The Islamic Teachings About Dreams, By Murtadha Gusau
…dreams have a purpose and are good for us. They can be a source of guidance and solution in our lives. They can also be a source of deception and misguidance. We should always remember that Allah speaks by action not by dreams. We should never base our actions on dreams. We should always seek guidance from Allah. If Allah needs us to do something, He will open doors for us.
I begin in the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
Verily, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him, we seek His refuge and we ask for His forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Allah from the evils of our souls and from the evils of our actions. Whomsoever Allah guides, there is no one that can lead him astray and whosoever is led astray, there is no one that can guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity that has the right to be worshipped except Allah – He stands alone and with no partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His Servant and His Messenger.
“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He ought to be feared and do not die except while you are Muslims.” [Qur’an, 3:102]
“O you who believe! Fear your Lord who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him, He created his wife (Hawwa/Eve), and from them He created many men and women. Fear Allah through whom you demand your mutual rights and (do not cut off the relations of) the wombs. Surely, Allah is ever an All Watcher over you.” [Qur’an, 4:1]
“O you who believe! Fear Allah and be truthful and precise in your speech. He will rectify your deeds for you and forgive you of your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, then he has achieved a great success.” [Qur’an, 33:70-71]
Indeed the most truthful of speech is the Book of Allah, and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (Peace be upon him). And the worst of all matters are those that are newly invented (in religion). For indeed, every newly invented matter (in religion) is an innovation, and every innovation is a misguidance and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.
Respected brothers and sisters! Dreams, what are they? Why do we have them? Do they have any real meaning? Is there a purpose in any of our dreams? I believe dreams have a real purpose and we should strive hard to find out the meaning behind our dreams. Our whole body is incredible. Allah has designed our body with extreme precision to serve us and for our purpose. Our brain processes pain in milliseconds. Our thoughts are instantaneous and can take us to places far, far away. Our cells have distinct signatures for recognising invaders. Everything in our body is always working for our survival and purpose. So too are dreams. They have a purpose and it is our duty to understand them.
Dear servants of Allah! Dreaming is a period of resting and reflection. It is the suspension of natural laws. Dreaming opens the communication layer with the hidden spiritual world, which is not possible when we are awake. Dreaming is a form of temporary death from this materialistic world and connection to the spiritual world where everything is possible. Sleep is believed to be the lesser temporary death, while death is believed to be the real permanent sleep taking us into the spiritual world forever. In the Qur’an, Allah, the Most High says:
“Allah takes men’s souls at the time of their death, and the soul which does not die, He takes in sleep. Then He keeps the soul that is destined to die at that time and returns the others to life for a set period.” [Qur’an, 39:42]
Allah has made it very clear to us that every time we sleep, we are dead. We should be thankful every time we wake up. That means Allah still has a purpose for us. Thus, the reason we are still alive.
My beloved people! Dreaming is a gift from Allah. In dreams, we can experience many things that are not possible in our materialistic world. Dreaming allows us to accept the possibility of a life other than the materialistic world. If we are able to experience things beyond absence of matter and space, why can’t Allah create such a life hereafter for His creation? Many people don’t believe life after death exists (hereafter), but if dreaming for unimaginable things is possible and we are able to experience real things with unreal things in an unreal environment, we should not discount Allah’s promise to all His creations for eternal life in paradise, which no eye has seen, no ear has heard of, and nobody can imagine.
I believe the purpose of our dreams is to find answers which are not possible with our normal senses. In dreams, our brain can communicate with our subconscious mind and tell us about the problems, worries and hopes that we have. Our mind can play scenarios which can help us determine what the best solution to our concerns are is without having real consequences. Dreams allow us to step away from our normal senses which stress our body. When we dream, our normal senses don’t function at full capacity. We rest and release stress. We also tap into other senses which makes it possible for Angels and Allah to communicate with us. Even though Angels and Allah can communicate with us while we are awake, sometimes our senses prevent us from receiving the important messages that we overlook.
Dear servants of Allah! Dreams come in three forms. They can be divine (from Allah). They can come from within (psychological). Dreams can also be Satanic (from Satan/Shaitan). Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:
“Dreams are of three types: a dream from Allah, a dream which causes distress and which comes from Satan, and a dream which comes from what a person thinks about when he is awake, and he sees it when he is asleep.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Not all dreams are the same. Not all dreams have meaning. Some dreams are reflections of our worries and hopes. They are psychological. They are dreams of what we think about when we are awake, and we see them when we sleep. They have no real meaning. They are the sources of stress in our life, and our body tries to come up with solutions by playing different scenarios. Sometimes when we wake up, a new idea pops out of nowhere, and we can attribute that to psychological dreams. Our dreams had played scenarios for us and caused us to think and look deeper at the problems or hopes we have.
When we dream, we may have a recurring dream that will not go away until we find the root cause of that particular dream. Recurring dreams can be reminders from Allah that we are not living our purpose. We are focusing on things that are not important to us and for us. Our priorities are not straight. There is something big we are neglecting that prevents us from reaching our goals. These dreams can be both psychological and divine. If psychological, our body is trying to get our attention to an issue. We are neglecting a real problem and should try to find the solution to it. If divine, Allah wants us to go in a different path than we are currently in. He has a different future for us. Thus, recurring dreams can be reminders and the guide to follow a particular course of action.
Divine dreams can be visions of the future. They can tell us what Allah has in store for us. They can be reminders and encouragement of what we need to do to get there. Allah can give us a vision of the future and start the preparation process. The vision keeps us motivated, while the preparation takes place. However, not all dreams are visions of the future. Some dreams come from Allah directly to touch our hearts. Sometimes we just need love and life. We need to feel valuable. Allah can give life to a dying heart by giving good dreams. Some divine dreams can also be warnings from Allah. We may be doing something bad and Allah needs to get our attention. He may remind us of the consequences of continuing in our current path.
The other category of dreams are the satanic ones. These are deceptive and evil dreams to instill fear, and grief in our lives, and to misguide us. Satan’s mission is to mislead all mankind. Satan tries to misguide and deter us when we are living righteously and following the commandments of Allah. Through evil dreams, Satan can instill great fear in us, to keep us away from the good works we are doing. He will bombard us with deceptive dreams to lure us into evil works. Satan’s ultimate goal is to make people go astray and eventually to turn them into disbelievers. The manner in which Satan pursues that goal varies in accordance with the interests and inclinations of his victims. For example, he uses piety to attack the pious; scholarly disciplines to attack scholars; false reasoning and logic for those who take pride in being knowledgeable, and ignorance to attack the ignorant.
We should always seeks Allah’s protection from Satan, and pray for guidance. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:
“A good dream is from Allah, so if anyone of you sees a dream which pleases him, he should not tell anybody about it except to the one whom he loves, and if he sees a dream which he dislikes, then he should seek refuge with Allah from its evil and from the evil of Satan, and spit three times (on his left) and should not tell anybody about it, lest it might harm him.” [Al-Bukhari]
In conclusion, we should understand that dreams have a purpose and are good for us. They can be a source of guidance and solution in our lives. They can also be a source of deception and misguidance. We should always remember that Allah speaks by action not by dreams. We should never base our actions on dreams. We should always seek guidance from Allah. If Allah needs us to do something, He will open doors for us. He will provide for us. It is not our duty to open doors which Allah will keep shut for us. So we should let life unfold and let dreams speak to us but not steer the ship for us.
And all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.
Respected brothers and sisters!
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org or +2348038289761.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Ramadan 12, 1440 AH (May 17, 2019).