The Reality Of Dreams


The Reality Of Dreams

dreamDreams and Visions

Deviations regarding dreams: Some people underestimate the significance of dreams by totally disregarding them. They refer to them as legends, and reject it simply because it is part of the unseen. On the opposite spectrum, there are people who totally rely on their dreams to such an extent that they let their dreams control their lives. They base their life decisions, and in fact even derive laws & legislation (such as what is considered as halal &haram) according to their dreams. For instance, there was a man who dreamt that his wife had adultery and so when he woke up he divorced her

Reality of Dreams – according to the Quran and Sunnah

When we sleep, our soul partially departs from our body and returns back when we wake up. Hence, our sleep is a minor death and a daily preparation for our soul to taste the major death.

Types of dreams:

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 Shaytan, 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)

1. حديث النفس Self Talk: Most of the time, we dream about matters that we are concerned about, and thoughts that occupy our mind. Hence, these dreams are simply a reflection of our inner thoughts and concerns, and hence do not require interpretation.

2. الحلم من الشيطان – Dreams from Shaytan: Not only does our enemy, shaytan, trouble us while we are awake, but also in our asleep!

Two ways the shaytaan can disturb us in our sleep:

a. Scary dreams: These disturbing dreams are from shaytan, as his goal is to make us fearful and scared because he knows that our power and strength lies is in our heart. He wants to weaken our faith, or at least make us sad so that we slack in our worship to Allah.

b. By making one dream that he/she is committing a sin, or doing any act that is contrary to our deen such as appearing naked, committing adultery, drinking alcohol etc. Again, this is to weaken our faith, by making us commit sins in our dreams if not in real life.

What should we do when we have bad dreams?

Proofs from the ahadith are mentioned below:

Abu Qutaadah 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.

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)

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 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.

It was narrated from Jaabir that a Bedouin came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, “I dreamt that my head was cut off and I was chasing it.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) rebuked him and said: “Do not tell anyone how the Shaytaan is messing about with you in your dreams.” (Narrated by Muslim, 2268)

So in summary, we should do the following when we have bad dreams:
1. Seek refuge with Allaah from the evil shown in the dream.

    When children get nightmares, they normally flee to their parents and seek their comfort. At such moments, we, as parents, should encourage our kids to seek refuge in Allah alone, as only He can protect them – not us.

2. Seek refuge with Allaah from the evil of the Shaytaan. Recite the isti’adha: A’udhu bi’llahi min ash-shaytani’r-rajim
3. Spit (dry spit) to one’s left three times
4. Should not mention the dream to anyone at all (for it will not harm you)
5. Should change sides
6. It is recommended to pray two units of prayer as it will act as a double protection from shaytan’s evil traps.

It is important to follow the sunnah of preparing for sleep as it is a powerful protection from such evil dreams.

الرؤيا : Truthful dreams/Visions

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)

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)

These visions/truthful dreams are extremely rare. They have a meaning behind them and may require interpretation. These dreams are glad tidings for the believers. Especially at times of tests and trials, these dreams are a source of comfort for believers – in order to keep them firm in their deen. They could also be a warning against an evil, or a window to some events that will happen in the future. However, new laws and legislation cannot be derived from such dreams as our deen is complete and was perfected before the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

At times, even disbelievers may have truthful dreams. For instance, the dream of Pharaoh about Musa ‘alayh is-salaam and the dream of the king at the time of Prophet Yusuf ‘alayh is-salaam. However, both these truthful dreams were actually a means of honor and benefit to the believers – Prophet Musa and Yusuf, and not the disbelievers.

Two types of visions/truthful dreams:

1. واضح: These are very clear, truthful dreams. That is, the exact same thing you dreamt about will occur in the future. This is a big test from Allah as it tests one’s faith in believing who really is the true possessor of the ghaib (Unseen). Only Allah possess the knowledge of the unseen, and He chooses to reveal some of this knowledge to those whom He wills according to His infinite wisdom. So it is crucial that the person due to these clear visions/ dreams is not deviated in believing that these dreams are due to their own righteousness/ability. Hence, this is a huge test for one’s faith. May Allah protect us from such deviations, ameen

2. مرموز : These truthful dreams require interpretation as they are not clear visions. However, only a person with a great deal of ilm and taqwa can interpret dreams. The interpreter needs to have ilm of the Quran and Sunnah, should to be smart, and most importantly, should have taqwa and be away from indulging in sins.

Imam Malik mentioned that the interpretation of a dream not only depends on the dream itself, but also on the one who dream it.

What should we do when we have good dreams:

  1. Praise and thank Allaah for the good dream (Say Alhumdulillaah)
  2. Feel happy about it
  3. Talk about it to those whom one loves and trusts, and they too love him/her (i.e. they should not be envious of him as this might trigger them to plot against you. For example, in the case of Prophet Yusuf ‘alayh is-salaam, his father commanded him not to convey his dream to his brothers due to their jealously.
  4. The prohibition on lying about visions and dreams

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“Whoever tells of a dream that he did not see will be commanded [on the Day of Resurrection] to tie two grains of barley together, but he will never be able to do it.’ (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6635)

By Samia Abdul Rahim

Courtesy :
Taqwa Islamic School
Islamic Educational & Research Organization (IERO)

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