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The Reality of Dreams

What is the reality of dreams? Is there any good book for the interpretation of dreams?


Dreams of prophets used to be one of the ways in which Divine Revelation (wahy) got transmitted to them. The prophet alaihisslaam is reported to have said: “A good dream (that comes true) of a righteous man is one of forty-six parts of prophethood” (Bukhari) What it apparently means, as is evident from another hadith, is that whereas all other direct forms of human contact with the Almighty which are associated with prophethood will come to an end with the finality of prophethood, good dreams would be an exception.
The most quoted book on dreams is by Muhammad bin Sirin. According to him, there are three types of dreams:
i) Those that are a reflection of one’s thoughts and experiences one has when awake;
ii) those that are suggested by Satan to frighten the dreamer; or
iii) those that are glad tidings from Allah.
He advises that if someone has a dream which he dislikes, he should not tell it to others, but should get up and offer a prayer. He said Abu Huraira, the companion of the prophet, alaihissalaam, hated to see an iron collar around his neck in a dream and people liked to see fetters on their feet in a dream. The fetters on the feet symbolize one’s constant and firm adherence to religion, he thought. That’s the little I know about it.