Visions in Dream and matters relating to them
Allah, the Exalted, says:
"And among His Signs is your sleep by night and by day.'' (30:23)
838. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "All that is left from Prophethood is the glad tidings.'' He was asked what the glad tidings were, and he said, "The good dream.''
Commentary: Dreams are both pleasant and unpleasant or nightmarish. Sometimes a dream is based on truth and foreshadows a coming event. The significance of such a dream is realised at a moment when our vision flows into a real occurrence. Coming to the meaning of this Hadith, since the institution of Prophethood is abolished, Revelation too cannot descend upon anybody. Yet, one Prophetic vestige still exists and that means a prophetic dream about some future event. It may be with a good or bad omen, though this Hadith brings into focus dreams with good tidings alone.
839. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "When the time draws near (i.e., near the end of the world), the dream of a believer can hardly be false; and the dream of a believer represents one part from forty-six parts of Prophethood.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
One narration says: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The most truthful of you in their speech are those who see the truest visions.''
Commentary: According to the saying of Messenger of Allah (PBUH), in the last phase of this world, true believers will see dreams in which Allah will show them certain facts. Al-Muhallab said: The visions of the Prophets are true and those of the believers are mostly true because Satan does not overtake their hearts. As for the dreams of the disbelievers and the disobedient Muslims, they are mostly untrue because Satan has overtaken their hearts.
840. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "He who sees me in his dream will see me in his wakefulness (or he (PBUH) may have said it is as though he has seen me in a state of wakefulness), for Satan does not appear in my form.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim ].
Commentary: Two things are reported in this Hadith. The narrator forgets which of the two has been uttered by Messenger of Allah (PBUH). If it is the first, it means that a believer who saw Messenger of Allah (PBUH) in a dream would also see him on the Day of Resurrection. In a sense it verifies the veracity of the believer. In the case of the second, the sense is clear. Yet, Satan may also appear in a believer's dream under a saintly guise and put him into delusion that he has seen Messenger of Allah (PBUH). Every Muslim, therefore, is required to know the identity and features of Messenger of Allah (PBUH) so that Satan may not deceive him.
841. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard the Prophet (PBUH) saying, "When one of you sees a dream that he likes, then it is from Allah. He should praise Allah for it and relate it to (others).''
Another narration adds: Messenger of Allah(PBUH) said, "He should not report it except to those whom he loves. And if he sees one which he dislikes, then it is from the Satan. He should seek refuge in Allah against its evil and should not mention it to anyone. Then it will not harm him.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: There are clear instructions from Messenger of Allah (PBUH) about both good and bad dreams. A good dream means a good news sent by Allah to a person who has seen it. It should be related only to those who are close to his heart and not to such people who may start nourishing malice against him like the brothers of Prophet Yusuf (Joseph). A bad dream should be attributed to Satan and not be described to others because it often causes one to be pessimistic and it may be taken as a bad omen, which is not allowed in Islam. Rather, a man should seek Allah's Refuge against its evil. And if he puts faith in Allah, no harm will come to him.
842. Abu Qatadah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "A good vision (dream) is from Allah and a bad dream is from the Satan. He who sees something in a dream that he dislikes, should blow thrice on his left, must seek Allah's Refuge from the evil of the Satan (i.e., by saying: A`udhu billahi minash-Shaitanir-Rajim). Then it will not harm him.''
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
Commentary: As mentioned in the preceding Hadith, there are good dreams and bad dreams. This Hadith shows us what to do in order to avoid the evil of Satan who cannot harm anyone except by Allah's leave.
843. Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "When one of you sees a bad dream let him blow three times on his left, seek refuge in Allah from the Satan three times (i.e., by saying: A`udhu billahi minash-Shaitanir-Rajim) and change the side on which he was lying.''
Commentary: This Hadith makes an addition to the preceding ones, that is, on seeing a bad dream, one should change his side. If he is lying on his right side, he should turn to the left, and vice versa. By this precaution Allah will turn a bad dream into a good one by His leave.
844. Wathilah bin Al-Asqa` (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Of the worst lies are: to claim a false father, or to pretend to have seen what one has not seen (tell a false dream), or to attribute to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) what he has not said.''
Commentary: To disown one's father and attribute fatherhood to somebody else is a major sin, because apart from causing doubts and confusion in people's minds about one's blood, descent and character, this will give rise to social, moral and psychological problems as well. And of the same serious nature is the case where fabricated sayings and acts are attributed to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). Unfortunately, some unwary `Ulama', particularly the story-telling preachers, frequently indulge in uttering fabricated Ahadith. The warning equally holds good in case a man narrates a Hadith of a weak chain of transmission without pointing to its category. One should, therefore, refrain from recounting all Ahadith of such a category.
There are always some so-called `Ulama', ambitious of social distinction and fame, who have made tall claims on the basis of their dreams. They are audacious enough to claim that they unceremoniously see the Prophet (PBUH) and receive instructions from him. There also exist certain misguided people who justify their fantastic views on the basis of their dreams and repudiate the rightly-established beliefs and precepts. All this is baseless and nonsensical. Dreams cannot be made the touchstone of verifying what is lawful or unlawful, or what is true or untrue. What we need indeed are the tangible arguments of the Shari`ah.