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Originally posted on TED Blog:

"Accidental theologist" Lesley Hazleton has written a biography of Muhammad. At TEDGlobal 2013, she shares a bold observation about his story. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

“Accidental theologist” Lesley Hazleton has written a biography of Muhammad. At TEDGlobal 2013, she shares a bold observation about his story. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

The core mystical moment of Islam took place in the year 610, or “half the world and almost half of history away,” as Lesley Hazleton, biographer of Muhammad, puts it. On a hot desert night, this previously ordinary man received the first revelation of the Koran on a mountain outside Mecca.

[ted_talkteaser id=1772]“What struck me even more than what happened was not what did not happen,” says Hazleton in today’s talk, given at TEDGlobal 2013. “Muhammad did not come floating off the mountain as though walking on air. He did not run down shouting, ‘Hallelujah. Bless the lord.’ He did not radiate light and joy. There were no choirs of angels, no elation, no ecstasy, no golden aura surrounding him. No sense of an…

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