Many Muslims wish to see the Prophet in a dream. Seeing the Prophet in a dream can mean that the person is very pious to such an extent that he has the privilege to see the Noble Prophet in his dream. In this article, we will talk about the concept of dreams, specifically seeing the Prophet in one’s dream.
The following topics will be discussed:
What Are Dreams According to Islam?
Dreams according to Islam take place when the spirit is detached from the body and enters the realm of spirits or barzakh (برزخ) when one goes to sleep. The Quran says in this regard:
اللَّـهُ يَتَوَفَّى الْأَنفُسَ حِينَ مَوْتِهَا وَالَّتِي لَمْ تَمُتْ فِي مَنَامِهَا ۖ فَيُمْسِكُ الَّتِي قَضَىٰ عَلَيْهَا الْمَوْتَ وَيُرْسِلُ الْأُخْرَىٰ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ﴿42﴾
Allah takes the souls at the time of their death, and those who have not died, in their sleep. Then He retains those for whom He has ordained death and releases the others until a specified time. There are indeed signs in that for a people who reflect. 1
Therefore, it is Allah who takes the soul of man at the time of sleep and it roams freely in the realm of spirits. According to the Noble Prophet, there are three kinds of dreams that one can have:
- Sometimes, it is good news from God
- Sometimes, it is the means of sadness and grief on part of Satan
- Sometimes, it is the issues that one thinks about during the day and sees them in his dreams. 2
Are All Dreams Hujjah?
In Islam, it is said that, a dream is not hujjah (حُجَّة) meaning it is not something one can use as a proof for doing something accordingly. Meaning that if the Prophet commands something to him in the dream, it does not necessarily mean that it becomes compulsory upon you to carry it out. However, in relation to the dreams of prophets and Infallibles, all of their dreams are hujjah. As a matter of fact, a prophet’s dream is the same as divine revelation. According to one of the Infallibles, there is no difference between the state of sleep and wakefulness of an infallible. 3 Therefore, if a person sees the Prophet in his dream, he must not overreact but rather take it as a good omen.
Dreams of Prophets
In the Noble Quran, we read verses that describe the dreams that certain prophets of Allah had. For example, the most famous dreams are the dreams of Prophet Joseph (یوسف) and Prophet Ibrahim (ابراهیم). Prophet Joseph dreamed that seven stars, the sun, and the moon prostrated toward him. 4 This dream was fulfilled when he became the treasurer of the king of Egypt and his parents went to Egypt to live there. When his family saw him, they all prostrated before him. Joseph said to his father Jacob, “Father! The dream I had before is now fulfilled!” 5
Moreover, Prophet Ibrahim dreamed that he was sacrificing his son Prophet Ismail. 6 This was a command by Allah to Prophet Ibrahim for him to do this since the dreams of prophets are always hujjah and divine revelation. Therefore, Prophet Ibrahim obeyed Allah’s command and tried to sacrifice Prophet Ismail. However, his knife would not cut the throat of his son. Then, Allah revealed to him and said your dream has been fulfilled and you have passed this difficult test. Allah then made a ram to be slaughtered in Ismail’s stead. 7
Journey to the World of Spirits
It is said that the human spirit takes the shape of its barzakh form during sleep and ventures into realms that are not possible to venture while awake. It can be said that while dreaming, man’s spirit is freed, and can see the past and the future without a material form. This is because time in the world of spirits is not like our time, meaning the past, present, and future are the same. However, this all depends on how perfect one’s spirit is, as the spirit separates itself from the body, and man can experience things that cannot be experienced in reality.
Can Anyone See the Prophet or the Infallibles in His Dream?
Yes. When a person dies, the soul does not die, rather, from the Islamic perspective, the soul is merely separated from the body and the body begins to decay. Further, the Quran considers those who gave their lives in the way of God, for example, the Prophet and the Ahlul Bait, as alive, but we do not sense them. 8 The soul of a deceased is not sensed through the five (5) physical senses, however, since the soul explores “metaphysical” realms while the body’s asleep, we can see those alive and dead in our dreams.
Therefore, it is perfectly possible to see the Prophet or the Infallibles in one’s dream. As a matter of fact, because the world of dreams is the same as the world of spirits and dead people, one can even have dreams of those who have died. Many religious and pious individuals have reported seeing Prophet Muhammad or the Infallibles in their dreams.
How to See the Prophet in One’s Dream?
There is no one guaranteed way of seeing the Prophet in one’s dream. There are certain prerequisites that a person must have to have the privilege to see the Prophet in his dream. For example, the person must not be a sinner, but rather a pious and God-fearing individual who does many good works for the sake of God.
Recitation of Surah Kausar
It has been narrated from one of the Infallibles that if a person wishes to see the Noble Prophet in his dream, then he must recite surah 100 times on the eve of Friday (Thursday night). Inshallah, he will see the Prophet in his dream. If he does not, it means that the person did not believe that it would work, or he was trying to experiment to see if it works. The person must believe that by reciting surah Kausar 100 times he will undoubtedly see the Prophet in his dream.
How can we tell that we are seeing the Prophet or one of the infallibles in our Dream?
One really cannot tell if the person one sees in his dream is the Prophet or someone else. However, the Prophet himself has said that Satan and devils can never assume his shape. 9 Those who are very spiritually close to God can be sure that they certainly saw the Prophet. These individuals are very few and they are the ones who have truly purified their souls.
What Is the Interpretation of Seeing the Prophet in One’s Dream?
Generally speaking, seeing the Prophet in one’s dream is very pleasant and has a good interpretation. Seeing Prophet Muhammad in one’s dream according to some narrations is a good sign and the one who saw the dream will have a good destiny in this world and the Hereafter. One cannot expect anything but a good interpretation from seeing the Prophet of mercy in his dream. Therefore, if you see the Prophet in your dream, you should know that you are on the right track and a bright future is ahead of you, provided that you continue your path and do not go astray.
Stories of Persons Seeing the Prophet and Other Infallibles in Their Dreams
There have been moments when a person saw the Prophet or one of the infallibles in their dreams, and this account has been recorded in history. The Prophet would come in their dreams and give them news of their martyrdom and meeting with him. Let us take a look at some of these dreams.
Imam Ali Sees the Prophet in His Dream
Once, Imam Ali (امام علي) saw the Noble Prophet in his dream and complained to him about his ummah and what they did to him (Imam Ali) after his (Prophet Muhammad’s) demise. The Noble Prophet said: My dear Ali! Curse them. Therefore, Imam Ali cursed those people who bothered and harmed him and the manifestation of this curse was when unworthy individuals ruled over them. 10 Moreover, Imam Ali saw the Prophet in his dream who told him that he would meet him in three days, after which he was martyred.
Lady Fatimah Sees the Prophet in Her Dream
When Lady Fatimah (سيدة فاطمة) was mourning the martyrdom of her father the Noble Prophet, the Prophet would come to her dream. One day she had a long dream of her father who told her that soon she would join him and even showed her house in paradise. 11
Imam Hussain Sees the Prophet in His Dream
According to narrations, Imam Hussain (امام حسين) saw the Prophet in three places:
- Near the grave of the Prophet
- During the afternoon of the ninth of Muharram
- On the day of Ashura, the day he was martyred
For the sake of brevity, we will mention only the first instance. Imam Hussain went to the tomb of his grandfather and wept a lot and said,“What these people are doing is evil (munkar: مُنکر) and I abhor it while I love what is good (ma‘rūf: مَعروف). O my Lord! I want you to do something for me that pleases You and Your prophet.” Then he went to sleep and saw the Prophet in his dream while groups of angels were by his sides and in his front and back. The Prophet embraced Hussain and told him: My dear Hussain! It is as if I see that in these days you will be drenched in your own blood in Karbala while you are thirsty. These people will never earn my intercession… 12
Seeing the Prophet in one’s dream is a great privilege that not anyone can enjoy. The Prophet has said that Satan can never appear in his form in anyone’s dream. Therefore, if someone sees the Prophet in his dream and it is inspired to him that that person is the Prophet, then most likely he has seen the Prophet. It is said that reciting surah Kausar 100 times after the ‘Isha prayer is one way of seeing the Prophet in one’s dream, provided the person has a good intention. Lastly, many people have seen the Prophet in their dreams, specifically the Infallibles. Inshallah, we hope to see the Prophet in our dream.
- Quran 39:42 (Qara’i).
- Bihar al-Anwar (بحار الانوار), vol. 58, p. 191.
- Safinat al-Bihar (سفينة البحار), vol. 1, p. 499.
- Cf. Quran 12:4.
- Cf. Quran 12:100.
- Cf. Quran 37:102.
- Cf. Quran 37:103-107.
- Cf. Quran 2:154.
- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 58, p. 176.
- Muntaha al-Amal (منتهی الآمال), vol. 1, p. 179.
- Dalā’il al-Imāmah (دلائل الامامة), p. 43.
- Manāqib Āl-i Abī Ṭālib (مناقب آل ابی طالب), vol. 4, p. 89.