Contents > Chapter 9: Knowledge of the Ghayb (Unseen) > Seeing Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) in a dream


 

Seeing Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) in a dream

Many of the dreams reported in the books of the Deobandis include the vision of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). Whilst it is possible to see him (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) in a dream, not every claim can be accepted as a true dream.

 

Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Whosoever sees me (in a dream) then he Indeed, has seen the truth, as Shaytaan cannot appear in my shape.”[1]

 

Such dreams are true dreams, but should be verified with an important condition, as the Tabi’e, Ibn Sirin (well known for his knowledge of dream interpretation) said: “Only if he sees the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) in his (real) shape.”[2]

 

It was the practice of the Sahabah to verify whether the description of the person seen in the dream actually matched the description of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). Imam at-Tirmidhee (rahimahullah) has mentioned in his book, Kitab as-Shimaa’il (Hadeeth no. 412), “A person said to Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) that I have seen Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) in my dream. Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) said, “Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Whosoever sees me (in a dream) then he Indeed, has seen the truth, as Shaytaan cannot appear in my shape.”[3] (then) Ibn Abbas inquired, ‘Can you describe the person you have seen in your dream.’ The person described the features of the person, he had seen in his dream. (Upon this) Ibn Abbas said, ‘you have actually seen Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam).’”

 

The questioning of Ibn Abbas (radhi allahu anhu) about the features of the person seen in the dream proves that not every claim of seeing the Messenger of Allah’s (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) can be assumed to be authentic.

 

The Hadeeth, “Whosoever sees me (in a dream) then he Indeed, has seen the truth, as Shaytaan cannot appear in my shape,”[4] means that Shaytaan cannot come in the actual features of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). Because Shaytaan can come in the appearance of others in a dreams as well as in real life and attempt to misguide the people. On the occasion of the battle of Badr, Iblees appeared to the disbelieving Quraysh in the form of Suraqah bin Malik to encourage them to fight the Muslims. Therefore, the above Hadeeth of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) was a re-assurance for the Sahabah who were familiar with the Prophet’s appearance that if they see him in a dream, they have Indeed, seen him.

 

The Shaytaan can, however, claim to be a Messenger or a saint or someone else. So, only those dreams in which Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) is seen in his true features may be accepted as a vision of the Prophet. Even dreams in which, one sees Allah’s Messenger only serve as a source of optimism and not religious injunctions.


[1] Saheeh al-Bukharee, vol.9, no.126.

[2] Saheeh al-Bukharee, vol.9, p.104, no.122.

[3] Saheeh al-Bukharee, vol.9, no.126.

[4] Saheeh al-Bukharee, vol.9, no.126.