All praises are due to Allah the Lord of the worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the noble Prophet Muhammad (sallah Allah alayhi wa salam), his household, his companions and all those who follow the noble path of Islam till the day of judgement.
Q 3:102-O ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam.
Q 4:1-O mankind! reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, His mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women;- reverence Allah, through whom ye demand your mutual (rights), and (reverence) the wombs (That bore you): for Allah ever watches over you.
O ye who believe! Fear Allah, and (always) say a word directed to the Right: That He may make your conduct whole and sound and forgive you your sins: He that obeys Allah and His Messenger, has already attained the highest achievement.
Verily, the best speech is Allah’s speech; the best guidance is Muhammad’s (saw) guidance: and the worst matters (in creed or worship) are those innovated (by the people), for every innovated matter is bid’ah ( prohibited innovation), and every bid’ah is an act of misguidance that(whoever initiated it) will reside in the Fire
The reality of dreams in our lives cannot be denied and as many people have become kufars(unbelievers) due to dreams looking for solutions from churches and traditionalists. In the same vein, some crooks who have made themselves spiritual consultants daily extort innocent Muslims on the issue of dreams. Some have taken some people within their families as enemies due to dream. Islam, dreams cannot be denied by a Muslim as Allaah confirms the dream of Ibrahim as True in the Qur’an 37.104 -105, ‘We called out to him "O Ibrahim! You have fulfilled the dream’. Also, the dream of Yusuf is also related to us in the Qura’an 12:4-5 , ‘Behold! Yususf said to his father: "O my father! I did see eleven stars and the sun and the moon: I saw them prostrate themselves to me!"Said (the father): "My (dear) little son! relate not thy vision to thy brothers, lest they concoct a plot against thee: for Satan is to man an avowed enemy!
WHAT IS DREAM?
True dreams are a part of Prophethood, as it was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “True dreams are one of the forty-six parts of Prophethood.” (al-Bukhaari, 6472; Muslim, 4201). Dreams marked the onset of Revelation (al-Bukhaari, 3; Muslim, 231). The truthfulness of the dream is related to the sincerity of the dreamer. Those who have the most truthful dreams are those who are the most truthful in speech. (Muslim, 4200).
Towards the end of time, hardly any dreams will be untrue. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “That will be because the Prophethood and its effects will be so far away in time, so the believers will be given some compensation in the form of dreams which will bring them some good news or will help them to be patient and steadfast in their faith.” (al-Bukhaari, 6499; Muslim, 4200)
TYPES OF DREAM
We can classify dreams into three types:
Rahmaani (those that come from Allaah),
Nafsaani (psychological, they come from within a person)
Shaytaani (those that come from the Shaytaan).
This classification is based on the teaching of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Dreams are of three types: a dream from Allaah, a dream which causes distress and which comes from the Shaytaan, and a dream which comes from what a person thinks about when he is awake, and he sees it when he is asleep.” (al-Bukhaari, 6499; Muslim, 4200)
The dreams of the Prophets are wahy (revelation) for they are protected from the Shaytaan. This is why Ibrahim set out to fulfill the command of Allaah to sacrifice his son Ismaa’eel when he saw that in a dream; may peace be upon them both.
The dreams of people other than the Prophets are to be examined in the light of the clear Wahy [i.e., the Qur’aan and Sunnah]. If they are in accordance with the Qur’aan and Sunnah, all well and good; otherwise, they should not be acted upon. This is a very serious matter indeed, for many of the innovators among the Sufis and others have gone astray because of claiming to act on dreams that contradict the teachings of Allah and His prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
TRUTHFULNESS OF DREAM
Islam teaches its adherents on the truthfulness of dreams and what a Muslim can do to make their dreams truthful. Whoever wants to have true dreams should strive to speak honestly, eat lawful (halaal) food, adhere to the commandments of sharee’ah, avoid that which Allaah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) have forbidden, sleep in a state of complete purity facing the Qiblah, and remember Allaah until he feels his eyelids drooping. If he does all this, then his dreams can hardly be untrue.
The most truthful of dreams are those that are seen at the time of suhoor [just before dawn], for this is the time when Allaah descends and when mercy and forgiveness are close. It is also the time when the devils are quiet, unlike the time of darkness just after sunset, when the devils and devilish souls spread out. (See Madaarij al-Saalikeen, 1/50-52)
Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said all dreams are either of two types:
1. True dreams. These are the dreams of the Prophets and of the righteous people who follow them. True dreams are those which come true in real life as they were seen in the dream.
2. Mixed up false dreams, which warn of something. These are of different types:
a. Games of the Shaytaan(devil) to make a person distressed, such as when he sees his head cut off and he is following it, or he sees himself falling into a crisis and cannot find anyone to save him from it, and so on.
b. When he sees some of the angels telling him to do something forbidden, or other things that cannot possibly make sense.
c. When he sees something that happens to him in real life, or he wishes it would happen, and he sees it very realistically in his dream; or he see what usually happens to him when he is awake or what reflects his mood. These dreams usually speak of the future or the present, rarely of the past. ( Fath al-Baari, 12/352-354)
HOW DO WE REACT TO DREAMS?
The teachings of Islam are complete and nothing is omitted as both the Qur’an and the Sunnah are replete with guidance for the day-to-day activities of Muslims. The etiquette of dreams is also discussed by our noble Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If any one of you sees a dream that he likes, this is from Allaah, so let him praise Allaah for it and talk about it to others. If he sees other than that, a dream that he dislikes, this is from the Shaytaan, so let him seek refuge with Allaah from its evil and not mention it to anyone, for it will not harm him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6584, and Muslim, 5862).
In the same respect, Abu Qataadah said: the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Good dreams come from Allaah, and (bad) dreams come from Shaytaan. Whoever sees something that he dislikes let him spit to his left three times and seek refuge with Allaah from the Shaytaan, for it will not harm him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6594, and Muslim, 5862). The “spitting” referred to here is a soft, dry spitting with no saliva ejected.
In another tradition, it was reported from Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If any one of you sees a dream that he dislikes, let him spit to his left three times, and seek refuge with Allaah from the Shaytaan three times, and turn over from the side on which he was sleeping.” (Narrated by Muslim, 5864)
Ibn Hajar said: to sum up what has been said about good dreams, we may say three things:
1. A person should praise Allaah for the good dream
2. He should feel happy about it
3. He should talk about it to those whom he loves but not to those whom he dislikes.
To sum up what has been said about bad dreams, we may say four things:
1. He should seek refuge with Allaah from the evil of the dream
2. He should seek refuge with Allaah from the evil of the Shaytaan
3. He should spit to his left three times when he wakes up
4. He should not mention it to anyone at all.
5. In al-Bukhaari, Baab al-Qayd fi’l-Manaam, a fifth thing was narrated from Abu Hurayrah, which is to pray. The wording of the report is: whoever sees something he dislikes (in a dream) should not tell anyone about it; rather he should get up and pray. This was reported as a Mawsool report by Imaam Muslim in his Saheeh.
6. Muslim added a sixth thing, which is to turn over from the side on which one was lying. [ Fath al-Baari, 12/370.]
According to a hadeeth narrated from Abu Razeen by al-Tirmidhi, he should not tell anybody about it except a very close friend who loves him very much, or who is very wise. According to another report, he should not talk about it except to one who is wise or one who is dear to him. According to another report, he should not tell of his dream except to a scholar or one who will give sincere advice.
Al-Qaadi Abu Bakr ibn al-‘Arabi said: as for the scholar, he will interpret it in a good way for him as much as he can, and the one who will give him sincere advice will teach him something that will be of benefit to him and will help him to do that. Many charlatans who are not scholars are patronized today thereby leading many people into disobedience to Allah and open kufr(unbelief).
The one who is wise is the one who knows how to interpret it and will tell him only that which will help him, otherwise he will keep quiet. The one who is dear, if he knows something good he will say it, and if he does not know or he is in doubt, he will keep quiet. [ Fath al-Baari, 12/369]
CAN WE SEE THE PROPHET IN DREAM?
It should be noted that it is possible for a person to see the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in a dream, and that the Shaytaan cannot appear in the image of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but Shaytan could appear in another form and claim that he is the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Whoever sees me in a dream will see me when he is awake; the Shaytaan cannot take my shape.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6592; Muslim, 2266).
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said:
If a man told Muhammad (meaning Ibn Sireen) that he had seen the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) [in a dream], he would say, “describe to me the one whom you saw.” If he gave a description that he did not recognize, he would say, “You did not see him.” (Its isnaad is saheeh,). Al-Haakim narrated via ‘Aasim ibn Kulayb (who said), my father told me: I said to Ibn ‘Abbaas, “I saw the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in a dream.” He said, “Describe him to me.” He said, “I mentioned al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali and said that he looked like him.” He said, “You did indeed see him.” (Fath al-Baari, 12/383, 384. )
These reports bring into fore how the early Muslims who saw the Prophet ((peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) treated those who came later and claim to have seen the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in their dreams. Those who claim to have seen the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) nowadays cannot pass the test as they would not be able to describe the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) since they did not meet him. Such claims must be rejected as it is not supported by any verifiable proof from the claimants.
With regard to those who say that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) may appear in all forms [in dreams], quoting as evidence the report narrated by Ibn Abi ‘Aasim from Abu Hurayrah, that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever sees me in a dream has indeed seen me, for I may be shown in all forms” – this hadeeth is da’eef (weak)( Fath al-Baari, 12/384).
We need to exercise restraint as Muslims in narrating dreams to every dick and harry in the name of knowing the meaning of our dreams as many of the so-called Alfa and mere religious dealers. Many of them have destroyed many families by claiming that one’s mother is the architect of someone’s test and trials as this type of belief is against basic teachings of Islam. Knowledge of interpreting dream is a gift from Allah and this is not bestowed on everybody. In the same vein, this write up has also brought to fore basic things we can do without necessarily going to meet anybody for the meaning of our dreams. We need to know that there are no priests and intermediaries in Islam. May Allah protect us and purify our creeds as Muslims from all forms of accretions. May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon the soul of noble Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).