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Does Allah Speak To Us Through Dreams?

Question and answer details
S (25_female_SA)
2014/06/07
As-salamu `alaykum. I've recently converted from Christianity to Islam. The person that introduced me to this wonderful faith I have corresponded with via the internet. I've only seen him on webcam recently and noticed that I have seen him before! In a dream I had a year and a half ago. This dream had a huge impression on me as it was filled with happiness, tranquility & love. In this dream I dreamt he was my husband. What does Islam believe...does Allah communicate to us through dreams? Should I read anything into this dream? Or is it my subconscious playing tricks on me? You could imagine my surprise when I saw him the first time and realize he was the man of my dream! Any advice/guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for providing this service!
Dr. ‘Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah
Answer

As-salamu `alaikum sister,

Alhamdulillah on your reversion. That is a really interesting situation you've got there! Yes, of course in Islam we believe that dreams can be meaningful but the scholars have warned us that not all dreams should be considered as such. There are many hadiths (Prophet’s sayings) about dreams as well as the well-known story of the Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) in the Qur'an. One well-known sahih hadith (authentic hadith) is the Prophet's saying: "A good dream (that comes true) of a righteous man is one of forty-six parts of prophethood." [Sahih al-Bukhari]

The great scholar Ibn Sirin was one of several experts on dream interpretation and even he mentions in his classical book on the same topic how difficult a science dream interpretation is. Even the most erudite scholars treated the subject very carefully. However, in your case, it sounds like something out of a movie! No, seriously, though, there is no reason to not follow up on it. Literally, you've met the man of your dreams! How often does that happen!


Here are some other interesting notes about dream interpretation:


There are 3 kinds of dreams in Islam:

-The truthful dream (rahmani)

-The dream stemming from personal desire (nafsani)
-The dream coming from the devil (shaytani)

General Rules for Dream Interpretation:

  • The first and most important rule of dream interpretation is to always remember that symbols may have different personal meanings for different individuals. As an example, one might dream of a horse. If, as a youngster, one had a horse and it was one of one's fondest childhood experiences, then dreaming of a horse could symbolize something far different than for someone who rode a horse only once in his life, was thrown badly and broke his collarbone.
  • The importance of a dream is usually in direct proportion to the impression it makes on the dreamer. Dreams that generally have little or no prophetic value are those that:
    - Occur during the first few hours of sleep;
    - Concern a person or event recently spoken of;
    - Result from external stimuli, such as a book just read or a film or television show just watched;
    -Result from illness, especially if medication is taken.
  • A question arises: is every dream that a believer sees good?
    Answer:
    Al Muhallab says, “Most of the dreams of the righteous people are good dreams because sometimes a righteous person could see a dream that is meaningless but that is not very frequent because shaytaan’s control on them is very weak. And the opposite is true with other people because shaytaan has a stronger grasp over them.
  • People are of three categories:

    1) The Prophets:
    all of their dreams are truthful and but sometimes they need interpretation. The good dream is divided into 2 categories:
    a) Direct dream: something one would see in a dream and the exact scene repeats itself in day-time when you are awake and this dream does not need interpretation.
    b) A dream that comes in symbols and it needs to be interpreted.

    2) The righteous:
    most of the time their dreams are truthful (most of them need to be interpreted) and sometimes their dreams are direct.

    3) Rest of the people:
    most of their dreams are not true but some of them could be true.” [Fath al-Bari bi Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari]

According to Ibn Sirin, if one wishes to have a prophetic dream then, "The sleeper, lying on the right side, will have abstained from all excess of food or of drink. He will have gone to sleep with a light heart, an easy conscience."

Now, I don't know if any of the above principles apply in your very unique case, but there are a lot of resources on dream interpretation from the Islamic perspective online. I would encourage you to do some exploration, but make sure you stick to authentic sources such as Ibn Sirin and other classical scholars. Here are some more for you to read up on:

- http://www.deenislam.co.uk/dreams/scienceofdreaminterpretation.htm

- http://www.ummah.com/forum/showthread.php?180687-Dreams-and-Dream-Interpretations

I think you should also do istikharah prayer (prayer seeking Allah’s guidance) to get more guidance on whether to pursue this relationship further, if of course that is what you have in mind. The dream may be a sign for you, but istikharah will help confirm it, insha-Allah.

Thank you for sharing that wonderful story!! Wassalam

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