The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said in a hadith:
According to Abu Hurara (RA), the prophet (saw) said “there are three types of dreams: a righteous dream which is glad tidings from Allah, the dream which cause sadness is from satan, and the dreams from the ramblings of the mind”. (Source: Sahih Muslim vol. 4, pg. 1224, no. 5621; Sahih Bukhari vol.9, pg. no. 116).
Everyone dreams, of course. Many times we dream and we do not remember the dreams in the morning. Most dreams may be of the third category, “ramblings of the mind”. There is nothing wrong with these dreams, they are simply a reflection of what happened to us during the day. It is most likely a healthy way of reflecting on what happened during the day.
True dreams, or “righteous dreams” are not so frequent. I however find that among the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community such dreams are well known. Other Muslims also have often “righteous dreams”, however, according to my experience it seems not so many of them have such dreams.
Christians, or other non-Muslims of course also may have true dreams, but may be often do not recognize them. I asked one Christian priest about it and he did not know anything about it. It seems that in his seminary (when studying to become a priest) this topic was not touched upon. I pointed out that true dreams are in the Bible also (Yusuf, Joseph), but he sort of thought that those events were ‘a long long time ago’.
For the interpretation of true dreams according to Islamic traditions the most known work is that by the legendary Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Sirin Al-Ansari (33-110H; a.d. 653–728), was, born in Basra, i.e. the 33rd year after Muhammad’s migration from Makkah to the then Yathrib, now Al-Madina.
May I request my colleagues, editors of the Muslim Times, to come up with some articles on this topic? (Inshallah, I will also write more on this topic).
Categories: Iraq, Islam, Saudi Arabia
Al Aleem God: The Bestower of true Dreams:
Revelation has had a very large role to play in human history. The evidence not only comes from religion but also science. This article was originally published in June, 2007 volume of Ahmadiyya Gazette USA:
Let me first introduce the subject of revelation in language and examples that are more familiar to my Western readers.
“Let us be silent that we may hear the whisper of God.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Prof. Mark W Muesse, in his lecture series Confucius, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad, describes the phenomenon of revelation or what others may prefer to call inspiration. He writes:
“I mentioned Bernard Shaw’s play about Joan of Arc, in which she claims to hear voices from god. Later in the play, as Joan is being interrogated for suspicion of heresy, she is asked by King Charles, ‘Why don’t the voices come to me? I am king, not you.’ Joan tells him:
‘They do come to you; but you do not hear them. You have not sat in the field in the evening listening for them. When the angelus rings you cross yourself and have done with it; but if you prayed from your heart, and listened to the thrilling of the bells in the air after they stop ringing, you would hear the voices as well as I do.’
As Joan suggests, there is nothing extraordinary about hearing the voice of God, but one needs to make the effort to listen.
Whether we call what we hear the voice of god or of conscience, the sound of silence or the rhythms of the breath, the lives of our four sages remind us of the necessity to stop and pay attention to our lives. Taking time to be quiet and attending to our lives need not result in some intense, enlightening religious experience. Indeed, such intense moments are rare. But it must be a regular practice, just as Muhammad stopped to pray five times a day and the Buddha meditated in the quiet of each night. It is simply a way to remind ourselves of what is really important, because we forget.”
My article talks about role of special inspiration bordering onto revelation in the development of science:
Thanks brother Zia. I knew you would have a lot of material on this topic!
This is indeed an important topic as Westerners really love it as it is so spiritual and really gives a sense of relation with the Divine. It is even more tasty than Buddhist philosophy 🙂
David Eagleman writes in ‘Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain’ published this year:
Scottish mathematician James Clerk Maxwell developed a set of fundamental equations that unified electricity and magnetism. On his deathbed, he coughed up a strange sort of confession, declaring that “something within him” discovered the famous equations, not he. He admitted he had no idea how ideas actually came to him—they simply came to him. William Blake related a similar experience, reporting of his long narrative poem Milton: “I have written this poem from immediate dictation twelve or sometimes twenty lines at a time without premeditation and even against my will.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe claimed to have written his novella The Sorrows of Young Werther with practically no conscious input, as though he were holding a pen that moved on its own.
And consider the British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He began using opium in 1796, originally for relief from the pain of toothaches and facial neuralgia—but soon he was irreversibly hooked, swigging as much as two quarts of laudanum each week. His poem “Kubla Khan,” with its exotic and dreamy imagery, was written on an opium high that he described as “a kind of a reverie.” For him, the opium became a way to tap into his subconscious neural circuits. We credit the beautiful words of “Kubla Khan” to Coleridge because they came from his brain and no else’s, right? But he couldn’t get hold of those words while sober, so who exactly does the credit for the poem belong to?
As Carl Jung put it, “In each of us there is another another whom we do not know.” As Pink Floyd put it, “There’s someone in my head, but it’s not me.”
No wonder the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, described true dreams to a small part of prophethood!
Assalamo alaikum wa rahmatullah wabarakatuhu.
In reference to Al Mubasshirat and true dreams, a friend of mine cited the following two hadiths and then asked the question that follows them:
Volume 9 : Book 87 : Hadith 119 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira:
I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “Nothing is left of the prophetism except Al-Mubashshirat.” They asked, “What are Al-Mubashshirat?” He replied, “The true good dreams (that conveys glad tidings).”
Volume 9 : Book 87 : Hadith 118 :
Narrated by Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri:
I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “A good dream is a part of the forty six parts of prophetism.”
Question: Does it mean that 45 out of 46 doors of prophethood are now closed and only 1 out of 46 doors, being that of Al Mubashshirat and true dreams, remains open?
At my end, I would also like to know if there is any special significance of the figure 46 in reference to the parts of prophethood.
Perhaps could someone possibly help me on this.
No new Sharia can be revealed, as God’s plan is always purposeful, and He revealed a perfect religion Islam already (Al Quran 5:4). However, according to the Holy Quran all forms of revelation continue:
“And whoso obeys Allah and this Messenger of His shall be among those on whom Allah has bestowed His blessings, namely, the Prophets, the Truthful, the Martyrs, and the Righteous. And excellent companions are these.” (Al Quran 4:70)