Was Prophet Muhammad Epileptic? – A Summarised Response

This is a summarised, bullet-pointed rebuttal of Ex-Muslim Abdullah Gondal’s video presentation on YouTube that claims Prophet Muhammad SAW was epileptic.

We examine the methodology of this claim, key components of the presentation, such as the case studies, academic papers cited and of course the supposed symptoms. However, this is not an exhaustive, detailed list, though all key points and the foundation of the claim are covered and deconstructed.

In the process I have gone through dozens of academic papers, medical and Islamic literature to get a proper perspective of this issue in order to effectively analyse the claims. Hopefully this article should serve as a repository of information on this topic.

This article will also be continuously updated as and when any new points arise as, in the form of a live documentation.

Gondal’s Claim

  • Gondal makes the assertion that Prophet Muhammad SAW was epileptic and suffered from psychosis.
  • This assertion is made to discredit his Prophethood and the divinity of the Qur’an, laying the cause behind it all to a neurological disorder.

Presentation Content

  • Gondal’s presentation includes cherry picked ahadith & excerpts that seemingly fit his narrative.
  • Gondal inserts his own outlandish interpretations to Islamic texts, then attempts to use current known medical knowledge on epilepsy to fit in with his preconceived conclusion.
  • Case studies of other historical figures purported to have epilepsy are falsely used to draw comparison with the Prophet SAW.
  • These case studies are disputed in Academia, suffer from the same methodological flaws & do not fully correlate with the life and events of Prophet SAW.
  • Academic papers are also quoted, but there is only one paper (Freemon 1976) that is actually dedicated to the epilepsy claim of Prophet SAW, the rest just mention him in passing based on other people making the baseless claim of epilepsy, no additional, specific case is actually made in them in relation to the Prophet SAW. As you find out later some even refute his very own claim in the same papers and excerpts!

History of the Claim

  • The epileptic claim has been around since the 8th century from the time of the Byzantine’s, as part of anti-Islam rhetoric from Christendom.
  • 19th and 20th Century figures rehashed these old arguments and gave it a pseudoscientific take.
  • Many scholarly figures have dismissed the epileptic claim, e.g. W.M.Watt, Carlyle, Andrae.
  • Physicist Frank Freemon is the only person in the modern era to have written a published paper specifically on this matter.
  • Freemon’s paper suffers from the same methodological flaws including the use of incorrect texts and exegesis.
  • Much of the content found in Freemon’s paper is well debunked by award winning neurologist Prof Hasan Aziz, in his 2020 epilepsy journal entry.
  • There is no agreement in Academia on whether the Prophet SAW was epileptic.
  • Other anti-Islam figures outside Academia such as Ali Sina have made the same claims before.
  • Gondal has been promoting the epilepsy claim since 2018 on his Facebook posts and a YouTube video with Sameer in the same year. Parts of his claims are almost word for word copies of same materials by the likes of Sam Shamoun and other Christian apologists.
  • This particular presentation of Gondal, as Sameer described: Gondal’s baby that he has been working on for months. Well it certainly is a “baby”, as the nature of it is extremely infantile!
  • One last thing, it is important to note this epileptic claim is nothing new or groundbreaking. It is an old over recycled argument that pops up every few years.

The Flawed Methodology

  • First step in assessing a truth claim is to examine the ontological basis. Secondly, is epistemology, in this case the process or method of how they arrived at their conclusion.
  • We won’t examine the ontological basis here, as it is far too big of a topic to discuss and not the aim of this piece, so we will simply be charitable here on this particular point.
  • This epistemic inspection will seek to discover if the claim is valid. The methodology is examined here.
  • When we examine Gondal’s method, we find that it does not meet any scientific or professional standards. It is an amateur attempt by a person who is neither a Neuroscientist, a Neurologist with clinical experience nor a Scholar in any field of Islam.
  • Gondal’s (& others) claim fall essentially in the category of retrospective diagnosis, a highly contentious and unscientific method.
  • Gondal has presupposed his conclusion and tries to make cherry picked ahadith and science conform to his conclusion.
  • This methodology employed meets no scientific method or represent any of it’s integrity or vigor. It is very much anti-Science.
  • This claim is wrought with bias to fit in with Gondal’s anti-Islam sentiments and continuous attempts to malign the Prophet SAW, as self-evident by the flawed methodology used.

The Scientific Method

  • The scientific method is proposed as an objective, standardised and organized way of answering a question or solving a problem.
  • This method attempts to minimize bias and prejudice by the researcher. Mistakes and bias can still creep in mind.
  • Major precepts of the method are verifiability, predictability, falsifiability and fairness.
  • Scientific integrity involves intellectual honesty and fairness. Something Gondal severely lacks in his presentation.
  • The basic 6 step of the scientific method is; Observation > Question > Hypothesis > Experiment > Analyse > Conclusion
  • For a hypothesis to become a theory it needs to be rigorously tested.
  • A good hypothesis allows you to make predictions and is easy to measure, however diagnosis of epilepsy is impossible to meet these criteria.
  • When direct experimentation is not possible, the method can be modified in certain subject areas, but not in this particular case of diagnosing epilepsy, as it falls under retrospective diagnosis.
  • There is nothing to actually experiment here or collect empirical data from. It is simply speculating on a person from 1400 years ago based on historical narrations of the person’s life, not even medical records!
  • This does not meet a scientific criterion, thus Gondal’s boasting at the end of his presentation, of how his claim is backed by empirical evidence is a false assertion.
  • Using information from Neuroscience to fit in with your own biased conclusion does not make your claim true or ‘empirically evident’. It is absurd to even suggest such a thing.

Gondal’s Unscientific Method

  • Gondal’s claim meets no scientific standard, rather it is pseudoscience.
  • His conclusion has not come through any scientific methodological process.
  • He arrived at a preconceived conclusion then went hunting around for information to fit in with his conclusion. This is anti-Science.
  • He has selectively used Hadiths and then injected his own meanings that suit his narrative.
  • He has selectively picked out epilepsy symptoms and forced them to fit in with the narrative.
  • On some of his points, the epilepsy symptoms he mentions are completely incorrect.
  • No testing has taken place, no experiments, there are no empirical evidence and no actual proper analysis has taken place.
  • Why? Because he has nothing to actually physically test.
  • There is nothing to measure in this case or experiment on, in order to gather empirical data.
  • Simply you have historical texts to interpret.
  • Gondal has repeated the same mistakes as others in the past have, infact all he has done is rehash the work of Orientalists and Christian polemicists.
  • There is no room for mere speculation and conspiracy theories in Science, this is exactly what Gondal’s claim is.

Limitations of Science

  • Science is not able to answer every question out there, it’s scope is limited in various ways e.g. things that are only observable, ‘Behaves vs Is’, ‘Is vs Ought’ etc.
  • The exact scope and nature of Science is disputed.
  • Science is constantly changing, theories can change or be discarded entirely, like many theories and notions have been in the past.
  • What is considered ‘true’ today may not be tomorrow.
  • Science today itself is based on a philosophical assumption, it is not based on anything empirical. This is a huge problem itself and deserves separate attention for another time, but this assumption itself arises methodological flaws, and Gondal bases his worldview on such an assumption.
  • This philosophical assumption is naturalism. That is, it only accepts nature, the observable world through the senses and doesn’t consider anything existing outside the limited human mind.
  • The notion that other matter can exist outside of the limited human mind is rejected.
  • This assumption limits the view of the world and understanding to a mere material way of thinking.
  • Science also cannot measure a person’s subjective experience.
  • Gondal’s worldview is based on naturalistic outlook, and this shapes his argument here, taking on a pathological route, he rejects any other kind of explanation, such as a ‘supernatural’ one. This becomes a circular argument as a result.
  • It is important to point out not everyone in the science field limits themselves to a strict naturalistic viewpoint.
  • It is interesting to note that some physicists such as Michio Kaku entertain the idea of parallel universes, other dimensions and being able to enter them one day.
  • Alternate nature of reality can be understood with different metaphysics outside of limited materialism. This idea is being adopted by some in the Academic field such as Bernardo Kastrup, who argue against Materialist philosophy.
  • In Islam we believe in the world of the unseen, existence, creation, the world is not limited to just what we observe with the senses in our mind.
  • There is no way of understanding exactly what the Prophet SAW went through, what he saw, felt, heard etc, as it was all a subjective experience that no one else can experience, observe or measure.
  • Therefore, to suggest any conclusive naturalistic explanation and reject any other explanation outside of that assumption is disingenuous.
  • Further Reading: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn, Against Method by Paul Feyerabend

Retrospective Diagnosis

  • The methodology of this type of claim is called retrospective diagnosis also known as a type of pathography.
  • Retrospective diagnosis is a method that aims to identify and diagnose a historical figure with an illness or a disease often with the use of modern medical knowledge, nosology and categorisations.
  • Motives for retrospective diagnosis varies, in the case of the Prophet SAW here, it is to attack his Prophethood and the divinity of the Qur’an.
  • In the absence of physical evidence Pathographers rely on secondhand translations and interpretations of historical text.
  • In the absence of definite proofs, retrospective diagnosis is nothing more than mere speculation and presumptuous in nature.
  • Historical cases rely on incomplete information.
  • Often historical documents are interpreted literally in translated form with no critical analysis of these primary sources in their original language or the background of the content. Such is the case with Gondal.
  • Texts of the past are not preserved as medical data and should not be used as a means of interpreting the past in a medical fashion based on modern medical knowledge, devoid of medical reality of the past.
  • If you do not know the context of what you are reading or the full perspective of a person’s life, you will get the diagnosis very wrong.
  • Use of pattern recognition, opens up the doors to cognitive bias creeping into interpretation of texts. Reading into texts of things that are not there or do not even correlate with what is written.
  • Historians try to reconstruct events of the past using traditional sources such as personal documents, records, to the highest possible degree of accuracy.
  • Historians in the medical field are limited in this arena, especially in regards to mental illness and neurological disorders, as these disorders cannot be ascertained.
  • Historians in the secular Academic field are required not to fully rely on memory reports and memoirs of contemporary witnesses without critique.
  • Written historical texts are regarded as not being objective sources, as they were compiled for specific reasons.
  • We are not able to understand the reality of the past as we have no adequate access to the past reality, this often leads to anachronism.
  • This type of method is highly reductionist in nature – human thoughts, behavior, and social interactions are too complex to be explained away, or reduced, by simple medical explanations.
  • Complex historical events are reduced to oversimplified analysis on the whim of the person making the claim.
  • Opinion is given on a person that has never been seen or examined, which violates medical profession principles.
  • All that is done is comparison of unspecified phenomena that is non-medical in nature and then an anachronistic picture is built up of this person with concocted similarities.
  • Proposing retrospective diagnosis as a scientific fact would not even be entertained as a scholarly discourse.
  • Retrospective diagnosis can also be used as political tools, such is the case with the Prophet SAW.
  • A well-known case of usage as political tool is the book ‘King George and the Mad-Business’ (1969) by Richard Hunter and Ida Macalpine, a mother-son psychiatric duo.

They scanned through the medical records of King George and simply picked out symptoms that fitted in with their conclusion.

  • It is impossible to verify or falsify a hypothesis of this kind as the subject is not available to test or examine.
  • Without a body to examine and test, no actual definitive diagnosis is possible.
  • Medical knowledge varies and changes over time and so does the classifications of medical conditions. Therefore, such diagnosis is built on shaky foundations and cannot be termed as definitive.
  • Further Reading: Alex Karenburg (2000), Muramoto (2014), Mathias Schimdt (2019)

Diagnosing Epilepsy

  • Diagnosing epilepsy is difficult and complicated. There is no single test that will give you a proper diagnosis.
  • Lots of information needs to be gathered and assessed such as medical history, what happened before, during and after a seizure.
  • Neurological examination, Blood tests, EEG and MRI scans are carried out to examine patients.
  • Even after all these tests, it is still not possible to 100% prove a person has epilepsy.
  • Some events may appear to be symptoms of epilepsy but may actually be another medical condition caused by other non-related factors, e.g. fainting from dehydration, convulsions caused by hypocalcemia, diabetes etc.
  • They are basically pseudo-seizures that look like epileptic seizures but are not really from the brain, in other words not caused by epilepsy.
  • Given how difficult it is to diagnose a person who is alive, the absurdity of diagnosing a person who died 1400 years ago is a big one.
  • Information required to make some form of diagnostic must be obtained from communicating and examining the patient. Not easy if the person is not alive.
  • Even clinical diagnosis in present times is speculative in nature and relies on probabilistic judgement, based off other examination procedures.
  • In light of all this information we can see how diagnosing a person who died 1400 years ago is absurd, not a single shred of evidence can be produced to back such a claim up.
  • Further Reading: EpilepsySociety.org.uk, Epilepsy.org.uk, NHS website.

Usage of Hadiths

  • The use of Hadiths is probably the most peculiar part in this claim. Gondal doesn’t accept Hadith to be genuine, authentic, accurate and reliable, he rejects the concept of Hadiths being as such, as a whole.
  • I questioned him about this several times on Twitter, he refused to answer before blocking me.
  • Most of his basis of ‘diagnosis’ is based on Hadith literature.
  • For a Muslim, we accept the Hadith, they are the secondary source in Islam after the Qur’an.
  • For someone like Gondal, if they do not accept Hadith to be reliable than they cannot make a truth claim based on it, which leaves their argument in complete tatters from the offset.
  • If Gondal doesn’t accept the veracity of the Hadith literature than his entire diagnosis is unreliable and based on something he doesn’t even believe to be true.
  • It is really dishonest to the core, to use literature you don’t believe to be authentic and reliable, to build a case and make assertions with.
  • For a Muslim we do not accept their twisted interpretation and selective use of Hadiths.
  • If Gondal is going to use Hadith, he should accept all Hadith including the ones that mention miracles performed by the Prophet SAW and ones that go against his theory.
  • Gondal claims that the Hadith can be biased, yet the irony of this is his entire claim is based on a biased supposition.
  • How does Gondal decide what is biased and what isn’t in the Hadith?
  • He cannot simply pick and choose which Hadith to use that fit in with his narrative or agenda. Which is exactly what he does. This is intellectual dishonesty.
  • Exactly what method and criteria is Gondal using to judge that X hadith is fine to use and Y can be rejected. This is simply him arbitrarily choosing at whim.
  • Hadith’s are graded in their accuracy using a proven and robust system. Either you accept all Hadith graded Sahih, including the ones about the miracles performed by Prophet SAW, or you reject all Hadith based on your rejection of the sciences of Hadith, that no Hadith can be ascertained to be authentic.
  • Furthermore, to this, the Hadiths Gondal uses for his claim, he has made no effort to check the grading of the Hadith, which is why he has used fabricated ones in some instances.
  • Gondal claims as Atheists they are not bound by having to choose all or nothing with the Hadith literature and can adopt an arbitrary secular lens.
  • This is academic dishonesty and display the contempt Gondal has for truthfulness and basic integrity.
  • It raises the question again of what method exactly is Gondal using on choosing what is authentic and valid and what isn’t in the hadith literature? or is he merely choosing whatever ones he can use to fit his narrative? This is unscrupulous in nature. This same point has to be repeated again.
  • He has as you will see, used fabricated and unverified Hadiths like the one about Prophet SAW trying to commit suicide.
  • He has used parts of the Sira of Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Hisham, which is based on a lot of weak or fabricated Hadith and is even highly controversial in Scholarly circles.
  • He even uses one so called Hadith that is claimed to be in Musnad Ahmad narrating the Prophet foaming at his mouth, but he has no reference for this and hasn’t even bothered to check it. Instead he uses a screenshot from a Christian anti-Islam website, which has an unknown reference cited.
  • I consulted a Student of Knowledge in regards to this supposed Hadith and he could not find it from the reference given by the Christian websites.
  • I quote the Student of Knowledge(sic): “I tried everything, volume 34, not possible, volume 1 page 34, nope, volume 1 page 464 No”
  • It was the same issue with other obscure references, as the Student of Knowledge aptly put it (sic): “It’s extremely dishonest to just say “Mishkat” without mentioning the author, similarly the referencing for the quote of al-Musnad was extremely strange. I’d like to bring into attention that they’re appealing to books outside of the canonical 6 (Kutub al Sittah), books that don’t care whether what’s in it is Saheeh or not, whether they’re single strand transmission or not etc. And they’re not even quoting them right”
  • He concludes: “We know how the revelation came to Muhammed and what he looked and felt like through Sahih narrations in the Sihah Sittah, obscure single strand narrations mean little in light of that”
  • Gondal doesn’t know Arabic, so hasn’t even examined the Hadith literature in its original language. A requirement for a scientific approach to these issues, as discussed in previous sections.
  • Gondal manufactures his own interpretation and meanings into the texts, even rejects at whim sections of the same hadith he uses that go against his narrative. Such as the Hadith about the Prophet SAW chest being opened and the heart cleansed, other companions saw the needle marks, yet Gondal dismisses this at whim by calling it bias, as it contradicts his claims. This is the level of dishonesty at play at here.
  • He is happy to accept the part that he can use for his narrative but conveniently dismiss at whim, with no justification, the part that throws his claim into disarray,
  • Gondal has no qualification to interpret the Hadith, and making wild interpretations that do not even correlate with what is narrated and the context, is at best dishonest and disingenuous.
  • Some other contentious claims:
  • Sameer makes a false assertion that Prophet Muhammad SAW was never a shepherd and just a merchant, this is categorically false, as Prophet SAW worked as a shepherd for a period of time in his youth, as was a custom in those days. He became Merchant later on in his adulthood.
  • There are many Sahih hadith that mention his time as a Shepherd such as Bukhari 2143 and Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 577
  • Sameer and Gondal claim that the Prophet conveniently received revelations, which also happens to contradict their claim that revelations were a result of epilepsy, so the Prophet was receiving these ‘random’ revelations at ‘random’ epileptic seizures but at the same time they happen to be convenient?
  • The particular example they cite is the verse that exonerated Aisha RA of the adultery claims. However, the claim of convenience, doesn’t stand, because that verse came one month after the incident and for that whole month the Prophet SAW was in a state of anxiety over the issue. Had it been ‘convenient’ then surely the verse could have been made then and there when the accusation was made and exonerate Aisha RA immediately. Why wait a month to do that?
  • This is yet another example of how Gondal fished out Hadith’s to fit his narrative without giving the full picture of incidents or the life of the Prophet SAW as a whole, drawing up a false image as a result for his audience.

Few Notes on Epilepsy

Did the Arabs know of Epilepsy?

  • Sameer and Gondal claim people in the past and in particular, Arabia, didn’t have science back then and so didn’t know of epilepsy. Which isn’t true, ‘epilepsy’ was well known in many societies, including in Arabia.
  • Epilepsy was known back then, thought not with modern nosology, it was called Saraa.
  • There was even an incident where a woman who came to Prophet SAW asking for help in regards to Saraa. See Sahih al-Bukhari 5652.
  • People were not ignorant as how it is made out to be, people knew what epilepsy, insanity, intoxication were and the signs of someone in those state.
  • The woman suffered from some sort of fit where she would become undressed involuntarily as a result, a known effect of epilepsy. The Prophet SAW said this is blameless and she won’t accrue sin for it.
  • If Prophet SAW indeed suffered from epilepsy, this would have been widely known and accepted.
  • Yet apart from accusations of being mad based on the message he was preaching which was later retracted, with new accusations of the Prophet SAW being a magician instead because of the unique eloquence of the Qur’an, no one made this claim of Saraa, and instead people went onto embrace his message.
  • Someone suffering from such a condition would not have been embraced by an entire society.
  • The companions of the Prophet SAW, who were of a broad mixture, including noblemen and women, were not fools or ‘uneducated’ people, they would have recognised this straight away if it was truly the case.
  • These slanderous accusations old and new of the same nature just prove how no one is capable of critiquing the Prophet SAW in an intellectual or honest manner. They simply resort to slander.

Postictal Psychosis – Fear/Anxiety

  • Gondal claims Prophet SAW experienced postictal psychosis which could have lasted for days to weeks.
  • During this stage he says Prophet SAW suffered from thought disorder, delusions, hallucinations, suicide and violence.
  • PIP is characterized by an episode of psychosis which happens within a week of a cluster of seizures. (doi: 10.1186/1744-859X-5-9)
  • Post Ictal Psychosis is very rare, so the idea the Prophet SAW suffered these through 23 years of his life, the period of his Prophethood and revelations, is extremely farfetched and absurd.
  • Gondal provides no evidence to back this claim up. No evidence is provided with a timeline where such related characteristics took place in the Hadiths. It is simply pure speculation backed up by no evidence.
  • He mentions fear of the Prophet SAW after the first revelation came and pins this on postictal psychosis, however one can clearly see the fear was from having an otherworldly experience, he just saw a creature out of this world, Angel Gabriel, which would be a frightening experience for any human being. This is not a symptom of postictal psychosis. (doi:10.2147/ndt.s3990, doi:10.4045/tidsskr.17.1026)
  • A psychotic state that lasts weeks would be highly disruptive and debilitating to a person’s life, yet we do not see the effects of this in the life of the Prophet SAW who led a very busy and complex life. A Psychosis state lasting such a long period of time would stand out in his life and would have been picked up upon by his companions and his enemies, yet there is no record of such in any narrations or a correlating timeline that corroborates with this state. (https://dx.doi.org/10.1111%2Fj.1535-7511.2008.00227.x)
  • In a psychosis state, a person loses touch with reality, and their senses, emotions, judgement, decision making and general intellect becomes impaired. Yet the Prophet SAW spent his entire life as a Prophet without showing any symptoms of this type of psychosis. He went through years and years of hardship physical and emotional, was a loving husband, father and companion, made intelligent and astute decisions, amongst many other things that prove him to have always been a normal functioning, sane person.
  • In response it is said by Gondal that he wasn’t always in a psychotic state that’s why he appears normal in other times, if so then this doesn’t correlate either, as his psychotic state even in phases here and there would have a dramatic and detrimental effect on his life and mission, yet we see none of this in his narrated life.

Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

  • Gondal makes the claim that the Prophet SAW had Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.
  • Typical characteristics are behavioral arrests, impaired awareness, automatism and postictal confusion.
  • TLE Symptoms he cites include; aura’s, feelings of fear, rising feeling in the stomach, auditory aura, lip smacking, fainting etc.
  • We will go through the ones Gondal lists as the Prophet SAW being symptomatic of and clearly demonstrate how they do not exist and how Gondal has deceptively changed entire meanings to suit his narrative.
  • Geschwind syndrome is mentioned, but the existence of such a syndrome is highly disputed as it is based on weak methodology and data and there is no conclusive evidence that such a thing exists. (D F Benson 1991), (O Devinsky 1999)
  • Further reading: Epilepsy.com TLE articles, Epilepsydiagnosis.org TLE section.

Hallucination

  • Another area of contention is of hallucinations. The whole idea of hallucination is one large topic that deserves its own time. As we can delve into the topics of how vision and perception work, how our eyes and brain function, how everything perceived is in the mind itself, dreams and the nature of consciousness.
  • Hallucinations are defined as sensory experiences that do not exist outside of the mind, lacking any external stimulus, and are mainly caused by mental disorders or intake of toxic substances such as drugs.
  • Thus, for a person to have reoccurring hallucinations, they must have some form of mental illness or be a user of narcotic substances.
  • Isolated cases of hallucinations can result from a fever.
  • Types of hallucinations as described on webmd.com: “Hallucinations are when you see, feel, hear, smell, or taste things that aren’t there. Auditory hallucinations make you hear voices or sounds. Visual hallucinations make you see imaginary objects, or see real objects differently. Olfactory hallucinations cause odors that only you can smell”
  • What about hallucinations as a result of epilepsy? Elementary hallucinations can happen in focal seizures, for example seeing flashing lights or hearing ringing sound. More complex hallucinations that involve seeing people and hearing voices are an uncommon exhibition of focal seizures. These need to be separated from other psychiatric conditions that can cause these.
  • There are no universally agreed definitions for post-ictal psychosis, but a general idea that psychosis takes place within 7 days of a tonic-clonic or cluster of complex partial seizures. (Kanemoto 2001)
  • “Common features include impaired content and coherence of thought, reduced connection to reality, hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech and behavior, and extremes of affect and motivation.” (Nadkarni et al 2006)
  • We don’t find anything comparable in the life of the Prophet SAW.
  • It is also dubious to suggest that hallucinations would give so much meaningful experiences that directed the Prophet SAW life with advice, lessons, direction and also produce coherent verbal content as regularly and repeatedly.
  • Now let us look at aspects of the life of the Prophet SAW:
  • He was married to Khadija RA for 20 years, he went through the most difficult hardships and came through all of them. He raised Ali, Zayd and his own kids, he had long lasting friendships, he led his community, managed to unite his people, he led military battles, he was universally known as Al Siddiq, the trustworthy one by all, he resolved many infightings among the Quraysh tribe, he was well respected by all including his enemies, the list goes on and on.
  • Someone who takes narcotics and becomes intoxicated or has a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia, or simply be in a state of psychosis, would not be capable of leading such a life, and have the characteristics we mentioned, they would fail at the first hurdle of just being emotionally stable and making rational decisions.
  • Psychosis makes people’s emotions and judgment impaired.
  • The boycott by Quraish in the early years of Prophethood alone would have broken him, if he was mentally ill or taking drugs (of which there is no evidence to even suggest such a proposition). Yet we see he remained sane and made intelligent and rational decisions despite the intense hardship.
  • The Prophet SAW displayed sanity, stability, intelligence, mental and physical strength, consistently throughout his life.
  • He was completely aware of the reality around him and made intelligent decisions, something again a mentally ill person would not be in a state of or capable of doing.
  • If He SAW was mentally ill or suffered from epilepsy, this would have been obvious to the people around him, especially in all 23 years of his Prophethood, and in particularly with the veracity of supposed epileptic symptoms being asserted by the likes of Gondal, which self-refutes their own claim.
  • Miraculous events or other worldly experiences are dismissed by Gondal because he assumes naturalism and tries to explain everything in a naturalistic way, which creates absurdities, because some of these events were experienced by many other people. There are no naturalistic explanations of these events because they were outside the natural world we see on a day to day business.
  • Further Reading: Why Materialism is Baloney by Bernardo Kastrup, The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss by David Bentley Hart
  • epilepsydiagnosis.org/epilepsy-imitators.html#hallucinations
  • doi.org/10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2009.03.017
  • doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2007.01394.x
  • “Phenomenology of hallucinations, illusions, and delusions as part of seizure semiology”(B.S. Kasper et al, 2010)

Mass Hallucination

  • With the established fact based on sound narrations that other people, such as the companions of the Prophet SAW witnessed events such as the crying tree, rocks greeting and Angel Gabriel coming down in human form, proves the assertion of the Prophet SAW hallucinating, incorrect.
  • If the Prophet SAW was hallucinating, all these other people would not have seen or heard those events either, as hallucination is a subjective experience in the mind.
  • Gondal’s response to this on Twitter was that they were all mass hallucinating.
  • Except that mass hallucination as a concept does not even exist, it is an impossibility.
  • One or many people cannot hallucinate the same thing 100%, as hallucination is a personal subjective sensory experience in the mind.
  • What does exist as a concept is mass hysteria. This is where a group of people enter a hysterical state, which can be of excitement or anxiety, irrational behavior etc.
  • An example might be, someone starting a rumor of a shadowy figure going around killing people, and then groups of receptive people becoming hysterically anxious, panicking etc.
  • This is entirely different to those occasions where other people saw and heard Angels, the weeping tree, the rocks greeting and hearing animals talk.
  • These people were not in any hysterical state nor was their situation or the nature of those events fit in line with a mass hysterical state.
  • For example, when they were simply walking along a path and the rocks greeted the Prophet which was witnessed by the companions, when the Angel came down in human form and asked questions in front of the companions, or when the congregation in prayer who heard the weeping tree, there was no hysterical state among them, they were simply sitting in the Masjid, when they heard the noise.
  • From this we can see the idea of mass hallucination is absurd and the idea of mass hysteria does not fit in line with these events.
  • Gondal in his ‘general hallucination’ section mentions how only Prophet SAW is witnessing these Angels, animated trees & rocks and other miraculous and unseen matters, yet there are many examples of these where others have witnessed these events, so this refutes his argument that these were hallucinations of Prophet SAW.
  • Further reading: ‘Prophet Muhammad and His Miracles’ by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi
  • questionsonislam.com/article/miracles-concerning-mountains-rocks-and-lifeless-creatures
  • questionsonislam.com/article/miracles-concerning-angels-and-jinn
  • questionsonislam.com/article/miracles-concerning-trees

Quick Points on Supposed Epilepsy

  • Gondal says epilepsy is dangerous and can kill you, yet by his claim the Prophet SAW somehow survived multiple forms of severe epilepsy. Since he has linked this with explaining the reason behind those revelations, the Qur’an, that they were a result of epileptic conditions, that would be a count of 6,236 episodes of seizures and psychosis, going by the number of verses in the Qur’an, over a span of 23 years. With none of the medical aid and medication we have in modern times that is needed to treat people with such illnesses, his claim sounds very suspect indeed.
  • If he says, the revelations were not always brought upon by seizures, then this leaves his claim with a lot of holes and inconsistencies. He needs a plausible theory and back this up with proof of what happened here and how the Prophet SAW could have possibly come up with those verses.
  • Gondal also says we should look at these symptoms as a whole, together, but these so-called symptoms he cites happened in isolation, sometimes years apart, sometimes only once and never again. The symptoms did not exhibit consistently and throughout his life as they would in epilepsy. This isn’t anywhere near enough consistent to even suggest epilepsy or anything else.
  • Epilepsy is a condition of consistent, reoccurring seizures which are unpredictable.
  • Some of the supposed symptoms cited only happened early on in the Prophet’s life, at the beginning of the first revelation, and they never appeared again in his life. Why? Because things like the initial fear of seeing the Angel went away when he knew who he was and what was happening now.
  • When the revelations came, there is no incident which shows he was in a state of psychosis, no evidence exists, yet the opposite of that does. Where after revelation many a time the Prophet was carrying out duties in a normal, rational fashion.
  • Seizures typically occur suddenly and last for seconds to a minute or two. So, bearing in mind the Prophet SAW received some Surah’s in one go rather than in short verses. For example, Surah Al An’am was revealed in one go and this surah is over 1 hour long.
  • What is the significance? Since Gondal claims Prophet was epileptic, and in the Hadith, we see the revelations descended in certain occasions where there were physical changes in the Prophet SAW, it would be absurd to say he was having seizures and was epileptic. This would mean he was having a seizure for 1 hour!
  • In epilepsy, if a seizure lasts more than 5 minutes, this becomes a life-threatening situation and requires emergency medical response. Yet we are supposed to believe Prophet had multiple seizures lasting way more than 5 minutes.
  • In some narrations we see that companions were with the Prophet during the descent of revelation and witnessed it happening.
  • Gondal will lay claim here that revelations happened in post-ictal phase. But this makes no sense in relation to what is related in the Hadiths. The Prophet was receiving revelation in those moment where there were some physical changes. Not hours or days after.
  • Also, in post ictal phase, people are left confused, depersonalised and dazed. Yet we do not see this with the Prophet SAW. He is completely normal after revelation and is able to recite the verses out. Each time revelation came, he would go out and recite it to everyone, companions were taught the verses, made to remember, scribes wrote the verses down.
  • After the very first surah was revealed, the revelation stopped for a period of time, there is difference on opinion on how long, but some say 3 years. What happened here then? If he was epileptic, why did the revelation suddenly stop for a few years, meaning any possible epilepsy also just suddenly stopped and resumed again from where it left off. This puts further holes into the epileptic claim.
  • In Simple Partial Seizures – the person remains conscious, and is aware and remembers everything.
  • In Complex Partial Seizures – the person loses consciousness, is not aware, and does not remember anything.
  • In a Tonic-Clonic seizure, this is the most common type and is stereotypical seizure where muscles stiffen, muscles contract and relax rapidly, causing heaving shaking and convulsions.
  • There are also seizures that are not epileptic related and triggered and caused by other non-epilepsy related factors such as emotions. It is also plausible to suggest supernatural experience can have an effect on a person’s body and create physical effects.
  • Further reading:
  • epilepsy.com/learn/challenges-epilepsy/seizure-emergencies/status-epilepticus
  • my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17778-temporal-lobe-seizures
  • epilepsysociety.org.uk/non-epileptic-seizures

The Supposed Symptoms

Ringing Bells

  • Gondal claims ringing bells are extremely common precursor to seizures. He cites no reference to this and in my research, I could not find anything to confirm this either. It appears Gondal is confused with Aura’s in general which are quite common with a specific sensation.
  • Autosomal dominant partial epilepsy with auditory features, is a type of epilepsy where a person suffers seizures triggered by such things as ringing church bells, this is an uncommon form of epilepsy.
  • Ringing or chiming of bells are associated with reflex epilepsy, where a person for example hears bells being rung which triggers a seizure, another common reflex trigger is flashing lights.
  • In an auditory Aura the ringing sound is similar to the sound you hear with Tinnitus, which is distinctively different to the ringing or chiming of a bell that is translated in the Hadith.
  • An epilepsy Aura is actually a seizure itself, specifically a focal aware seizure. They are sometimes called warnings or a precursor because they can progress onto a bigger seizure such as a tonic-clonic.
  • Gondal cites the Hadiths: Muslim Hadith 117 and Bukhari Hadith 26
  • In these Hadiths the Prophet SAW mentions how the revelation comes down him with a voice that resembles the ringing or chiming of a bell, not an actual ringing of a bell sound.
  • It is not literally the sound of a ringing bell, the Prophet is drawing a comparison, by comparing it to a loud continuous sound from all directions similar to chiming bell, which he found difficult to bear and hear and this was a difficult experience for the Prophet. This state ends when the Prophet memorises the revelation that came down.
  • The reason why the Prophet used ringing bells as a way to explain this experience is because it couldn’t be explained in a way that people would be able to comprehend without experiencing it themselves, so the Prophet gave the companions an example to describe the experience.
  • Ibn Arabi explained in Fayd al Bari: “In the first place, the sound of Wahy is continuous like the sound of a bell which does not break off in between; and in the second place, when the bell rings continuously, it generally becomes difficult for the listener to determine the direction of its sound because its sound seems to be coming from all directions. And the Divine Word too carries with it the distinction that it has no one single direction, in fact, the sound gives the impression of being heard from all directions. A correct realization of this phenomenon is just not possible without auditory experience, however, in order to bring this happening closer to common comprehension, the Holy Prophet & has simply likened it to the sound of bells.”
  • Ibn Hajar mentions in Fath al-Bāri:” وَالصَّلْصَلَةُ الْمَذْكُورَةُ صَوْتُ الْمَلَكِ بِالْوَحْيِ (The rattling sound that is mentioned is the sound of the Angels’ revelation) hence it isnt literally a sound of a bell ringing, but he’s comparing it here (the word used is مثل made for comparisons, Not descriptions) Ibn Hajar further points out that this description is meant to highlight the event of Wahy’ as something important, or amazing etc, and he cites this; الْبُلْقِينِيُّ سَبَبُ ذَلِكَ أَنَّ الْكَلَامَ الْعَظِيمَ لَهُ مُقَدِّمَاتٌ تُؤْذِنُ بِتَعْظِيمِهِ لِلِاهْتِمَامِ (al-Bulqini said the reason is that the great/majestic (the word used is Adhīm) has a prerequisite that magnifies it and its importance)”.
  • So, we can see this bears no resemblance to an Auditory Aura seizure.
  • Aura seizures are also simple and not painful.
  • Aura seizures do not produce Qur’an like revelations, and there is no argument to make of post ictal psychosis, as the Prophet SAW had these verses at hand straight after he came out of the revelatory state.
  • Aura’s typically last a few seconds, sometimes a minute or two. Some verses revealed were longer than this, some Surah’s were an hour long and this is not discounting the time it would have taken for the verses to be revealed and the Prophet to memorise, if indeed these verses and surah’s were revealed in that state. There are no narrations that list what happened for every revelation.
  • To conclude the Prophet SAW didn’t hear literal ringing bells, but he did have an experience that he described as a type of analogy with the ‘’like a ringing bell” statement.
  • Further reading: al-maktaba.org/book/1673/504#p1
  • ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/autosomal-dominant-partial-epilepsy-with-auditory-features
  • doi.org/10.1176/jnp.9.3.420 (Fried 2006)
  • doi.org/10.1111/j.1528-1167.2006.00881.x (Florindo et al, 2006)
  • doi.org/10.1212/NXG.0000000000000005 (Pipucci 2015)
  • http://www.webmd.com/epilepsy/seizure-with-aura
  • epilepsysociety.org.uk/epilepsy-auras
  • Bell sound examples: youtu.be/sE0V3nVWzvI, youtu.be/0rT2Q82Q1E4

Myoclonic Twitching

  • This supposed symptom is a great example of how a lack of access and understanding of texts in their original language and form can lead to major error in interpretation and resulting pathology. Something we touched upon in the methodological breakdown section. Gondal falls foul of this throughout his presentation and claims.
  • In the first revelation event, after the Prophet SAW experienced Angel Gabriel, he ran to his wife Khadija RA, in fear and shock, his neck twitching…supposedly.
  • The Prophet SAW just witnessed a strange creature different to anything he has seen or experienced before, he just had an ‘other-worldly’ experience, he responded how any other Human would, which was of shock and fear.
  • Analysing this Hadith, the one Gondal uses is Bukhari Hadith 1 where the English translation is “his neck muscles twitching with terror”.
  • The same hadith in Bukhari 475 is narrated in English as “the muscles between his neck and shoulders were trembling”.
  • In both these English narrations the meaning is pretty clear, the Prophet SAW is in a state of shock and fear, he is left frightened of the experience he just had, this is the reaction any person would have, and in such a state, they can tremble and shake, a natural reaction to shock and fear, and this is what is happening here. His heart was palpitating and trembling from the fear too. When a person is frightened and in shock their heart rate increases.
  • Gondal even admits this and says this could be due to anxiety but just conveniently dismisses anxiety in favour of it being myoclonic twitches.
  • Now, in Arabic, the two hadith is even clearer in meaning. I discussed this with a student of knowledge. So, the word used is Tarjuf, which basically means shake or tremble.
  • Also, Rajf – The state of disturbance fear and anxiety.
  • So, this means he was in state of shock and fear. Furthermore, Ibn Hajar talks about this and the two hadiths and says that the Prophet SAW was in a state of shock.
  • Clearly this is not a myoclonic twitch, but a natural state of shock from what was a terrifying supernatural experience.
  • Myoclonic seizures are very brief seizure where a muscle or group of muscles suddenly and involuntarily jerk in a shock line manner and they last only a second or two.
  • They do not happen necessarily due to epilepsy, for example on occasions people experience a jerk, a muscle twitch movement whilst falling asleep. This also often happens when waking up from sleep. I have experienced these myself when falling asleep.
  • In light of the fact that the Prophet SAW came running from the cave in a state of shock and fear, and the meaning that is conveyed in the narration, it is clearly not a myoclonic seizure and correlates with a person in a state of shock and fear.
  • It is somewhat comical that Gondal is just taking isolated words in English between a Hadith narration and epilepsy symptoms and tries to link them in a fallacious way, without even contemplating or analysing the actual text and the context.
  • Gondal also makes the false claim that Prophet SAW tried to commit suicide by trying to jump off a mountain. However, this is a fabricated story as can be seen in the ‘Suicide’ sub-section.
  • Further reading: epilepsy.com, epilepsy.org.uk – Myoclonic Seizures, Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy
  • Video demonstration: youtu.be/zPNVYFRhthg

Epigastric Rising

  • There were two occasions, narrated as Sahih, where the Prophet SAW heart was taken out and washed by the Angel. Other reports are fabricated or weak.
  • The first happened as a child (Muslim 320) and the next happened as an adult before the Miraj (Bukhari 345). These two are considered Sahih.
  • It is important to note the first time this happened as a child, it was witnessed by two of his playmates, who thought the Prophet SAW had been murdered. Secondly the companion Anas saw needle marks on the Prophet’s breast area, at the time when he was around 60 years old.
  • So, we can clearly see from this that there were material witnesses to the event, contrary to Gondal’s claim.
  • Gondal claims we shouldn’t take kids testimony seriously but provides no good reason why. The kids clearly saw something that made them think the Prophet had been murdered and run to the adults for help. They also saw the Angel who came in the form of human. Gondal also says the Adults were there at the time and he believes them, however the Adults were not there at the incident, they came after.
  • This further shows how Gondal twists entire scenarios to favor his point.
  • Further to this Gondal claims the part about Anas seeing the needle was added later on in time. Yet provides no evidence to back this assertion, yet another empty claim at whim to keep his narrative going.
  • It was Anas bin Malik who narrated this hadith and he himself states he saw the needle marks.
  • Now to hammer the final nail in the coffin for this claim. Gondal claims this was actually an epigastric rising and the rest is just hallucination.
  • However, what exactly is epigastric rising? This is the sensation you feel when you are on a rollercoaster or when you drive over a humpback bridge. It is that feeling of the stomach turning, going up, sometimes with nauseas feeling.
  • This feeling is clearly very different and not in the same league as to having your chest opened up and cleaned. The claim simply does not match what is vividly and explicitly expressed in the narration.
  • In conclusion this incident was not an epigastric rising, as an epigastric rising does not give the feeling of the chest being opened and the heart being washed. This incident was also witnessed by other individuals.
  • Further reading: epilepsysociety.org.uk/glossary-e#.XxzPaZ5Kg2w

Jittery Teeth

  • The Hadith referenced is: Tirmidhi Hadith 3173
  • Umar RA narrates “one could hear what sounded like the drone of bees before his face”.
  • This is quite a specific description, a sound similar to that of a group of bees in the background, near the face of Prophet SAW, not actually physically from him.
  • This sound would be like “bzzzzzz”. See audio example in below video.
  • Swarm of Bees sound: youtube.com/watch?v=NOGzPYUs910
  • Gondal claims this sound is jittery teeth or ‘probably’ as he says.
  • Except jittery teeth does not sound like or similar to buzzing bees. He demonstrates the noise in the video, but all he demonstrates is teeth chatter sound! Even if this is done fast, as he claims, that still does not sound like the sound of a group of bees droning.
  • To add to the absurdity, jittery teeth is not an epilepsy symptom, and if he is claiming the teeth are moving in a seizure, then clearly this does not correlate with what is in the narration as there was no actual seizure like symptoms reported or described.
  • He has pretty much invented a new symptom of his own here.
  • Furthermore this cannot be an auditory aura of buzzing noise, since it was Umar who heard this noise emanating from around the face of the Prophet. Whereas an aura is only heard by the person suffering from a seizure.
  • Also, important to point, this was only one incident where this noise happened. Not exactly consistent enough to diagnose epilepsy with.
  • So, what was the buzzing bee sound? We can only speculate, it could have been anything from the sound of wings of an angel or after-sound of verses being recited, which sound more plausible as explanations!
  • The sound of recitation of verses in another unrelated incident, were described as the sound of buzzing bees by some, for example:
  • “The companions, may Allah be pleased with them, have received this Noble Quran, realizing the honor which Allah, Glorified and Exalted, has bestowed upon them. Therefore, they embarked upon it, reciting it for part of the hours of the night, and at the sides of the day. People passed by them at night, while they were reciting the Quran, and their recitation seemed like the buzzing of bees. They made it the nourishment of their souls, the food of their hearts, and the apples of their eyes.”
  • To conclude jittery teeth do not sound like buzzing bees, and jittery teeth is not an epilepsy symptom.
  • Further reading: en.islamway.net/article/12065/the-virtue-of-reciting-the-noble-quran

Lip Smacking

  • Gondal quotes Bukhari Hadith 5 as a symptom of lip smacking.
  • Lip smacking is a type of Automatism, which is a set of involuntary repetitive motor activities where the person often has impaired awareness.
  • Lip smacking is where the lips are smacked when they move up and down on each other. This is quite distinct and can be done for multiple reasons.
  • You can even go onto YouTube and find multiple ASMR videos of people lip smacking as a demonstration.
  • In the incident narrated in this Hadith, it is clearly narrated as to what happened and the subject matter. How Gondal missed all the details and concluded it as lip smacking is evidence of his dishonesty.
  • During the initial period of revelation, the Prophet SAW would get worried of forgetting the verses being revealed. So as soon as Jibril started reciting the verses, the Prophet would immediately start repeating even before Jibril had finished reciting the entire verse. So, for example when Jibril was reciting one section of a verse the Prophet SAW would start repeating the verses and in the process interrupt Angel Gabriel who was still in the middle of reciting the rest of the verse and so this led to both reciting over each other, at the same time, which was disruptive and would have caused confusion.
  • With this incident Allah revealed the verses in Surah 75 verses 16-18 admonishing the Prophet, telling him to not rush his tongue in order to hastily remember the verses, Allah SWT further says that it is Allah’s responsibility to send the verses and commit this to the Prophet’s memory, the Prophet simply has to pay attention and not hastily recite in order to remember, he is promised he won’t forget the verses because Allah will make sure of this.
  • Note that the word tongue is used here which denotes speaking, in reference to the Prophet reciting the verses, his mouth and tongues were moving.
  • After this incident the Prophet would always stay silent whilst the verses were revealed and recited to him by the Angel. Once the Angel left and the verses were memorized, he recited them out to everyone else exactly as the Angel had recited, so the verses were instilled in his memory as promised by Allah.
  • Now a few things to point out here:
  • The movement of lips and tongue was the Prophet reciting the verses in haste, so that he could remember them.
  • Why would the Prophet make up verses admonishing himself on this point and tell himself to remain silent and listen, if he was having an epileptic fit, it logically makes no sense, nothing in the Hadith even comes close to suggesting what Gondal claims, it is obscenely absurd.
  • The incident mentioned only happened once, so is not a consistent occurrence.
  • The Prophet SAW was fully aware and fully in control of his motions, this was not involuntarily and his awareness was not impaired.
  • His lips moving were taking place in the state of receiving the revelation.
  • His lips were not smacking, his lips were moving up and down quickly, this is simply the Prophet reciting and repeating the verses that were being revealed. This is no different to when we talk and the action of our lips.
  • When people pray Salah, there lips move up and down as they recite verses, this is a natural movement of speech. Go into any mosque and you will see dozens of people with their lips moving quickly as they recite. According to Gondal’s logic, if he saw them he would diagnose all of them with epilepsy and claim they are having an automatism seizure, this is how ridiculous his analysis is.
  • We can categorically conclude that Prophet moving his lips was him reciting the verses and the motion is a normal movement every human does when speaking. It is not lip smacking.
  • Further reading: epilepsydiagnosis.org/seizure/motor-overview.html
  • Example: youtu.be/RAuXMJRRlK8

Suicidal

  • Gondal uses some parts of Ibn Ishaq’s Sira and some Hadiths saying the Prophet SAW tried to commit suicide after revelation stopped for a few weeks.
  • This story of Prophet SAW contemplating suicide, is in fact a fabrication.
  • It came from a Tabi’een called Al Zuhri who was not even contemporary to the time or event, nor did he state any Sahabah told him this.
  • It was a story that he heard somewhere, that had no veracity, and as a result has no isnad.
  • There are other variations of this and they are all classed as fabrications, one or two as weak, due to them not meeting the criteria of an authentic hadith.
  • So, we find here Gondal using fabricated Hadith to make a claim, showing either his dishonesty if he knew it was fabricated or his complete ignorance and incompetence in not even checking the veracity of the material he is using to make diagnosis on.
  • Further reading: islamqa.info/en/answers/152611

Love of Perfumes

  • Gondal claims that Prophet SAW “love for perfumes” is a sign of his epilepsy. He writes: “It’s quite interesting that Muhammad had a love for perfume as smells are common auras preceding seizures”
  • This is compared to symptoms of St Birgitta in his case study section.
  • First of all, the Prophet SAW did love perfumes, he would for example use musk and amber.
  • Second point, loving perfume is not an epileptic symptom nor is it related to an aura. It is also a very general thing that is commonly found amongst society.
  • Thirdly, onto the topic of smells and epilepsy, a few fact-checks. An aura is now classed as a focal aware seizure itself. The aura of smell in an epilepsy episode is nearly always smelling something foul though in rare cases it can be pleasant too, these phantom smells actually do not exist in the physical environment, and this type of aura only occurs in 5.5% of TLE cases, so is not common as Gondal suggests. (10.1016/j.ebcr.2014.07.002)
  • “One type of hallucination Olfactory hallucinations cause odors that only you can smell.” (WebMD)
  • Gondal compares the Prophet SAW to St Birgitta, in the extract he cites in his presentation. This extract actually proves him wrong. Birgitta, would smell foul odors like rotten fish scales before supposed seizures. These were smells that didn’t actually exist and only she could ‘smell’ them. This does not match the Prophet SAW in any way, shape or form, because his perfumes were actually real and existed and he simply liked the smell of perfumes. He was not hallucinating the smell of perfumes.
  • To reiterate having a ‘love for perfumes’ is not a symptom of epilepsy.
  • In the Ahadith we find that the scent was put on to smell good, so others can smell you, they are actual scents and not hallucinated smells. The companions could smell his scent, which means they were real smells.
  • Aisha RA also put perfume on the Prophet SAW forehead, again showing these were actual real scents (Bukhari Hadith 138).
  • None of this correlates with any epileptic symptom, this is crystal clear and having love of perfumes is not an epileptic symptom.

Falls Unconscious and Fainting

  • The Hadith referenced is: Muslim Book 3, Hadith 93. It is graded Sahih. There are two other hadith that are similar to this. They are; Muslim Hadith 94, Bukhari Hadith 16.
  • Gondal uses this Hadith to suggest that the Prophet SAW fell down unconscious from an epileptic seizure.
  • The background of these Hadiths is in regards to the reconstruction of the Kab’ah after it was damaged, of which the Prophet SAW took part in. This was in pre-Islamic time and before his Prophethood.
  • The Prophet SAW and his Uncle Abbas, along with other tribesmen were collecting stones for the rebuilding work. Going back and forth in heat of the Arabian desert carrying out exhaustive physical work.
  • The Prophet SAW was only wearing an Izar, a cloth that wraps around the lower part of the body from the waist down. Abbas tells the Prophet that it would be more comfortable for him to use the Izar as padding to carry the stones on his shoulders. So, the Prophet heeds the advice and takes off his Izar, exposing his awrah. Immediately the Prophet falls down unconscious, and wakes up asking for his Izar. After this incident he was never seen unclothed again.
  • This incident is explained as divine intervention in order to protect the Prophet SAW dignity, it prevented the Prophet from walking naked in front of everyone. It is also one of the proofs of his Prophethood, showing he was chosen as a Prophet before the commencement of Prophethood and that he was being protected by Allah.
  • Of course, for the disbelievers, this isn’t convincing since they do not believe in God and divine interventions. Gondal adds in his own pathological explanation relating it to an epileptic seizure. However, this incident doesn’t indicate an epileptic seizure.
  • For starters falling unconsciousness is not exclusive to epilepsy, it can be caused by a multitude of medical related issues, in this incident a more plausible case would be fainting from exhaustion or dehydration from the physical work being carried out.
  • However, this incident happened at a very specific moment for it to be mere coincidental fainting.
  • As for an epileptic seizure, there is no evidence in the narration such as a description, either before the fall or after that suggest a seizure. The Prophet’s Uncle was with him and he didn’t narrate anything extra ordinary in the incident.
  • The Prophet SAW simply took his izar off and fainted, then woke up and put it back on.
  • If he fell unconscious, then this would be a generalized seizure, of which symptoms are very obvious and animated.
  • Yet there were no descriptions similar of convulsions, jerking, stiff body, fits, automatisms, loss of bladder or bowel control during this state nor was there any symptoms after the seizure which usually involve sleepiness, confusion, headaches, lacking recollection of seizure.
  • The Prophet SAW simply regained consciousness and asked for his Izar and covered himself. He was not in any confused state or displayed any such symptoms. Anything odd would have been spotted and narrated by Abbas.
  • Gondal’s entire claim of Prophet fainting relies on this one hadith in one incident. This isn’t enough to suggest it was a seizure or to diagnose epilepsy upon.
  • Gondal then uses an excerpt of Tabari’s Sirah, who quotes from Ibn Ishaq. It reads that the Prophet SAW “slept a light sleep in the shelter for a while”. It is clear beyond doubt the meaning, the Prophet taking a light sleep in the shelter they had during a battle. Gondal claims this light sleep is actually fainting. I mean it is beyond a joke here as to how he changes a clear text to one of his own meaning and then makes a claim based off of this.
  • This is another evidence in a mountain of evidence as to what a dishonest liar Gondal is, with no care in the world for any integrity.
  • In some exegesis such as Tabari, he mentions that the Prophet would almost faint, not that he actually fainted. This was simply relaying the heaviness of the words in the Qur’an which manifested physical effects.
  • He also cites a story from Tabari again that talks about the verses that were revealed in relation to marrying Zaynab. In it, it says he fainted, and the actual word used means he received revelation and that’s when those verses came.
  • It is critical to note here that Tabari’s Sirah, like other Sirah’s such as Ibn Ishaq, contains many fabricated and weak narrations which are rejected by Scholars. This particular story I cannot find anywhere in the Sittah Hadith literature.
  • With Hadiths, narrations are actually analysed to see if they are authentic using a tried and tested methodology. This story appears nowhere from my searches. So for him to rely on weak texts like this is one of the fundamental flaws Gondal has adopted in his approach.
  • In conclusion, the fainting argument relating to epilepsy does not hold up to scrutiny, it is clearly evident that no epileptic seizures took place here.
  • Further Reading: http://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk/seizure-types

Rocks, Stones, Trees Greet Prophet

  • Gondal says the “real juicy parts begin” here with the Prophet SAW hearing rocks and trees greet him.
  • He quotes Muslim Hadith 2 and an excerpt from Ibn Kathir’s Seerah.
  • He claims the Prophet SAW talked to stones and trees, which is a complete lie, the Prophet narrated that the stones greeted him, which is different. He never ‘talked’ to the stones.
  • He further makes claims that hearing inanimate objects speaking is part of post-ictal psychosis. So, the Prophet was supposedly in a psychotic state. Yet there is no proof of this at all, and he provides none either. Empty claims again.
  • These stones were greeting Prophet SAW before his Prophethood as narrated in Hadiths. They were miraculous events, these are events which break from the laws of nature that we normally observe.
  • Stone’s greeting Prophet SAW were also witnessed by other companions such as when Ali RA was walking with the Prophet in Hadith Tirmidhi, Manaqib: 6;
  • There are numerous other events narrated in the Hadiths involving trees, rocks and other inanimate objects greeting the Prophet and other miraculous events, which were witnessed by many companions.
  • If these were hallucinations then other people would not have witnessed them, nor could they have been mass hallucinations since such a concept is impossible and does not exist and they could not be mass hysteria, which does exist as a concept, since in these events its clear none of the figures mentioned were in any hysterical state.
  • Further reading:
  • https://questionsonislam.com/article/miracles-concerning-mountains-rocks-and-lifeless-creatures
  • https://questionsonislam.com/article/miracles-concerning-angels-and-jinn
  • https://questionsonislam.com/article/miracles-concerning-trees
  • https://islamhashtag.com/miracles-prophet-muhammad/

Crying Tree Stump

  • Bukhari 1831. The hadith is tawwatur.
  • The crying pulpit is a famous event where a tree that Prophet used to lean on during Jummah Khutbah, started weeping during Jummah prayers after the Prophet ascended a Pulpit that was made for him to replace the tree stump he previously used.
  • This event was witnessed by numerous people who were sitting in attendance including major companions, so it is not a hallucination nor mass hysteria as there is no evidence to suggest such a thing.
  • This is further proof of the miraculous nature of these events, and whilst for a materialist and disbeliever, events like this might sound bizarre because it goes against their day to day experience which they are accustomed with and cannot fathom beyond, miraculous event is not a problem for believers in God, our worldview is not restricted to limitations of mere materialism and what is observable by the naked eye or comprehensible by the limited mind.
  • Even from a secular point of view, events that go against what we consider to be governed by laws of nature, is not impossible. David Hume, one of the fathers of empiricism, mentioned one of the problems of induction, as an example with the law of gravity, we observe that when you throw something up, it comes back down, but there isn’t anything inherent or conclusive to say that when you throw something up it has to always come back down. It is just an experience we have observed and assume that it always has to be that way. When in fact there might be a million events taking place that we aren’t observing where this ‘law’ did not take effect.
  • So, to conclude this was not a hallucination as it was witnessed by a large number of people.
  • Further reading: https://questionsonislam.com/article/miracles-concerning-trees

Isolation and Meditation

  • Gondal tries to make a link between epilepsy and meditation and then project this onto the Prophet SAW using meditation as the link. He cites a paper that supposedly backs this claim.
  • On closer inspection, the paper by Persinger (1993) is about a small study on how transcendental meditation gives rise to epileptic like signs. Not that it is actually causes epilepsy or seizures, though hypothesis of meditation causing epilepsy does exist, equally on the opposite spectrum, meditation as a therapy and remedy for epilepsy also exists in the medical and academic field. Both are contentious and little conclusive research exists. This makes this a complete moot point for Gondal.
  • Furthermore, the paper focuses on transcendental meditation, which is a particular type of meditation invented by a Hindu guru which aims to get rid of distracting thoughts and promote relaxed awareness and reach a different level of consciousness. There are particular techniques involved, such as repeating mantras.
  • Also, to note Persinger’s 1993 paper has been put to scrutiny and question by other studies such as in David Orme-Johnson (1995).
  • Evidently there is no conclusive evidence about the link between epilepsy, psychotic conditions and meditation and isolation as Gondal claimed.
  • As for the Prophet SAW, he did not practice transcendental meditation, it did not exist back then nor would the Arab’s have known or practiced such a thing.
  • Let us clear one major misconception here regarding his trips to the cave of Hira:
  • When the word meditation is used, most people assume it is the stereotype of someone sitting up straight, legs folded, eyes closes, hands resting on the legs, and the person floating into deep mindfulness.
  • The practice that was common in pre-Islamic Arabia, was men retreating for a few days into solitude, where they would remove themselves from the paganism in society, reflect on themselves, reflect on the world, on God, worship God, sometimes also fasting. This practice was known as Tahannuth.
  • The Prophet SAW would retreat to the cave of Hira, to escape the paganism and ills of society that he detested. He spent time here in worship, reflecting and contemplating, on those social ills and more importantly on God, the universe and creation.
  • There isn’t any detailed information in the Hadiths literature about the exact nature of his practices, so not much is known in detail and there are differing views on this matter.
  • In one or two narrations Khadija RA sometimes joined him for a few days and would bring food and water to him.
  • The Prophet would also come down after few days to collect food and take care of any family matters, clearly showing he was in a normal state and not suffering from psychosis.
  • This practice of solitude and contemplation in the cave only happened for a short period in his life before and at the beginning of revelation, where it is said God put the love of solitude in him for this purpose. After the revelation came the Prophet never returned back to Hira or to solitude.
  • This clearly shows the role this solitude and meditation had, which had no connection to epilepsy.
  • Gondal & Sameer also claim religion encourages solitude. Some may do, but in Islam solitude does not play a major part as opposed to say Buddhism. Whilst some forms of solitude practices exist for certain aims, Islam encourages communal ties and relationships, discourages being alone and separating from society.
  • The Prophet also encouraged praying at night when everyone  is asleep as one of the best forms of worship if one wants some solitude.
  • Meditation as we understand in modern times does not exist as a practice in Islam.
  • Sameer also invents a scenario regarding the cave to add grandiosity to this claim. He claims the Prophet went into some big, mysterious cave, when infact the cave of Hira wasn’t really a proper cave. It was a small crevice, a hole in the mountain that barely had enough room for two people.
  • These type of small invented remarks by the two are littered throughout the video and designed to make the claim seem more viable to an ignorant audience.
  • To conclude, the Prophet did not practice meditation that Gondal claimed of, and there are no evidence of epilepsy or psychosis here.
  • Further reading: http://www.epilepsy.com/article/2014/3/meditation-epilepsy-silent-debate-wages,  Eve Lplante
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2006.06.008
  • http://www.jstor.org/stable/610681

Bright Light

  • Gondal claims: “Muhammad’s auras also began like a bright light”
  • The “bright light” part he is referring to is the Hadith: Muslim 310 and Bukhari Hadith 3.
  • In this Hadith Aisha RA narrates how prior to Angel Gabriel’s first visit to the Prophet SAW in the cave instructing him to read, the first revelation. The Prophet SAW was having true dreams in his sleep for around 6 months. Those dreams are dreams that came true like gleaming light.
  • Now this is the crucial part, after consulting with an Arabic speaker who is a Student of Knowledge, on the term used in this hadith, he also checked the sharh of this hadith. The Arabic term used here is, I quote him “Falq al-Subh (which is translated as a gleaming light)”, the term is metaphorical and means “essentially something you say about something that is evident and clear to a high extent. Meaning the Prophet didn’t literally see a bright light, but he saw his vision as something evident and completely clear.”
  • This tallies with the ‘true dream’, which is called Ru’ya as-Sadiqa in Arabic. These are dreams that come true. Which was happening to the Prophet in his regular daily life. He would dream of something and it would come to be true the next day clear like a gleaming light.
  • This was a sign that Prophethood was coming to him and one characteristic of being a Prophet is about bringing prophecies.
  • What we can see from here is that there was no ‘bright light aura’, as Gondal seems to think, due to him not knowing Arabic and trying to superimpose his biased view onto Hadiths, he has come to this completely false conclusion.
  • In epilepsy, lights are associated with photosensitive epilepsy where, flashing lights trigger seizures.
  • In an aura someone might see flashing, flickering lights or moving colors.
  • A simple ‘bright light’ aura does not appear to be part of epilepsy symptom and I could not find any relatable information on it.
  • An aura seizure of a visual nature is highly questionable, as it cannot be properly ascertained the nature of it, when a person is asleep and is dreaming. The light could easily be part of a simple dream, and this can be reaffirmed by the fact no other seizure or symptom appeared.
  • We can conclude this supposed symptom is categorically false in light of the evidence explained here. The ‘gleaming dawn of light’ in Arabic is a metaphorical phrase that refers to something that is clear and true, and on top of that this does not match any epilepsy symptom nor did Prophet SAW exhibit any other symptoms.
  • Further reading: al-maktaba.org/book/1711/441
  • epilepsy.com/learn/triggers-seizures/photosensitivity-and-seizures
  • Aura example: youtu.be/X3_pv6us8A0
  • epilepsysociety.org.uk/focal-aware-seizures

Headache

  • The hadith that narrates that after revelation the Prophet SAW got a headache and covered his head with henna is inauthentic.
  • Besides the point that headache is a generic condition that can be caused by an array of factors.
  • In this inauthentic hadith, which speaks of one incident, there is no suggestion of any seizure taking placed based on the content.
  • Headaches are quite common in epilepsy, particularly in post ictal phase.
  • For a Prophet who received thousands of revelations, had he actually suffered from epilepsy there would be numerous reports of headaches throughout his life or something suggesting so, but we do not find this anywhere.
  • This is yet another random, speculated, generic symptom based on inauthentic hadith, based around a common, generic medical condition.
  • Further Reading: Epilepsy.com – Seizures and Headaches: They Don’t Have to Go Together
  • http://www.islamweb.net/en/fatwa%2F7927%2Fsunnah-directive-in-treating-headache-and-bleeding

Repetitive Salah and Dhikr

  • Gondal claims praying and worshiping is a sign of epilepsy and psychosis, because it is repetitive. A very random claim, and by this logic any tasks we do repetitively in our lives must be too.
  • His claims of course do not make any sense, because to perform Salah and other forms of worship it is a requirement for a person to be conscious, fully aware and have full concentration in their prayers.
  • Intoxicated, drunk and mentally ill people are not allowed and/or are exempt from praying as their consciousness and awareness is impaired.
  • Salah and dhikr are practices that require physical and mental engagement, awareness and concentration.
  • So, the idea that the Prophet SAW was under psychosis is in contradiction to all of these points.

Foaming at the Mouth

  • We covered this particular claim in the ‘Usage of Hadith’ section. So please refer to that for more details. But in summary.
  • This supposed hadith claiming the Prophet SAW was foaming at his mouth is nowhere to be found in Musnad Ahmad as claimed. The reference cited is unknown, the sourcing has been done dishonestly in an intentional manner, possibly even dishonest translation if the narration even exists. It is no surprise that the hadith cannot be found in the six canonicals either.
  • Gondal has used a screenshot from an anti-Islam Christian polemic website, which states a reference that doesn’t match up with anything in the Musnad. I asked a Student of Knowledge to check this, and he could not find it.
  • This hadith does not exist in any other form and is nowhere to be found in the Kutub al-Sittah.
  • Gondal repeated the same claim that it was in Musnad Ahmad, but couldn’t even give any reference, yet he took the fake hadith at face value and used it for his claim and called it “juicy” in defaming the Prophet SAW.
  • What integrity does Gondal have when he is using fabricated Hadiths and references that do not even exist for his “juicy” claims? Using material blindly without checking for veracity, to base claims upon, just shows how bad Gondal’s argument is.
  • There is not much else more to analyse or comment on here.

Camel Snorting

  • Gondal references Sahih Muslim 1180, to claim that the Prophet making a snorting sound during revelation is an epilepsy symptom.
  • This incident took place once, where the Prophet went into the state of revelation, in a sleep like trance, and a companion said he emitted snoring like noise.
  • A lot of people snore when they are asleep, most people occasionally snore, it is a fairly common phenomenon and does not indicate that a person is epileptic.
  • There are numerous hadiths that narrate that Prophet used to sometimes snore when he was asleep, for example: Sahih Muslim 763d, Bukhari 7231, Bukhari 697, Nasa’i Book 7, Hadith 694, Ash-Shama’il Al-Muhammadiyah 257, Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 878
  • It is pretty clear the snoring noise was merely a regular snore induced in a sleep like state.
  • Snoring on its own with no other symptoms, is not evidence for epilepsy, no medical professional would even entertain the idea.

Fear and Anxiety

  • Gondal uses the incidents that happened at the very early stage of revelation, i.e. the first and second revelation, where the Prophet SAW first experienced Angel Gabriel and the descent and subsequent effect of revelation, causing him to be scared of what he just saw and worried about what had happened to him, as a means of forcing the idea that the Prophet was suffering from Epilepsy induced fear and anxiety.
  • The relevant Hadiths are: Bukhari 3, Muslim Hadith 316 and Tirmidhi 3325.
  • In these Hadiths we see the Angel came to the Prophet, told him to recite verses and in another he was visible on the horizon.
  • This was a supernatural experience where the Prophet SAW just experienced seeing a creature he had never seen before or could have even imagined. Such an experience would have induced a normal reaction of fear, which is a natural human reaction induced to protect oneself, so he reacted like how any human would have reacted, he was trembling out of fear at what he had just seen and experienced.
  • The Prophet reacted to a physical threat. Imagine your reactions when you face a strange being in the middle of nowhere and this being starts speaking to you and choking. The Prophet did what any normal human would do, which is become full of fear, a natural human emotion where fear alerts us to physical or psychological danger.
  • This normal human reaction shows the honesty of the Prophet and that his Prophethood was not some premeditated effort.
  • A lot of humans get scared of seeing snakes, some even fear small harmless insects, so imagine seeing a creature that is out of this world and then experiencing it talking and commanding you to recite and also physically holding you tight. Any human would react with fear.
  • The Prophet afterwards was of course worried as to what happened to him and this is the anxiety he felt.
  • This fear and anxiety only happened at the beginning of revelation when it was a new experience, after that when Prophet got to understand who the Angel was and what the purpose of it was, he never had this fear and anxiety again.
  • We can see this happened only on 2 or 3 occasion at the beginning of the commencement of revelations.
  • This is evident that his fear and anxiety was a result of this supernatural experience and not epilepsy, if it was the latter than this state would have been consistent throughout his Prophethood.
  • Gondal references a story from Tabari about the Battle of Badr, where the Prophet was praying for help from Allah, and was filled with worry. He claims this is epilepsy induced anxiety, when in fact it is simply anxiety born from a precarious and dangerous situation of being in a battle and fighting for your life and of others.
  • In another part, Gondal randomly claims that the statement of the Prophet trembling is a tonic-clonic seizure, which is ridiculous, as trembling is not what tonic clonic seizure looks like and the companions would have known if he was having a tonic clonic seizure, as is a stereotypical animated seizure everyone thinks of when they hear the world epilepsy and it was known as Saara in Arabic, in those times.
  • Anxiety in epilepsy is often related to the condition itself, worrying about the diagnosis and one’s health, also the worry and fear over having seizures. Otherwise most people who suffer from anxiety are not epileptic, anxiety is a general condition of its own.
  • On top of this, being worried in a single, isolated event does not mean a person has some form of chronic anxiety. We all go through phases of anxiety related to events happening in our lives, whether it’s over an exam or worrying over an ill family member.
  • The exact nature of anxiety and fear in epilepsy is unknown and there not many studies on this as of yet.
  • To conclude the fear & anxiety the Prophet exhibited only happened on specific incidents that were related to those events, for example seeing the Angel for the first time and in the midst of a battle. These are normal emotions of a human, and they were not epilepsy related fear or anxiety.
  • Further reading: epilepsy.com/learn/challenges-epilepsy/moods-and-behavior/mood-and-behavior-101/anxiety
  • verywellmind.com/the-psychology-of-fear-2671696
  • epilepsydiagnosis.org/seizure/emotional-overview.html
  • psychologytoday.com/gb/basics/fear
  • doi: 10.2147/ndt.s3990
  • doi: 10.4045/tidsskr.17.1026
  • doi: 10.1046/j.1535-7597.2001.00023.x

Spaced Out

  • Gondal claims the Prophet SAW suffered an absence seizure when Angel Gabriel appeared on the horizon and the Prophet was looking at him and could see him in every direction.
  • He cites this from Ibn Kathir’s Sirah pg292-293, and goes onto say the Prophet ignored others around him, referring to the messengers Khadija sent to look for the Prophet, concluding this as an absence seizure.
  • Absence seizures are were a person becomes blank and unresponsive for a few seconds. They can look like they are daydreaming or in another world looking blank, but it happens for such a brief moment of time that it often goes unnoticed.
  • With the Prophet, he was actively looking at a subject, the Angel, his mind was active and aware, he was moving around and processing what he was seeing. He also appears to have been in this state for a period of time, which is not possible in an absence seizure and if the response to this by Gondal is that it was a hallucination, then this doesn’t tally with his claim it was an absence seizure.
  • In an absence seizure people are not aware of anything around them. Whereas the Prophet was and he was able to relay everything including knowing and being aware that the messengers came to check on him. He narrated that he was standing looking at the Angel until those messengers came to him, the keyword being ‘until’ and he chose to remain there and left the place after the Angel departed.
  • A person is not able to remember their absence seizure. The Prophet remembered this incident.
  • Absence seizures are more common in children than adults.
  • An absence seizure does not produce the vision that the Prophet saw.
  • Absence seizures occur in idiopathic and symptomatic generalized epilepsies.
  • To conclude, this claim does not match an absence seizure.
  • Further reading: reference.medscape.com/article/1183858-overview
  • epilepsysociety.org.uk/seizure-types
  • http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/petit-mal-seizure/symptoms-causes/syc-20359683
  • epilepsy.org.uk/info/seizures/absence-seizures
  • efepa.org/living-with-epilepsy/types-of-seizures/
  • hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/epilepsy/absence-seizures
  • doi: 10.1016/S0079-6123(05)50020-7
  • epilepsy.com/learn/types-seizures/absence-seizures

Flushed Face and Sweating

  • Gondal references Sahih Muslim 2334 and Bukhari 4985
  • It is narrated that during revelation his face would change in color and he breathed heavily for a while.
  • In Bukhari 4985, it is interesting to note that someone asked the Prophet about his opinion on a practice relating to Ihram, the Prophet waited a while for the divine inspiration to come, the revelation. If he was suffering epilepsy, why would he wait and anticipate and know that it would come soon? There was no precursor Aura’s on display here either.
  • This makes the claim of epilepsy absurd as someone cannot ‘conveniently’ induce it nor wait knowing its coming, and bring a ‘revelation’ with it.
  • So, in those incidents the Prophet SAW face color changed, which would be as a result of entering another realm and enduring the weight of revelation.
  • In epilepsy, autonomic changes happen in simple partial seizures, which face flushing is part of.
  • However, change in face color and flushing can happen due to a plethora of non-epilepsy related factors, so diagnosing someone based on something very vague and generalise is not conclusive enough.
  • The second related supposed symptom is the Prophet sweating on cold days. Sweating is an autonomic symptom that can happen in a seizure. This is abnormal sweating where a person alternates between sweating too much and not sweating enough.
  • It is narrated on cold days the Prophet would be sweating and shivering from the heaviness and burden of revelation. The state he went into, entering another realm to receive revelations of course would have had a physical impact on his body, after all he was still a human.
  • There are no consistent reports that show Prophet had abnormal sweating in his life. The sweating mentioned here are specific to incident of receiving revelation, which point to the physical effect of revelation, if it was epilepsy there would be more random abnormal sweating incidents in general, yet we don’t find this.
  • In summary autonomic features in isolation are not sufficient variables to make diagnosis on.
  • Further reading: doi: 10.1111/j.1535-7597.2004.42001.x, doi: 10.12816/0003249

Acting Like Drunkard

  • Gondal claims the Prophet acted like a drunkard and cites the same obscure extract from an anti-Islam website, as he did for his ‘foaming at mouth’ claim.
  • There are no references given, no Hadiths cited, and is a fabrication as a result.
  • He cites some obscure book which I have been unable to find a copy anywhere, even a Google search doesn’t bring up anything on this book.
  • There is no evidence anywhere in the Hadith literature that the Prophet SAW acted like a drunkard.
  • He also claims acting like a drunkard is very common in epilepsy, again where is he getting the stats to say these are common? The statement of saying it is common by Gondal is used to add weight to his otherwise poorly backed argument, he never actually cites any references to these stats.
  • A drunkard-like state after an epileptic seizure usually involves a person being in an extreme state of confusion, looking dazed, disoriented and have they have difficulty walking and talking.
  • As an example, a man walking around the street aimlessly and confused, he is still walking, but his consciousness is impaired. )See example cited in YouTube video below.)
  • We don’t see example of this in the life of the Prophet SAW in any authentic sources.
  • It is ridiculous that he has picked up a random unreferenced citation and used it to base a claim on, much like half of his other claims. Dishonesty and lack of integrity at its finest.
  • Further reading: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-living/a28150/epilepsy-symptom-awareness/
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfErvmKZbkE

Memory Loss

  • Gondal makes claim that abrogated verses were added explanations for memory loss. Where is his evidence for this? He provides none and has just made up his own explanation without even knowing what the nature of abrogation is.
  • He cites Bukhari 76/79 and claims the Prophet suffered memory lapse of having sexual relations with his wives, which was as a result of black magic. Gondal being an Atheist and materialist rejects the idea of black magic, so his explanation is that Prophet suffered a memory lapse. Even by Gondal’s explanation here, one incident of memory lapse isn’t an indication of epilepsy induced memory loss, which is of a different nature. Memory lapses are part of normal human nature. There is nothing extra ordinary in forgetting something like this in one or two instances.
  • Gondal claims Prophet forgot Qur’an verses and claims lots of verses were lost or forgotten. Of course, this is completely false.
  • He confuses hadiths about the orders ordained in the Quran that came over the span of 23 years and verses that were abrogated. All of this is clearly recorded in the Hadith literature, and not forgotten.
  • Another example, claiming verses of stoning were lost or forgotten, yet they happen to be recorded in the Hadith where the Prophet and companions discuss the issue and agreed that this wasn’t part of the Qur’an. Hardly lost or forgotten, when they knew what they were, it is the same with the other examples that he claims were forgotten.
  • There is another incident in Sahih Muslim 2286 where some companion forgot a Surah which was abrogated and caused to have forgotten by Allah. Further evidence is in Al-Nasikh wal Mansukh p.14 where several companions came to recite a surah, but could not, they could not remember it and all had forgotten the verse simultaneously, the Prophet confirmed to them that this verse was abrogated. So, this proves several things, the truth of Allah making people forget abrogated verses, the truth of abrogation and the false claim of Prophet suffering memory loss from epilepsy, as the same was happening to companions on abrogated verses.
  • It would be impossible for a large amount of people to suffer from collective amnesia induced by collective epilepsy. But Gondal has a habit of employing his own invented quack science, so I wouldn’t put it past him to argue as such.
  • Gondal claims an epileptic person can have episodes of memory lapses for couple of weeks, there is no evidence of the Prophet suffering this.
  • In Bukhari 5038, the Prophet momentarily forgot a verse and then remembered it when it was mentioned to him by a companion. This is a normal part of human nature, where we sometimes forget things, for example going to the shop and forgetting to get the milk. Or like how in prayers sometimes an Imam forgets a verse and someone from the congregation reminds him by reciting out loud the correct part of the verse.
  • This has no relation or similarity to the memory loss effect that happens in epilepsy, which consists of the following:
  • Memory loss is one of the most common problem people who suffer from epilepsy seek help for.
  • Memory problems can occur, before, during and after a seizure where memories before can all be lost, no memory is collected during seizure and confusion after seizure effects memory recollection.
  • In between episodes, the abnormal brain signals effect the memory in general. Which further adds to memory issues.
  • The Prophet did not display any of these symptoms. He remembered all 6000+ verses that was revealed to him and he remembered them all after every revelation came down, which he was able to recite out to people and order scribes to write them down.
  • Common post-ictal issues include; confusion, memory loss and difficult talking. Yet the Prophet never displayed confusion after revelation came, he remembered the verses and recited them out for people to hear and for others to remember and write down.
  • Having memory issues would have caused a big problem in the Prophet’s life and impacted his mission in a significant way. Yet he had no problems relating to this.
  • In TLE this is a big issue as large part of our memories are stored here.
  • Issue of memory can be generalized or be specific to a type for example forgetting names of objects or people. We see no such sign of Prophet having these.
  • People with TLE typically have episodic, material specific issues in their memory. This is where they have problems remembering and recalling everyday events. The Prophet did not suffer from these issues and could explicitly recall events in his daily life.
  • To conclude, the Prophet had a strong memory where he memorized over 6000 verses showing no consistent or widespread memory defects. The isolated occasions where he forgot a verse are merely casual occurrences of memory loss every single human experience’s regularly throughout their lives.
  • Further reading: epilepsy.org.uk/info/memory
  • epilepsysociety.org.uk/how-epilepsy-can-affect-memory
  • epilepsysociety.org.uk/how-memory-works
  • epilepsy.com/learn/about-epilepsy-basics/what-happens-during-seizure
  • doi.org/10.1037/0894-4105.15.2.174
  • emedicine.medscape.com/article/1184509-clinical
  • islamqa.info/en/answers/184148
  • http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/the_quranic_verse_on_stoning
  • youtu.be/ZVh4DYGqSZs

Heaviness, Camel Incident

  • There are two incidents involving the coming of revelation where the camel the Prophet SAW was riding on would kneel down on its legs and sometimes scream, experiencing a heavy weight from the Prophet SAW.
  • In another narration the Prophet lies on the thigh of a companion during revelation and the companion narrates that he felt his thigh bones were going to break from the weight coming from the Prophet SAW.
  • This strange heaviness and weight the Prophet suddenly developed when receiving revelation matches no symptom of epilepsy, which doesn’t cause someone to gain a large weight mass and become heavy.
  • This clearly shows the unique and supernatural nature of the revelations. In the Qur’an 73:5 Allah says that the Qur’an will be given as a heavy word and this camel situation is one example of the weight of the heavy task of revelation.
  • Gondal is unable to explain these incidents and brushes them off by saying the camel detected the epilepsy. Camels do not sense epilepsy seizures.

Hypergraphia and The Qur’an

  • We have already established that Prophet SAW did not have epilepsy by deconstructing the supposed symptoms, so the idea that the Prophet suffered from hypergraphia is a non-starter. However, for the sake of argument we will analyse and discuss if Hypergraphia is possible and if the Qur’an was a product of it.
  • Hypergraphia is a condition where a person has the overwhelming desire and urge to write, and to constantly and compulsively write.
  • “The driving compulsion to write; the overwhelming urge to write. Hypergraphia may compel someone to keep a voluminous journal, to jot off frequent letters to the editor, to write on toilet paper if nothing else is available, and perhaps even to compile a dictionary.” – Dr William C. Shiel
  • The writings can be coherent with a purpose and range from genres of poetry to long academic papers, or they can be incoherent, lacking substance, random scattered thoughts, scribbling on notes and even toilet paper, such is the compulsive need for writing.
  • Some people who suffer from Temporal Lobe Epilepsy have the tendency to write excessively or compulsively and TLE and Hypergraphia as a result are linked with one another in the field of epilepsy. (Neurol 2009)
  • Hypergraphia is not a common phenomenon amongst people with TLE, less than 10% suffer from it.
  • Hypergraphia is not exclusive to TLE sufferers, people with disorders such as Asperger’s Syndrome and Bipolar disorder can also suffer from this during manic episodes.
  • Let us emphasise the point that hypergraphia is where a person has the overwhelming urge to write compulsively. Which means a person has to be, literate, be able to read and write.
  • An illiterate person, who cannot read nor write, can never be hypergraphic.
  •  “If you’re illiterate, you cannot become hypergraphic.” – Dr Alice Flaherty
  • We can see the Prophet did not have this characteristic and it was not possible for him to have this condition, because he did not know how to read or write, he was unlettered/illiterate.
  • Furthermore, He never wrote out any verses out compulsively. All the verses that were revealed to him were written down by several scribes tasked with this job.
  • Gondal has claimed that illiterate people can just make up poems in their head as a result of hypergraphia, but this appears not to be true at all as this is not what hypergraphia is. People who suffer from hypergraphia, feel the urge to write everything down, so when their mind fills up with thoughts and ideas, they have the urge to scribble all of this down in writing. Anyone can conjure up poems or thoughts in their head, but not everyone feels the compulsive urge to write them all down.
  • Gondal’s section on the Qur’an revolves around taking three case studies and projecting this onto the Prophet SAW. A ridiculous methodology that is not scientific.
  • In the first paper by Mendez et al (2005), the epilepsy patient who had continuous rhyming in his head for several years, this was a result of hypofunction in parts of his brain. The Prophet SAW did not continuously create rhymes in his head, there is no evidence of this, nor is the Qur’an poetry.
  • The second point made is that the patient spoke normally and separate to the rhyming and so Gondal says Muslim’s arguing that the Qur’an is different to the way Prophet himself spoke as a proof for different authorship, is a bad argument.
  • It is not a bad argument, it is a valid one. To start off with, it is a false equivalence to compare the Qur’an to mere basic rhymes.
  • The Qur’an is neither prose nor poetry, it is unique in its literary style, form and linguistics, which quite simply the Prophet could not have come up with under any circumstances.
  • Secondly no normal person ever speaks in rhyme, so of course the patient speaking differently to the rhymes he was creating is no surprise and shows his language function was not affected.
  • The Qur’an is a speech and Muslims consider this the literal speech of God and we can see this speech is totally different and unique to anything else, including the Prophet’s own speech.
  • So, the argument that a person can have different style of speech to rhymes or poetry they produce, is a non-argument because they are different modes of communication and it also shows further ignorance of Gondal who doesn’t understand why the Qur’an could not have been authored by Prophet Muhammad SAW due to his lack of knowledge and understanding of the linguistics of the Qur’an.
  • Laying the cause to epilepsy is reductive and an absurd simpleton take.
  • If indeed the Prophet mind was flooding with poetry and rhymes, then surely, we would see more examples of this other than the Qur’an. We would see poems in other styles, such as the popular, regular ones in Arabic that poets of the time wrote in. Yet we don’t find this anywhere.
  • If the Prophet suffered from this as the patient in the case study did, then the Prophet should have produced regular rhymes and poetry that were prevalent at the time, yet the Qur’an was completely unique in its style and literature.
  • Gondal also says Lord Tennyson composed poems in his head and stored them there, but this was because he was blind so found it hard to write, he was however literate, educated and was writing poems since he was a child, more details on him can be found in the case studies breakdown section.
  • In his second paper he argues the Quran displays viscosity, which is where a person talks repetitively and beats around the bush (circumstantiality) on a limited number of subjects and have trouble in breaking off a conversation. How does this even match up with a book?
  • The Qur’an is very clear and, on the point, it doesn’t beat round the bush, and though it does repeat certain points on key topics of importance, this has a purpose and intent, which is to emphasise the important of a subject and drive the point home in a person’s mind.
  • This is very different to speaking with a person who for example keeps repeating the same story of how they drank orange juice yesterday, or takes one hour to come to the point that they drank orange juice and keep awkwardly going on and on. There is a stark difference!
  • Furthermore, parts of the Qur’an were revealed during particular incidents and moments, it also deals with an array of subject matters, so naturally there will be various different topics and points talked about across the Qur’an, as it is a complete guidance for humans on how to live.
  • In the third paper Gondal cites, an epilepsy patient who starts writing poems after receiving treatment using some medications, it is probable that the medication caused the onset of hypergraphia. Her poems were structured and creative and so Gondal uses this for his argument doing a 360 switch, now completely contradicting his statement that the Qur’an is unstructured, disorganized ramblings, uncreative and nothing special.
  • Gondal can’t decide what his arguments are and constantly contradicts himself. In another part he goes about how Prophet faked psychosis and made up the revelations. The list of absurd arguments by him just keep getting bigger and bigger.
  • It is easy for charlatans like him to just go onto PubMed and search for whatever he can find to use as evidence, when those evidence are not even fit or proper to be used as evidence for his claims. This is the level of desperation at play here.
  • Moving onto the Qur’an itself. It would be impossible to analyse the Qur’an in depth in this article as it is beyond the scope here and a subject far too big and complex. But here are a few further points that debunk the idea that the Qur’an was a result of Hypergraphia.
  • The Quran has meaning and purpose that revolve around practicalities giving rules, laws and guidance.
  • Once again, the Prophet was illiterate, unlettered, he did not know how to read nor write. So hypergraphia is impossible.
  • In the Qur’an we find the Prophet SAW being corrected and admonished, why would the Prophet do that if he was the author? This makes no logical sense, he doesn’t need to do this either to make himself look more plausible as some might argue, because he already had trust and a growing following and those admonishments happened in certain scenarios so had a context and thus a purpose.
  • The Qur’an does not present the Prophet as infallible in his personal actions, if the Prophet was the author, then like typical false prophets or cult leaders he would have presented himself as completely infallible. Yet we do not see this in the Qur’an and instead as mentioned the Qur’an admonishes him in certain incidents. This proves the honesty of the Prophet and the truth of his Prophethood.
  • The Qur’an speaks of other Prophets more than Prophet Muhammad himself, who is only mentioned by name twice. There are chapters dedicated to Jesus and Mary. Yet we do not see anything mentioned of his own family.
  • The Qur’an has clear structured content with purpose, not mere random ramblings.
  • The Qur’an is inimitable and it lays down a challenge to produce a surah like it, which no one has been able to meet, not even Gondal with his comical ‘boil a boiling’ effort. If the Qur’an was a human effort then it would be very easy to meet the human challenge, yet even the best of Arab poets could not meet the challenge.
  • There are numerous verses in the Qur’an which give guidance, glad tidings, advice and commands to the Prophet, why would he speak to himself in such manner and give himself guidance? There were occasions when Prophet could not find solutions to a problem, then verses came down giving him the solutions.
  • There were occasions when the Prophet needed guidance and solutions, such as when Aisha was accused of adultery, it took a month for a revelation to come to clear her name and in that month the Prophet was in great anxiety over the issue. If the Prophet was the author, why would he wait a month and put himself through all that when he could just produce a verse on the spot at the time? There are numerous other examples of this nature. This proves these verses were not convenient or created at whim.
  • Why would he say to himself verses such as “Say: God is one.” Verses that were commanding him personally.
  • Why would he address himself? It’s been proven the Prophet was completely sane and rational, so any arguments claiming he was psychotic for being the reason why, is completely false and a non-argument.
  • “Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had sound reason, conscience and will when he received the wahy; when it came to the reception of the wahy, he was bound by the will of Allah. His task was merely to be silent and listen to what was read to him. He had no power or preference over the timing, length or subject of the wahy nor did he have any choice about whether or not he was to receive the wahy. It could arrive at a time of war or peace, in the summer or winter, at night or during the day, when he was asleep or awake. In other words, the Prophet could receive wahy anytime, anywhere Allah wished, sometimes in the form of a few verses and other times the ayahs could be the length of several pages. There were times when the Prophet became very distressed if there was great amount of wahy after a period when there had been no wahy, and there were other times when he wished to receive wahy, desperately in need of divine explanation, yet nothing would be revealed for days. In some situations, where no judgment had yet been revealed on a subject, the Prophet could do nothing but wait for wahy from Allah.” – Dr Zeky Duman
  • The Qur’an came down in the span of 23 years. At the beginning revelations came down every few weeks sometimes months. At the end it was more frequent and sometimes angel came down a few times in a day. Usually only a few verses were revealed at a time, on rare occasions entire surah’s or just couple of words.
  • Whereas in hypergraphia a person has a constant and compulsive desire to write, they do this every day and in abnormally large quantities without much self control.
  • This does not correlate with the time periods of verses being revealed and the whole nature of the way they were revealed regarding time periods.
  • The reason why revelations became more prevalent towards the end of his life is because there was more need for it, as the Muslim community grew and became more complex, which required more laws and rules for them to be guided with and live by. At the beginning of the Prophet’s mission the message was simple, as it was the beginning of the mission, focusing on establishing the foundation of beliefs.
  • This is also the reason why some of the style of the Qur’an changes between the Makkan and Medinan ones, as the mission and environment changed and so this was reflected in the verses and surahs.
  • Gondal says in his opinion the Quran is not as good as other poets’ content or style, so if other poets can make their own poetry in their languages and enjoy the same level of success this takes away the divine claim of the Qur’an. Except those poems were not unique and could be imitated, most if not all poets were educated and wrote poems, whereas the Prophet was illiterate.
  • The Qur’an is completely unique in its style and linguistics and is inimitable. There was nothing special about all the other poets’ style, they can easily be imitated too. Even the best of Arab poets could not meet the challenge of the Qur’an.
  • It also raises the question, according to what qualification and criteria is Gondal judging the content, eloquence and style of the Qur’an with other poetry? He neither knows the Arabic language or the Qur’an, nor does he have any expertise in literary or linguistics in any other language.
  • Gondal claims the Qur’an is full of circumstantiality, which is that it beats around the bush a lot, and has unnecessary details and content. Which couldn’t be further from the truth. The content of the Qur’an is coherent, clear and concise. Everything in it is relevant and has a purpose which is why Muslim derive so many meanings and rulings from it. The Qur’an is also purposeful in its detail according to the subject matter, it isn’t full of irrelevant detail in every matter, none of it is random.
  • For example the ruling on how much Zakat to pay, it is very simple and to the point, it doesn’t contain unnecessary details, in some issues it doesn’t give much details at all, for example how to pray Salah, instead we learn this practically from the Sunnah.
  • The Qur’an is extremely well structured which has been testified by academic studies such as the book by Raymond Farrin. It is not scattered, disorganized as Gondal claims he also contradicts himself when he says the opposite, that the Qur’an is structured and creative.
  • Gondal decries the Qur’an as being repetitive. It does repeat some themes, and the reason for this is to engrave the message into the mind of the listener or reader. The repetition signifies the importance of an issue and emphasizes this, driving the idea into the mind of a person.
  • The repetition in the Qur’an is also well structured and purposeful, fitting in eloquently into verses and adding meaning. It is not random or unstructured.
  • Repetition is something that we find in our everyday life, we repeat the same words, phrases, and repeat same tasks every day. When we are young we are repeatedly told things in order to learn and have that idea instilled in us. Some of us learn through repetition. So, this isn’t a valid argument against the Qur’an
  • Regarding the structure, despite the manner of the way the Qur’an was revealed, such as not being sequentially revealed, and being different in structure to most other books, it is remarkably perfectly structured and organized.
  • The themes of the Qur’an contain everything from monotheism, to worship, hygiene, family life, politics, society to economics. It covers a breadth of topics.
  • The Qur’an is neither poetry nor prose, so the claim of Prophet writing poetry doesn’t stand, furthermore the Qur’an attacks Poet’s in verses 26:224-227 and the Prophet also had a dislike of poetry. So, the idea that he was creating poetry because of hypergraphia, then attacking the very thing he was supposedly doing, is absurd.
  • The Quran was different to any of the poetry of its time. It was neither prose nor poetry. The Arabs of the time had strict rules around the use of rhyme, syllables and other linguistic mechanics in their poetry. The Quran did not conform to any of these rules, it took its own unique course, and surpassed all types of literature and poetry the Arabs had ever heard.
  • It is not possible for him to make up poetry during supposed seizures and have them at hand immediately after, especially in the absence of post-ictal psychosis. As per Gondal’s claim, so this contradicts his own idea.
  • Accusations of calling the Prophet SAW all sorts of insults including a mad man and crazy based on their failure to explain the complete unique miraculous nature of the Qur’an have been around since the time of Prophethood. Gondal is no different and the Islamic literature describe people like him accurately.
  • The following excerpt is from the Seerah series by Yasir Qadhi, which highlights this point:
  • “”By Allah, I have heard a speech from Muhammad right now that is neither from the speech of men nor jinn; It has a rhythm, the top of it is fertile, the height of it is beautiful, and it surpasses everything I’ve heard, and nothing can surpass it.” The people panicked that their greatest poet has admitted defeat. When the news reached Abu Jahal, he went to al-Walid ibn al-Mughira. He said, “Your people have heard your praise of the Qur’an, and they will not be satisfied with you until you say something against it.” Al-Walid ibn al-Mughira said, “What do you want me to say? Tell me, I’ll say it.” (Compare this to Abu Talib – he stood his ground and said, “Do what you want.”) Abu Jahal says, “Call him a mad man.” But al-Walid ibn al-Mughira said, “But he is not a mad man, and everybody knows he is not a mad man. We have seen crazy people, but he has no symptoms of a crazy man.” Then Abu Jahal said, “Say he is a fortune teller.” But al-Walid ibn al-Mughira says, “He isn’t a fortune teller – he doesn’t have the dandana or the mazmara of the fortune tellers.” So Abu Jahal said, “Call him a magician.” But again al-Walid ibn al-Mughira said, “He isn’t a magician.” Then he said, “Say he is a poet.” But al-Walid ibn al-Mughira said, “By Allah, I am the best poet amongst you. And I am telling you that this is not the type of poetry that we are used to.” So Abu Jahal then said, “You need to say something and we won’t be satisfied with you until you say something.” So al-Walid ibn al-Mughira said, “Leave me alone for a few days.””
  • Is the Quran a result of hypergraphia? Categorically No! Because hypergraphia is the compulsive urge to write, the Prophet was illiterate and did not know how to write, furthermore it has been proven the Prophet did not have TLE.
  • Further reading:
  • doi: 10.4103/0972-2327.56323
  • health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/neurological-conditions/writers-with-epilepsy.htm#pt1
  • medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=26483
  • Hypergraphia and Hypographia: ‘Diseases’ of Written Word – youtu.be/a_nJ2h3agTM
  • psychologytoday.com/gb/articles/200705/quirky-minds-hypergraphia-river-words
  • doi: 10.1002/cne.20768
  • doi: 10.1136/jnnp.51.2.203
  • manyprophetsonemessage.com/2014/07/19/the-remarkable-structure-of-the-quran/
  • ilmfeed.com/10-reasons-muhammad-%EF%B7%BA-could-not-have-authored-the-quran/
  • aboutislam.net/reading-islam/about-muhammad/who-are-the-prophets-brothers-and-sisters/
  • iqrasense.com/islamic-history/the-slander-against-ayesha-ra-mother-of-the-believers-and-her-vindication-by-allah.html

Burden of Revelation?

  • If the Prophet Muhammad SAW did not suffer from epilepsy or any mental illnesses, as proven in our breakdown of the claims, what were those physical effects he manifested?
  • It is impossible to say for certain what they were, as they are subjective experiences of the Prophet SAW. No knowledge of the exact detail of these events are given, and are beyond the scope of our mind to comprehend.
  • It is reasonable to assume these were the effect of a supernatural experience given none of it matches any known medical illnesses.
  • The Prophet was entering another realm during revelations and that would have had an effect on the material human body. This would have altered the state of consciousness, the exact details of which would be oblivious to us as we don’t have sensory access to it.
  • The Prophet SAW was still a human, he was not superhuman, so his physical body would have been susceptible to its limits and weaknesses. Whether it is physical stress and pain from the weight of words, it is impossible to contemplate exactly what he went through as we have never experienced this ourselves and never will.
  • People like Gondal reduce everything to philosophical naturalism, which is based on a philosophical assumption and not anything empirical. This reductionist view reduces everything to only what the senses can perceive.
  • Psychologist William James challenged materialistic interpretation of revelatory events and avoided the reductionist approach of secular empiricism. He was inspired by the works of Richard Maurice Bucke who proposed the idea of a hierarchy of consciousness. James described an altered state of mind that could be a doorway to a higher plane.
  • Not everyone believes in this assumption, in fact most of the world population do not. There is more to the universe and beyond then just what we see, hear, feel etc.
  • Gondal asks why God couldn’t have made revelation easier and not painful? This is a silly question to ask. None of us know for sure, but we can make logical speculation such as the fact that the Prophet was still human and thus was susceptible to pain from this experience. It is also proof that revelation events were physically real events, and not hallucinations or something imagined in the mind. Furthermore, not every state of revelation was painful.
  • Gondal dismisses the idea of burden of revelation without any given reason. Of course, this idea does not sit well with his naturalist worldview where he sees everything in a materialistic way, this is the reason why he doesn’t find it convincing.
  • This objection of his based on a philosophical assumption which then reduces everything to mere pathological explanations is not convincing either and we have proven his pathological claims and theories wrong in our analysis and breakdown. So, this leaves Gondal in limbo trying to figure out the events of revelation which have no pathological explanation.

Academic Papers Used

  • The paper called ‘The neural substrates of religious experience’ (Saver 1997) is cited because it listed Prophet Muhammad SAW as a possible epileptic. However, this paper makes no case or argument for it, and appears to reference a book by Owsei Temkin.
  • The book referenced is Temkin’s ‘The Falling Sickness. He makes no judgement either way and disputes the idea in discussion, that the Prophet SAW had epilepsy and also states that orientalists have largely abandoned this idea. So, this paper Gondal uses refutes himself.
  • Temkin’s book is actually an interesting read, as he covers some of the history of the epileptic claim and how other illnesses were cited too, which just proves how ridiculous the nature of these pathological claims are.
  • The next paper cited is Frank Freemon’s (1976). His paper is the only peer reviewed one and makes some basic argument. But Freemon also at the same time disputes it and states that no unequivocal diagnosis can be made. Freemon’s paper is riddled with error including incorrect Hadiths and interpretations, similar to what Gondal has done. This paper is thoroughly debunked by neurologist and epilepsy expert, Professor Hasan Aziz’s, peer reviewed paper in 2019. (doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2019.106654).
  • Gondal dismissed Professor Hasan Aziz’s paper as just being the word of a ‘Pakistani’ as he flippantly dismissed on his Twitter account. Prof Aziz is an accomplished Academic and Clinician with over 40 years of experience in both fields and has won transcontinental awards. Gondal who has no qualifications or credibility has no grounds to dismiss someone of that caliber.
  • This demonstrates the sheer lack of integrity and bias of Gondal. For someone with aspirations of being an academic or presenting themselves as one, Gondal displays no professionalism or integrity that an academic field requires.
  • Next cited is a non-academic book by a librarian called Sam Kean. Gondal takes an excerpt of page 230, yet in the same page there is a large paragraph which completely disputes the idea of epilepsy. This is beyond a joke now and embarrassing for Gondal.
  • Next comes a Polish paper by Ewa Motta (2010). Gondal simply uses the abstract that mentions ‘Mahomet’ in one of the sentences. Again, the paper makes no proper case or argument for epilepsy and in the discussion section, it goes through possibilities of mental disorder, hallucinogenic and other diseases and rejects them all as possibilities, Temkin’s rejection of the idea is also cited. So, another paper of no value to Gondal’s claim.
  • The last paper Gondal uses is Evan D.Murray (2012). This paper does not even mention Prophet Muhammad SAW, but has listed many other historical figures such as Biblical ones and relies on the unreliable Bible to perform retrospective diagnosis on them. It is another paper based on pure speculation and the researchers state this themselves and also highlight the limitations of such a diagnosis in the paper.
  • With that, Gondal’s entire Academic citation for his argument is blown to pieces. He doesn’t have a single paper that backs his assertion, either as a conclusive argument nor in any empirical, scientific form.

Gondal’s Case Studies

  • This section will be a quick round up, as largely these case studies are irrelevant as we have established that the Prophet SAW categorically did not have epilepsy which make these comparisons redundant. We won’t go into details of each individual, as it would be extremely long and beyond the primary subject matter here.
  • Gondal uses case studies of other historical figures to both back his claims about the Prophet SAW and to make the point that epileptic people can be functioning people who can achieve various feats. I don’t disagree with this point, epilepsy doesn’t necessarily stop someone from doing or achieving complex tasks.
  • Gondal gives example of a few historical figures, but he gives a one-sided view, a lot of these figures are disputed in having the illnesses or conditions they have been diagnosed with retrospectively. There is no academic consensus on them.
  • Gondal commits a composition fallacy here by essentially saying because X and Y had such and such supposed symptoms and illnesses then Z has it too.
  • None of Gondal’s examples compare with Prophet Muhammad SAW and the multitude of his abilities, characteristics and achievements. The Prophet SAW was not a mere writer, poet or a simple military leader. This was a man who led a family life all the way to being a man who changed the course of history. He was a political and military leader, diplomat, legislator, social reformer, shepherd, merchant, orator, humanitarian, spiritual leader, philanthropist, he ushered in new political and economic systems, brought new moral and ethical codes, philosophy of life and worldview. This is a plethora of achievements and capability that is unmatched. He was ranked as the most influential person in history by Michael Hart. You won’t find any other of these supposed epileptics or psychotics in this list by Hart, as an epileptic or psychotic person is not capable of achieving all of those things in singularity.

Alfred Lord Tennyson

  • Gondal compares Tennyson to the Prophet SAW based on two main things: Tennyson having 3 convulsions as a child and him making up most of his poetry in his head due to eyesight problems.
  • First of all, Gondal has provided no evidence that Prophet SAW had seizures as a child, his diagnosis of epigastric rising has been found to be untrue, so there is no comparison here.
  • Tennyson diagnosis was made by his doctor on the basis of Tennyson reporting to him about those convulsions.
  • The second is of Tennyson making poetry in his head. As he was shortsighted he chose to compose poems in his head, his poor eyesight was the reason for this.
  • However, he was educated and studied undergrad at Trinity College Cambridge and knew how read and write. He spent many years writing some of his poems. This part is in Gondal’s own citation: (http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/tennyson/tennybio.html).
  • Gondal compares this characteristic of Tennyson to the Prophet and says “this is like Muhammad being unlettered and this dismisses divine authorship of Quran”.
  • This is a false comparison of course, because Tennyson was literate and educated and started writing poems as a young boy. He grew up in a household where there was love of books and writing. Prophet Muhammad SAW was the complete opposite, he was illiterate and didn’t have an education, wasn’t able to read and write, grew up as an orphan and he wasn’t a poet and in fact disliked poetry. So, this completely shatters Gondal’s point and solidifies the divine authorship of the Qur’an. Another own goal for Gondal.
  • Gondal’s claim that Prophet SAW composed poetry in his head like Tennyson, simply does not stand up to these facts and especially considering that he was not a poet in any way, shape or form nor capable of producing something like the Qur’an and this was well known in his time, which is why people were astonished by the Qur’an.
  • Gondal claims Tennyson, was unlettered, and the reasoning given by Muslim’s that Prophet SAW is unlettered doesn’t stand as a result to argue for divine origins of the Qur’an.
  • However, we have clearly established that Tennyson was not unlettered or similar to the Prophet in any way. So, this completely blows Gondal’s idea out of the water, if he is honest then he should accept that this is infact an evidence of the divine nature of the Qur’an.
  • Now going back to Tennyson’s supposed epilepsy. In the same book Gondal cites by Eve LaPlante, Tennyson consulted a new doctor, who diagnosed him with Gout which caused some of his symptoms.
  • On a side point going through LaPlante’s book, her part on the Prophet SAW is completely absurd, she mixes in various hadiths, including fabricated ones and mythical legends and turns it all into one story of the same timeline and then adds a whole lot of conjecture. This just demonstrates how inept and ignorant people like this are and how they display no vigor in their research and work, it becomes hard to take them seriously. If they have got the Prophet SAW so wrong then most likely it will be same for others.
  • In a paper called ‘Did all those famous people really have epilepsy?’ by Dr John Hughes, where he analyses many historical figures and whether any of them actually had epilepsy. He concluded on Tennyson with:
  • “This great clarity of mentation is inconsistent with epilepsy and without further evidence of any type of seizure, Alfred cannot be said to have had epilepsy”
  • The paper goes through Tennyson’s life and health issues and how there is no consistency with any of it correlating with epilepsy. (doi.org/10.1016/j.yebeh.2004.11.011)
  • Further reading: http://www.biography.com/writer/alfred-tennyson,
  • poetryfoundation.org/poets/alfred-tennyson,
  • epilepsy.com/article/2014/3/rewriting-history-did-all-those-famous-people-really-have-epilepsy

Edgar Allan Poe

  • Gondal cites the paper Carl W.Brazil (1999), and simply uses the abstract for his case. However, when you read the actual paper in its entirety, the picture could not be any more different.
  • The paper is full of the usual maybe’s and possibilities. It also lists and discusses other possibilities apart from epilepsy that sound more plausible.
  • Poe was also a drug addict and alcoholic which was the cause behind many of his odd behavior.
  • The paper concludes that certain characteristics do not correlate with psychosis, and alcohol explains many of them too.
  • Example: “Because there is only indirect information, we can never know for certain whether he suffered from epilepsy”
  • Dr John Hughes discusses his alcohol and drug abuse in his 2004 paper and rejects the idea of epilepsy.
  • “Edgar Allan Poe, one of the best American storytellers and poets, suffered an episodic behavior disorder partially triggered by alcohol and opiate use.” – Marcelo Miranda (2007).
  • Gondal claims Poe’s writings have resemblance in theme to the Qur’an, he doesn’t demonstrate where or how, because he can’t as Poe’s writings were mainly in the Gothic genre, which large portion of it is about death and others about love, the self, etc. There is no comparison to the Qur’an, which covers all aspects of life and contains historical information and future events too. It is unique in its form.

Gustav Flaubert

  • Gustav Flaubert is mentioned by Gondal but not much is said, Flaubert’s case is put down as psychogenic and not epileptic by John Hughes (2004).

Fyodor Dostoevsky

  • Not much is said of Dostoevsky apart from how he was a literary genius.
  • Dostoevsky was supposedly epileptic according to accounts from his own writings and narration of his life and by others close to him.
  • He was a literate man, who wrote poems and novels. Sometimes reflecting his illnesses.
  • Not comparable to the Prophet in any way.

Kumagusu Minakata

  • Kumagusu Minakata is diagnosed with epilepsy and I have not come across material disputing this. So that is first on the list so far. Gondal uses him to make the point that you can have epilepsy and be a ‘genius’ and not be completely dysfunctional.
  • There is no dispute on that point.

John Nash

  • John Nash wasn’t epileptic but suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. Gondal again uses an example to make the point that people with these types of illness can be geniuses and achieve things. Which isn’t in dispute.
  • However, people like this do have limitations because of their conditions, and lead very troubled lives, you only need to need read Nash’s life biography to see what kind of life he led. He barely functioned on medications and spent large time in mental institutes.
  • Anyone who has studied the life of Prophet Muhammad will see the stark difference and what he achieved, which simply is not possible for a person with mental illness like schizophrenia. This is yet another false equivalence.
  • Gondal goes onto claim that the Prophet SAW could be a genius just like all the examples he has given. This is a very simpleton and ignorant view.
  • Example he cites, including Nash, were all highly educated men.
  • The Prophet SAW was an extremely smart and intelligent man, but he was illiterate and wasn’t a poet either, it is unfathomable that such a person could come up with 6236 verses that were neither poetry nor prose, but a unique, inimitable style of its own and leave accomplished master poets of Arabic flabbergasted by it.
  • These same people went from calling him mad, to then calling him a magician for bringing such unimaginable speech which they couldn’t explain, to even later on joining him and accepting the message he came with.

Napoleon Bonaparte

  • Gondal uses Napoleon as an example of a supposed epileptic who was a successful military leader and considered a genius.
  • The perception that all epileptic people are somehow wholly dysfunctional is of course a misconception held by some people, thought people with epilepsy depending on type and severity will have limitations in their capability and life.
  • Like other examples, Napoleon doesn’t compare with the Prophet SAW, it’s another false equivalence.
  • But was Napoleon actually psychogenic and have epileptic attacks?
  • In the very paper Gondal cites by John Hughes (2004). It goes through some of the history and background of Napoleon’s case, and it is not a clear stereotypical case of epilepsy. His psychogenic attacks came from the severe stress of his life and role.
  • A lot of epileptic cases seem to come later on in his life and some had effects on his ability. It is also attributed to him catching gonorrhea from his wife.
  • Clearest example of a seizure is in 1805, at the age of 36, his military career as a general began at 24. So, the idea that he was some sort of severe epileptic and its impact on his career is disputed.
  • The below excerpt is also interesting:
  • “To be fair and balanced, Bourrienne denies that Napoleon suffered from epilepsy. Constant mentions that, in spite of his observed “fits and seizures”, Napoleon was not epileptic. They both, as well as others who knew Napoleon personally, state that once he made up his mind about a particular course of action, any obstacle would throw him into a rage! He would stamp his feet and beat on his head, sometimes falling to the floor in anger. However, none of these people are physicians, and they certainly had something to gain by siding with Napoleon. But, there are also no medical records that exist that accurately describe these seizures. No records of Napoleon biting his tongue, frothing at the mouth, no letting go of bodily functions – all symptoms of epilepsy.”
  • Source: https://www.napoleon.org/en/history-of-the-two-empires/articles/another-napoleonic-mystery-napoleons-death/

Joan of Arc

  • Gondal claims Joan of Arc story is similar to the Prophet SAW thus uses this as a proof to back his claim with.
  • Apart from having one or two general similarities, which can be found in many other famous figures, both of their lives were completely different. It is highly dishonest to make the impression that they are ‘similar’ based on one or two life circumstances.
  • He then says how Prophet Muhammad SAW is again named in a paper, but yet again being named in a paper does not prove anything. The paper says ‘suspected of’ and makes no case or provide evidence for the claim of epilepsy, it is simply basing off hearsay on the topic.
  • On Joan of Arc, the paper also says that explanations for her life events remain uncertain and just speculation.
  • The paper suggests Joan suffered from Musical Reflex Epilepsy. This is where a sound such as the church bells being run, sets off a seizure in a person. This type of epilepsy is induced by musical sound that has an emotional significance to a person.
  • Joan of Arc was religious as a child and loved the sound of Church bells which had a deep religious/spiritual meaning to her.
  • Contrast that to the Prophet SAW, where we have already established his ‘ringing bells’ do not correlate with an epilepsy symptom. This case of Joan of Arc further proves this, because there were no bells being rung or any other form of music in the case of the Prophet SAW ‘ringing bells’ narration, nor was there any emotional significance of ringing bells to him.
  • Bells are also forbidden in Islam.
  • There is clear difference between the case of Joan of Arc and Prophet SAW and we can see this comparison is completely false. Additionally, this proves that the Prophet SAW did not have an auditory seizure and the ringing bells were something completely different.
  • Dr John Hughes (2004) concludes on Joan of Arc’s alleged epilepsy with: “The possibility that Joan of Arcs voices and visions were epileptic phenomena has been considered, but clearly auditory and visual hallucinations are very uncommon in epilepsy. Epileptic phenomena are nearly always brief and primitive, like light flashes; the well-formed visions she described lasted hours, rather than just a minute or so [10]. Thus, the extremely pious and religious Joan of Arc likely experienced religious messages, rather than epileptic phenomena.”
  • Another analysis concludes: “When they have auditory or visual hallucinations, what they see or hear is always completely incoherent and has no relation with their immediate real life. This makes the difference between visions and hallucinations. To conclude, I would say that, while some features of the visual and auditory phenomena experienced by Joan of Arc and Saint Paul could be interpreted as being of epileptic origin, there are also strong scientific arguments against the epilepsy theory and without factual medical assessment – which we will obviously never obtain – it is not possible to give a definitive conclusion to the debate.” Source: https://atlasofscience.org/did-joan-of-arc-and-saint-paul-suffer-from-epilepsy/
  • So, it is most likely that Joan of Arc did not suffer from epilepsy.
  • Further Reading: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6517562/, doi.org/10.1111/j.1528-1157.1991.tb05537.x

Case Study Paper

  • Gondal brings out a paper called ‘Sudden religious conversions in temporal lobe epilepsy’ by Kenneth Dewhurst written 50 years ago.
  • This paper has a dozen or two case studies of regular people purported to have TLE who had ‘religious conversion’.
  • Yet another filler content of no value.
  • Sameer claims that Prophethood type claimants always appeal to common cultural views. He tries to say the same about the Prophet SAW. Accept with Prophet SAW this wasn’t the case. His message of Tawhid and his social reformation was in complete opposition of what society and culture held in his time, which is why it drew fierce opposition.
  • Gondal self admittedly takes snippets of the paper and then draws parallels on a strawman he has created with the epilepsy claim.
  • For example, as we have covered already, claims the Prophet SAW tried to commit suicide which isn’t the case, this is a fabricated narration. Epigastric rising, smacking of lips etc. were all additions of Gondal’s imagination on narrations that simply did not even indicate such a thing.
  • He highlights those snippets in his presentation and just to demonstrate how absurd they are, here is a few examples:
  • One patient who thought he was in Heaven, was depersonalized. Another patient after a seizure was hearing a celestial fanfare of music. Some guy saw Jesus coming down from the sky. Someone in a state of ecstasy sees heaven open.
  • Someone had a frightened feeling in the stomach, note how this is so different to the narration of Prophet SAW chest being opened which was witnessed by two boys.
  • An attack beginning with the smacking of the lips. The narration Gondal tries to claim is lip smacking, is where the Prophet SAW was reciting the verses that were being revealed in real time to him, this was not lip smacking as we analysed and explained.
  • Whereas this actual case of lip smacking mentioned in this paper, was when the seizure was beginning.
  • Another case where a woman heard the church bells ring which set off a seizure and she heard a voice speak. This person was mentally ill and paranoid.
  • I mean we can see from here just how absurd these comparisons are, Gondal relies on the ignorance of his audience, as most people won’t even bother to sit down and read through and analyse all these materials, Gondals claims, and just simply take his word for it on all.
  • But on closer inspection we can see how pretty much every single one of his claims are essentially lies or baseless conclusions born from sheer incompetency on his part.
  • In somewhat of an irony this paper has case studies that prove the Prophet SAW did not have TLE when you go through the cases and discover how these people were like.
  • I mean there is not much else to analyse here, Gondal is building false comparisons based on a strawman. We have gone through and analysed the so-called epileptic symptoms he claimed and they have all proven to be false assertions.

St Birgitta

  • To start off with she is called Saint Birgitta, not Saint Brigitta as Gondal and Sameer seem to think.
  • They compare Matthias convincing Birgitta that everything is normal to their claim that Waraqa convinced the Prophet was a Prophet. This is a false claim, Waraqa did not convince the Prophet of anything. Khadija and the Prophet went to Waraqa to seek his advice as Waraqa studied and was knowledgeable on religion. So, when they went to him Waraqa immediately knew what happened and that it was an Angel as this was in the scriptures he studied and knew what was going to happen from thereon, again because he was well versed in religious knowledge. If anything, this another proof of his Prophethood. There was no reason for Waraqa to convince the Prophet of anything and certainly not something false.
  • We have already established that the so called claimed symptoms of the Prophet are all categorically false, so the comparison here is a false equivalence.
  • In the paper of Anne-Marie Landtblom (2004), a few excerpts dispute diagnosis of epilepsy:
  • “However, it is not common that patients with epilepsy experience such a multiplicity of sensations as St Birgitta. Normally, with one epileptic focus, the seizures tend to be alike, with one or few characteristic features of the aura. This would provide an argument against an epilepsy diagnosis.”
  • On St Birgitta’s vivid descriptions: “These flamboyant and sometimes bizarre revelations do not, however, fit well with common forms of epilepsy. Visual experiences during an attack are usually short and follow a similar pattern as they most frequently are derived from the same epileptic focus. Patients tend to recognise the pattern but have difficulties in describing their experience afterwards.”
  • Possible political motives: “It has also been suggested that the revelations of St Birgitta actually hid political motives. Some revelations relate directly to important issues of Swedish politics at the time. People in positions of power, especially King Magnus, who Birgitta detested for long periods of time, often appeared in her revelations and sometimes in such unsuitable company as the Devil. This argument casts doubt on the theory of genuine epilepsy.”
  • The paper concludes amongst other things, the impossibility of diagnosing someone from 630 years ago.
  • Further reading: doi.org/10.1016/S1059-1311(03)00160-2

Other Points of Contention

  • When the Prophet SAW experienced the first revelation event, he was frightened by what he had saw and experienced and so ran to his wife Khadija for comfort. Any normal human being would run to a loved one for comfort and for most married men, their wife, their closest companion is that person.
  • So, Khadija, comforted him and reassured him and made him feel better. Something anyone would expect from a loved one at a time of distress.
  • She reassured him because of his good character, that Allah would not harm him in anyway and there is a simple rule that if you do good then Allah will show you good, because he is such a good man, Allah would not humiliate him by making him possessed or mad.
  • At this time the Prophet did not know he was given the mission of Prophethood, nor did Khadija make him think he was a Prophet, as this was not even a concept they could have comprehended let alone thought of.
  • What do Sameer and Gondal do with this story? They twist the entire story and claim Khadija made him think he was a Prophet to save her status. This is clear to me a projection of Sameer and Gondal’s sociopathic mindset, where a normal, good act is turned into something sinister. It is disgusting to say the least.
  • Khadija had no reason to save her status, she did not care about her status, and if she was so concerned she could have just divorced and left him.
  • Furthermore, making up a lie about Prophethood, would not have hidden the fact that if the Prophet was actually mad or possessed, this would have been evident to everyone, so such a course of action would have been fruitless.
  • Khadija supported him throughout his mission whilst she was alive, suffering much, losing previous luxuries she had and particularly during the boycott which resulted in her health deteriorating and subsequent passing away. This isn’t reflective of the actions of a selfish person trying to save their status. She gave up everything to support the Prophets mission, including her status.
  • After comforting the Prophet, Khadija took him to her cousin Waraqa, who was a religious man and reported to be well versed in previous biblical scripture. Upon hearing what happened to the Prophet, Waraqa immediately knew what was up and identified that an Angel came to the Prophet and this was a sign he was a Prophet, he gave his glad tidings to the Prophet.
  • In some reports it mentions Khadija first went to a Christian man called Addas, who said the same thing about it being an Angel.
  • This further proves that the Prophet had a supernatural experience and his Prophethood was true.
  • Waraqa also had no reason or purpose to say the Muhammad SAW was a Prophet as Sameer claimed. It would have been blasphemous for a Christian man to say something like that and lie too.
  • Sameer claims the Prophet was a populist leader so got away with a lot of things, and that people believed him automatically, which is another lie. The Prophet SAW struggled to gain followers in the first 10 years of his mission, his message went against the grain of society, their beliefs and traditions, so the masses in Makkah did not accept him and instead attacked him and tried to kill him.
  • Sameer claims people were coerced to join the side of the Prophet due to the victory of Muslims. This isn’t true, people joined in various different stages, they did not feel forced to join.
  • Sameer then says people apostatised after the Prophet’s death, showing that no one actually believed him and it was just a political alliance. Another lie, the Ridda wars happened when some tribes refused to pay the Zakat and said they only obeyed the Prophet SAW and not the new Caliph Abu Bakr. Their rejection of a key pillar of Islam, the zakat made them fall into apostasy. However most of those people still believed in the Prophethood of Muhammad SAW.
  • Sameer and Gondal say that Abu Sufyan was highly hostile to Prophet SAW and skeptical of his claim and refused to believe him. But they left the part out where he went onto accept the Prophet SAW as being truthful and served Islam. The same with others like Khalid ibn Walid, who actually defeated the Prophet’s forces at the battle of Uhud and did not convert to Islam because the tide was turning. He became Muslim after the treaty of Hudaybiyyah. Both of these people ardently defended Islam after the Prophet’s death, when they could have easily rebelled if they were not sincere.
  • Prophet SAW was offered wealth, money, status, fame, women, literally everything by Quraysh, just so he would stop preaching the message and come back in line with the rest of society and their traditions. But He SAW rejected all of this and soldiered on through hardship and suffering, which proves he was not motivated by any of those worldly desires.  The Prophet lived a humble life, even sleeping on a hard surface as his bed, which brought Umar to tears when he saw it.
  • Sameer claims religions never mention using the brain, that it is always the heart. This isn’t the case in Islam, where the intellect, the brain is a key component in the religion. The Aql, reasoning and rational thought are part and parcel as much the heart is. The first word revealed was Iqra, recite, sometimes translated as read. The Qur’an preservation is based on memorisation, every Muslim must memorise verses to pray Salah. Seeking, sharing and spreading knowledge is duty for all Muslims. The Qur’an tells mankind to think, ponder, contemplate on the signs. Even in Salah for someone to pray they must be sane and aware, intoxication is banned as it takes awareness out of a person.
  • Sameer and Gondal claim revelation came on demand, which is untrue. The Prophet had no control over when revelation came down, sometimes they came when needed, sometimes they never came when he badly needed them. We have cited a few examples previously in this article.
  • They cite the verse that allowed Prophet to marry Zainab as being convenient, yet the real story is that it was the Prophet who wanted for Zaynab to be married to Zayd, and the verses 33:36 is an order of this after it was objected to by her and her family. Few years later when their marriage broke down and they divorced, the verses ordering the Prophet to marry Zaynab descended one day. This came after they were divorced already. This is hardly convenient or anything sinister.

Concluding Remarks

  • Bad arguments are easy to debunk, in this particular case, the argument falls flat on the fact that there is no empirical evidence to assert that the Prophet SAW was epileptic.
  • The claim is 100% pure speculation, unscientific and in the realm of conspiracy theories.
  • Gondal tries to retrospectively diagnose someone who died a thousand years ago based on his own imposed meanings on Islamic literature with a preconceived conclusion, not actual empirical evidence. This isn’t scientific in anyway.
  • The methodology is completely flawed, rendering the entire argument false. It is unscientific and will never be scientific, thus will always remain an improper methodology rendering any claims invalid.
  • If you are going to use Science to make a claim, you need to be scientific about your method.
  • Instead what we see is Gondal making a preconceived conclusion then using Science and Hadith, both of which he uses selectively to fit in with his claim. This is nothing but pure speculative quack science & misusing Science, whilst having none of its vigor, is intellectual dishonesty at its finest.
  • Gondal has completely butchered entire Hadith’s and practically superimposed his own narrations on top of them. Isolating Hadiths from their clear, direct meaning and context.
  • He has used many fabricated hadiths to base his claims on. Which is extremely dishonest of him.
  • Using content from Seerah’s of Ibn Ishaq and Tabari which are riddled with many fabricated and weak narrations.
  • Gondal is illiterate in Arabic and as a result has no idea what many Hadith narrations actually mean and as a result has completely misunderstood texts.
  • Gondal has no qualification, neither as a neuroscientist, a clinical practitioner, a scholar of Islamic sciences or a historian. He is a pure charlatan, who speaks on issues he has no qualification on, yet confidently acts as if he is an expert.
  • The breakdown in this article puts a light on just how embarrassingly bad Gondal’s arguments are and his compound ignorance. He has so much overconfidence in his own ability that he is unable to recognize his ignorance, and as a result is ignorant of his own ignorance.
  • His followers such as Sameer and others follow him blindly, not questioning anything or putting any claims to scrutiny. It is literally the blind leading the blind and the blind following the blind.
  • Gondal advertised his presentation as having dozens of references to Academic papers, but most of these are generic and irrelevant and do not prove anything in relation to his claim. We have analysed all of them and broken them down, some even refute his own claims, as he was too arrogant to even read the content beyond the abstract. This technique of citing Academic paper was used to make his argument look credible amongst the ignorant, but anyone who puts them under the microscope will find out how fraudulent the use of them were.
  • His argument is made to appear sophisticated by the use of science, hadith, academic papers and case studies. None of them held up to scrutiny. Some of the case studies he uses are disputed and those people do not even have epilepsy.
  • He uses this strategy to make it seem to the audience that his claims are valid because there are other supposedly similar cases, this is a very deceptive tactic.
  • Other large chunks of his presentation are just repetitive ramblings on the subject of Angels and Jinn’s, to act as filler content for his otherwise poor argument and presentation.
  • In the end of his presentation he waffles about the Quran’s eloquence, despite having no qualification or ability to analyse the Quran, something his fumbled on very badly before in another failed attempt at critiquing the Quran.
  • Gondal tried to claim the Qur’an is Hypergraphia, but couldn’t even grasp the fact that hypergraphia is the compulsive desire to write, which is an impossibility with the Prophet SAW as he did not know how to write.
  • He constantly contradicts himself. The biggest one being at the beginning of the presentation he says his hypothesis is speculation, then at the end says evidence of epilepsy is overwhelming, undeniable with a mountain of evidence and that we can say for sure prophet had a neurological condition which is backed by the entire body of science. Such grandiose claims, makes me wonder if Gondal suffers from delusions.
  • His entire argument is just about how he feels, what he thinks, lots of maybe’s, could be’s. Just pure speculation devoid of any hard facts.
  • Neuroscientists cannot diagnose patients only a Doctor with clinical experience can and clinical experience trumps theoretical rhetoric.
  • Neuroscience is also limited as it doesn’t take into consideration, the ideas of consciousness, alternate realms, dimensions, universes, which the field of Physics does.
  • If you are going to make up theories then at least take a holistic approach and not a narrow, reductive one.
  • Because Gondal follows the assumption of naturalism, he perceives the state of revelation with a pathological view. Which is another example of his simpleton, reductionist approach.
  • He further goes onto say it is ridiculous to reject neuroscience and all the evidence in favour of burden of revelation as being the explanation. Well Gondal never presented any evidence, and his argument was torn apart proving his claims wrong.
  • As it stands burden of revelation as he puts it, is a far better and probable proposition than anything he brought to the table.
  • An important lesson from this case is to always check and verify if the claims are actually true and valid. First by examining the methodology employed and second by examining the material uses. It is the modus operandi of anti-Islam critics to cherry pick, mistranslate, misconstrue Islamic literature for their own agenda. You will always find when the claims are put under a microscope they get torn apart very easily.
  • Now here is the thing. Why do people like Gondal and others have to come up with grandiose explanations for the Prophet SAW? It is because they look at the Prophet’s life, the Qur’an, and they see something unique and special, but cannot explain any of it and refuse to accept it as divinely inspired? So, they have to come up with explanations using absurd and dishonest methods to explain away the miraculous nature of those things and fail in doing so. This is somewhat an indirect acknowledgement of the truth of Prophethood and the Qur’an. In the end these failed attempts just prove the case for Islam.
  • This ‘baby’ (presentation) that Gondal had worked on for months, as Sameer put it, has proven to a complete embarrassment and failure. It proved two things; the first being Gondal is a total charlatan and a shyster, the second, inadvertently proving Islam to be true.
  • We can positively end with by saying the Prophet Muhammad SAW was categorically not epileptic and the Qur’an was not a result of hypergraphia.

May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Nabi Muhammad and his family. Ameen.

2 thoughts on “Was Prophet Muhammad Epileptic? – A Summarised Response

  1. Jazakumullahu khayran kaseerah! Being a student of Psychology and also studied Epilepsy and its Neuropsychology this article really helped me arrange the remaining puzzles of my research. I will insha’allah by doing a session on this in Urdu language with this and some additional information to put the final nail to Charlatan’s casket.

    May Allah reward you a BIG time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. BarakAllah feek, Alhamdulillah it is of benefit to you and thousands of people. We look forward to your Urdu video, please do send link a here so we can publicise it.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s