|The spirit being Jibril said to Muhammad, "Of course you are the prophet of Allah... Would I lie to you?"|
In my book, Facing Islam, I discuss Muhammad's torment and temptations to commit suicide as follows:
“Poet or Possessed”
The “revelations” began dramatically, after Muhammad had spent many days and nights alone in a cave in Hira, worshipping Allah. Significantly, Muhammad himself did not at first believe he was being visited by the archangel Gabriel, thinking rather that he was a victim of a jinn (from which we get the word “genie”) or a demon. His first encounter with the powerful spirit being which commanded him to “read and recite” was frightening: "He pressed upon me so tightly I thought it was death.” (The Sira, Ibn Ishaq, p106; cf. Bukhari, 5:96:5)
He then fled trembling back to his wife Khadija, fearing for his life, crying, “Woe is me, poet [that is, oppressed by demonic visions] or possessed!” (Ibid.) Would that he had trusted this harrowing first impression. He became fearful and suicidal, but was eventually persuaded by his wife Khadija and her uncle Waraqa (a Nestorian heretic) that the messages were from God and that he was Allah’s chosen messenger (Bukhari, 5:1:3. Also 4:55:605). Khadija is credited with being the first Muslim.
That Muhammad then actively sought further encounters with the being which assailed him is testimony to his willingness to open himself up to the unseen realm. That he was so easily convinced by his wife and uncle (and the forceful “being”) that he was specially chosen by God and was not demonically oppressed or possessed shows that vainglory and satanic deception had totally seized control of his mind and heart.
After the initial visitation, there was a three year drought of “revelations,” during which Muhammad suffered from suicidal depression and self-doubt. According to the accepted early biographies of Muhammad, the “revelations” themselves always had a profound effect on the “prophet.” They sometimes came upon him violently, causing him to sweat on a cold day or even pass out. Muhammad said that sometimes bells and other sounds accompanied the “revelations.” Secular historians, physicians and psychologists have long speculated that Muhammad suffered from epilepsy, schizophrenia or some other pathological condition.
For the purpose of our discussion, we assume that the reports about the “revelations” and the effect they had on the “prophet” are true as transmitted to us via the original Islamic sources. (Facing Islam, pp 116-117)
In my recent article, Can There Have Been Two Annunciations? I further considered Muhammad's life-changing encounter:
By the time the "revelations" resumed, Muhammad was predisposed to accept them no matter the cost. He identified himself with the revelations, wholly placed his self-worth in being the recipient of them.
This is an interesting point, as Muhammad's response to the spirit being Jibril and its fierce and deadly assault upon him closely parallels the experiences of today's UFO contactees and abductees. People who have seen a UFO, and especially those who claim a "close encounter," or to have been abducted, often suffer from severe psychological trauma, depression, suicidal tendencies, delusions and more. A very small number become acclimated to the monstrous experience they have had, and some of them, like the hapless Whitley Streiber, write books or otherwise aid in promoting the demons' UFO myth of a Great Disclosure and a new age to follow.
Even this brief study reveals the "annunciation" to Muhammad to be demonic in origin. Thus it is quite clear that Muhammad was worse than just a false prophet and a fraud, but rather became a willing and cooperative victim of demonic deception, if not outright demon possession.
The below article, from the vast resource site Answering Islam, goes into a far deeper discussion of Muhammad's suicide attempts as related in Islam's source texts, and compares Muhammad's experiences with encounters with the True God in the Old and New Testaments. It is extensively researched with citations, and is well worth exploring and sharing as a resource. Muslims especially should take note of this deeply disturbing aspect of Muhammad's life.
Muhammad's Suicide Attempts
by Silas, Answering Islam, September 15, 2001
|The spirit-being Jibril tells Muhammad to "recite." This was followed by Muhammad's fears that he was demon possessed, and later by extreme depression and suicide attempts. This is how Islam began.|
An extraordinary event occurs on the dusty road to Damascus. One strong, grim, determined traveler, encounters his enemy - the God he fights against. Saul - a zealous, knowledgeable Jew, a Pharisee, is faced by Jesus Christ. He hated those that followed Christ; he was a sword welded against the flesh of the church. Upon his authority those that followed Christ were imprisoned. He joined in their killing. Saul was a persecutor par excellence, and with all his heart, soul, strength, and mind, he was going to destroy the Christians. Now he was experiencing an event that would change his life; he came face to face with his opponent...
"Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" He asked, "Who are you, Lord?" the reply came, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do." The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." He answered, "Here I am, Lord." The Lord said to him, "Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight." But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name." But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name."
So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, "He is the Son of God." All who heard him were amazed and said, "Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem among those who invoked this name? And has he not come here for the purpose of bring them bound before the chief priests?" Saul became increasingly more powerful and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Messiah."
ACTS 9:1-22. From the New Revised Standard Bible.
The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah's Apostle was in the form of good righteous (true) dreams in his sleep. He never had a dream but that it came true like bright day light. He used to go in seclusion (the cave of) Hira where he used to worship (Allah Alone) continuously for many (days) nights. He used to take with him the journey food for that (stay) and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food like-wise again for another period to stay, till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him in it and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, "I do not know how to read." (The Prophet added), "The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and again asked me to read, and I replied, "I do not know how to read," whereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and asked me again to read, but again I replied, "I do not know how to read (or, what shall I read?)." Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me and then released me and said, "Read: In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists). Has created man from a clot. Read and Your Lord is Most Generous...up to..... ..that which he knew not." (96.15)
Then Allah's Apostle returned with the Inspiration, his neck muscles twitching with terror till he entered upon Khadija and said, "Cover me! Cover me!" They covered him till his fear was over and then he said, "O Khadija, what is wrong with me?" Then he told her everything that had happened and said, 'I fear that something may happen to me." Khadija said, 'Never! But have the glad tidings, for by Allah, Allah will never disgrace you as you keep good relations with your Kith and kin, speak the truth, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guest generously and assist the deserving, calamity-afflicted ones." Khadija then accompanied him to (her cousin) Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin 'Abdul 'Uzza bin Qusai. Waraqa was the son of her paternal uncle, i.e., her father's brother, who during the Pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the Arabic writing and used to write of the Gospels in Arabic as much as Allah wished him to write. He was an old man and had lost his eyesight. Khadija said to him, "O my cousin! Listen to the story of your nephew." Waraqa asked, "O my nephew! What have you seen?" The Prophet described whatever he had seen.
Waraqa said, "This is the same Namus (i.e., Gabriel, the Angel who keeps the secrets) whom Allah had sent to Moses. I wish I were young and could live up to the time when your people would turn you out." Allah's Apostle asked, "Will they turn me out?" Waraqa replied in the affirmative and said: "Never did a man come with something similar to what you have brought but was treated with hostility. If I should remain alive till the day when you will be turned out then I would support you strongly." But after a few days Waraqa died and the Divine Inspiration was also paused for a while and the Prophet became so sad as we have heard that he intended several times to throw himself from the tops of high mountains and every time he went up the top of a mountain in order to throw himself down, Gabriel would appear before him and say, "O Muhammad! You are indeed Allah's Apostle in truth" whereupon his heart would become quiet and he would calm down and would return home. And whenever the period of the coming of the inspiration used to become long, he would do as before, but when he used to reach the top of a mountain, Gabriel would appear before him and say to him what he had said before. (Ibn 'Abbas said regarding the meaning of: 'He it is that Cleaves the daybreak (from the darkness)' (6.96) that Al-Asbah. means the light of the sun during the day and the light of the moon at night). Quoted from the Sahih (authentic) Hadith (traditions) of Bukhari, , Volume 9, number 111.
Here are additional details from Ibn Ishaq's "Sirat Rasulallah" from Guillaume's translation, "The Life of Muhammad", , page 106. Words in [ ] type brackets are mine. Words in ( ) brackets are the author's.
"So I [Muhammad] read it, and he [Gabriel] departed from me. And I awoke from my sleep, and it was though these words were written on my heart. (Tabari: Now none of God's creatures was more hateful to me than an (ecstatic) poet or a man possessed: I could not even look at them. I thought, Woe is me poet or possessed - Never shall Quraysh say this of me! I will go to the top of the mountain and throw myself down that I may kill myself and gain rest. So I went forth to do so and then) when I was midway on the mountain, I heard a voice from heaven saying "O Muhammad! thou are the apostle of God and I am Gabriel."
END OF QUOTE
The "Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir", (Book of the Major Classes), by Ibn Sa'd, translated by S. Moinal Haq, , page 225 has Muhammad saying:
The visitations from the spirit continued. Then they stopped for a time believed to have been from 6 months to 3 years. When this happened, Tabari, , volume 6 page 76, records:
"The inspiration ceased to come to the messenger of God for a while, and he was deeply grieved. He began to go to the tops of mountain crags, in order to fling himself from them; but every time he reached the summit of a mountain, Gabriel appeared to him and said to him, "You are the Prophet of God." Thereupon his anxiety would subside and he would come back to himself."
Also, from Tabari Vol. 9, page 167, note 1151 says:
"The pre-Islamic Arabs believed in the demon of poetry, and they thought that a great poet was directly inspired by demons...."
This explains why Muhammad thought he was demon possessed, or influenced by demons; the Quran in many places reads like typical Arabic poetry.
In "Muhammad at Mecca", by W. M. Watt, , pages 40, 41, there are also references that detail Muhammad's suicidal thoughts. Watt quotes from az-Zuhri's material.
"He (Muhammad) said, I had been meditating throwing myself from a mountain crag, but while I was so meditating, he appeared to me and said, "O Muhammad, I am Gabriel, and thou are the Messenger of God."....
Az-Zuhri said: "There was a gap for a time in the revelation to the Messenger of God and he was very sorrowful. He started going early to the tops of the mountains to throw himself down from them. But whenever he reached the summit of a mountain, Gabriel would appear to him and say, "Thou are the Prophet of God."
Few people are aware of Muhammad's suicide attempts. Following his initial visitation by a spirit, that claimed to be Gabriel, Muhammad was frantic with fear and attempted suicide. He walked up to the top of a mountain and intended to throw himself off a cliff. This same being that caused his fear then intervened. Later, over the course of up to the next three years, the visitations by this spirit became rare, and Muhammad would then again attempt suicide in a like manner. Again, it was only due to the intervention of this being that Muhammad did not kill himself.
Few Islamic leaders will teach this to their fellow Muslims because it casts a stain upon Muhammad; it brings doubt to his credibility and the credibility of his assumed "prophetic" experience. Some Muslims deny the sources of the story. Other, more intelligent Muslims, knowledgeable about the sources, respond by saying that the shock of the experience caused him to attempt suicide.
However, the shock of the initial experience would have worn off over the next few days, if not weeks, hardly cause for Muhammad's continued suicide attempts over the next years.
Examine these events. Both men had an unexpected encounter. Paul was confronted by a Being that identified Himself as the Lord Jesus Christ; Muhammad was visited by a spiritual force that claimed to be Gabriel.
Paul was face to face with the God of the people he was persecuting. He saw a light, heard a voice, and suddenly knew whom he was really persecuting. We read that Paul then understood that he experienced a confrontation from God. We see that he was not terrorized, he did not panic with fear, and he attempted no rash, desperate actions. And following the event, God directed his people to minister to Paul; Paul was comforted, encouraged, and strengthened.
If anyone had a reason and justification to commit a rash action it was Paul. He was forced to realize that he was persecuting and killing God's people. What type of punishment would be meted out to him? How could he be forgiven for the crimes against God he had committed? Would there be any peace or comfort to be found anyplace for the rest of his life?
Instead of acting crazed, Paul somehow began to know the God he was confronted by. Paul knew that this God was not going to exact revenge for the evil he had committed. Paul experienced God's forgiveness and having been forgiven much now loved much. Because of his intimate, spiritual experience, because he had tasted and seen that the Lord is good, he now submitted to God, and was determined to serve Him as ardently as he had persecuted Him.
Muhammad reacted quite differently. It is undeniable that something distressing occurred. He returns back to his wife bewildered, terrorized, "What's wrong with me?", he asks his wife. Just as children hide under the covers when they are afraid of monsters in the dark, so Muhammad had his wife wrap him in a blanket; he did not want to see the cause of terror again.
Not satisfied with her comfort, he goes to the mountain instinctively knowing that something evil had happened to him. The only way he knows how to deal with it is the final solution: commit suicide. But on top of the mountain this spirit intervenes, consoles him, strokes his ego, "O Muhammad, you are God's apostle". Muhammad returns.
But it's not over. The terror, depression, and doubt Muhammad experienced were too real, too persistent to shake. Soothing words are eroded by the inward torments, doubts, and fears, "Woe is me poet or possessed...I will go to the top of the mountain and throw myself down that I may kill myself and gain rest."
Unlike Paul's experience, Muhammad is not comforted by anyone but this "spirit". Muhammad is left in the lurch. As time goes on, this spirit visits Muhammad less often, the torments and depression return, and gain strength. He again goes to kill himself. And, just in time, the spirit intervenes, telling him, stroking his ego again and again, he is an apostle of god.
Let's further compare Muhammad's experience with Biblical stories of men who had experiences with God.
Noah - Gen. 6.
God speaks to Noah and tells him that He is going to destroy the earth. Noah does not panic, become depressed, or driven by fear. He knows that this God speaking to him, and there is no need for rash action. Noah knows this is God, and Noah does not become irrational. Noah knows that this God is not going to harm him.
Abraham - Gen. 12 - 18.
God speaks to Abraham. Abraham does not panic, Abraham is not bewildered, Abraham does not doubt or become depressed, Abraham believes and obeys. God visited Abraham, yet neither he nor Sarah attempts any rash actions.
Moses - Ex. 3 - 34
God appeared to Moses in the burning bush. Moses was afraid to look at God but Moses does not act paranoid. He knew that this God was not a God of terror. Moses did not run back to his family frightened out of his mind. Moses did not become depressed over the event, thinking he was possessed or bewitched. Instead, because Moses personally experienced this God and knew he could trust this God, Moses knew and obeyed.
Isaiah - Isaiah 6
Isaiah had a powerful vision and experience of God. Yet he did not lose his mind, he was not driven by dread of God. He feared God because of the sin in his heart, and the sinfulness of the people he dwelt among, but he did not panic. During this experience he realized God had forgiven him and accepted him. Because he experienced the real God, Isaiah did not attempt suicide or any other rash action. His mind was sound, he did not need to have a "spirit" continue to sooth him.
Mary - Luke 1.
The real Gabriel also visited Mary. She too was perplexed and afraid. But during her experience with Gabriel, she gained confidence and strength. She knew God loved her. She did not become irrational or depressed, and she did not run around frightened out of her mind. She did not attempt suicide. Instead, because she experienced the living God, she knew she was loved and accepted. She knew this God was real, and she had nothing to fear.
Jesus - Mark 1.
When Jesus Christ began His ministry, He was baptized in water. The Holy Spirit descended upon Him. God spoke from heaven, and the people there heard God speak, "This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased." There were no panic attacks, depression, or doubt.
And, after Jesus was challenged by Satan in the desert He was ministered to by the angels. But Muhammad was ministered to by none. You get the feeling that instead of ministering, those spirits haunted him. Satan told Jesus "If you are the Son of God, throw Yourself down", the spirit told Muhammad to not throw himself down - he was the apostle of Allah.
As I read the stories about people in the Bible who encountered God I do not find anything that resembles Muhammad's experience. These people actually met God, while Muhammad's entire prophethood rests only upon what a spirit interface told him. These people were filled with a reverent fear, but never became depressed as a result of their experience. These people fellowshipped with God. Some walked with Him, to other's He revealed Himself. None of them contemplated suicide. But many times over a course of up to three years, Muhammad tried to commit suicide, and each time this "spirit" stopped him. What plans did this spirit have in store for him?
ANOTHER PERSON INFLUENCED BY SATAN
On the other hand examine Judas. Satan put it into his heart to betray Christ; Satan entered Judas. And when Judas came to his facilities he committed suicide. When Muhammad had period of clear thought, without the influence of a spirit, he attempted suicide. (Ref. John 13 and Acts 1).
Also when Jesus cast out demons from a man, the demons entered a herd of pigs. What did the pigs do? They went mad and killed themselves - running into the sea where they drowned. These demon possessed pigs committed suicide!
OTHER REFERENCES TO MUHAMMAD AND DEMONIC EXPERIENCES
Even in the Quran, , there are references that people believed that Muhammad was possessed or influenced by demons.
Sura 81:22-25 says, "No, your compatriot [Muhammad] is not mad. He saw him [Gabriel] on the clear horizon. He does not grudge the secrets of the unseen, nor is this the utterance of an accursed devil."
Sura 69:41, 42 say, "It [the Quran] is no poet's speech: scant is your faith! It is no soothsayer's divination: how little you reflect! It is revelation from the Lord of the Universe.
Here Muhammad is saying to his critics that he really saw an angel, and his words are not from a devil, or from his own imagination. No doubt the people living at that time thought he was inspired by a devil, so Muhammad spoke these words, as the Quran, in self-defense.
An experience Muhammad had as a child.
When Muhammad was a child a Bedouin woman nursed him. During this time he had an experience with "two men in white raiment". Here is W. M. Watt's translation of Ibn Ishaq's biography of Muhammad, page 36:
"...two men in white clothes came to me with a golden basin full of snow. They took me and split open my body, then they took my heart and split it open and took out from it a black clot which they flung away. Then they washed my heart and my body with that snow until they made them pure."
This event deeply disturbed the Bedouins and they returned Muhammad to his mother. Here is the story told by Muhammad's wet-nurse, related in Guillaume's translation of Ibn Ishaq, page 72:
"His [Muhammad's friend's] father said to me, "I am afraid that this child has had a stroke, so take him back to his family before the result appears. ..... She [Muhammad's mother] asked me what happened and gave me no peace until I told her. When she asked if I feared a demon had possessed him, I replied that I did."
Even in his childhood, some people thought he was demon possessed. Note that even Muhammad's wet-nurse believed he had been demon possessed. One expects a degree of attachment between the two, since she cared for and nursed him. And note it was Muhammad's mother that brought up the possibility of him being demon possessed. So it is peculiar that both the mother would suggest it and the wet nurse would return Muhammad in those circumstances: something alarming actually occurred.
What are the possibilities of who and what these experiences can be attributed? The things that come to mind are that:
1) Muhammad did indeed have a visit from Gabriel.
2) Muhammad was visited by a demon, or Satan himself.
3) Muhammad experienced some type of delusion.
4) Muhammad suffered from some type of epilepsy or other mental problem.
5) A combination of #s 2, 3, and / or 4.
At this point, we should review mental illness related to suicide. Muhammad attempted suicide many times. This was not simply a one shot affair because of a traumatic experience he had. This was his state of mind for quite some time
The website: http://www.save.org/question.html
contains some general questions regarding the mental health of a person who attempts suicide. I have added the prefaces of QUESTION and ANSWER, etc. My prefaces are in all caps. Here are some excerpts:
Why do people kill themselves?
Most of the time people who kill themselves are very sick with depression or one of the other types of depressive illnesses, which occur when the chemicals in a person's brain get out of balance or become disrupted in some way. Healthy people do not kill themselves. A person who has depression does not think like a typical person who is feeling good. Their illness prevents them from being able to look forward to anything. They can only think about NOW and have lost the ability to imagine into the future. Many times they don't realize they are suffering from a treatable illness and they feel they can't be helped. Seeking help may not even enter their mind. They do not think of the people around them, family or friends, because of their illness. They are consumed with emotional, and many times, physical pain that becomes unbearable. They don't see any way out. They feel hopeless and helpless. They don't want to die, but it's the only way they feel their pain will end. It is a non-rational choice.
This website goes into more detail: http://www.save.org/depfacts.html
WHAT ARE DEPRESSIVE ILLNESSES?
They are total-body illnesses that affect a person's thoughts, feelings, behavior, and physical health and appearance. They affect all areas of a person's life - home, work, school, and social life. These illnesses are different from ordinary blues - which are normal feelings that eventually pass. Depressive illnesses last for months or years with varying patterns. A person with a depressive illness cannot talk themselves into feeling good.
They cannot snap themselves out of it. Suffering or not suffering from these illnesses does not have anything to do with a person's willpower...
WHAT IS ANXIETY?
Anxiety is feeling excessive fear, nervousness or worrying that something bad might happen, even though there is no logical or specific reason to be afraid. Many times depressive illnesses and anxiety go hand in hand. Various types of anxiety disorders include:
Panic Disorder - panic attacks occur with symptoms of dizziness, rapid heart beat, feelings of faintness or detachment from body, shortness of breath, nausea, diarrhea, numbness or tingling in arms/legs, trembling, flushes or chills, fear of dying, the immediate need to flee the situation which has triggered the attack.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - this disorder can occur as a result of an emotional or physical trauma such as a car or plane crash, physical/sexual assault, war, or natural disaster. Symptoms such as flashbacks or nightmares may suddenly begin happening years after the event took place, resulting in social isolation, panic attacks, angry outbursts or substance abuse, which may be an attempt to forget.
END OF QUOTES
SOME COMMENTS AND CONCERNS
While I am not a psychiatrist, it is obvious that anyone who consistently attempts suicide over a period of years is suffering from some type of mental illness. Is this the work of God? Muhammad attempted suicide many times. His mental illness stemmed from the terrifying experience he had with that spirit.
Would God cause His chosen prophet to become mentally imbalanced? We see that in the Bible, God always edified and strengthened the people who first encountered Him. But in Muhammad's case the opposite is true. Instead of being strengthened, Muhammad was weakened. Instead of being full of confidence, Muhammad was full of fear, instead of knowing the path, Muhammad was left in doubt.
Wouldn't God's peace and love comfort Muhammad's heart so that Muhammad did not need to continue to attempt suicide? What a horrible track record for "Allah". God does not work that way. God's presence certainly did not cause Paul, Abraham, Noah, or Mary to become depressed, lose hope, and commit rash acts. Even Paul, while being physically beaten and imprisoned later in his life, did not lose hope, or give in to depression, but rather, he praised the God he knew. (ACTS 16:22-31).
Additionally, we are able to deduce something about Muhammad's pre-Islamic faith: he did not know the true God, and whatever faith he had was very weak. Had he had a relationship with God, or had a faith in the true God, he would have sought God and prayed to Him for help. Instead Muhammad wallowed in deep suicidal depression for some 3 years.
On the other hand, following his experience with the spirit, Muhammad became suicidal. And as time goes on he continues to be suicidal. All the while he wonders, deep down, if he is demon possessed. A rational person would judge that whatever happened to Muhammad had damaged his mental state. If he were alive today he would be considered to be mentally ill, given drugs, institutionalized, and considered dangerous to himself.
Muhammad had a painful experience. It demented him. He suffered from the experience. What is the real power behind an experience that causes a man to become suicidal for up to three years?
Jesus predicted false prophets would arise and mislead many. If Jesus were telling the truth, then we should expect such false prophets to rise up, and be successful in misleading people.
"And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray." Matt 24:11.
Satan would seek out and try to use false prophets. Muhammad, as a false prophet, was certainly successful. For people to choose to follow Muhammad means they are rejecting what Jesus taught; they are rejecting Christ Himself. They are rejecting God. Judging from Muhammad's experience, and from what Muhammad later did and taught, doesn't it make sense that it was a Satanic power that affected and motivated Muhammad?
KEY REFERENCES FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT ON SATANIC ACTIVITY
An important note: people were receiving messages from "angels" long before Muhammad showed up. There are two key verses in the New Testament.
2 Cor. 11:14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades an angel of light.
Gal. 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!
"Satan masquerades as an angel of light". This is exactly what happened to Muhammad. Go back to the description of his "revelation" experience. He experienced "light" inside the seclusion of the cave. Joseph Smith, another false prophet, also was visited by an angel who gave him a false message.
"God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind" 2 Tim 1:7.
My conclusion is that Muhammad experienced a demonic visitation and it damaged his mental health. Satan or one of his demons appeared to Muhammad. This horrible experience terrorized him, depressed him, and caused him to attempt suicide. It made him mentally ill. However Satan protected his investment. When Muhammad was left alone the truth about what really happened depressed and frightened him. It would always surface in his mind. It was only through Satan's deceptive influence that kept Muhammad from killing himself. Finally, after a period of time, Muhammad's mind was seared. Satan had won a prize. Jesus said that Satan was a murderer from the beginning. As Muhammad went through the rest of his life, the more power he gained, the more dominion and conquest he sought, the more blood was shed. All the while, he kept telling himself and others what Satan had told him many years before, "I am the apostle of God."
 "The Bible", New Revised Standard Version, published by Nelson, Nashville, TN.
 "Sahih al-Bukhari", translated by M. Khan, published by Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi.
 "Sirat Rasulallah", by Ibn Ishaq, translated as "The Life of Muhammad", by A. Guillaume, published by Oxford University Press, London.
 "Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir", (Book of the Major Classes), translated by S. Moinul Haq, published by Pakistan Historical Society.
 "The History of al-Tabari", translated by W.M. Watt, published by SUNY.
 "Muhammad at Mecca", by W.M. Watt, published by Oxford University Press.
 "The Koran", translated by N. J. Dawood, published by Penguin, London.
NOTES ON THE SOURCE MATERIAL
Muhammad's suicide attempts are documented in several prominent Islamic source materials: Bukhari's "Sahih" collection of Hadith, Ibn Ishaq's "Sirat Rasulallah", Ibn Sa'd's, "Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir", and Tabari's "Ta'rikh al-rulul wa'l-muluk".
These source materials form the basis of much of Islam today. Bukhari's Sahih Hadith is considered to be the second most important set of writings in Islam, following the Quran. Ibn Ishaq's work is considered to be the most authentic extant biography of Muhammad, and Tabari's History is the best historical collection on early Islam.
Rev A: 3/16/2000, Rev B: 9/15/01
Rev A: 3/16/2000, Rev B: 9/15/01