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Does Prophet Muhammad's Contemplation of Suicide Disprove His Prophethood?

Bassam Zawadi




It seems like some Christians are trying to overdue and go far with this whole issue regarding Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) contemplation of suicide. They go as far as saying that Muhammad was possessed by Satan. Of course they offered no proof for saying such a statement. So many people have committed or attempted to commit suicide and no one ever concluded that they were possessed by Satan. So why the exception to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)? 

Even according to the missionary's article on the very bottom he posted evidence stating that the main reason why people commit or attempt to commit suicide is because of depression. This is the same thing that happened with the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), he was depressed. What, a Prophet cannot be depressed? Says who? What criteria are people using to say that? 

Lets look at the following hadith.....


Saheeh Bukhari

Volumn 009, Book 087, Hadith Number 111.
Narated By 'Aisha : 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 reactions 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).


Taken from http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/MH_LM/from_the_beginning_of_revelation.htm

Subsiding of the Revelations

Muhammad expected the revelations to guide his path from day to day, but they subsided. Gabriel did not appear for some time, and all around him there was nothing but silence. Muhammad fell into solitude, separated from himself as well as from the people. His old fears recurred. It is told that even Khadijah said to him, "Does it not seem that your Lord is displeased with you?" Dismayed and frightened, he returned to the mountain and the cave of Hira'. There, he prayed for God fervently, seeking assiduously to reach Him. Particularly, he wanted to ask God about the cause of this divine displeasure. Khadijah did not dread these days any less than Muhammad, nor was she any less fearful. Often Muhammad wished to die, but he would again feel the call and the command of his Lord which dispelled such ideas. It was also told that he once thought of throwing himself down from the top of Mount Hira' or Mount Abu Qubays, thinking what good was this life if his greatest hope therein was to be frustrated and destroyed? Torn between these fears on one hand and despair on the other, revelation came to him after a long interval. The word of God was as clear as it was reassuring:

no_suicide_1.jpg (24850 bytes)

"By the forenoon, and by the night as it spreads its wings over the world in peace, your Lord has not forsaken you; nor is He displeased with you. Surely, the end shall be better for you than the beginning. Your Lord will soon give you of His bounty and you will be well pleased. Did He not find you an orphan and give you shelter? Did He not find you erring and guide you to the truth? Did He not find you in want and provide for you? Do not, therefore, oppress the orphan nor turn away whosoever seeks your help. And the bounty of your Lord, always proclaim."[Qur'an, 93:1-11]


The Call to Truth Alone

Oh, what divine majesty, what peace of mind, what joy of heart and exaltation to the soul! Muhammad's fears dissolved and his dread was dissipated. He was overjoyed with this fresh evidence of his Lord's blessing and fell down in worship to God and praise of Him. There was no more reason to fear, as Khadijah had done, that God was displeased with him, and there was no cause for his dread. God had now taken him under His protection and removed from him every doubt and fear. Henceforth there was to be no thought of suicide but only of a life dedicated to calling men unto God and unto God alone. To the Almighty God on High shall all men bend their brows. To Him shall all that is in heaven and earth prostrate themselves. He alone is the True, and all that they worship besides him is false. To Him alone the heart should turn, on Him alone the soul should depend, and in Him alone the spirit should find its confirmation. The other realm is better for man than this realm. In the other realm, the soul becomes aware of all being as well as the unity of being; and in this unity space and time disappear and the needs and considerations of this realm are forgotten. It is in the other realm that the forenoon with its brilliant and dazzling sun, the night with its widespread darkness, the heavens and the stars, and the earth and the mountains all become one; and the spirit which enters into awareness of this unity is happy and felicitous. That is the life which is the objective of this life. And that is the truth which illuminated with its light the soul of Muhammad. When revelation subsided for a while, it was this truth which inspired him anew to solicit and think of his Lord and to call men unto Him. The calling of men unto God demands the purification of oneself, the shunning of evil, and the bearing with patience all the harm and injury with which the caller may meet. It demands that he illumine the path of true knowledge for the benefit of ignorant mankind, that he never rebuke the inquisitive, and that he never reject the man in need or oppress the orphan. Sufficient unto him must be the fact that God had chosen him to convey His message to mankind. Let this message then be the permanent subject of his conversation. Sufficient unto him must be the fact that God had found him an orphan and given him shelter under the protection of his grandfather, `Abd al Muttalib, and his uncle, Abu Talib. Sufficient unto him must be the fact that God had found him in want and provided for him through his trustworthiness, and had shown him His favor by granting to him Khadijah, the companion of his youth, of his solitude and retreat, of his prophetic mission, and of love and kindness. Sufficient unto him must be the fact that God had found him erring and had guided him to the truth through His message. All this must be sufficient unto him. Let him now call to the truth and exert himself as heartily as he could. Such was the command of God to His Prophet whom He had chosen, whom He had not forsaken, and with whom He was not displeased.


Taken from http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/SM_tsn/ch1s7.html#Interruption%20of%20Revelation

After mentioning the coming of the Revelation, the Messenger of All?[pbuh] said: "I have never abhorred anyone more than a poet or a mad man. I can not stand looking at either of them. I will never tell anyone of Quraish of my Revelation. I will climb a mountain and throw myself down and die. That will relieve me. I went to do that but halfway up the mountain, I heard a voice from the sky saying ‘O Muhammad! You are the Messenger of All?[pbuh] and I am Gabriel.’ I looked upwards and saw Gabriel in the form of a man putting his legs on the horizon. He said: ‘O Muhammad You are the Messenger of All?[pbuh] and I am Gabriel.’ I stopped and looked at him. His sight distracted my attention from what I had intended to do. I stood in my place transfixed. I tried to shift my eyes away from him. He was in every direction I looked at. I stopped in my place without any movement until Khadijah sent someone to look for me. He went down to Makkah and came back while I was standing in the same place. Gabriel then left, and I went back home. I found Khadijah at home, so I sat very close to her. She asked: ‘Father of Al-Qasim! Where have you been? I sent someone to look for you. He went to Makkah and returned to me.’ I told her of what I had seen. She replied: ‘It is a propitious sign, O my husband. Pull yourself together, I swear by All?that you are a Messenger for this nation.’ Then she stood up and went to Waraqa and informed him. Waraqa said: ‘I swear by All?that he has received the same Namus, i.e. angel that was sent to Moses. He is the Prophet of this nation. Tell him to be patient.’ She came back to him and told him of Waraqa’s words. When the Messenger of All?[pbuh] finished his solitary stay and went down to Makkah, he went to Waraqa, who told him: ‘You are the Prophet of this nation. I swear by All? that you have received the same angel that was sent to Moses.’" [At-Tabari 2/207; Ibn Hisham 1/237,238]


Once more, Gabriel brings All?#146;s Revelation

Ibn Hajar said: ‘That (the pause of All?#146;s revelation for a few days) was to relieve the Messenger of All?[pbuh] of the fear he experienced and to make him long for the Revelation. When the shades of puzzle receded, the flags of truth were raised, the Messenger of All?[pbuh] knew for sure that he had become the Messenger of the Great Lord. He was also certain that what had come to him was no more than the ambassador of inspiration. His waiting and longing for the coming of the revelation constituted a good reason for his steadfastness and self-possession on the arrival of All?#146;s inspiration,



The Prophet was depressed about Waraqa dying and on top of all that he was also depressed about the revelation not coming down to him for a while. The Prophet was all alone. Almost everyone except a few went against him. Calling him a mad poet, magician, soothsayer, crazy etc. This all affects someone psychologically. The Prophet would ignore them and feel confident about him self because of the revelation that he would receive from God. However, this 'pause of revelation', known in Arabic as 'Fatrah', which at this time lasted some where between 6 months to three years made the Prophet feel lonely and depressed. Some even feel that it was only a matter of days.....

Taken from http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/SM_tsn/ch1s7.html#Interruption%20of%20Revelation

Interruption of Revelation

Ibn Sa‘d reported on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas that the Revelation paused for a few days.[Fath Al-Bari 1/27,12/360] After careful study, this seems to be the most possible. To say that it lasted for three and a half years, as some scholars allege, is not correct, but here there is no room to go into more details.

Other opinions were either 15 days or 25 days or 40 days. (Tasfsir of Qurtubi, Source: Online)




Assuming that the hadith is truly authentic, the whole issue of the Prophet contemplating suicide really doesn't prove anything against his Prophethood. The Prophet did not go around jumping from the mountain and surviving and failing to kill himself. No, he did not throw him self because Gabriel came and stopped him. If the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was truly inspired by Satan then Satan would order him to jump and kill him self just like how he tried to do with Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 4. Plus who was sending down these revelations to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) anyways? If these were the words of the Prophet Muhammad himself then why would the Prophet purposely do such a thing to him self? This Quran must have been coming from a supernatural source. Is that supernatural source Satan? Does the author of the Quran identify himself as Satan or as God?

From God

Surah 55:1-2

The Beneficent God, It is He Who has taught the Qur'an.

Not Satan

Zakir Naik makes a good point when he says......... 

Many people have a wrong concept of Satan. They think that Satan can probably do everything, except a couple of things that God can do. According to them, Satan is slightly below God in power. Since the people do not want to accept that the Qur’an is a miraculous revelation, they say that it is Satan's handiwork.


  1. If Satan would have written the Qur’an, he would not have mentioned in the same Qur’an in Surah Nahl, chapter 16 verse no. 98

    "When thou does read
    The Qur’an, seek Allah’s protection from Satan the Rejected One."

    Is this how you feel Satan would write a book? Does he tell you; "Before you read my book ask God to save you from me?"


  2. There are several verses in the Qur’an which will give enough evidence that Satan is not the author of the Qur’an.

    In Surah Al Aaraf chapter 7 verse 200

    "If a suggestion from Satan assail your (mind),
    seek refuge with Allah; for He hears and knows
    (all things).

    Why would Satan tell his followers, that whenever he gives any suggestions to them, they should seek refuge in Allah (swt) to whom he is an avowed enemy.


  3. In Surah Baqarah, chapter 2 verse 168

    "O ye people!
    Eat of what is on earth, lawful and good;
    and do not follow the footsteps of the Evil one,
    For he is to you an avowed enemy."


  4. In Surah Yasin, chapter 36 verse 60

    "Did I not enjoin on you,
    O ye children of Adam,
    that ye should not worship Satan;

    for that he was to you an enemy avowed?"

    Satan is intelligent, no wonder that he can put this idea into the minds of people that he himself wrote the Qur’an. Compared to Almighty God, Satan is insignificant, and Allah (swt) is far more intelligent. He knows Satan's evil intentions and hence no wonder that He has given the reader of the Qur’an several proofs to show that Qur’an is God’s word, and not Satan's word.


If Christians want to be stubborn and insist that the Quran is not the word of God but the word of Satan then they would have to provide evidence for such assertions and not just assume. The Quran claims to be the word of God, it is up to you to prove that the author of this book is lying.


The Prophet's depression and then rehabilitation does not disprove his Prophethood, as a matter of fact to me it goes even further to prove it. Because if he was possessed by Satan he would not have pulled through and succeeded in his mission to spread the message of God.









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