19) Could it not have been that Muhammad ( ) suffered from
Schizophrenia and that the feeling of revelations was but a
symptom of that disorder? In fact, was he not called a madman
by his contemporaries?
The allegation of the rationalists that Prophet Muhammad ()
suffered from Schizophrenia is a very serious and notable one. For, as
far as those who do not recognize the existence of God are concerned,
no matter how often the truth of revelation is reiterated to them, they
will never ever appreciate it. It is for this reason that any discussion
with the atheist must, necessarily, begin with the issue of the existence
of God. How, indeed, can a people, who reject the very existence of
the Lord Creator himself, be made to accept the truthfulness of a
revelation that proceeds from Him ?
With regard to the question posed here, however, it is its second
part that must actually be dealt with first. Was Muhammad () called
a madman by his contemporaries? If so, what were the symptoms of
madness, which he exhibited, on the basis of which they had made this
Upto the age of forty, Muhammad () had been the owner of a
personality that was truthful in its disposition and accepted by all in
society. In this long period of time none had ever, in any way, attributed
to him the malady of lunacy. It is, however, true that after prophethood
he had been subject to the allegation of being a madman. But
significantly enough, it was not just a madman that Muhammad ()
was called. Indeed, he had been abused with the allegations of being a
sorcerer, a magician, one who practiced witchcraft, a poet and the
like. Was it because of a marked and obvious difference in his
personality, or mental disposition, that they abused him as being such ?
That this was, indeed, the case, was never advocated by any of them.
Their problem had been the Qur’an and the ideas which it contained.
Muhammad () had spoken out against their traditional beliefs.
Moreover, because he had called it divine, people were fast being
attracted to the Qur’an which he now recited to them.All these
allegations against him were but the deliberate fabrications of the
guardians of the traditional religion who now realized that they had to
resort to his character assasination if they were to isolate him from
The time when Muhammad() had publicly declared his
prophethood; the time of the Hajj was at hand. The leaders of Mecca
greatly feared that Muhammad() would propagate his religion among
the people who would come from different parts of Arabia and that
they would be attracted by the Qur’an. Forthwith did they convene a
meeting. It was then decided that they would first meet with those
who arrived for the Hajj and unleash a propaganda against
Muhammad(). The next discussion centered on the question as to
how Muhammad() was to be described. That each should give a
different description would be an affront to their own credibility. What,
then, would be the allegation that may be made in common between
them? Some said, “Let us say that Muhammad() is a soothsayer.”
To this, Waleed bin Mugheera, a prominent tribal chief retorted, “That
can never be. For, by Allah, he is not a soothsayer and we have seen
soothsayers. Muhammad’s words are not the prophecies of
soothsayers.” Yet others said, “We shall say that he is a madman.”
Then said Waleed, “He is not a madman. We have seen madmen and
he has nothing either of their mad talk or of their antics and devilish
tendencies.” At this, they said, “Then, in that case, let us say that he is
a poet.” But Waleed countered, “He is no poet. For we are aware of
all the types of poetry and, for surly, it is not poetry that he uttereth.”
The people then said, “ Let us say, then, that he is a sorcerer.” But
Waleed retorted once again, “He is no sorcerer and he uses neither
their knots nor their lutes.”
“Then what is it that you propose?” they demanded. He then
declared, “Verily, there is a particular sweetness in his words. Its value
is expansive, even as fruit-laden are its branches. For certain all that
you may utter against him will, in time, prove to be meaningless and
futile. It is, therefore, suitable that he be described as a magician who
is out to disrupt the ties between father and children, husband and
wife as well as between the elder and the younger brother!” Accept
this the people did. They started, also, the propagation likewise.
What is it that this incident gives us to understand? The
allegation that he was a madman was but one among the other false
propaganda fabricated by his enemies to alienate the people from the
guidance of the Prophet. In fact, the very people who spread this
misconception themselves never believed in it. It is for this samereason, therefore, that to accept as evidence their allegation, they
deliberated a lot and arrived at such a concensus.
The Prophet had lived fourteen centuries ago. As such, to
examine whether he did actually suffer from schizophrenia is, as of
today, beyond us. It is, however, the revelation and dreams which he
experienced that are now upheld as evidences by those who allege
that Muhammad () had, indeed, been a schizophrenic patient.
Moreover, this claim has been put forward by the critics on the basis
of the ahadith which describes the nature of the revelation as told by
the Prophet and the external and physical changes to which the Prophet
was subjected while in receipt of the divine revelation. However, an
impartial enquiry into the subject as to whether the symptoms of a
schizophrenic disorder were, indeed, present in the Prophet will make
it amply clear that this allegation is without any substance, whatsoever.
One : The behavioral patterns of a schizophrenic patient is
constantly in a flux. This inconsistency manifests itself in the behaviour
displayed while dealing with other people and in one’s conversation
Examine the life and speech of Muhammad (). We are unable
to trace out any contradiction, whatsoever, in his approach or character.
If Prophet Muhammad () was, indeed, of a behaviour that constantly
shifted as well as of a manner of talking in which there was no relation
between his present and past utterances, how was it possible that he
did have so many trustworthy and devoted companions?
The companions of Muhammad () were never like the
followers of the ordinary divines whom we have come to know of
today. They were ever engaged in carrying out into practice all that he
recommended them to accomplish. Is it believable that a great
multitude of people would go on to carry out the biddings of a
Two : The responses of the schizophrenic patient, will also be
contradictory. Indeed, such people might burst out crying in times of
joy and burst out laughing in times of grief. It is also seen that they
cry and laugh for no particular reason.
The responses exhibited by Muhammad () were, however,
well-balanced. Consider just an incident in this regard. The Prophet
was once resting himself in the shade of a tree. Suddenly he is
confronted by an attacker with a drawn-out sword who asks, “Who
will now save thee from myself ?” With firmness came the Prophet’s
reply, “Allah!” Upon hearing this reply, behind which was a great, and
manifest conviction, the sword slipped down from the hand of the
Is it possible to expect such strength of conviction from a
Three : Schizophrenic people are usually introverts. They never
take the slightest interest in the happenings of the outside world.
Prophet Muhammad () had never been an introvert. Indeed,
he was a man who not only viewed with the greatest interest the
developments in the world around him, but he also played out his
own role whenever the prevailing circumstances called forth such a
necessity. He was, furthermore, a person who had striven not only to
provide a moral code to the people, but also to live out a life that would
stand as an exemplary model for them to follow.
Lamartine wrote: “Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator,
warrior, the conqueror of ideas, the restorer of the faith, of a cult
without images, the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and
one spiritual empire – that was Muhammad. As regards all the
standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may
well ask the question: ‘Is there any man greater that he?” (Historie
De la Turquie, vol. 2, page 277)
Is this the evaluative account about an introvert who was also a
Four : Those who suffer from Schizophrenia can hardly work
systematically towards the attainment of any lofty objective. Such
people, who are unable to accomplish anything of significance, will
necessarily be a mentally and physically exhausted lot.
Prophet Muhammad () had been the last of the messengersof God who had been sent for the guidance of humanity. He was
eminently successful in that he accomplished the very purpose of his
mission in a span of time which stretched roughly over two decades.
Indeed, Muhammad () managed to attract scores of people to the
religion of truth by way of a disciplined method of propagation. It had
been just twenty- three years that was all that was required to
transform a people who had been nowhere in civilization and culture
into a race that became the highest exemplars for the whole world.
All those who have analysed history with impartiality have opined that
Muhammad () was indeed, the person who has most influenced the
Will those, who know even a little about the said disorder, ever
accept that all this was possible by a schizophrenic patient?
Five : The Schizophrenic patient suffers from delusions as well
as hallucinations. These delusion and hallucinations have no semblance
or relation with reality.
The critics have attributed Schizophrenia to him by classifyng
the revelations and visions which the Prophet Muhammad () received
into this category. We have, however, seen that none of the other
symptoms of Schizophrenia were present in the Prophet. Then how
will it be possible to attribute a schizophrenic disorder to him in the
light these revelations alone? The ‘revelations’ to which the
schizophrenic patient is subject are but a symptom of the disease.
Such revelations will be related and confined only to his own personal
domains. But what of the revelations which Muhammad () had
experienced? Those revelations had served to carve out an ideal
community in a step by step fashion. Firstly, it inculcated, in the people,
the consciousness about God and of the Hereafter. Stage by stage, it
struck at the very root of the evils that had afflicted the society. In
such manner was it, therefore, that the revelations experienced by
Muhammad () were able to become the very cause behind the
creation of an exemplary society. Indeed, the revolution that was
wrought stands at the pinnacle of greatness. In the broad sweep of
history there has not been another revolution to rival it in any way.
Is it ever possible that the delusions of a schizophrenic patient
can serve as the cause of the creation of an exemplary society and of
a faultless and incomparable revolution?
It is clear from all this that the allegations that Muhammad ()
was a schizophrenic patient and that it is the delusions which he had
heard that form the contents of the Qur’an are merely allegations that
do not deserve to be considered in their own right.