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Understanding Muhammad
Other Famous People with Epilepsy

          Heidi Hansen and Leif Bork Hansen who allege that Søren Kierkegaard wrote in his journal that he suffered from TLE and had kept it a secret all his life, quote him as saying: "Of all sufferings there is perhaps none so martyring as to become an object of pity, nothing which so tempts one to rebel against God. People usually regard such a person as stupid and shallow, but it would not be difficult to show that precisely this is the hidden secret in the lives of many of the most eminent world-historical figures."230

          The Danish philosopher was absolutely right. Far from being stupid, the TLE sufferers are among the geniuses.

          Temporal Lobe Epilepsy can well be defined as the disease of creativity. Many famous and talented people in the history suffered fom TLE and aruably they owed their creativity to this disease. Between five to ten persons in every 1,000 people have TLE. Not all of them, of course, reach fame.

          Steven C. Schlachter, M.D., professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and author of several books on epilepsy, has compiled a list of prominent people in history who possibly suffered form TLE. This list comprises philosophers, writers, world leaders, religious figures, painters, poets, composers, actors and other celebrities.

          "Ancient people" writes Schachter, "thought epileptic seizures were caused by evil spirits or demons that had invaded a person's body. Priests attempted to cure people with epilepsy by driving the demon out of them with magic and prayers. This superstition was challenged by ancient physicians like Atreya of India and later Hippocrates of Greece, both of whom recognized a seizure as a dysfunction of the brain and not a supernatural event." He further says, "Epileptic seizures have a power and symbolism which, historically, have suggested a relationship with creativity or unusual leadership abilities ...

230 pdfsym.gif (104 KB)
alternative: pdfsym.gif Kierkepilepsy.pdf (104 KB)
231, "Famous People with Epilepsy", at, Topic Editor: Steven C. Schachter, M.D., Last Reviewed 12/15/06, accessed June 21, 2007
pdfsym.gif http___www.epilepsy.com_EPILEPSY_famous.pdf (353 KB)


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Muhammad's Ecstatic Experiences
... Eva LaPlante in her book Seized, writes that the abnormal brain activity found in temporal lobe (complex partial) epilepsy plays a role in creative thinking and the making of art. Neuropsychologist Dr. Paul Spiers maintains: 'Sometimes the same things that cause epilepsy result in giftedness. If you damage an area [of the brain] early enough in life, the corresponding area on the other side has a chance to overdevelop.'"223

          This is an interesting theory. If Spiers is right, it is not the TLE that brings forth genius and creativity but the reaction of the brain to compensate for what it damages.

          The following is a short list of some of the geniuses who Schachter believes may have had epileptic seizures.

          Harriet Tubman: the black woman who led hundreds of her fellow slaves from the American South to freedom in Canada. She came to be known as the "Moses" of her people.

          Saint Paul: the greatest Christian evangelist without whom Christianity would probably never have reached Europe to become a World Religion.

          Joan of Arc: the young uneducated farmer's daughter in a remote village of medieval France who altered the course of history through her amazing military victories. From age thirteen Joan reported ecstatic moments in which she saw flashes of light, heard voices of saints and saw visions of angels.

          Alfred Nobel: the Swedish chemist and industrialist who invented dynamite and ...

232 Dr. Jerome Engel, Seizures and Epilepsy:, F. A. Davis Co., Philadelphia, 1989


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Understanding Muhammad
          ... Muhammad probably had his first seizure at age five. Dostoyevsky had his first seizure at age nine. After a remission, which lasted up to age 25, he had seizures every few days or months, fluctuating between good and bad periods. His ecstaic auras occuring secounds before his bigger seizures were moments of transcendent happiness, which then changed to an anguished feeling of dread. His experiences were similar to those of Muhammad, whose vision of hell was dreadful, filled with doom and horrendous scenes of torture. Here are a couple of examples of what Muhammad saw:
But those who deny for them will be cut out a garment of Fire: over their heads will be poured out boiling water. With it will be scalded what is within their bodies as well as (their) skins. In addition there will be maces of iron (to punish) them. Every time they wish to get away therefrom from anguish they will be forced back therein and (it will be said), 'Taste ye the Penalty of Burning!' (Q.22:19-22)

But those, whose balance is light, will be those who have lost their souls; in Hell will they abide. The fire will burn their faces, and they will therein grin, with their lips displaced. (Q.23:103-104)
         Dostoyevsky also saw a blinding flash of light. Then he would cry out and lose consciousness for a secound or two. Sometimes the epileptic discharge generalized across his brain, producing a secondary tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizure. Afterwards he could not recall events and conversations that had occuring during the seizure, and he often felt depressed, guilty and irritable for days.

          Count Leo Tolstoy: The great nineteenth century Russian author of Anna Karenina and War and Peace, also may have had epilepsy.

          Gustave Flaubert: is another great name in literature. This nineteenth century French literary genius wrote such masterpieces as Madame Bovary and A Sentimental Education. According to Schachter, "Flaubert's typical seizure began with a feeling of impending doom, after which he felt his sense of self ...

... continued with the exciting writings of Ali Sina and a lot of more convincing evidence in the book "Understanding Muhammad", ... also Dame Agatha Christie, the leading British writer of mystery novels is also reported to have had epilepsy ... why Muhammad is not among bad company of famous people with epilepsy. And other "eye-opening" chapters of the true Islam by Ali Sina, ex-Musim of Iran.

Page 139 "... His imaginative power, his depression, his suicidal thoughts, his irritability, his interest in religion, his vision of the Doomsday and the afterlife, his visual and auditory hallucinations and many of his physical and psychological characteristics can all be explained by TLE.

          However, epilepsy does not explain Muhammad's ruthlessness, his mass murders and his dogged determination. Those were the relults of his pathological narcissistic disorder. It was this combination of personality and mental disorders that made him the phenomenon that he had become ... As if that were not enough, he married a codependent woman who sought her own greatness in lionizing her husband.

          ... The seizures probably stopped in his later years. ... As a narcissist, he received his confirmation from those who believed in him. If he lied, it was for a good cause and therefore justified. When he looted and massacred innocent people, he did it with clear conscience. ..."


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