A dream is something common to all human beings. Dreams are the thoughts, visions, or feelings we experience while we are asleep. Dreaming is a regular part of life for all humans and not something that changes with time. It is a natural part of a person’s life to experience dreams during sleep. It is normal for people to have a wide variety of dreams, which can be good, frightening, confusing, or saddening. Most dreams in Islam don’t require interpretation and originate from one’s actual experiences, actions, etc.
Dreams can evoke many powerful emotions, and they can often be an intense experience for the one having them. Many dreams contain events that are implausible or highly unlikely in the real world. One may feel exhilarated and joyful after a good dream, or sorrowful and depressed after a bad, upsetting dream. People may even find certain dreams perplexing and struggle to make head or tail of them.
A lot of Muslims may lack knowledge of what they are supposed to do when they have certain types of dreams. An example of this could be how one reacts to a bad dream, also known as a nightmare. Hence, it is a must for believers to gain accurate knowledge regarding what Islam says about dreams.
Islam corrected the erroneous approach to dreams and their interpretation that prevailed in pre-Islamic Arabia. Muslims should not disregard Islam’s teachings about dreams and take the topic lightly. Just like all other aspects of life, our religion contains teachings that pertain to dreams, and we are required to gain knowledge of these teachings and follow them when dealing with dreams.
The three types of dreams in Islam
From the Islamic perspective, there are three kinds of dreams. One type is a good dream that is from Allah. Another type is a bad dream from Satan, which upsets the person who experiences the dream. Then, there are dreams for which the subconscious is responsible.
There are a number of hadiths that inform us that good dreams are from Allah, and bad deeds are from the evil Satan. The other type of dream represents a person’s thoughts. There is no interpretation of such dreams as they are just a product of one’s thoughts and memories.
Dreams can be true dreams. In such cases, the events of one’s dream come true in real life. The people with the truest dreams will be those people who are the most honest. Good dreams from Allah contain glad tidings. As the Prophet (PBUH) said in a Hadith in Sahih Al-Bukhari, if one is pleased with a dream that he has, then it is from Allah. The one who has a good dream should praise Allah for it and inform others about it. Believers must take care to be honest, as the Prophet (PBUH) said that the worst of lies is when someone lies about having a dream.
Meanwhile, bad dreams are those that make the person who has the dream unhappy or upset. They are from Satan, and the dreamer experiences sadness and distress due to them. These dreams are planted by Satan, generally with the aim of frightening or troubling the person. This is in line with Satan’s general goal, which is to be an enemy of mankind, regardless of whether one is awake or asleep. Therefore, we should always remember that such dreams are from Satan and keep in mind that his goal is to affect us negatively through such dreams.
How we are supposed to respond to bad dreams in Islam
One who sees a bad dream should firstly acknowledge that the dream is from Satan. Hence, he should not let himself get impacted too negatively by it and become overly upset. Instead, he should defy the plan of Satan by putting the dream behind him and not dwelling on it. After having a nightmare, one should seek refuge with Allah from Satan, the accursed, as well as the evil of the bad dream. Then, he should spit lightly to his left side thrice, merely blowing with a slight amount of saliva.
One of the principles of dealing with bad dreams is that one should not tell anyone about them. A person can only share the details of a bad dream with someone else if he is looking to get advice on it from a person who is well-qualified. However, after most bad dreams, there is no real need for interpretation or advice, and one should simply disregard them.
After experiencing a nightmare, one should change the direction he is facing on his bed. If he was sleeping on his left side, he should turn to the other side and face his right, and if he was facing his right side, he should turn to the other side and face his left. Also, after having a bad dream, the person should get up and pray two Rakat of prayer.
These are the ways in which Muslims are supposed to respond to bad dreams. Following the teachings of Islam is a must in order to stop nightmares from having an excessively bad impact on you. By doing so, we can overcome Satan’s desire to harm us mentally and keep ourselves in a good frame of mind.
Seeing Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in a dream
The dreams the Prophets saw were revelation. On the other hand, the dreams of other people are to be judged according to the Quran and Sunnah. As far as seeing the Prophet (PBUH) in a dream is concerned, it can be a true dream. The requirement for such a dream to be true is that when we see the Prophet (PBUH) in a dream, he should match the authentic description we have of him from the Sunnah. Only if this is the case can the dream be considered a true dream of glad tidings.
The Prophet (PBUH) told us in a Hadith in Sahih Al-Bukhari that anyone who sees him in a dream has witnessed the truth. This is because the accursed Satan cannot take on the appearance of the Prophet (PBUH).
Can we see Allah in a dream?
According to the esteemed scholar of Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah, it is possible to have a dream with Allah in it. However, what one sees in such a dream will not be Allah’s actual appearance, as there is nothing in creation that looks like Him. So, although a person may have a dream in which Allah is talking to him, what he actually sees in his dream will not be Allah. In such a dream, Allah may talk to the person or instruct him to do something.
One must be wary of the accursed Satan pretending to be Allah in a dream. Satan can appear in a dream and pretend to be Allah, telling the dreamer to disobey Allah. If one is told to violate the law of Allah, abandon religious obligations, etc., this indicates that it is actually Satan who is in his dream.
To conclude, it is imperative to always respond to our dreams in the way prescribed by Islam. We should not get obsessed with interpreting our dreams, nor should we give them unnecessary importance in our lives.