable in mathematical terms and if this was his state of affairs at the time of revelation then it must have been epilepsy.  This is a statement that is both bias and scientifically unsound.






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