“There is nothing in which people deal with from the different sciences that is more obscure, delicate, exalted, noble, difficult and problematic than dreams because they are a type of revelation and type of Prophethood.” Ibn Qutaybah ad-Dinawari
‘I have a dream that one day, this nation shall rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed;. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today. And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true’.
In the time of immediate companions of the prophet, a woman dreamt that her daughter would break three banners (flag carried in war time). When her daughter grew up, she married three noble men and Islamic leaders at different times and all were killed in separate wars. Her mother’s dream came true in negative manners.
One man saw in a dream, during the plague, that caskets were coming out of his house and the number of them was equal to the number of his family. So, he interpreted the dream that his entire family would be killed in the plague. Soon, his family were dying one after the other and all the bodies were coming out of his house exactly how he saw in his dream until he was the last member of his family left, but a thief came into his house and was struck by the plague, he fell ill in his house, he died and he was the last body to leave the house and not the person who saw the dream.
The above represent different microcosm dreams can be classified into and dreams have been used in almost all religions, even to an extent that in some religions some practices and actions are influenced by dreams. The Quran substantiates this with examples of: Prophet Ibraheem (as) and his dream about sacrificing his son, Ishmael (as) which was harbinger to the celebration of Eid-el-kabir , Prophet Yusuf (as) and his fellow inmates that eventually made him the king, the Noble Prophet Muhammad (s) regarding the conquest of Mecca and the one of the king of Egypt that changed the life of thousands or millions of people in his domain.
In Islam dreams are broken into three parts according to the Sunnah and these are: Ru’yaa – good visions (dreams), Hulum – bad dreams and Dreams from one’s self. Abu Hurayrah narrated Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “There are three types of dreams: a righteous dream which is glad tidings from Allah, the dream which causes sadness is from Shaitan, and a dream from the ramblings of the mind. (Sahih Muslim). In similar vein , the Prophet 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).
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. Sleeping according to Quran is very similar to death: It is He who doth take your souls by night, and hath knowledge of all that ye have done by day: by day doth He raise you up again; that a term appointed be fulfilled; In the end unto Him will be your return; then will He show you the truth of all that ye did. [6:61].
Islam clearly posits 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.” al-Bukhaari. It was narrated from Jaabir that a Bedouin came to the Messenger of Allaah and said, “I dreamt that my head was cut off and I was chasing it.” The Messenger of Allaah rebuked him and said: “Do not tell anyone how the Shaytaan is messing about with you in your dreams.” (Narrated by Muslim, 2268)
Islam is a perfect religion. Allah (SWT) has ordained certain things to go a certain way because of reasons the human brain cannot even fathom. Therefore, when one dreams, it is possible the dream has nothing to do with any form of guidance and is merely a reflection of one’s physical or mental state. The Prophet said: 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 dreams that the prophets had are called clear dreams and do not in contrary to the academics need interpretation.
Not every sleeping person would dream, but if he dreams then the dreams are most of the time, about matters that we are concerned about and thoughts that occupy our mind and work of shaytan to weaken our faith. Most of the dreams of the righteous people are good dreams because sometimes a righteous person could see a dream that is meaningless but that is not very frequent because shaytaan’s control on them is very weak. And the opposite is true with other people because shaytaan has a stronger grasp over them. So some scholars say that if you take your dream to a scholar, it would happen as it is interpreted by him so that’s why you must take it to a person who has knowledge about dream interpretation.
Narrated Abu Hurairah Radhiyallhu ‘anhu: I heard Allah’s Messenger Shallalahu ‘alaihi wasallam saying,“Nothing is left of An-Nubuwwah (Prophethood) except Al-Mubashshirat.” They asked, “What is Al-Mubashshirat?” He replied, “The true good dreams (that convey glad tidings).”Prophet said.