Shariah

Good Dreams, Bad Dreams: Interpretation and Reflections

Dealing with Dreams

Dreams may come under one of the three categories :

1. Visions or dreams that come from Allah.
2. Attempts by the Shaytan to frighten us
3. The workings of the subconscious mind.

These categories are found in the hadith narrated in Sahih Muslim. The Prophet ﷺ said:

“When the time (of the Day of Resurrection) draws near, a believer’s dream will 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:

(1) the good dream which is glad tidings from Allah;
(2) the bad dream which causes distress, which is from the Shaytan;
(3) and the dream which represents what a person is thinking about.

So if any one of you sees a dream which he does not like he should get up and pray, and not tell people about his dream…”

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“Dreams are of three types: some are terrifying things from the Shaytan, aimed at causing grief to the son of Adam; some are things that a person is concerned with when he is awake, so he sees them in his dreams; and some are a part of the forty-six parts of prophecy.” (Ibn Majah)

The Prophet ﷺ also said:

“Dreams are of three types: glad tidings from Allah, what is on a person’s mind, and frightening dreams from the Shaytan. If any of you sees a dream that he likes, let him tell others of it if he wishes, but if he sees something that he dislikes, he should not tell anyone about it, and he should get up and pray.” (Ibn
Majah)

There follow a number of authentic hadiths which describe how to deal with what one sees in one’s dream.

1 – The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“Good dreams come from Allah and bad dreams come from the Shaytan. If anyone sees a bad dream that scares him, let him spit dryly to his left and seek refuge with Allah from its evil, then it will not harm him.” (Bukhari)

2 – It was narrated that Abu Salamah said: I used to see such terrible dreams that that I began to shake and have a fever, but did not cover myself with a cloak until I met Abu Qutadah, and I mentioned that to him. He said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say,

`Good dreams come from Allah and bad dreams come from the Shaytan. If anyone sees a bad dream that he dislikes, let him spit dryly to his left three times and seek refuge with Allah from its evil, then it will not harm him.'” (Muslim)

3 – The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“If any one of you sees a dream that he dislikes, let him turn over, and spit dryly to his left three times and ask Allah of His goodness, and seek refuge with Him from its evil.” (Ibn Majah)

4 – It was narrated from Jabir that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

“If any one of you sees a dream that he dislikes, let him spit dryly to his left three times and seek refuge with Allah from the Shaytan three times, and turn over onto his other side.” (Muslim)

5 – The Prophet ﷺ told us the difference between good dreams and bad dreams. It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri that he heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say:

“If any one of you sees a dream that he likes, it is from Allah, so let him praise Allah for it and tell people about it. But if he sees something other than that, that he dislikes, it is from the Shaytan, so let him seek refuge with Allah from its evil and not mention it to anyone, for it will not harm him.” (Bukhari)

So it is clear that good dreams come from Allah and bad dreams which a person dislikes come from the Shaytan, so he has to seek refuge with Allah from their evil, just say ‘A-oodhu Billahi min ash-Shaitan ir-Rajeem (I seek refuge with Allah from the accursed devil).

6 – The Prophet ﷺ said:

“If any one of you sees something that he dislikes, let him get up and pray, and not tell people about it.” (Muslim)

7 – It was narrated from Jabir that a Bedouin came to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and said,

“I dreamt that my head was cut off and I was chasing it.” The Messenger of Allah ﷺ rebuked him and said: “Do not tell anyone how the Shaytan is messing about with you in your dreams.” (Muslim)

So we may sum up from these hadith the most important points about what a person should do if she sees a dream that he dislikes, as follows:

  1. She should know that this dream is from the Shaytan who wants to cause him grief, so she should annoy the Shaytaan by not paying any attention to him.
  2. She should seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan. Say: ‘A-oodhu Billahi min ash-Shaitan ir-Rajeem (I seek refuge with Allah from the accursed devil).
  3. She should seek refuge with Allah from the evil of this dream.
  4. She should spit dryly to his left three times, i.e., blowing with a little bit of saliva.
  5. She should not tell anyone about it.
  6. She should turn over from the side on which she was sleeping, so if she was lying on her left side she should turn over to her right side, and vice versa.
  7. She should get up and pray.

If a person adheres to this etiquette, then it is hoped that the bad dream will not harm the person.

And Allah knows best.


Feature Image Source: Flickr