There is a new video that has just been uploaded in the past 24 hours to TED – that superb online resource where the world’s leading thinkers and writers share their ideas with the rest of us. The video is by Lesley Hazleton who earlier this year authored a new biography of the Prophet Muhammad called ‘The First Muslim’ – a work that she says took her five years to research.
Lesley Hazleton’s new TED talk is about the Prophet Muhammad and the role that doubt plays in faith. She makes a very persuasive case that doubt is essential to faith and that Muhammad’s immediate response to receiving his first revelation from God in the cave of Hira was not to be overwhelmed by conviction but by doubt.
Hazleton quotes the writer Graham Greene as saying “doubt is the heart of the matter” and adds that if we abolish doubt then all that is left is absolute heartless conviction – in short, the arrogance of fundamentalism.
In a final flourish she takes aim at extremists in all faiths and says “Like fundamentalists of all stripes, they have no questions, only answers.”
Well worth watching.