Have you ever wondered what your dreams mean? Dreams, often dismissed as unimportant or meaningless, actually have a lot of significance in Islam. In this blog post we will explore the interpretation of dreams in Islam and how they are more than just random images from our subconscious mind.
Dream interpretations in Islam
Islam is a faith based on the teachings of prophet Muhammad (pbuh), may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, which he received from Allah (God). These teachings are called the Qur’an. Muslims believe that every word in this book came directly from God and should be followed to lead one’s life by Islam. One piece of Islamic wisdom you may not know about is dream interpretation!
The Qur’an mentions that “Your Lord reveals what He wills in His mercy unto you.” It was through this divine revelation during sleep. Muslims believe God revealed not only prophecies but also messages about their daily lives. In Islam, it is believed that everything happens according to God’s will no matter how unpleasant it may seem and every event occurring has its reason or wisdom behind it.
Dream interpretation, or oneiromancy, has become an established science in Muslim literature. Muslims use the Arabic terms Tabir or Tafsir to describe dream interpretation. It is an important branch of Ulum al Khafiyyah (Occult sciences).
The Qur’an itself draws our attention to the importance of the phenomenon of dreams. Indeed it makes mention of no less than seven, and, perhaps, as many as nine dreams! In all the dreams mentioned in the Qur’an there is the fulfillment of a Qur’anic promise of divine communication reaching us in the form of dreams.
Types of dreams and their interpretations in Islam
In Islamic point of view dreams come as images, phrases or even whole stories; they might repeat themselves over time like symbols or patterns.
Muslims consider some dreams to be a kind of spiritual perception. One Hadith says that the Prophet (pbuh) said, “A good dream vision of a pious man is a forty six parts of prophecy” (Sahih Muslim 2263). Another Hadith by the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said, “True dreams (ru’ya) is from Allāh and a bad dream (hulm) is from Satan; so if one of you sees anything (in a dream which he dislikes), he should spit on his left side thrice and seek refuge with Allāh from its evil, then it will never harm him And he/she should not mention it to anybody!” (Sahih al-Bukhari, 3118).
In Islam, there are three types of dreams. These can be interpreted differently depending on the context in which they occur:
Good Dreams in Islam
Good dreams are from Allah Ta’aala (God). Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “If anyone of you has a dream that he likes then it is from Allah. He should thank Allah for it and narrate it to others.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari) Good deeds consist of people doing Halaal (lawful) acts.
True believers are more likely to have good dreams. Those who are truthful in their lives as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “Those of you with the truest dreams will be those who are most truthful in speech” (Sahih Muslim).
Also He (S) told us, “Nothing is left of prophethood except glad tidings.” Those with him asked, “What are glad tidings?” He (S) replied, “Good dreams.”
God-sent dreams often come to people who have been good Muslims or those devoted to Allah. These images usually take the form of an angel coming to tell them something they need for their spiritual life.
Bad Dreams in Islam
The interpretation for bad dreams can vary depending on the type of dream, but they are usually seen as warning signs or harbingers of misfortune.
Abu Hurayrah narrated Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) saidwhat to do upon seeing a bad dream. “So when one of you sees a dream which he does not like, he should spit on his left side three times, seek refuge with Allah from Shaytaan thrice, and change the side which he was lying (Sahih Muslim).
False or Unclear Dreams in Islam
False dreams are not considered a bad omen in Islam. There is no mention of false dream interpretation in the Qur’an or hadith, and Muslims believe that Allah only sends good omens to believers.
It has been found that many people do not remember their false dreams correctly after waking up from them so this may be why there is no mention of it in any Islamic sources.
Meaning of Good or Bad Dream in Islam
A dream that is interpreted to be good in Islam has a hidden meaning of goodness, piety and success.
One verse in the Qur’an says, “And among His signs is your sleep by night and by day and your seeking of His bounty, verily in that are signs for those who hearken” (Sūra: 30, verse: 23)
Muslims believe in the existence of jinn, which Satan is amongst them, can enter one’s dreams to try to deceive him. That is why interpreting dreams is so dangerous in Islamic traditions. For instance, one might see a certain individual washing clothes in his dream and then, according to what has been mentioned, consider him righteous and want to learn from him. But, what if Satan put that in his dream to deceive him?
The best way to understand dreams according to Islamic scholars is through the guidance given by people with knowledge about symbolic interpretation about dreams.
Famous Islamic interpreters throughout history
There are many Islamic interpreters who have devoted much of their lives to interpreting dreams. Below is a list of some famous ones through history:
Sunni Dream Interpreter
– Ibn Sirin (AD 700) was the most famous Arabic dream interpreter from Baghdad and authored the book “Dreams in Islam.” One was Mohammad Ibn Sirin (714-768 CE). In his book “Great Book of Interpretation of Dreams” he explains that it is possible to dream about a future event in order to find out what will happen if one follows through on a certain course or path. He also said that sometimes people can see events before they occur so as not to be caught off guard when they do come true.
– Ibn Arabi (1165 AD) was born to Andalusian parents in Murcia, Spain before they moved back to their homeland. His writings were mainly poetry but he also authored some books on Islamic philosophy which discussed subjects such as unity with God or knowing oneself through dreams. One theory from this writer is that sometimes seeing someone who died can be interpreted as if one has seen them alive again and momentarily forgetting that they died.
– Muhammad al-Bukhari (AD 256) wrote a book about dream interpretation in Islam. He was an Iraqi and compiled the Hadith of Bukhari, one of the six major hadith collections recognized by Sunni Muslims. The term “dream” is mentioned eleven times in his work.
– Al Ghazali, also known as Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazzali (AD 1110 – 1505), was born in Tus, Iran and wrote extensively on dream interpretation. His writings were mainly directed at Muslims seeking enlightenment or those struggling with various forms of spiritual illness. He focused particularly on people living within Sufi orders where activity centered largely around personal development though selfless service towards others. Al Ghazali was not interested in dream interpretation as a means of telling the future or predicting one’s destiny.
Shia Dream Interpreter
In Shia Islam (branch of Islam), the interpretation of dreams is not a religious duty and only practiced by some in their leisure time. In this branch of Islam, any dream that one has might be interpreted as long as it does not contradict Islamic teachings. This is because the Quran says: “And so we show forth our signs (ayat) unto a people who are blind” (Quran 13:18).
The most famous Shia dream interpreter was Imam Jafar Al-Sadiq, who was the sixth Shia Imam. He interpreted many dreams, but his interpretations are only known through quotations attributed to him by later authors of encyclopedias and books on dream interpretation such as Al-Nawawi’s “Tahdhib al Asma’ wal Lughat” which is a famous lexicon about words in Arabic language with meanings and etymologies.
Islamic dream interpretation vs biblical dream interpretations
Biblical dream interpretations are a matter of faith in the Bible. Thus, there is no single answer to what dreams mean because it is up to each individual to interpret their own personal meaning from their dream experiences. Islamic dream interpretation replaces biblical scripture with the Quran as its source for trying to understand any given dream’s meaning or significance. The Quran does not give specific guidelines on how to interpret dreams but instead offers general principles that can be applied by practicing Muslims seeking guidance about their sleep-time memories.
When it comes to dream interpretations, many religions have their own way of interpreting them and with the passage of time other cultures might come up with different types of meanings for dreams. What is important is that you follow your faith’s teachings when trying to interpret a dream because every single person has an individual interpretation of what they see in their sleep.