The interpretation of dreams has been a human preoccupation throughout recorded history. People have always interpreted their dreams as portending either good or bad things to come, depending on the nature of the dream. The Quran and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also mention dreaming in many places; some general, some specific. Prophet Muhammad is reported to have interpreted the meanings of dreams for his companions and followers on different occasions. In this article, we look into one such interpretation of dreams from Ibn Sirin (died 179 AH/796 CE), who was one of the early scholars of Islam during the early Abbasid period. This article provides a summary of his book, “Kitab al-Mijahat” or “Book on Dreams” which is no longer available but is quoted extensively in other books.
Understanding and Interpreting Dreams in Islam
Dreams occupy a special place in Islamic thought. They are viewed as one of the many channels of communication between God and humans. Dreams are also seen as vehicles of human self-development, since they allow people to become aware of their latent potential. The Prophet Muhammad is quoted as saying, “Dreams are the 40th portion of prophecy.” He means that dreams are closely related to receiving inspiration from God. They are a special gift given to people in order to know their future, get help and advice from God, and make their life easier. The Prophet said, “If one of you sees something in a dream that pleases him, then he should not tell others what he saw, for what he saw is a sort of remedy.” Dreams are seen as an opportunity for self-exploration, and for self-transformation. Seeing unpleasant or frightening things in dreams should be a cause for concern, but can also lead to transformation by prompting a re-evaluation of one’s outlook on life.
Analysis of Dreams According to Ibn Sirin
The Islamic scholar Ibn Sirin, in his book on interpretation of dreams, presents a general analysis of dreams. He classifies dreams into four types: In addition to this, he has a separate classification for the dreams that are related to the health of an individual.
Good omens from seeing certain things in dreams
Some dreams are seen as auspicious and indicate good things in one’s life. In his book, Ibn Sirin has described the dreams that are seen as auspicious, and they include: – Seeing flowing water: This dream indicates that one’s life will be prosperous and trouble-free. – Seeing a valley: The dreamer’s life will be fruitful. – Seeing a garden full of fruitful trees: The dreamer’s life will be fruitful and he will have many children. – Seeing a running river: The dreamer’s life will be filled with blessings and he will have an easy life. – Seeing a fort: The dreamer will be strong and his enemies will be weak. – Seeing the sea: The dreamer will be victorious in all his affairs and will have a long life. – Seeing a mosque: The dreamer’s life will be devoted to God and will lead a pious life. – Seeing an old and dilapidated fort: The dreamer’s enemies will be weak. – Seeing a river flowing out of one’s house: The dreamer will lead a prosperous life. – Seeing a tree with green leaves and fruits in one’s dream: The dreamer will lead a prosperous life. – Seeing a full moon: The dreamer’s life will be fruitful and his business will be prosperous. – Seeing the rising sun: The dreamer will be victorious. – Seeing the setting sun: The dreamer’s life will be successful.
Bad omens from seeing certain things in dreams
Some dreams are seen as ominous and indicate trouble for an individual. In his book on dreams and their interpretation, Ibn Sirin has described the dreams that are ominous and they include: – Seeing smoke in the dream: The dreamer will suffer from the death of his parents. – Seeing the rising sun turning red: The dreamer will lose all his money and he will be cheated in his business. – Seeing the rising sun becoming black: The dreamer will suffer from the death of his children. – Seeing the sun falling: The dreamer will suffer from the death of his brothers. – Seeing fire in one’s dream: The dreamer will be betrayed by his friends. – Seeing snakes and scorpions in one’s dream: The dreamer will suffer from the loss of his wealth, and he might lose his eyesight. – Seeing water overflowing from one’s house: The dreamer will lose all his wealth. – Seeing the sky falling: The dreamer will suffer from the death of his children. – Seeing mountains falling: The dreamer will suffer from the death of his parents.
A Final Word: Be aware of the bad omens, but don’t be overly influenced by them.
Dreams are a very important part of our lives. When we sleep, our mind is clear of all the worries and problems of our daily lives, and it is in this state, that it journeys into the unknown. It is in this state, that our mind opens up and we are able to see things, that we are not able to see when we are awake. Dreams, when interpreted, can be really beneficial to a person. They can help a person see the future, see what is going to happen, and also help one figure out what is bothering them, or what their problem is. So, next time you have a dream and you are able to remember it, try to figure out what it means. And who knows, it might just be life changing!