Saturday, October 27, 2012

Why Did Muhammad Attempt Suicide?

Early Muslim sources agree that Muhammad tried to commit suicide (or at least considered it). Indeed, Bukhari reports that Muhammad attempted suicide on multiple occasions. However, while various accounts agree on Muhammad’s preferred method of suicide (leaping off a cliff), they disagree on his motivation (i.e. the basis of his suicidal depression). Let’s consider three different reports.

According to Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah (our earliest detailed biographical record on the life of Muhammad), the prophet of Islam attempted to kill himself because he believed he was possessed by an evil spirit. After having a nightmare about a spirit physically attacking him and forcing him to recite verses of the Qur’an, Muhammad decided that hurling himself off a cliff was the best option available:

Ibn Ishaq, p. 106—[Muhammad said,] “So I read it, and he departed from me. And I awoke from my sleep, and it was as though these words were written on my heart. (T. 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 art the apostle of God and I am Gabriel.”

Al-Tabari includes several narrations about Muhammad’s suicide attempts in his massive Ta’rikh al-Rusul wa’l-Muluk. In one version, Muhammad tries to kill himself before receiving his first Qur’anic revelation. During his yearly pagan religious retreat, a spirit appeared to him and said, “Muhammad, you are the Messenger of God.” Muhammad then fled to his wife Khadijah and begged her to cover him. After this, Muhammad considered killing himself:

Al-Tabari, Volume VI, p. 68—He (Muhammad) said: I had been thinking of hurling myself down from a mountain crag, but he appeared to me, as I was thinking about this, and said, “Muhammad, I am Gabriel and you are the Messenger of God.” Then he said, “Recite!” I said, “What shall I recite?” He took me and pressed me three times tightly until I was nearly stifled and was utterly exhausted; then he said: “Recite in the name of your Lord who created,” and I recited it. Then I went to Khadijah and said, “I have been in fear for my life.”

The great Hadith scholar Bukhari places Muhammad’s suicide attempts after the death of Khadijah’s cousin Waraqa. The motive is also different. In this version, Muhammad tries to kill himself multiple times because Gabriel was no longer bringing revelations.

Sahih al-Bukhari 6982— . . . But after a few days Waraqa died and the Divine Revelation 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 everytime he went up to the top of a mountain in order to throw himself down, Jibril would appear before him and say, “O Muhammad! You are indeed Allah’s Messenger 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 Revelation used to become long, he would do as before, but when he used to reach the top of a mountain, Jibril would appear before him and say to him what he had said before.

Why did Muhammad attempt suicide? It’s certainly possible that all three accounts are correct, and that Muhammad simply had an extremely bad habit of deciding to kill himself whenever he was upset. It’s also possible that only one of the above versions is correct, and that Muhammad’s followers modified the story in different narrations in order to reduce the embarrassment. If we follow this path, we would have to conclude that Ibn Ishaq’s version (which happens to be the earliest) is the correct account, and that the version quoted from al-Tabari was watered down by having Muhammad merely contemplate suicide (though not actually attempting it), while Bukhari’s version was watered down by portraying Muhammad as depressed due to Gabriel’s absence (rather than the fear of demonic possession).

For more about Islam's prophet, visit our "Muhammad" Page.

For more on Muhammad’s suicide attempts and other spiritual problems:

17 comments:

Traeh said...

This story about Muhammad seems like an inverted image of the story where Christ is asked by the devil to throw himself down, and told by the devil that God would save him.

Yankie007 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yankie007 said...

The event recorded in Ibn Ishaq, p. 106, I truly believe that Muhammad either encounter a demon that scared him or that he was under the controlled of a dark spirit, the devil (Lucifer) that left him disturb and in fear.

What trouble's me is not the fact that Muhammad saw and/or heard a dark spirit talking to him, but instead it's the actions and reaction of Muhammad to that spirit that causes him to be in fear, to be depressed even to the point of thinking about suicide, planning his suicide (method: jump off a cliff) and almost executing the final step (social worker called) of his suicide attempt.

I would like to add that when the apostles were spreading the good new (Gospel), the apostle Paul showed that poison had no effect on him when he was bit by a poisonous snake. [5] "But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects". [6] "The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead, but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happening to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god." Act 28: 5-6

This was a sign that the apostles and the prophets were from God Yahweh and they were guided by the Holy spirit so they were protected against demon spirit and even poisons and scorpions.

In the book of Luke, the Lord said: "Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you." Luke 10:19 The event recorded in Ibn Ishaq, p. 106, I truly believe that Muhammad either encounter a demon that scared him or that he was under the controlled of a dark spirit, the devil (Lucifer) that left him disturb and in fear.

What trouble's me is not the fact that Muhammad saw and/or heard a dark spirit talking to him, but instead it's the actions and reaction of Muhammad to that spirit that causes him to be in fear, to be depressed even to the point of thinking about suicide, planning his suicide (method: jump off a cliff) and almost executing the final step (social worker called) of his suicide attempt.

I would like to add that when the apostles were spreading the good new (Gospel), the apostle Paul showed that poison had no effect on him when he was bit by a poisonous snake. [5] "But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects". [6] "The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead, but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happening to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god." Act 28: 5-6

This was a sign that the apostles and the prophets were from God Yahweh and they were guided by the Holy spirit so they were protected against demon spirit and even poisons and scorpions.
In the book of Luke, the Lord said:"Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you." Luke 10:19

To conclude, a true prophet would not be possessed or trouble by any demon to cause him to act the way he did (fear, depressed, nightmare and suicidal) in the event in question.

Shawn Smith said...

Muhammad, peace be upon him.

Sonofsoil said...

This story is only found in the Sunni books of hadith. No Sufi or Shia historian would actually believe such tales. We have to understand that the books of hadith were written a long time (more than two centuries) after Prophet Muhammad had passed away. Though the Ibn Ishaq's biography was written earlier, but by this time too, the muslim history was already distorted by the historians working under the Ummayyid caliphate.

Ahmed Bedak said...

Where did you get this lie from?

Nabeel Qureshi " I ask ALLAH to forgive you, and I hope you go back to your mind and go the right path of ALLAH"

If you are looking for money , I will till you that money will help you in the hearafter "يوم القيامه"

Nawfal Saleem said...

Why would Allah let the hadith be corrupted... I here many people say that the hadith wasn't protected like the quran... Yet to Muslims... It's the 2nd most important book apparently... And surely Allah would protect it since it basically has all the things that Muhammed did. Read Surah 18:27. No prophet has ever been so depressed to a point of suicide when you see an angel... Nor any person for all I know

Damzyl27 said...

It's true...If Muhammed was a true prophet, he would not fear Gods messenger after he spoke. Gabriel is known for always saying something along these lines...."do not be afraid I'm not going to hurt you." The bible can prove that. Once Gabriel speaks, there is no more fear. God doesn't want his messengers to be in fear. He wants their trust. He loves his children. God doesn't want us to hate eachother, or kill eachother. He wants us to all live in peace.

Majid said...

Undoubtedly the author of the blog is an anti Islam person because all they publish on the blog are a bunch of anti Islamic and fake contents that you can't find their roots in valid resources and their validity is under question by even non Muslim scholars
investigating about the post and others alike in different valid resources, I found out that the author only seeks to invalidate the faith for audiences through searching for some fake and invented stories to strain the nice image of Islam.

Omar Ahmad said...

@Majid, I'm a little confused at your comment because the author quotes directly from Quran, Sahih Hadith and Mohammad's earliest biographies. He actually uses direct Islamic sources more than any Islamic scholar I have seen. Lol. Everyone, CHECK THE SOURCES FOR YOURSELF THAT DAVID QUOTES FROM because ALL of his information is accurate and in Islamic sources if you SIMPLY CHECK AND INVESTIGATE YOURSELF. Of course people like Majid will distract you with catch phrases like "Islamophobe"....lol. Wood is a "Truthaphobe" and this can be verified by all who simply check and do not listen to anyone's distorted fabricated, selective, rated G version of Islamic history.

Christiana Famro said...

I can't believe I just read someone (Majid) wrote in Nov 2014: "...invented stories to strain the NICE image of Islam." Nice image of Islam? Just how de wives or deluded can someone get??? So painfully sad.

Majid said...

Hello Christiana

The nice image of Islam has been severely distorted by your Scholars in the West. Islam is not like the one you think or you have been taught in your society. Before jumping to conclusion about Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him) upon reading some stories, many fabricated and believed by ignorants, you should study about the true history of Islam to understand how nice Islam is and the reasons our prophet behaved like this or that.
If you want to know how Islam is great, you should see how much other divine religions are respected by it,no insulting and no discrediting contrary to others which keep the faith under attack.

Damzyl27 said...

Understand Mohammed? NO thank you! Here's why....Since the Quran teaches to hate Christians Jews and Infidels...Slay theunbelievers wherever you find them(2:191)
Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood (9:123)
When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them (9:5)
Kill the Jews and the Christians if they do not convert to Islam or refuse topay Jizya tax (9:29) Sura 3:55 Allah said, "O Jesus, indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve and make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me is your return, and I will judge between you concerning that in which you used to differ.

Sura 61:14 O ye who believe! Be ye helpers of Allah:As said Jesus the son of Mary to the Disciples, "Who will be my helpers to(the work of) Allah?" Said the disciples, "We are Allah'shelpers!" then a portion of the Children of Israel believed, and a portion disbelieved: But We gave power to those who believed, against their enemies,and they became the ones that prevailed.
Sura5.47And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein.And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed - then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient.


Sura5:68 Say, "O People of the Scripture, you are [standing] on nothing until you uphold [the law of] theTorah, the Gospel, and what has been revealed to you from your Lord." And that which has been revealed to you from your Lord will surely increase many of them in transgression and disbelief. So do not grieve over the disbelieving people.

Ok Proof that Muhammed was satanic

1. He promotes murder…murder is Satans influence.

2. Muhammed was afraid when he saw his angel…that’sbecause it was Satan who approached him. 1 Corinthians…even Satan himself can appear

as an angel of light.

3. Muhammed was depressed when he confronted his angel…Suicide is from Satan

4. Muhammed recommended lying to people when they felt threatened.

5. Muhammed said it was ok to worship Godesses (3 cranes)…thattakes away from worshiping God alone…and only Satan would suggest that

6. Muhammed admitted Satan tricked him…only a false prophet can be tricked by Satan

7. Muhammed had too many wives, more than his own book allowed…he was a hypocrite.

8. He was a pedofile…one of the best ways to worship Satan is to abuse a child…Muhammed married a 9 yr old girl

9. Muhammed himself said it was Satan in the cave,and his wife (Kadijah), and relative(cousin)were Roman Spies and they told him, NO it was an angel from God

10. Muhammed said…If I am not a prophet, let Godstrike me dead from poison…so he ended up being poisoned by a Jewish women. Muhammed

murdered her family so she killed him!

Majid said...

Hello Damzyl27

1- What you indicated is not something new and seems to be sort of copy and past from other blogs.

2- People who have criticized the Quran and its prophet have based their comments on resources whose accuracy and authenticity are in dispute among Muslims. They had knowingly conjectures of the Quran passages.

3-What you referred to the Quranic verses is quite wrong, first study the holy Quran carefully and then peruse an of the divine book where you have doubts about the Quranic Ayats. that's the time you can challenge the quran. as a matter of fact, that's the time you come to realize the true nature of Islam and its Prophet.

once again, I reiterate that what you read in many anti Islam blogs or books are a bunch of baseless words which you can't find their roots in any authentic resources and they are not unbiased .
Secondly, the Quranic Ayyats and verses have been interpreted by scholars to avoid misunderstandings of such kind(You mentioned)

Daniel Espinosa said...

Islam says Muhammad is God's prophet because the Koran says so, and Muhammed wrote the Koran, so it is Muhammed claiming to be Gods prophet because what he wrote says so. I don't need to read the Koran and understand it to know the historical facts that deny that he came from God, such as his killings, raids, and rapes. His actions speak louder than his words. And from a theological point of view, it makes no sense to say that two contradictory comments can be both true, so if Muhammed said Jesus was sent to proclaim Gods word, then it must be true when He claimed to be the Son of God ("Jesus said: I am the truth, the way and the life, no one comes to the father but through me" John 14:6). But that's what Muslims don't believe, so they pick and chose from the original scripture what fits the interest of their religion. And it is very easy to see why it became appealing to people to devote themselves to a religion which says that in the name of God and with His favour it is permitted to take the possessions and land of those who refuse to believe, and that by doing certain limited activities you will be accepted by God, regardless of what's in your heart. If you are a Muslim, it is probably because you seek God, because you know He exists, but if He is almighty, certainly He can do miracles (supernatural events), but Muhammed admitted never having good done one (since writing a book doesn't count as a supernatural event), and the peolple who knew him never claimed to have seen him perform one. On the contrary, many people claimed to have seen the miracles Jesus did, including and most importantly His resurrection, to the point of where it cost many of them their life. So if you don't believe In Jesus, believe in his works, because if you dig into history you've will find out that His resurrection can be verified by the same means with which you put any historical fact into scrutiny. Jesus said (and is saying now to you): “..for the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me." John 5:36... Did Muhamed ever do a miracle that could be considered a miracle? No, he wrote a book, but so did J.K. Rowling with Harry Potter, and thats not proof of any divine revelation. And the book he wrote and his lifestyle directly contradict the Scriptures of the religions he claims to build upon, so unlike the Bible, the Koran has no continuity with the rest of the divine revelation (the scripture), meaning he has no support coming forma the scripture and what he preaches in a new religion, which can certainly be discarded as a religion of peace by just looking and the historic facts about Muhammeds life and the early expansion of Islam. If Muslims believe the book of Psalms as part of Gods revelations, why do you ignore all the prophecies in it that where fulfilled by Christ? Or do you also selectively discard it as corrupted because it contradicts Islams teachings? If you believe in the Books of Moses and Psalms as Gods word, you cannot deny the Messiah they mention, but this is what Islam does and it makes no sense to claim that Islam is based on Judaism and Christianity . "I will proclaim the Lords decree: he said to me, "you are my son, today I have become your father" Psalms 2:7

Marll Flores said...

Hahahaha i'd rather believe what was written in the bible than to believe to a scripture that is not reliable about the facts how God really works to his people.
First, God will never command His prophet to kill someone for His name and second, God is a loving ,compassionate and Forgiving God.
Look apostle Paul came first before muhammad exist. And Apostle Paul is one of the good example of a follower of Jesus and he is better than muhammad.;)
Spread the goodnews folks dont be blind. Just open your and mind.

John Crosbie said...

Islam the false religion, muhammad the false prophet. Jesus warned of false prophets and teachings. Throughout the bible those that were visited by God or one of his angels never wanted to kill themselves or felt great distress. There are so many points to show all is false about islam and muhammad.

Jesus clearly stated that he is the way, the truth and the life and the only way to the father. So many muslims are converting to Jesus, something the media will never tell you.