Friday, August 9, 2013

Revelations or Seizures?

Excellent short article by Guest Blogger Alba D'Veritas:

Muhammad was asked what it's like to receive revelation.  His description is very interesting:

Sahih Bukhari

Volume 1, Book 1, Number 2:
Narrated 'Aisha:
(the mother of the faithful believers) Al-Harith bin Hisham asked Allah's Apostle "O Allah's Apostle! How is the Divine Inspiration revealed to you?" Allah's Apostle replied, "Sometimes it is (revealed) like the ringing of a bell, this form of Inspiration is the hardest of all and then this state passes ' off after I have grasped what is inspired. Sometimes the Angel comes in the form of a man and talks to me and I grasp whatever he says." 'Aisha added: Verily I saw the Prophet being inspired Divinely on a very cold day and noticed the Sweat dropping from his forehead (as the Inspiration was over).
Ringing, voices and sweating?  Look at these symptoms from about Simple Partial Seizures:

"Simple partial seizures in these areas can produce odd sensations such as a sense of a breeze on the skin; unusual hissing, buzzing or ringing sounds; voices that are not really there;"

"Episodes of sudden sweating, flushing, becoming pale or having the sensation of goosebumps are also possible."

More strange reactions by Muhammad:

Sahih Bukhari
Volume 5, Book 58, Number 170:
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:
When the Ka'ba was rebuilt, the Prophet and 'Abbas went to carry stones. 'Abbas said to the Prophet "(Take off and) put your waist sheet over your neck so that the stones may not hurt you." (But as soon as he took off his waist sheet) he fell unconscious on the ground with both his eyes towards the sky. When he came to his senses, he said, "My waist sheet! My waist sheet!" Then he tied his waist sheet (round his waist).
Another 'revelation'?

Sahih Muslim
Book 026, Number 5395:
A'isha reported that Sauda (Allah he pleated with her) went out (in the fields) in order to answer the call of nature even after the time when veil had been prescribed for women. She had been a bulky lady, significant in height amongst the women, and she could not conceal herself from him who had known her. 'Umar b. Khattab saw her and said: Sauda, by Allah, you cannot conceal from us. Therefore, be careful when you go out. She ('A'isha) said: She turned back. Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) was at that time in my house having his evening meal and there was a bone in his hand. She (Sauda) cline and said: Allah's Messenger. I went out and 'Umar said to me so and so. She ('A'isha) reported: There came the revelation to him and then it was over; the bone was then in his hand and he had not thrown it and he said:" Permission has been granted to you that you may go out for your needs."

Another description shows that Muhammad had was in distress with these 'divine' experiences:

Volume 1, Book 1, Number 4:
Narrated Said bin Jubair:
Ibn 'Abbas in the explanation of the Statement of Allah. 'Move not your tongue concerning (the Quran) to make haste therewith." (75.16) Said "Allah's Apostle used to bear the revelation with great trouble and used to move his lips (quickly) with the Inspiration." Ibn 'Abbas moved his lips saying, "I am moving my lips in front of you as Allah's Apostle used to move his."...

There are other ahadith and Islamic writings on this subject.  Muhammad's biography tells of him having suicidal thoughts - he was going to throw himself off a mountain.  Clearly he had problems - very well documented problems. Epilepsy may have been one of them.  It's not funny, but it's also not prophetic.

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