We are in the blessed days of Dhul Hiijjah, and Muslims all around the world have been celebrating Eid-ul-Adha, which is a pertinent place to begin this article. This is the time of year we remember the story of the Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH), and his sacrifice of his son, Ishmael (PBUH). We all know the story, and it is one we remember fondly this time every year as we do our ritual sacrifice and give Qurbani. What is of particular interest, for the purposes of this article, is the fact it was through a series of recurring dreams that Allah communicated his wish for Ibrahim to make his sacrifice. That is, his dream was the means, the vehicle of Allah communicating to his Prophet.
Here is the divine command which came to Ibrahim in a dream:
“We gave him the good news of a gentle son. And when he reached the age when he could work with him his father said to him: My son, I dreamt that I was sacrificing you. Tell me what you think (i.e., tell me what is your response). He replied: Father, do as you are bidden. Allah willing, you shall find me one of those who are steadfast. And when they had both surrendered themselves to Allah’s will and Abraham had laid down his son prostrate upon his face, We called out to him, saying: Abraham, you have fulfilled your dream. Thus did We reward the righteous. That was indeed a trial, clear in itself. We ransomed him with a tremendous sacrifice and bestowed on him (the praise) of later generations. Peace be on Abraham!” (Qur’an: al-Saffat:-37:99–109)
This is just one example of the importance of dreams throughout history. In the above case, a dream was used by Allah to convey an important instruction.
There are many examples of dreams in the Qur’an and Hadith which convey how dreams have historically been a significant means of communication by Allah to his chosen people. The purpose of the dreams can vary, however. Here is another example:
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said of the Prophet receiving revelation:
“The beginning of the revelations to the Apostle of Allah (SAW) was in the form of true dreams. He did not have a dream but it came to him like daybreak.”
This tells us another use of dreams was for it to be a means of receiving revelation from Allah.
A third example, is from Surah Yusuf in the Qur’an where the Prophet Joseph (Yusuf, PBUH) had a dream in which he saw the sun, the moon and eleven stars prostrating themselves before him. His father, the Prophet Jacob (Yaqub, PBUH), immediately understood the significance of the dream (that his son was destined for greatness) and warned him not to disclose it to his brothers for fear that they might harm him:
The dream of Yusuf was eventually fulfilled many, many years later when his father, mother and all eleven brothers came to Egypt:
“Then when they entered the presence of Joseph, He provided a home for his parents with himself, and said: Enter ye Egypt (all) in safety if it please Allah. And he raised his parents high on the throne (of dignity), and they fell down in prostration (all) before him. He said: O my father! This is the fulfilment of my dream of old! Allah has made it come true!” (Qur’an: Yusuf:12:99–100)
This dream was different in that it was one that needed to be interpreted. But more significantly, it shows us that another function of dreams are that they can also prophesise future events. Events seen in a dream may belong even to the very distant future (as in this case), and such dreams may also employ symbols which require interpretation.
Dreams in Islam is a difficult topic to discuss with credibility. 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 actually is. Even the most erudite scholars treated the subject very carefully:
Ibn Qutaybah ad-Dinawari mentioned in his book about dreams and dream interpretations:
“There is nothing in which people deal with from the different sciences that is more obscure, delicate, exalted, noble, difficult and problematic than dreams because they are a type of revelation and type of Prophethood.”
It is important to try and tackle this subject however, as in the absence of authentic and real knowledge and information around us, as believers, we need to attune ourselves to this source perhaps more than ever.
Shaykh Imran Hosein, in his book on Dreams says:
One of the signs of the last age, i.e., before the end of the world, is the absence of knowledge (of truth and, therefore of Islam). Our widespread ignorance of the subject of ‘Dreams’ and the important place which ‘Dreams’ occupy in Islam is yet another indication that the last age has arrived! We live, today, in a world in which the overwhelming majority of mankind, including some Muslims cannot ‘see’. The only time a believer can be certain that he can ‘see’ is when he sees in dreams! But most people no longer understand this. — Dreams in Islam — A Window to Truth and To the Heart
So, why are dreams so important to us, today?
“Anas bin Mālik (RA) narrated: Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said: ‘Indeed Messengership & Prophethood have been terminated, so there shall be no Messenger after me or a Prophet.’ The people were concerned about that, so he said, ‘But there will be Mubashshirat (i.e. glad tidings).’So they (the people) said: O Allah’s Messenger (PBUH)! What is Mubashshirat?’ He said, ‘The Muslims’ dreams, for it is a portion of the portions of Prophethood.” (Hadith No. 2272, Chapters on Dreams, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 4).
There is another hadith which stipulates:
Narrated Anas bin Malik, Allah’s Messenger said, “A good dream (that comes true) of a righteous man is one of forty-six parts of prophethood.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
The Prophet (SAW) himself used to take dreams very seriously:
“Abu Hurairah reported: When the Apostle of Allah finished his morning prayer he used to ask whether anyone had seen a dream, and used to say: After me there would be nothing left of prophethood except good dreams.” (Muwatta, Imam Malik)
These two hadith tell us that Prophethood (and thus divine truth) is no longer amongst the Ummah, save for 1/46th of it, with that being dreams of the righteous believer.
There are many more examples, but the conclusion we can draw is that dreams are STILL significant in the world we live in today, and arguably even more so than ever. The purpose of this introduction was to first establish the fact that dreams DO have precedence in the Seerah and in the Qu’ran of being a significant means of communication by Allah. The need to do this is because of the age we are living in. After all, it is only now, living in the secular, scientific realm that anything which cannot be explained tangibly or through science becomes discredited or seen as ‘wishy-washy’, ‘mumbo-jumbo’ or at best, ‘coincidence’. As the heart of Islam has become weaker and we are losing the very roots of our spirituality, we have become those very people who ‘have eyes and yet cannot see’. Everything has become literal and we rush to find daleels and frames of reference, or otherwise we feel we cannot champion a view that we cannot verify with hard facts and data to the sceptical, critical cynics.
Dreams in the Last Age
To understand this subject further, there is comprehensive hadith which is worth analysing:
“Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said, ‘In the end of time, the dreams of a believer will hardly ever fail to come true, and the truthful of them in dreams will be truest in speech among them. And dreams are three types: 1. the good dream, which is glad tidings from Allah, 2. dreams about something that has happened to the man himself, and 3. bad dreams in which Shaytaan frightens someone.”
(Hadith No. 7017, Book of Interpretation of Dreams, Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 9;Hadith No. 5905 (2263), Book of Dreams, Sahih Muslim, Vol. 6;Hadih No. 2291, Chapters on Dreams, Jami’ At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 4).
To analyse this further, I will break it down into the key points mentioned in the hadith. Much of the commentary of the next section is taken from Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki’s Dream and Dream Interpretations lecture series, which is well worth listening to.
1. There are three types of dreams
There are three types of dreams, good ones from Allah, bad ones from Shaytaan, and inconsequential dreams of the self. This may be where you have watched a film, and then dreamt about it, or had an experience in your life that you then dream about.
We are primarily concerned with good dreams here, as we are discussing the nature of divine communication from Allah.
And secondly, because 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.”
The good dream therefore, is divided into 2 categories:
a) Direct dream: something one would see in a dream and the exact scene repeats itself when you are awake, and thus requires no interpretation. (e.g. that of the sacrifice of Ibrahim)
b) A dream that comes in symbols and it needs to be interpreted. (e.g. that of Prophet Yusuf, above).
2. The need to be righteous
The Prophet (SAW) said:
“When the time (of the end of the world) draws close, the dreams of a believer will hardly fail to come true, and a dream of a believer is one of the forty-six parts of prophethood.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
So, here we can see that the truthfulness of a dream is related to the sincerity of the dreamer.
“Those who have the most truthful dreams are those who are the most truthful in speech.” (Sahih Muslim, 4200)
People are of the following categories:
a) The Prophets: all of their dreams are truthful and but sometimes they need interpretation.
b) The righteous: most of the time their dreams are truthful (most of them need to interpreted) and sometimes their dreams are direct.
c) The 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)
Again from this, we can draw a fair conclusion that for us to rely or believe a dream to be truthful and therefore potentially significant, the person relaying the dream must be righteous.
3. Towards the end of time, most dreams of the pious will be true
Ibn Sirin said,
”I heard Abu Hurairah saying, ‘the Prophet said, “When Time approaches, the dream of the believer rarely would lie.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
“When Time approaches…” is explained by Al-Qurtubi who says, “What is meant by this hadith, and Allah knows best, is the end of times…”
What are the reasons, then, that Allah would make dreams in such times true?
There are a couple of opinions on this. One is that:
“This will be because the Prophethood and its effects will be so far away in time, the believers will be given some compensation in the form of dreams which will bring them some good news or will help them to be patient and steadfast in their faith.” (Bukhari, 6499; Muslim, 4200)
Ibn Abi Jamrah says,
”The reason why the believer sees true dreams at the time is because the believer will be ghareeb (stranger) as was mentioned in the hadith, ‘Islam began as something strange and it will return to the way it began being strange so give glad tidings to the strangers so give glad tidings to the strangers.”
Tidings, as we have mentioned can also be translated as ‘dreams’.
Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani comments on all the opinions by saying,
“Whenever the times are difficult for the believer, he will see dreams that are true frequently because he needs help. When the believer is alone, when the times are difficult, when you don’t find people supporting on truth, then Allah will inspire you to give you glad tidings through the good dreams you would see and this is to give the believers in those difficult and testing times gives the believers strength, it gives them confidence, it gives them hope so they would see a lot of dreams that would come true.”
4. A repetition of a dream is a sign of its truth.
It does not matter if the same person sees the dream more than once or more than one person sees the dream.
‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar reported that some people were shown the Night of Qadr as being in the last seven days (of the month of Ramadan). The Prophet said, “I see that your dreams strengthen each other that Night of Qadr is in the last seven nights of Ramadhan so whoever searches for it, would search for it in the last seven days (of Ramadan).” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
5. If the dream is a glad tiding from Allah it would take a long time for it to occur while if it is a warning it would occur swiftly.
For example Yusuf’s dream took a very long time to come to fruition (around 40 years). Some scholars say this is because Allah gives the believer glad tidings early on in his life to give him confidence and hope, to inspire and reassure him. If it is a warning however, you would see it and it would occur very soon so that it would be the reason of fear in your heart.
6. Dreams are glad tidings and warnings but can not be used as a source of Shari‘ah.
Ash-Shatbi says regarding this,
“Benefit of the dream in giving the believer a glad tiding or warning not in legislation and judgement or rulings.”
This means that they cannot be set in stone, and law cannot be created out of something one sees in a dream. They require trust, faith and iman, and should not be imposed on anyone else unwillingly.
7. Truthful dreams are most likely short
If one sees a dream that is very long it is likely it doesn’t mean anything, or falls under the other two categories. True dreams are short and concise.
Now that we have established that dreams are able to convey messages about the future, and that in the end times, dreams of the pious would most likely be true, and other truthful characteristics, there are a number of frequent dreams many of the Slaves of Allah have been having that have been documented and shared. I have been collating and collecting some of these instances, below. See how many of the above features, you can spot.
1) Shaykh Yusuf Motala (India, residing in UK) — February 2014
Shaykh Abdur Raheem Limbada shared the below advice given by Shaykh Yusuf Motala — the shaykh of Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq.
“After Dhikr majlis last night, Hazrat gave some priceless advice to the congregation.
Hazrat started with the a dream he had seen 3 months ago that he was reciting Surah al Haaqqah and Surah mursalaat.
(The first mentions the ahzaab that descended upon oppressors like people of Aad, Thamud and Firawn, it also opens up the the signs of qiyamah and the day of qiyamah.
The second is about signs of qiyamah, and the warnings for the deniers, also the torment they will face on that day, and in Jahannam)
Hazrat said “Since then, scary dreams have increased and they have been seen at an unprecedented level. Nearly a dozen people have reported dreams of dajjal.
Someone saw that the sun got closer to the earth and so did the moon. And then they both collided.
Someone saw the sun rising from the west. Someone saw Yajooj Majooj have come out.
Someone saw that the second trumpet has been blown and Allah is judging between people.
Someone saw that Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam had the names of mu’mineen on his right side and the names of hypocrites on his left side.
Also, someone saw that dajjal has appeared and people went to the airport and all flights were going to Madina. (May Allah take us there).
Having phoned a prominent Shaykh in Saharanpur, India to check, they had also got reports of this type.
A few days before the hotel fire in Madinah shareef, a young man working in Jeddah phoned Hazrat and said “I went to Madina and saw in my dream that Hazrat Shaykh Zakaria (AS) was making an announcement on the microphone. When I heard his voice, I stood up and listened attentively. He said “Tell the people of Madina to do istighfar and repent”.
The main point Hazrat was trying make was that these are some warnings from Allah (tanbeeh). Allah is trying to caution us, awaken us from our heedlessness.
May Allah give us tawfeeq to understand the admonition and wake up from our deep sleep.
After musafaha and while exiting, Hazrat paused for a moment and said Surah al-Kahf is the best for protection from all fitnas, the apparent and the hidden. We should read it everyday, not just on Friday.
If one can’t find time to read whole Surah everyday then at least the opening verses and closing verses.
Shaykh Abdur Raheem Limbada
2) Shaykh Habib Umar, Yemen, March 2014
Shaykh Habib Umar of Yemen said in the Rawhah:
“We wish for the recitation of the first and last 10 verses of surah al-Kahf (reconciling between two narrations) to be wide spread among Muslims especially before sleeping. For we are at the doors of Dajjal and end of times.”
3) Mufti Hussain Kamani, USA, April 2014
“Met the (Darul Uloom) asatizah today and spent some time with Hazrat too.
Hazrat was sharing all of the dreams about Dajjal. He shared dream after dream for roughly an hour.
He was super concerned for the people.
He concluded by emphasizing that the time has come to reconnect the masses with Allah.”
4) H.I, France, July 2014
“I had a dream about 10 days before the crash of the Malaysian aircraft in Ukraine.
That was the first time that I had a dream that seemed to be so real, I mean the sound, the scene, etc…
I was at my parents home.
Inside that home was night, and outside was the day.
My parents live not so far from Paris Airport.
I’ve heard the sound of an aircraft that was very close to us, hence, the noise was very loud.
When I watched through the window to see what was going on, I saw a commercial aircraft crashing in the building in front of mine. Then after a little while, I heard again the sound of a second aircraft, and again I watched through the window and a second aircraft was twisting like it lost its commands.
This plane crashed again, a bit more far than the first one, but still in the same city.
I had an idea during my dream on how it could have happened, and I said to myself that it was a “magnetic bomb” which cancel the ability of planes to be controlled.
Then I said to myself that other planes were going to fall.
I woke up my children, and took my wife and said to her that we have to go to the underground parking which would be much safer.
Then I saw my mother and tried to convince her that we should go to the underground parking.
She refused and denied what was happening by saying that she couldn’t go because she had to prepare the lunch for my nieces.
Then I went with my wife and kids to the parking, and then saw another plane falling directly to our building.
I woke up before its crash.
End of the dream.
I thought that this was a usual dream before I had a chat with my friend (before the Malaysian Airlines crashed), who said to me that a dream is likely to be true when one of our parents appears in it. I was perplexed until came the crash of the Malaysian aircraft.
Then came the crash of the two military aircrafts in ukraine .
And now Air Algeria.
I’m a bit perplexed now.”
5) Shaykh Imran Hosein, Malaysia, September 2014
I write to let you know that I just had two dreams — one after the other — in which I saw that nuclear war had started and the missiles were being shot into the sky.
The same thing happened just before 9/11 while I was still resident in Long Island. I had a dream in which I saw 9/11 taking place in tall buildings in Manhattan and I even made mention of the dream in a Jumu’ah Khutbah which I gave in Masjid Dar al-Qur’an in Long Island. 9/11 took place 2 years later.
The Prophet (sallalahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said that in Akhir al-Zaman the dreams of a believer will seldom fail to be true. The implication of my dream is perhaps, that there is only little time left — perhaps only a year or two — before the Malhama takes place and most people resident in the great cities of the world will die (particularly in North America and Europe).
6) A.S, Canada, October 2014
Dear friends, scholars, brothers and sisters
Last night, I had a dream. Not the kind of usual dreams that I usually have and that I can’t always remember but the kind of dreams that I rarely have and that make me think and tremble — I only had 3 intense meaningful dreams in my past life.
I saw cities in the darkness, masses of townsfolk outside walking everywhere on the streets, terrified and looking to the sky from which missiles were raining and innocents die.
I don’t know what that dream means… All I know is that it was scary and intense… and when I have a scary and intense dream then it is an announcement for something to come: a worldwide crisis? a meltdown? or trials and difficulties for mankind in the cities of the modern age? Albeit I don’t know, I felt the responsibility to share and only God knows best.
My beloved friends, scholars, brothers and sisters, this message reaches you, because you are close to my heart. I beg you to take care of yourself, your faith, your family and your wealth. I beg you to focus on what is essential in your life, to reconcile with your family and friends, to purify your heart and to prepare for the next with the clearest insight and the wisest conduct. I beg you to acquire a comprehensive knowledge and remain the humble servant who will lead and inspire mankind. The comprehensive knowledge is located in the intersection of sciences. The world has been shifting towards a new era, this process is accelerating and I wish us peace and success in this life and in the hereafter.
7) SSK, Kashmir, November 2014
I wanted to share my experience and also get your opinion on a matter. As you may have learnt that in early September the city of Srinagar Kashmir was hit by a flood bringing unprecedented crisis. Keep in mind we are people who have survived (bi’iznillah) 25 years of political and social unrest. But on 7th September, the Kashmir Valley shook. The primary reason is that, this calamity touched everyone, rich or poor, influential or insignificant. There were people who slept on roads the day the water breached the River bank. There were people (many of my relatives and acquaintances) who saw water entering their houses, filling up the 1st level. They went to the higher level and the water followed them there as well. No access to food or water, because usually the kitchen and resources are in the ground floor.
HOW DID IT HAPPEN:
Incessant rain for a week. On the seventh day there were five cloudbursts in 2 villages. The rivers swelled, the water breached the banks and before we knew it a 23 feet high tsunami hit the most urban areas in the city.
Subhan’Allah I had seen a dream after fajr (before hearing the news). A huge wave of clear water standing infront of me like a mountain, but in the dream I don’t get harmed and neither I fear (in real life I’m scared of water). Alhamdulillah this dream kept me calm in the coming days.
I live close to a hill, located in the city centre.
On 7th September I got a call from my grandmother, with panic in her tone, she said “We have left home”. I just couldn’t understand this. Why would they leave home? What is it like to leave home and run away from everything you cherish. Later I learnt most people had run out of their homes bare footed, with maybe a pair of extra clothes and valuables if at all they got time to do so. In the afternoon I went up to my balcony to see water everywhere, even upto my neighbours garden. I cannot explain how we spent those days. The days ahead brought panic, shortage of food, anger at the government and what not.
8) Shaykh Imran Hosein, Malaysia, July 2015
Assalaamu ‘alaikum to all! Ramadan Kareem!
I went to sleep this afternoon on the very eve of the 27th night of Ramadan and promptly had a dream of nuclear war.
I heard in my dream a tremendously loud noise of an explosion or blast and then saw high-rise building crumbling all around me. Even though all high-rise buildings around me were crumbling before my eyes, I was untouched by the blast and the subsequent folding up of buildings.
I recognized instantantly in the dream that this was nuclear war.
I believe the dream was meant to warn me and those who would be warned, that we should avoid high-rise buildings since if we are caught in such a building when the nuclear war comes, we will be buried below tons of concrete and steel.
9) Shaykh Mohammad Aslam, September 2015
Just spoken to a student who said that he saw the grandson of the Prophet in his dreams and the grandson said to him, “Do you know that the time of Dajjal is upon you? his emergence of terror is soon to strike the world, so what prevents the Muslims from preparing?”Allah protect us all
10) B.A, Canada, December 2016
Two dreams my mother in law had over the past two weeks.
NOTE: My mother in law is 85 yrs old born in India and moved to Pakistan when she was 14 during the partition.
DREAM 1: two weeks ago.
In the dream my mother in law and the whole family were all packed up and ready to leave. Many people were there. War was looming. Her mother (my mother in law’s mother) came from behind and pointed to our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAWS (who was not visible in the dream but was present), and she told my mother in law that the Prophet SAWS was worried about all of us.
NOTE: My sister in law lives in Rawalpindi and her husband is retired from the army. They told them that the war is imminent and to get ready. Although it is only told internally to the army people and not to the general public.
INTERPRETATION: This dream relates to the looming war between Pakistan and India.
DREAM 2: yesterday
Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) appeared in her dream with a sense of urgency, and told her hurry up, hurry up, things have changed. Say quickly the azan of tahajjud, and the azan for fajr. NOTE: in this dream my mother in law saw our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) fully.
INTERPRETATION: This dream relates to the upcoming events that will engulf he whole world.
11. A.B, June 2017
May I share a dream a brother shared with me few days ago at taraweeh Salah.
The brother was in Palestine last year and he saw Dajjal in his dream. He described him as powerfully built wearing a long black cloak. He said Dajjal was levitating. He was in Jerusalem. He Dajjal had a mass following around him and people where worshiping him as God. The brother described Jerusalem as flourishing the outside of Israel the surrounding Arabian peninsula was all in a state of war no peace.
His dream is as the Hadith describe the fitna of Dajjal when he appears.
The brother had the dream last ramadhan in the holy city of Jerusalem.
12: Irfan, South Africa, April 2020
My wife had a dream beginning of last year…
She saw in her dream that we were living far from the city of Johannesburg but we could see the city from a far.
There was a huge explosion in the city and the fire was jumping out and touching/burning the neighbouring areas.
Then everyone was being controlled by the police and put into a lockdown behind doors. People were dying and everyone around was reading Shahada, even non Muslims.
Then she woke up.
We didn't understand the dream at all except that I told her Sheikh Imran had a dream before 911 that was similar, and 2 years later, the world trade centre was bombed and it effected the rest of the world.
So, we expected similar.
Today, Subhanallah, we are experiencing the country's lockdown and ppl being quarantined by police, and everyone is worried about death and we are interpreting her dream to have meant the current situation. Allah Knows Best.
[All of these quotes have not been edited, and are written in their original form. Hence they may contain grammatical errors.]
The purpose of this article is NOT to get one in a state of panic. Not at all. On the flipside, it is to get everyone more focused and aware of the reality that we live in, and less attached to the dunya. This is to serve as reminder, primarily for me, first. We need at this time more than ever to reconnect with the Qu’ran, and with our Islam. I have previously written an article which demonstrates how we must remain productive and focused no matter what trials and tribulations we face, here.
There are some key messages in the dreams above, and from some very respected and righteous people indeed. Yes, it may seem ominous and yes, perhaps a little scary. But we must be thankful to Allah as we are not helpless. We are free to make our own choices and free to do what we will with the information. Some of us will ignore it, some will share it and others will reflect. My purpose for writing this article is purely to convey a message and to plant a seed in your minds. What you do from here on in, is up to you.
To conclude, I came across a quote which resonated with me, and ends this article perfectly. Whilst the choice of author of the quote might be questionable, in the deceptive age of Akhir ul Zaman, for the righteous, there is certainly an element of truth to it.
“Reality is wrong. Dreams are for real.” — Tupac Shakur
Have YOU had any strange, intense dreams lately? Please comment below or send us an email at email@example.com if you would prefer to keep it private. We would love to hear from you.
A lifelong learner, avid reader and passionate writer, I am the founder of KNOW and a serial entrepreneur.
I am a huge believer in personal development and am also the co-founder of Muslim CEO.