Epilep­tic Symp­toms In The Bib­li­cal Prophets ?

This response address­es con­cerns raised in this arti­cle by a Chris­t­ian mis­sion­ary, specif­i­cal­ly focus­ing on the epilep­tic symp­toms expe­ri­enced by the Prophet Muhammad.

Muham­mad’s 11 symptoms

1. He expe­ri­enced ring­ing in his ears, like bells

In their epilep­tic or psy­chot­ic fits which they inter­pret­ed as prophet­ic” visions, Ezekiel heard loud thun­der­ing nois­es” (Ezekiel 3:12f); Jere­mi­ah heard the sound of the trum­pet” (Jere­mi­ah 4:19); Isa­iah heard loud and shrill voic­es like some­one cry­ing in the wilder­ness” (Isa­iah 40:3).

2. Sweat was on his forehead

Dur­ing what he believed to be his prophet­ic” expe­ri­ence, all the bones” of Jere­mi­ah shook” (Jere­mi­ah 23:9) and he appeared to oth­ers like a drunk­en man.”

3. His heart would beat rapidly

Isa­iah’s heart pant­ed” (i.e., beat heav­i­ly) in his prophet­ic” expe­ri­ence accord­ing to Isa­iah 21:4.

4. His face was red

Com­pare this with those whom the Old Tes­ta­ment regards as Prophets : The Old Tes­ta­ment Prophets bruised and bled them­selves (see : I Kings 20:35 – 43) under the influ­ence of what they regard­ed as their prophet­ic” experience.

5. He would breath heavily

Isa­iah’s heart would fal­ter and he would breathe heav­i­ly in what he believed to be his prophet­ic” visions (Isa­iah 21:4).

6. He would sud­den­ly fall down or lie down

In Abra­ham’s psy­chot­ic vision, he fell face down” on the ground (Gen­e­sis 17:3). In his visions, which he claimed to be prophet­ic,” Ezekiel would fall on his face (Ezekiel 1:28 ; 43:1 – 5 ; 44:4). When Peter and the dis­ci­ples of Jesus under­went a psy­chot­ic vision, they fell flat on the ground.” (Matthew 17:6)

7. He want­ed to be cov­ered by a blanket

Old Tes­ta­ment Prophets cov­ered them­selves with rough and thick gar­ments of hair” and leather-gir­dles (Zechari­ah 13:4 ; II Kings 1:8).

8. He would fall down unconscious

Daniel fell uncon­scious on observ­ing a vision, which he claimed to be a prophet­ic” expe­ri­ence (Daniel 10:89f).

9. His lips would move rapidly

Max Weber writes :

They [The Old Tes­ta­ment Prophets] screamed (karah) their prophe­cies aloud to the world, part­ly in indis­tin­guish­able words, part­ly in impre­ca­tions, threats, and bene­dic­tions with sali­va run­ning from their mouths (hit­tif geifern” mean to prophe­cy), now mur­mur­ing or stam­mer­ing.1

I had already indi­cat­ed that Ezekiel suf­fered from paral­y­sis of the limbs and of the tongue (Ezekiel 3:25f) — from which infir­mi­ties he is relieved only upon the pro­nounce­ment (which he believed to be prophet­ic”) of the down­fall of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 24:27 ; 33 22).

10. He would snore like a camel

The com­ment of the big­ot­ed author of the orig­i­nal post itself stat­ed that this was not (i.e., in his opin­ion) a symp­tom of epilep­sy. Thus there isn’t any need to fur­ther inves­ti­gate it because he/​she did not raise any objec­tion here.2

11. He would sweat

See response to point 2. The dumb Chris­t­ian repeat­ed this point twice.

All of the above (except snor­ing like a camel) are symp­toms of epilep­sy. So 10 out of Muham­mad’s 11 symp­toms may be epilepsy-related.

The sim­i­lar­i­ties between Muhammad’s expe­ri­ences and those of Bib­li­cal prophets sug­gest a con­ti­nu­ity with­in the prophet­ic tra­di­tion. The intense phys­i­cal and audi­to­ry expe­ri­ences described in both Islam­ic and Bbib­li­cal nar­ra­tives under­score a shared under­stand­ing of the prophet­ic encounter. This chal­lenges the cri­tique that seeks to pathol­o­gize these expe­ri­ences, instead offer­ing a per­spec­tive that rec­og­nizes the pro­found and often phys­i­cal­ly man­i­fest­ing nature of prophet­ic rev­e­la­tion across traditions.

Now, I anx­ious­ly await the judg­ment of the Chris­t­ian Zion­ists on the Old Tes­ta­ment Prophets since their prophet­ic expe­ri­ence turns out to be a mir­ror image of that of the Prophet Muham­mad (P). For the Mus­lims, this in itself is the great­est proof of the fact that the Prophet Muham­mad (P) rep­re­sent­ed the con­ti­nu­ity of the Hebrew Prophet­ic tra­di­tion, which had been bro­ken and con­tra­dict­ed by the false teach­ings of Christianity.Endmark

Cite this arti­cle as : Asif Iqbal, Epilep­tic Symp­toms In The Bib­li­cal Prophets ?,” in Bis­mi­ka Allahu­ma, Sep­tem­ber 20, 2005, last accessed April 17, 2024, https://​bis​mikaal​lahu​ma​.org/​b​i​b​l​e​/​b​i​b​l​i​c​a​l​-​p​r​o​p​h​e​t​s​-​e​p​i​l​e​p​t​i​c​-​s​y​m​p​t​o​ms/
  1. Max Weber, Ancient Judaism (NY, 1952), p. 287[]
  2. In a research arti­cle pub­lished in the Oman Med­ical Jour­nal, Al-Abri et al. explored the preva­lence of Obstruc­tive Sleep Apnea Syn­drome (OSAS) among epilep­sy patients. The find­ings indi­cate that snor­ing, report­ed by 41% of the epilep­sy cohort, aligns with preva­lence rates in the broad­er pop­u­la­tion, sug­gest­ing an asso­ci­a­tion with OSAS rather than epilep­sy per se. For fur­ther details, refer to : Al-Abri, M., et al. (2015). Fre­quen­cy of Obstruc­tive Sleep Apnea Syn­drome Among Patients with Epilep­sy Attend­ing a Ter­tiary Neu­rol­o­gy Clin­ic.” Oman Med­ical Jour­nal, 30(1), pp. 31 – 35.[]

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6 responses to “Epilep­tic Symp­toms In The Bib­li­cal Prophets ?”

  1. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Ezekiel 3:25 states noth­ing of the sort. Hold your tongue” isn’t literal.

  2. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Muham­mad was sup­posed to con­firm the proph­e­sies of Jesus. Debate lost.

  3. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Um…Max Weber was a Marx­ist athe­ist. That’s real­ly what’s being spewed. Max Weber was anti-pos­i­tivism because he could­n’t prove his Eugen­ics vom­it with empir­i­cal evi­dence in the nat­ur­al realm. I’ve owned a Diag­nos­tic and Sta­tis­ti­cal Man­u­al of Men­tal Dis­or­ders. Seizures are not a symp­tom of psy­chosis. I’m con­cerned that your facts are 19th cen­tu­ry out­dat­ed spiel. You prob­a­bly ram­ble about four humours, too. The mir­a­cle of lobotomies.

  4. Pro Libertate Avatar
    Pro Libertate

    In response to Ali :

    There’s NOTHING beau­ti­ful about the Quran. In fact, Ara­bic is a real­ly ugly lan­guage. It sounds hor­ri­ble. It’s very aggres­sive. And it’s rife with ambi­gu­i­ty and seri­ous flaws, such as not all sounds being spelled out.

    So if there real­ly was some supreme being, Ara­bic would have been about the last lan­guage it would have picked.

    The worst part is how Mus­lims insist that one would have to learn Ara­bic to read the Quran, which is pret­ty ridicu­lous. Any­thing that has mean­ing can be trans­lat­ed 100% to any oth­er com­plete lan­guage. And that claim would total­ly con­tra­dict the oth­er claim that Islam was for all of humanity.

    Now regard­ing your question :

    one sin­gle case of epilep­sy which has result­ed in the for­ma­tion of a beau­ti­ful set of poetry…”

    Dos­toyevsky, one of the great­est writ­ers of all times who pro­duced infi­nite­ly much bet­ter works than the Quran, did suf­fer from epilep­sy and he admit­ted that he found all of his inspi­ra­tion dur­ing those epilep­tic attacks. He said that he was sure that all those prophets” got their impres­sion of talk­ing to god” the same way.

    When one con­sid­ers the actu­al con­tent of the Quran, it is proof that there was no high­er being behind it — just a pret­ty evil psychopath.

    Same goes for the prophets” of the bible and prob­a­bly every crazy nut­case who ever pre­tend­ed to have talked to angels or gods.

    I don’t know why you guys think that you would gain any­thing by attack­ing Chris­tians, but it sure does help prove that all reli­gions are com­plete non­sense invent­ed by crazy people.

  5. Ali Avatar
    Ali

    I have yet to see one sin­gle case of epilep­sy which has result­ed in the for­ma­tion of a beau­ti­ful set of poetry…

    I guess the mis­sion­ary speak­ing in all his tongues and blah blahs falling around on the floor spew­ing gib­ber­ish qual­i­fy as can­di­dates for patients of epilepsy.

  6. shadowofears Avatar
    shadowofears

    The Chris­t­ian Mis­sion­ary is suf­fer­ing from epilep­tic or psy­chot­ic fits or Islam­o­pho­bia dis­ease (should con­sult a doctor)

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