Dreams are apart of our life. When we sleep, they transport us to far off lands, make us experience magical times, and at times scare us with our worst fears. We all see dreams but what are they? And what do they mean Islamically?
I recently came across the tafseer of surah Yusuf by Sh Yasir Qadhi and it discusses in detail what dreams in Islam mean. That gave me an idea of compiling the information in a post that focuses on dreams.
Types of Dreams
Dreams are of three types:
- Hadith’l-nafs – Dreams from your imagination
- Mubashiraat – Dreams from Allah
- Huloom – Dreams from Shytan
Hadith’l-nafs – Dreams from your imagination
If we are constantly thinking about something for example our work tasks and we go to sleep and see ourselves working in the dream, it is hadith’l-nafs. Meaning our own imagination. Whatever our mind is occupied with, it does at times become a part of our dream. If we have a presentation to give the day after, we might dream that we are doing it.
This type of dream is not good or bad. It is just a part of our imagination.
Also read: Health and Islam
Mubashiraat – Dreams from Allah
“Nothing has been left of nubuwwa other than mubashiraat.” The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) was asked, “What are mubashiraat , ya Rasulillah?” He (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “A dream that you see. Either you or somebody else sees you in it.”Tirmidhi
These dreams are good dreams which are from Allah ta’ala. They are positive. If you see something good in a dream and it happens, it was a good vision from Allah ta’ala. The vision can be symbolic which is the more common way. The sign is that you will wake up happy and positive.
Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “When you see such a dream from Allah [the beautiful dream, mubashirat], don’t tell anyone except someone whom you trust.”
We shouldn’t tell everyone about a good dream but only the people whom we trust that they have good intentions for us. This is because some might get jealous.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “A true good dream is from Allah, and a bad dream is from Satan.”Sahih al-Bukhari 6984
Huloom – Dreams from Shytan
These are nightmares, the dreams that make us terrified. It can be anything that is evil or scares us. All of such dreams are from shaytan and we shouldn’t believe in them.
If we believe in such a dream then shaytan becomes happy that he caused us to be fearful.
What to do? According to hadeeth, if we get a nightmare, we should say auzubillah and spit (lightly without the spit coming out) on our left side 3 times. If the dream is particularly bad then we should wake up and pray 2 raka’hs.
Don’t Tell Anyone: Whatever you do, do not tell anyone about a bad dream, not your spouse, not your friends, not anyone.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “If anyone of you sees a dream that he likes, then it is from Allah, and he should thank Allah for it and narrate it to others; but if he sees something else, i.e., a dream that he dislikes, then it is from Satan, and he should seek refuge with Allah from its evil, and he should not mention it to anybody, for it will not harm him.”Sahih al-Bukhari 6986
Can anyone interpret dreams?
The dream interpretation isn’t something that can be taught or transferred through books. If someone is blessed with the ability to interpret dreams, it is a gift from Allah.
“A dream that has not been interpreted is like a bird flying above you. As soon as someone interprets it, the bird will fall down.”Hadith
Precaution should be exercised when interpreting a dream. Or stay quiet if you don’t know anything. The second thing is to come up with a good interpretation.
How can we know if someone can interpret dreams? The answer is experience.
If someone interprets dreams for family and friends and the interpretations turn out to be right and that person is a God-fearing Muslim, it may be that Allah has blessed him with the special knowledge.