Dreams in Islam

Section 1:


Dreams and


And He it is Who makes

The Night as a Robe

For you and Sleep as Repose,

And makes the Day

(As it were a Resurrection)

(XXV, 47)


It is Allah that takes

The souls (of men) at death;

And those that die not

(He takes) during their sleep;

Those on whom He

Has passed the decree

Of death, He Keeps back

(From returning to life),

But the rest he sends

(To their bodies)

For a term appointed.

Verily in this are Signs

For those who reflect

(XXXIX, 42)


A person who makes frequent mention of Allah Almighty, thinks about Allah Almighty, glorifies Allah Almighty and completely submits his or her will to Allah Almighty will, if Allah Almighty does will it, secure great reward after death in the Hereafter.’ The main argument presented in this work, however, is that even in this current, temporary life, Allah Almighty will give positive messages of His pleasure, or forthcoming reward in the next world, to persons who praise and glorify Him sincerely. Such messages will come to the person in the form of pleasing, or true, dreams. "Pleasing dreams" may be defined as "those after which the person feels satisfied and refreshed, and can ‘feel’ that his or her soul2 itself does sense happiness." "True dreams," a stage higher, are dreams which "know something of the future, since Allah Almighty has given, to the dreaming person, of His knowledge."3 These two types of dreams are confirmation, too, that the person concerned is on the right path, as far as Allah Almighty is concerned. A person can only have a true dream if he or she is spiritually very near to Allah Almighty. However, if a person is benefitting from good dreams, or true dreams, this does not imply security or immunity from the Fire of Hell, and the guarantee of Paradise. The person must be consistent in asking for forgiveness from Allah Almighty for his or her sins.4 For those who believe in Him, and obey Him, Allah Almighty is both a Friend and a Helper5—good dreams and true dreams prove this to be the case, since they are examples of His help and guidance.6 Thus, a person does not necessarily need to be a prophet or Imam7 to be close to his Creator.8

The subject of "dreams and nightmares" can be frightening, but there should be no fear if one believes in the power of Allah Almighty, and is aware that his or her soul goes to Allah Almighty at the time of sleep. Some may claim that they do not dream—this is not true since they do dream, only they cannot recall what they have dreamt. Scientists do tell us that everyone does dream,9 but some dreams are so vivid that they can be remembered for a long time afterward, as in the case of nightmares. Those who have angered’° Allah Almighty, or do not believe in Him, or do not remember Him, may find the prospect of death, and the experience of sleep, to be unpleasant. The time of sleep is similar to life in the grave. There can be torture or delight in the grave," and the same is true of sleep. Evildoers are tormented by snakes and scorpions in their graves. If one were to dig up a grave, only rotted bones and flesh might be discovered, and no snakes—this is obvious, since the punishment is spirituaL’2 In the same way, if we were to draw near to a person suffering the anguish of a nightmare, we would only see his or her body, or the tossing movements of the body. It would not be possible to "see" the nightmare, since the nightmare is spiritual—and the unseen world we cannot see. Hence, God, the Angels, the JInn, our souls and so on are all of the spiritual world and, therefore, invisible.

It is very true that sometimes dreams can be regurgitations of events in material life.’3 (These are the "suggestions of own mind" dreams, mentioned on page 21.) However, the concern in this work is with dreams of a religious nature, which are not simply regurgitations of religious practices, but which add new dimensions to the knowledge of a person, and confirm God’s appreciation of service, in the form of reward.’4 Dreams can seem to be confused and illogical. However, this is not so—they do have meanings, and they can be interpreted.

Now with (Joseph) there came
Into the prison two young men
Said one of them: "I see
Myself (in a dream)
Pressing wine." Said the other:
"I see myself (in a dream)
Carrying bread on my head,
and birds eating thereof."
"Tell us" (they said) "the truth
And meaning thereof: for we
See thou art one
That doth good (to all)"


He said: "Before any food
Comes (in due course)
To feed either of you,
I will surely reveal
To you the truth
And meaning of this
Ere it come to pass:
That is part of the (Duty)
Which my Lord hath taught me.
I have (I assure you)
Abandoned the ways
Of a people that believe not
In Allah and that (even)
Deny the Hereafter


"And I follow the ways
of my fathers,—Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob; and never
Could we attribute any partners
Whatever to Allah: that (comes)
Of the grace of Allah to us
And to mankind: yet
Most men are not grateful


"O my two companions
Of the prison! (I ask you):
Are many lords differing
Among themselves better,
Or the One Allah,
Supreme and Irresistible?


"If not Him, ye worship nothing
But names which ye have named—
Ye and your fathers,—
For which Allah hath sent you
No authority: the Command
Is for none but Allah: He
Hath commanded that ye worship
None but Him: that is
The right religion, but
Most men understand not.


"O my two companions Of the prison!
As to one Of you, he will pour out
The wine for his lord to drink:
As for the other, he will
Hang from the cross, and the birds
will eat from off his head,
(So) hath been decreed
That matter whereof
Ye twain do enquire..."

(XII, 36-46)

The King (of Egypt) said:
"I do see (In a vision)
Seven fat kine, whom seven
Lean ones devour,—and seven
Green ears of corn, and seven (others)
Withered. O ye chiefs!
Expound to me my vision
If it be that ye can
Interpret visions"


The said: "A confused medley

of dreams: and we are not

Skilled in the interpretation

Of dreams"


But the man who had been

Released, one of the two

(Who had been in prison)

And who now bethought him

After (so long a space of time),

Said: "I will tell you

The truth of its interpretation:

Send ye me (therefore)"


"O Joseph!" (he said),

"O man of truth! Expound

To us (the dream)

Of seven fat kine

Whom seven lean ones

Devour, and of seven

Green ears of corn

And (seven) others withered:

That I may return

To the people, and that

They may understand"


(Joseph) said: "For seven years

Shall ye diligently sow

As is your wont:

And the harvests that ye reap,

Ye shall leave them in the ear, -

Except a little, of which

Ye shall eat


"Then will come

After that (period)

Seven dreadful (years),

Which will devour

What ye shall have laid by

In advance for them,—

(All) except a little

Which ye shall have

(Specially) guarded


"Then will come

After that (period) a year

In which the people will have

Abundant water, and in which

They will press (wine and oil)."

(XII, 43-49)


(Joseph said)


"O My Lord! Thou hast

Indeed bestowed on me

Some power, and taught me

Something of the interpretation

Of dreams and events,—O Thou

Creator of the heavens

And the earth! Thou art

My protector in this world

And in the Hereafter;

Take thou my soul (at death)

As one submitting to Thy Will

(As a Muslim), and unite me

With the righteous."

(XII, 1O1)


Behold, Joseph said

To his father: "O my father!

I did see eleven stars

And the sun and the moon:

I saw them prostrate themselves

To me!"


Said (the father):

"My (dear) little son!

Relate not thy vision

To thy brothers, lest they

Concoct a plot against thee:

For Satan is to man

An avowed enemy!


"Thus will the Lord

Choose thee and teach thee

The interpretation of stories (and events)

And perfect His favour

To thee and to the posterity

Of Jacob—even as He

perfected it to thy Fathers

Abraham and Isaac aforetime!

For Allah is full of Knowledge

And Wisdom"

(XII, 4-6)


(Abraham said):

"O My Lord! grant me 

(A righteous son)!"


So we gave him

The good news

Of a boy ready

To suffer and forbear:


Then, when (the son)

Reached (the age of)

(Serious) work with him,

He said: "O my son!

I see in vision!*

That I offer thee in sacrifice:

Now see what is

Thy view!" (The son) said:

"O my father! Do

As thou art commanded:

Thou wilt find me,

If Allah so wills, one

Practicing patience and constancy!"

So when they had both

submitted their wills (to Allah)

And he had laid him

Prostrate on his forehead

(For sacrifice)


We called out to him,

"O Abraham!

Thou hast already fulfilled

The vision!"—thus indeed

Do we reward

Those who do right,


For this was obviously

A trial—


And we ransomed him

With a momentous sacrifice


And we left (this blessing)

For him among generations

(To come) in later times:


"Peace and salutation

To Abraham!"


Thus indeed do we reward

Those who do right,

For he was one

Of our believing servants.


And we gave him

The good news

Of Isaac—a prophet,—

One of the righteous.

We blessed him and Isaac:

But of their progeny

Are (some) that do right,

And (some) that obviously

Do wrong, to their own souls.

(XXXVII, 1OO-113)


*Vision = dream in which was contained a message from Allah Almighty


Since only one to whom Allah Almighty has given the power can interpret dreams correctly, to the average person dreams seem nonsensical to a certain extent, since he or she does not, in fact, possess the mental capability to perceive or to unravel their meaning. Dreams are, then, messages in a code superior to that with which the brain can cope in certain cases. However, other dreams may be very simple and true. There are many traditions regarding Hadith dreams.

Abu Qabada reported Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) (The Holy Prophet Muhammed) as saying: "The good visions are from Allah and the evil dreams are from Satan. If one sees a dream which one does not like, one should spit on one’s left side and seek the refuge of Allah from Satan; it will not do any harm, and one should not disclose it to anyone, and if one sees a good vision one should feel pleased but should not disclose it to anyone but whom one loves."

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) (The Holy Prophet Muhammed) as saying: "When the time draws near (when the Resurrection is near) a believer’s dream can hardly be false. And the truest vision will be of one who is himself the most truthful in speech, for the vision of a Muslim is the forty-fifth part of Prophecy, and dreams are of three types: One, a good dream which is a sort of good tidings from Allah; the evil dream which causes pain and is from Satan; and the third one is a suggestion of one’s own mind; so if any one of you sees a dream which he does not like he should stand up and offer prayer and he should not relate it to people…."


Commentary in Kitab al-Ruya


The problem of seeing dreams in sleep or a semi-wakeful state of mind is, from the point of view of psychology, a highly complex phenomenon about which much has been written. We need not go into the details of this phenomenon in the light of the modern or old theories of dreams. What we learn from the Quran and Hadith is that dreams are mainly of three types. One is the dream or the vision of the Prophets. These dreams are always true, as these are revelations from God to His Messengers (may Allah be pleased with them). So far as the dreams of the ordinary persons are concerned, these can be divided into two kinds. One is the vision seen by the noble and pious men in a state of mind when even in sleep the lower elements in the soul are dominated by the noble elements in man. Thus their dreams represent a truth. These types of dreams have been called as forty-fifth or forty-sixth or even seventieth part of prophecy.’5 These cannot be called authentic prophecies because no other human being, besides the Prophets, can have complete control over his lover elements in the state of sleep and thus remain absolutely free from its effects. There is, however, no denying the fact that the unconscious and subconscious mind of the noble man is dominated by noble longings and desires; he therefore receives in the dream suggestion from the Divine, but this suggestion is never held to the immune from error as is the case with the prophetic suggestions of the Prophets. The second type of dream which has been called HULM in the Quran and the Sunnah is in fact the expression of one’s suppressed carnal desires. This is what has been termed in the Hadith as a vision emanating from the devil.


Abu Huraira reported: I heard Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) as saying: "He who saw me in a dream in fact saw me, for Satan does not appear in my form."

Jabir reported Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) as saying: "There came to him (the Holy Prophet Peace be upon him) a desert Arab (who) said: ‘I saw in a dream that I had been beheaded and I had been following it (the severed head).’ Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) reprimanded him, saying: "Do not inform about the vain sporting of the devil with you during the night."

Samura bin Jundab reported that when Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) had performed his dawn prayer, he turned his face towards them (...the Companions) and said: "Did any one of you see any visions last night?"

Abu Musa reported Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) as saying:

"I saw in sleep that I was about to migrate from Mecca to a land abounding in palm trees and I guessed that it would be Yamama or Hajai, but it was the city of Yathrib (the old name of Medina), and I saw in this dream of mine that I was brandishing a sword and its upper end was broken and this is what fell (in the form of misfortune to the believers on the Day of Uhud). I brandished (the sword) for the second time and it became all right and this is what came to be true when Allah granted us victory and solidarity (of the believers). And I also saw therein cows, and Allah is the doer of good. These meant the group from among the believers on the Day of Uhud and the goodness which Allah brought after that and the reward of attestation of his Truth which Allah brought to us after the Day of Badr." (Muslim)

Some people were shown (in dreams) the night of Qadr as being in the last seven days (of the month of Rarnadhan). The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, "Seek it in the last seven days (of Ramadhan)."

The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "I have been given the keys of eloquent speech and given victory with awe (cast into the hearts of the enemy), and while I was sleeping last night, the keys of the treasures of the earth were brought to me till they were put in my hand."

The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "I saw myself (in a dream) near the Ka’ba last night, and I saw a man with whitish-red complexion, the best you may see amongst men of that complexion, having long hair reaching his earlobes, which was the best hair of its sort, and he had combed his hair and water was dropping from it, and he was performing the tawaf around the Ka’ba while he was leaning on two men or on the shoulders of two men. I asked, ‘Who is this man?’ Somebody replied, ‘(He is) Messiah, son of Mary.’ Then I saw another man with very curly hair, blind in the right eye, which looked like a protruding grape. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ Somebody replied, ‘(He is Masiah, Ad-Dajjal),’ or, ‘The anti-Christ.’

The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "Some of my followers were presented before me in my dreams as fighters in Allah’s cause, sailing in the middle of seas like kings on the thrones..."

Urn Al-Ala said, "....(I) saw in a dream a flowing spring for Uthman Bin Mazun, and told Allah’s Apostle (Peace be upon him) of that, and he said: ‘That flowing spring symbolizes his good deeds.’"

Narrated Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), "I heard Allah’s Apostle (Peace be upon him) saying: ‘While I was sleeping, I was given a bowl full of milk (in a dream), and drank it to my fill, until I noticed its wetness coming out of my nails, and I then gave the rest of it to Umar.’ They (the people) asked, ‘What have you interpreted (about the dream), O Allah’s Apostle?’ He (Peace be upon him) said, ‘It is (religious) knowledge."

The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "While I was sleeping, I saw (in a dream) the people being displayed before me, wearing shirts, some of which were so short that they reached as far as their breasts and some reached below that. Then Umar Al-Khattab was shown to me, and he was wearing a shirt which he was dragging (behind him)." They asked, "What have you interpreted about the dream, O Allah’s Apostle?" He (Peace be upon him) said: "The Religion."

Qais Bin Ubada saw in a dream that "...A post was fixed in a green garden. At the top of the post there was a handhold and below it there was a servant. I was asked to climb (the post). So I climbed it till I got hold of the handhold. Then I narrated this dream to Allah’s Apostle (Peace be upon him)...(who said that)..." (The person) will die while still holding the firm, reliable handhold of (Islam)."

The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) said to the lady Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her): "You were shown to me twice in (my) dream. Behold, a man was carrying you in a silken piece of cloth and (he) said to me, ‘She is your wife, so uncover her.’ And, Behold! It was you! I would then say to myself: ‘If this is from Allah, then it must happen.’"

Narrated Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), "I saw in a dream

a piece of silken cloth in my hand, and in whatever direction in Paradise

I waved it, it flew, carrying me there. I narrated this dream to my sister, Hafsa, and she told it to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) who said to her: ‘Indeed, your brother is a righteous man."

The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "While I was sleeping, I saw myself (in a dream) in Paradise. Suddenly I saw a woman performing ablution beside a palace. I asked, ‘For whom is this palace?’ The angels replied, ‘It is for Umar Bin Al-Khattab.’"

Narrated Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), "Men from the companions of Allah’s Apostle (Peace be upon him) used to see dreams during his lifetime, and they would narrate these to the Prophet (Peace be upon him), who would interpret them as Allah wished. I was a young man, and used to stay in the Mosque before my wedlock. I said to myself, ‘If there were any good in myself, I too would see what these people see.’

So when I went to bed one night, I said, ‘O Allah! If you see any good in me, show me a good dream!’ So while I was in that state, there came to me (in a dream) two angels. In the hand of each of them, there was a mace of iron, and both of them were taking me to Hell, and I was between them, invoking Allah, ‘O Allah! I seek refuge with You from Hell!’ Then I saw myself being confronted by another angel, holding a mace of iron in his hand. He said to me, ‘Do not be afraid, you will be an excellent man if you only pray more often.’ So they took me till they stopped me at the edge of Hell, and behold, it was built inside like a well and it had sideposts like those of a well, and beside each post there was an angel carrying an iron mace. I saw therein many people hanging upside down with iron chains, and I recognized therein some men from the Quraish. Then the Angels took me to the right side. I narrated this dream to my sister who told Allah’s Apostle. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, ‘No doubt, Ibn Umar is a good man.’ (The sister said, ‘Since [the dream] Ibn Umar prays much.’)"

The Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "The worst lie is that a person claims to have seen a dream which he has not seen."

A man came to Allah’s Apostle (Peace be upon him) and said: "I saw in a dream a cloud having shade. Butter and honey were dropping from it and I saw people gathering it in their hands, some gathering much and some a little. And behold, there was a rope extending from the earth to the sky, and I saw that you (The Prophet) held it and went up, and then another man held it and went up and after that another (third) held it and went up and after that another (fourth) man held it, but it broke and was then connected again." [(The Prophet (Peace be upon him) let Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) interpret the dream)], who said "The cloud with shade symbolizes (the religion of) Islam, and the butter and honey dropping from it symbolizes the Holy Quran, its sweetness dropping and some people learning much of the Quran and some a little. The rope which is extended from the sky to the earth is the truth which you (The Prophet) are following. You follow it and Allah e will raise you high with it, and then another man will follow it and will rise up with it and another person will follow it and then another man will follow it but it will break and then be connected for him and he will rise up with it...." (Bukhari)

What is the role of dreams in Islam? This question can be answered, to some extent, by the following diagram:


In Islam, the stages S1B and S3 are considered to be very similar. The Holy Prophet, Peace be upon him (The Holy Prophet Muhammed), is reported to have said that "Sleep is the brother of death." Man exists in this present life because he is being tested, with regard to his degree of righteousness, or evil, by Allah Almighty.

Blessed be He (Allah),

In Whose Hands

Is Dominion;

And He over all things

Hath Power; -


He who created death

And life, that He

May try which of you

Is best in deed

and He is the Exalted

In Might, Oft-Forgiving:

(LXVII, 1-2)


Notes to the diagram above

1. "Nor will they there (in Paradise) taste death, except the first death

(XLIV, 56)

2. The prayer to be read when awakening from sleep is: "All praise to Allah Almighty who gave me life (consciousness) after death (sleep), and towards him is our rising again, (at the time of the resurrection)."

3. "Out of it (the earth) We created you, and We shall restore you into it and bring you forth from it a second time."

(XX, 55)

4. "Grave" is a connotation—one may have drowned in the sea, but he or she will still undergo the "Life in the Grave"; hence, this is a stage, or phase, rather than a literal, and rigid, meaning.

5. This free will is possible only through the allowance, or permission, or Allah Almighty, for a fixed period of time.

The end result of this test is either Mercy and reward, or Wrath and punishment. Genuine messages from Allah Almighty will confirm reward.

Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) said: "The first revelation that was granted to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) was the true dream in a state of sleep,’6 so that he never dreamed a dream but the truth of it shone forth like the dawn of the morning...."

In tradition it is related that there was a very pious Muslim, who used to read the TASLIYA or DARUD 100 times every night. One night he saw in his dream that the Holy Prophet, Peace be upon him (The Holy Prophet Muhammed), came into his room and said: "(I want to kiss your mouth, with which you send blessings upon me)." The Holy Prophet had brought with him a beautiful smell, like perfume. The Holy Prophet, Peace be upon him (The Holy Prophet Muhammad), kissed the pious man’s mouth, and the dream ended. When the man awoke the "perfume-smell" of the dream was actually in his room,’7 and it stayed there for eight days.

Bearing in mind that good dreams from Allah Almighty will give tidings of reward, the question has to be asked, "How does one try to get a good dream?" or rather, "How can one please Allah sufficiently that he or she might get a good dream?" The answer lies in the vast number of valuable prayers and supplications that the Holy Quran and Hadith provide us with. These must be recited sincerely and frequently. One must be religious, from the heart, and must intend to glorify Allah Almighty because He is the Owner of Sovereignty, and because He created him or her out of nothing. Allah Almighty, out of His Mercy, has given to every creature the pleasure of life—Glory is due to Him.’8 It is imperative for the person seeking good dreams to make the crucial effort—he or she must borrow or buy the Holy Quran, translations, Islamic books, and must try to understand religion. Then remembrance of Allah will follow naturally and willingly and so, too, will pleasant sleep and pleasant dreams.

The aspirer to Islamic dreams must also read certain meritorious

prayers regularly and with faith. Examples of such prayers maybe found

in Dreams 50, 54, and 136 in this book.

Moreover, the following is another example of a beneficial supplication. The Holy Prophet, Peace be upon him (The Holy Prophet Muhammed), has stated that whoever recites: "ALLA HUMMAGH FIR LIL MU’MINEENA WAL MU’MINAAT WAL MUSLIMEENA WAL MUSLIMAAT (0 Allah! Forgive all the believing men and all the believing women, and (forgive) all the Muslim men and all the Muslim women)" twenty-seven times, will become one of the (elite) group of creatures for the sake of which Allah Almighty provides sustenance for the whole world.

There are many other prayers by virtue of which Paradise, castles, palaces, trees, rivers, mansions, hurs, goblets, fruit and so on, can be revealed. It must be noted here that no one can ever see the real Paradise in his or her dreams. The dreams from Allah Almighty, though beautiful and satisfying, cannot reveal the actual joys of Paradise. The Holy Prophet, Peace be upon him (The Holy Prophet Muhammed), has said:

"In Paradise is what no eye has seen, (what) no ear has heard, and (what) the mind of man cannot conceive."’9 However, good dreams can bring the message2° that, all things being equal (that is to say, that the person does not commit a major sin), these actual joys are forthcoming.

Examples of the Fact that Good Dreams Give Tidings of Reward

An eminent Shaikh has said: "One night I was in a deep sleep and could not get up for Tahajjud.2’ I saw in my dream a girl of such beauty as I had never seen in my life. She was emitting such fragrance as I had never smelt before. She handed over to me a piece of paper on which were written three couplets which meant, ‘You were so enamored of deep sleep that you became unmindful of the high balconies of Paradise, where you have to abide forever with no fear of death. Wake up! It is better to recite the Quran in Tahajjud than to sleep.’ Since then, whenever I feel sleepy, these couplets come to my mind and the sleep goes away."

Shaikh Abdul Wahid (may Allah be pleased with him) has said: "One day I was so much overpowered by sleep that I went to bed before finishing my ‘Zikr’ for the night. I saw in my dream a most beautiful girl dressed in green silk. All parts of her body and even her shoes were engaged in ‘Zikr.’ She said to me, ‘Aspire to possess me; I love you.’ And then she recited a few couplets depicting the eagerness of a lover. When I woke up from the dream, I vowed not to sleep any more during the night." It is reported that for a full forty years he never slept at night, and said ‘Isha’ and ‘Fajr’ Salat with the same Wudhu.

Shaikh Mazhar Sa’adi (Rahmatullah Alaih), the famous pious man, kept weeping in the course of sixty years in love and eagerness for Allah. One night he saw in a dream a few damsels by the side of pearl trees with gold branches, on the bank of the brook brimming with fluid must—pure and fragrant. The girls were hymning the glory of Allah. He asked their identity. In reply they recited two couplets, which meant, "We have been created by the Sustainer of mankind and Lord of Muhammed, peace be upon Him, for those people who keep standing before Allah all night long and hymning in supplication to him." (Khandlawi)

Rabia’s father fell asleep in great distress because when his daughter was born, there was no oil or lamp, or cloth with which to wrap the newborn child. He dreamt that the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him) appeared to him in his sleep and said, "Do not be sorrowful, for this daughter, who is born, is a great saint, whose intercession will be desired by seventy thousand of my community. Tomorrow send a letter to Isa Zadhan, Amir of Basra, reminding him that every night he is wont to pray one hundred prayers to me and on Friday night four hundred but, this Friday night, he has neglected me and as a penance (tell him) that he must give you four hundred Dinars, lawfully acquired."

Rabia narrated the following dream: "One night while I was sleeping... (I entered) a green park containing palaces22 and beautiful plants. While I was wandering about in it, astonished at its beauty, I saw a green bird and a maiden pursuing it as if she wished to take it, and her beauty distracted me form its beauty and I said, ‘What do you want with it? Leave it alone, for truly I have never seen a bird more beautiful than that." Then she said, "Shall I show you something more beautiful than that?’ . ..She took my hand and led me round that garden until she brought me to a gate of a palace.. .and from the door were cast rays from a candlestick, the light of which shone before and behind me...! entered the house in which the sight was dazzled by the beauty of it...and there met us a band of servants, with faces like pearls."

One of the Saint’s followers, a Sufi, relates: "I was invoking Rabia in prayer and I saw her in a vision, and she said: ‘Your offerings are presented to us on trays of light, covered with veils of light." (Smith)

The Use of Dreams23


The dreams which follow are fascinating and illuminating. Many of them warn of punishment and others give tidings of rewards, while yet others reveal that only Almighty Allah must be beseeched for help and guidance, since only He has the Power to do all things.

Many dreams reveal the importance of certain meritorious prayers and others reveal more about the life in the grave, Day of Judgement, love of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him), the Hereafter, as well as the merits of seeking knowledge.

The list of aspects dealt with in dreams is too extensive to mention, let alone to discuss. The reader should, however, be able to read the dreams and feel that his or her soul is refreshed and its mission in life strengthened. It is fervently hoped that the reader himself or herself begins to experience such spiritually-satisfactory dreams, but if this is not possible straightaway, then at least he or she will experience more pleasant sleep.

Those dreams which are relatively easy to understand and to deduce have been selected, and they have been paraphrased, edited and rephrased, although both the essence and structure are precisely those of the original narrations. It has been noted that these dreams must not always be taken literally—the interpretation is not always as straightforward as it seems. Rather, it is necessary to appreciate that those objects which are pleasing in these dreams are actually representations of Allah Almighty’s favours. Thus, if a dream contains the vision of a stately mansion, or beautiful wife, or magnificent fruits, trees, crowns, children, and so on, this implies Allah Almighty’s estimation of the form of the good deeds. Hence, the dreamer sees himself, or herself, performing the Salat, or giving Zakat, performing the Hajj, keeping the fast, or celebrating Eid in splendid surrounds which are, in fact, the worth of his or her praise to, glorification of, and supplication to, Allah Almighty. The dreams are messages of that which lies ahead, in the Hereafter, for the person concerned, as a reward for his or her righteousness. Consequently, the person does wake up from such a dream happy at heart, sensing that Allah Almighty, if He does Will, will confer His favours. The same situation, as that of dreams, is evident in the life in the grave.24 The Holy Quran itself reveals information in the same "code" as the dreams. "Gardens underneath which flow rivers,"25 "Every kind of fruit,"26 "Beautiful-eyed companions"27 are some of the phrases which represent the ultimate (or rather, semi-ultimate since the pleasure of the vision of Allah Almighty is the ultimate) happiness. The promises of the Holy Quran, the tidings of the Hadith, and the messages of the good dreams all symbolize Utopia, in Paradise, in the form of worldly comparisons and metaphors—hence the (description of Heavenly and Pure Maidens whom the Almighty Sovereign has created as reward for His righteous servants) "Like unto rubies and coral,"28 is similarly symbolic to the sight of the "Golden Palaces" or "Spiritual Fruits" in the dreams. The argument, then, is that, with regard to the dreams that follow, prestigious and honour-conferring items of this present life, such as precious metals (for example, gold and silver and ruby), royalty (crown, throne, palace), aristocracy (mansion, wealth) and noble family (beautiful wife, children) are used as recognisable representatives, or symbols, of Utopia or near-Utopia, which itself cannot be otherwise described, since it is beyond human comprehension. In comparison to the Rea1ity29 (the actual or "real" reward in the Hereafter), such worldly symbols are merely trivia, insignificant.30


The contents of the dreams in this study were obtained by means of author (interviewer) - contributor (interviewee) interviews. Since the author was well-acquainted with, and in some cases related to, the contributors, such interviews were relaxed and informal. The author jotted down the information of the dreams extremely quickly and untidily, but accurately; he later edited, linguistically improved and refined the original narrations, being especially careful not to alter the essence or impact, and specific details, of these very dreams. During the course of each interview, the author used the technique of "probing" to clarify details, extract further information from the interviewee, and even to assist him or her in the recall of specific events and descriptions. For example, if the interviewee stated: "Mr. M entered his Palace in Paradise," the author would ask questions such as: "What was Mr. M wearing?" or, "Describe the Palace," or again, "What was inside the Palace?"


In this study, the author has presented a few of all the dreams which the contributors have dreamt. Only those which are "Islamic," directly or indirectly, have been presented. The presentation of such selected material, however, is not to deny that one or all of the contributors have suffered from "negative" or "evil" dreams—the opposite of "Islamic" dreams. The concern of this work is not with such dreams—the aim is to make the reader appreciate, and desire, "Islamic" dreams, those which illustrate the Mercy of Allah Almighty (Glory be to His Exalted Sovereignty).

Notes Section One




















8. Say: Shall I seek for (My) cherisher other than God, when He is the cherisher of all things (that exist)? (VI, 164)

9. Dreams are most likely to occur during REM (R.E.M.—Rapid Eye Movements) sleep (intensive sleep). If the dreaming person’s eyelids are lifted back, then the eyes would be seen responding to stimuli, that is, as if seeing and participating in events.

10. This is the translation of the prayer to be read following a nightmare. "I seek protection in the full words of Allah Almighty, from His anger and from His grip and from the mischief of devils and also seek protection from the approach of devils." (Dehlivi)

11. One who has done good deeds will find his or her grave to be a spacious, pleasant garden, whereas an evildoer will be crushed by the grave and stung by snakes and scorpions. HADITH of Holy Prophet Peace be upon him. (The Holy Prophet Muhammed)

12. "Material" can be defined as "of this current, physical world." "Spiritual" can be defined as "of the unseen world," "of the world of soul."

13. This is the main argument of Freud and Jung.

14. God is "Ready to Appreciate Service" (The Holy Quran) For He will pay them their need, nay, He will give them (even) more out of His bounty...for He is oft-forgiving, most ready to appreciate(service). 
(XXXV, 30)

15. This difference depends upon the difference in the standard of piety of persons who see good visions. The more pious a person is, the closer he is to Allah and celestial beings, and thus more pious are the visions that he sees.

16. True dreams are promised to the righteous in worldly life: 
Those who believe 
And (constantly) guard 
Against evil, 

For them are Glad Tidings, 
In the life of the Present 
And in the Hereafter.
(X, 63-64)

17. This implies that dreams are actual happenings (they happen in the spiritual world, not the material world), and may be tangible in the physical world. Hence, it is wrong to say "It was only a dream," since the dream was real and sinte the eternal world will follow a spiritual life in the grave, which will also resemble a dream, but which will also be "real."

18. It is He Who brought you
Forth from the wombs

Of your mothers when

Ye knew nothing; and He

Gave you hearing and sight

And intelligence and affections:

That ye may give thanks

(To Allah)

(XVI, 78)

19. That is to say, the laws of Nature which shape life on Earth will not apply to life Hereafter. For example, the concepts of "time" and "space" will be non-existent. Note also that in some of the dreams, it has been narrated that the boughs of the trees lean down and offer their fruit. This is confirmation that laws in the next world will be very different and not "natural" or "inevitable" or "impossible" as in this current world. Praise is due to Allah who can create and sustain as He Wills.

20. The Holy Prophet, Peace be upon him, has said that: "The truest dream is that (dreamt) around (the time of) daybreak. (Tirmidhi)

21. Optional prayer read during the night.

22. Please compare the italicized features with those of the dreams presented in this study.

23. Note: The contributors have decided to remain anonymous because they do not wish to boast of their piety or faith. They realise that they have to be successful at the time of death and much needs to be done.

24. One of the saints saw in sleep a hideous form, and he said, "Who art thou?" It answered, "I am thy misdeeds!" He said, "And how can I be delivered from thee?" It said, "By much calling down of blessing on the The Holy Prophet Peace be upon him (The Holy Prophet Muhammed)." (Padwick)

25. As to those who believe

And work righteousness,

Verily we shall not suffer

To Perish the reward

Of any who do

A (single righteous deed).

26. For them will be Gardens

Of Eternity; beneath them

Rivers will flow; they will

Be adorned therein

With bracelets of gold,

And they will wear

Green garments of fine silk

And heavy brocade;

They will recline therein

On raised thrones.

How good the recompense!

How beautiful a couch

To recline on!

The Holy Quran (XVIII 30, 31)

27. As to the Righteous

(They will be) in

A position of Security

Among Gardens and Springs;

Dressed in fine silk

and in rich brocade,

They will face each other;

So; and We shall

Join them to Companions

With beautiful, big,

And lustrous eyes.

There can they call

For every kind of fruit

In peace and security

(XLIV, 5 1-55)

28. In them (the Gardens) will be (Maidens),

Chaste, restraining their glances

Whom no man or Jinn

Before them has touched;

Then which of the favours

Of your Lord will ye deny?

Like unto rubies and coral,

Then which of the favours

Of your Lord will ye deny?

Is there any Reward

For Good—other than Good?

(LV, 56-60)

29. All men are asleep (in this world);
only when they die, do they wake up." (IBN ARABI)

An excellent discussion regarding the so-called "reality" of this current world and the "Absolute Reality" of the Hereafter, as presented by Ibn Arabi in his FASUS AL-HIKAL ("The Bezels of Wisdom"), is cited by Toshihiko Izutsu in, "Sufism and Taoism: Study of Key Philosophical Concepts," University of Califormia Press, 1983.

Life before death is a dream, but life after death is the Reality. Life on Earth is a dream, an illusion, a mirage, but life after death is eternal and perpetually real.

30. In other words, this present life, and all it offers, is nothing, or very little, when compared to the Hereafter:

What is the life of this world

But amusement and play?

But verily the home

In the Hereafter,—that is

Life indeed, if they but knew

(XXIX, 64)


31. Referred to as "Y" in this book.


32.Percentages have been calculated to the nearest 0.1%.

Dream No. 184 was a late addition and has not been included in the above statistics.


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