Wednesday, April 24, 2013

DECIPHERING THE CONCEPT OF DREAMS


Assalam oalaikum,

Almost each of us sees dreams every night. Though there are some people who claim not to have seen any dream, as such, but still the majority of us might have seen numerous dreams in our life. Sometimes people wake up quite pleased as they feel that they have seen a ‘good dream’ and in other instances they wake up horrified after seeing a bad dream or a nightmare. Wet dreams, which are also known as nocturnal ejaculation, are a common occurrence too in the lives of people. These are basically sexual dreams which accompany ejaculation. Prophetic dreams, on the other hand, are those which foretell some future event. So through this general information we can surmise that the dreams can be grouped into quite a few categories.

Not only dreams, but the viewpoints and attitude of the people regarding dreams can also be grouped into different categories. The first group comprises of people who claim that they do not see dreams. Then there are some others who see dreams for sure, but they tend to forget about them once they wake up. Such people believe that dreams are mere reflections of what we see, hear or think about, during the daytime. Hence, they should not be overrated. So according to such people there is no point in remembering something which is insignificant. We know that usually our brain registers only those things which seem to be important to us and whatever seems to be trivia is often forgotten easily. The second group, which undervalues dreams, does not consider them to be important. Therefore, there mind also does not seem to register dreams and they quickly forget about them.

The third group not just believes in the importance of dreams but also does so with much aplomb. They have distorted the real concept of dreams beyond recognition. Some of them believe that we can control our dreams in order to solve our problems through techniques such as dream incubation. Now most of us might have heard about the idiom ‘to sleep on it’ which means permitting our subconscious mind to process a problem while we sleep. As a matter of fact, dreams can definitely solve our problems if we manage to decode them but controlling our own dreams in something too unrealistic.

The numerous scientific theories about dreams which are making the rounds these days can be either true or untrue. The diverse opinions which we find about dreams can also be accurate. We, being Muslims, can refute them only if we find that they are not in conformity with the Holy Quran and the ahadith. Dreams have been given much importance in Islam and we find their mention in quite a few instances in the Holy Quran and several times in the ahadith. In order to benefit from the dreams which we see and in order to understand and interpret them accurately, we should first of all, be aware about the concept of dreams in Islam.
In my subsequent posts, I shall Inshallah decode the dreams in the light of Islam and I shall throw light upon their significance in our day to day lives.    

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amel soname
amel_soname@yahoo.com

DREAMS ARE CONSEQUENTIAL


Assalam oalaikum,

Dreams have great significance in Islam as they find a mention in both the Holy Quran as well as the ahadith. Therefore, underestimating their value and preferring to ignore them is not the correct approach to deal with one’s dreams. Some people opine that dreams are inconsequential and useless. Such people do not tend to focus on their dreams. They rather prefer to ignore whatever they see in a dream. However, is this approach acceptable? Let us find out for ourselves.
Here is an authentic hadith which serves as a solid proof about the authenticity of dreams:

‘Towards the end of time, i.e. the period before the Doomsday, hardly any dream will be untrue. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said, ‘That will be because Prophethood and its effects will be so far away in time, so the believers will be given some compensation in the form of dreams which will give them some good news or will help them to be patient and steadfast in their faith’. (Al Bukhari- & Muslim).

This hadith makes it clear that not only are dreams important in Islam but they are also a source of glad tidings or good news from Allah (swt) who is The All Merciful. This hadith also shows us how much love and blessings Allah (swt) showers upon us because He has granted us dreams as a gift. He has compensated us with dreams because we were not fortunate enough to have Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) in our midst. How Considerate is our Creator to think about what we lack and He has offered a means of compensating us through dreams which may either give us good news or strengthen our faith in Allah (swt). Would it not be inconsiderate on our part if instead of paying attention to our dreams and learning how to interpret them we simply ignore them?

Moreover, there is no point in classifying dreams into such categories like nightmares, prophetic dreams, wet dreams, lucid dreams etc. We have enough evidence from the ahadith about the actual categories of dreams. Hence, there is no point in complicating the topic of dream categories.
It is mentioned in a hadith that Allah’s Apostle (saw) said, ‘Dreams are of three types: a dream from Allah, a dream which causes distress and which comes from Shaitan 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 & Muslim)
In another hadith Abu Qutaadah said, ‘The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: Good dreams come from Allah and the bad dreams come from Shaitan. Whoever sees something that he dislikes, let him thrice towards his left side and seek refuge with Allah from Shaitan’ for it will not harm him’. (Narrated by Al-Bukhari & Muslim). The spitting, which is referred to in this ahadith, means dry spitting sans any saliva.
Aby Sa’eed al-Khudri (ra) said that Allah’s Apostle (saw) said, ‘If anyone of you sees a dream that he likes, this is from Allah, so let him praise Allah for it and talk about it to others. If he sees other than that, a dream which he dislikes, this is from Shaitan, so let him seek refuge with Allah from its evil and not mention it to anyone, for it will not harm him’. (Sahih Bukhari & Muslim)

These two ahadith describe the types of dreams and the ways to deal with them. We also find that there are certain rules which we need to follow when we see a good or a scary dream. The following hadith further elaborates about these rules:
Abu Huraira (ra) reported that Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)said, ‘If anyone of you sees a dream which he does not like then he should stand up and pray and he should not relate it to anybody’. (Al-Bukhari).

In a hadith by Muslim another rule has been mentioned to avoid the ill-effects of the scary dreams. The hadith instructs us to change the side on which we were lying at the time we saw the scary scream.

So up to now we have discussed about the different types of dreams in the light of Islam and also about the right way to respond to those dreams so that we are not harmed by them. When it comes to the horrifying dreams (which are shown to us by our biggest enemy, i.e. Shaitan in order to scare us) we are not supposed to be discreet about such dreams. Instead of disclosing about such dreams we should seek refuge with Allah (swt) from the evil of such scary dreams. Talking about such rubbish Satanic dreams before others can create a negative impact on our minds and we may start believing in those fake dreams. I shall mention a hadith here to elaborate this point.

According to a authentic hadith, Jabir reported that Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said, ‘There came to him a desert Arab who said, ‘I saw in a dream that I had been beheaded and I had been following it (the severed head). Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) reprimanded him by saying, ‘Do not inform about the vain sporting of the devil with you during the night’.

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amel soname
amel_soname@yahoo.com

THE MECHANISM OF DREAMS


Assalam oalaikum,

By now we have a basic idea as to what is a dream and how significant it is in Islam. Dreams have been defined as a sequence of images, ideas and sensations and emotions which take place involuntarily in our mind, while we are asleep. At this stage a question may arise in our mind that how do dreams occur? After having understood the meaning of dreams and their importance in Islam now let us try to understand about their mechanism. If a dream is a series of images, ideas etc then how come such images pop up in our minds while we are fast asleep?

Science has presented numerous theories regarding the mechanism of dreams. The more we delve into those theories the more confusion will be produced in our minds. I shall mention about a few puzzling theories here:

Some of the scientific researchers opine that dreams do not serve any purpose at all and they are just random images.
Some claim that the dreams help to de-clutter our minds, manage our moods and to organize our memories.
The others believe that the dreams serve the purpose of psychotherapy by enabling the dreamer to establish a link between different emotions and thoughts, in a secure environment.
Modern scientists believe that dreams occur so that we may practice how to cope with fight or flight situations in our real life.
According to some scientists dreams are akin to de-fragmentation of a computer’s hard-drive.

These varied viewpoints about dreams were enough to create utter confusion in our minds. However, the different branches of science which look at dreams from different perspectives have simply added fuel to fire and have created more confusion.

A brain scientist may be concerned about the effect of sleeping and dreaming on the health.
An anthropologist may be more interested in finding about the effect of dreams on the way people interact with each other in a tribe.
A psychologist may try to decipher the mechanism of dreams in order to help people improve their quality of life

These numerous theories floating around prove that science has no inkling about the real purpose of dreams. Nor can science prove with surety how dreams actually occur. If science could prove the purpose and the mechanism of dreams then there would not have been so many different theories doing the rounds. So basically, these umpteen theories that I have mentioned above are unproven, till date. Science has not been able to understand the concept of dream accurately simply because dreams have a spiritual side to them.

We should try to understand the concept of dreams only in the light of Islam otherwise there are chances that we will go up a blind alley.

In my next post, Inshallah I shall discuss about the concept of soul travel during one’s sleep, (in the light of the Holy Quran) which is instrumental in the occurrence of dreams.
remember me in your prayers
amel soname
amel_soname@yahoo.com

DREAMS OCCUR DUE TO SOUL TRAVEL


Assalam oalaikum,

We have seen so far that if we take the help of science to understand and interpret dreams, we will go up a blind alley, the main reason being that dreams belong to a spiritual realm, which science has not yet been able to prove. It is only the Holy Quran which tells us about the exact nature of dreams- why they occur, what are their different categories, how they occur and how are we supposed to deal with them so that they do not affect us adversely. No other religion of the world provides us with such in-depth detail about dreams. Islam also teaches us about the significance of dreams and how our dreams can help us to solve the problems pertaining to our day-to-day life.

If there is any subject that comes somewhat closer to the definition of dreams by Islam, then it is Metaphysics, which is a branch of philosophy related to the elementary nature of reality and being. According to Metaphysics, our active mind becomes still while we sleep and our sub-conscious mind becomes active. So the latter communicates with us through dreams and sends us messages which are full of wisdom and knowledge. This is true to some extent yet it does not give us comprehensive information about dreams.
In order to get to the core of dreams we will have to refer to the Holy Quran.

Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran:
‘It is Allah who takes away souls at the time of their death and those that die not during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and sends the rest for a time appointed. Verily, in this are signs for the people who think’. (TMQ-39:42)

Though this verse has not mentioned dreams in a direct way, yet it has given us a significant clue about how dreams occur. This verse informs us that Allah (swt) withholds the souls of those people whose life-span is over at the time of their death and He withholds the souls of those people whose life-span is not over, at the time of their sleep. The souls for which death has been ordained are withheld permanently and those whose death has not been ordained are sent back into their body, for a fixed time. If we look deeper into the meaning of this verse we find that Allah (swt) holds back the souls of those people whose life span is over. Consequently, such people pass away during their sleep. However, for those whose life span is not yet over, Allah (swt) withholds their souls during their sleep and returns their soul when they wake up. In other words, when a person’s soul is withheld permanently by Allah (swt) he or she loses both his consciousness and his life. The only thing which remains here is the still, lifeless body. However, for those people whose life span is not yet over, their souls are withheld only till they are asleep. Consequently, such people lose only their consciousness but not their life. So by the Will of Allah (swt) they wake up the next morning.

Now this implies that during sleep the soul leaves the body on the Command of Allah (swt). Since the soul has to return to the body, so it is still linked to it in some way. However, it roams freely, while the person is fast asleep, into the world of souls. I do not say in the spiritual world or in some other realm because our soul travels into the world of souls while we sleep. This does not mean that it goes there on a social visit and that all it does there is to meet other souls. It is there to fulfill the Command of Allah (swt) who shows us that this physical world is not the only world that exists. During its travel to the world of souls our soul is shown the dreams which may be from Allah (swt) as a form of glad tidings or good news. I have already discussed earlier in post # 2 (Dreams are consequential), the reason why the good dreams are shown to us from Allah (swt). Since the Satan is always on the prowl, so he tries every trick in the book to weaken our faith and to lead us astray. He, therefore pounces at this opportunity and tries to show our souls scary dreams or nightmares, in order to frighten us.  Now coming back to the main point, I would like to give a rational explanation about my claim that our souls travel into the world of souls during our sleep. Many of us might have seen our deceased relatives in our dreams and got some or the other messages from them. Sometimes we see them looking happy and contented whereas at other times we see the in a deplorable condition. When we see them is an unhappy state we often rush to do some virtuous deed such as feeding the poor or giving away money in charity, in the name of our deceased relatives, so that their soul gets the blessings from Allah (swt). Have we ever wondered that how do the departed souls communicate with us in our dreams? Well, definitely they do not enter into our minds and then give us some message because as the above mentioned Quranic verse states, our souls (or sub-conscious mind) is withheld by Allah (swt) while we are fast asleep. The departed souls are able to meet us easily because our own souls travel into their world.

This is how dreams actually occur. This may seem to be indigestible to those who do not have a strong faith in Allah (swt) and in the Unseen. However, this is the truth and it shall prevail over all the other dodgy, varied and confusing explanations offered to us by science.



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amel soname
amel_soname@yahoo.com

DREAMS ARE AN INTEGRAL PART OF ISLAM

Assalam oalaikum,

So far I have explained the significance of dreams and how and why they occur. For those who undermine dreams and consider them to be meaningless I would like to offer some more food for thought. In this post, I shall give evidence from the Holy Quran (chapter: 12- Surah Yusuf) and the ahadith which will make it amply clear that dreams are not something nonsensical and that they are an integral part of Islam.

The Holy Quran says in Surah Yusuf, verse 4:

‘(Remember) when Yusuf said to his father, ‘O my father! Verily I saw (in a dream) eleven stars and the sun and the moon, I saw them prostrating themselves to me’.

The Holy Quran says in Surah Yusuf, verse 6:

‘Thus will your Lord choose you and teach you the interpretation of dreams (and other things) and perfect His favor on you and on the offspring of Ya’qub and He perfected it on your fathers Ibrahim and Ishaque aforetime! Verily, your Lord is All-Knowing, All- Wise’.

The Holy Quran says in Surah Yusuf, verse 43:

‘And the King of Egypt said, ‘Verily I saw (in a dream) seven fat cows whom seven lean ones were devouring, and seven green ears of corn and (seven) ears of dry. O notables, explain to me my dream, if it be that you can interpret dreams’.

The Holy Quran says in Surah Yusuf, verse 101:

‘My Lord! You have indeed bestowed on me of the sovereignty and taught me the interpretation of dreams. The (only) Creator of the Heavens and the earth, You are my Protector in this world and in the Hereafter, cause me to die as a Muslim and join me with the righteous.


After going through these Quranic verses, we cannot help noticing that all of them have one thing in common, i.e. dreams. Not only do these verses mention about dreams but they also speak about dream interpretation. Once a person starts believing in the significance and meaningfulness of the dreams which we see every night then Interpretation of those dreams is obviously the next logical step, It is only after a proper interpretation of those dreams that we can draw conclusions from them and avail them.


Now I shall provide the evidence from the ahadith which also speaks volumes about the meaningfulness of dreams. The ahadith mentioned below will make it absolutely clear that it is only those who lack awareness about the subject of dreams, consider them to be nonsensical.

Narrated Hazrat Ayesha (ra), ‘Allah’s Apostle said to me, ‘You were shown to me twice (in my dream) before I married you. I saw an angel carrying you in a silken piece of cloth and I said to him, ‘Uncover (her) and behold! It was you. I said (to myself), ‘If this is from Allah then this must happen’. Then you were shown to me, the angel carrying you in a silken piece of cloth and I said to him, ‘Uncover (her) and behold! It was you. I said (to myself), ‘If this is from Allah then this must happen’. (Sahih Bukhari:9:140)


Narrated Abdullah Bin Umar: ‘Allah’s Apostle said, ‘While I was sleeping, I was given a bowl full of milk (in my dream) and I drank from it (to my fill) till I noticed its wetness coming out from my limbs. Then I gave the rest of it to Umar bin Al-Khattab’. The people sitting around him asked, ‘What have interpreted (about the dream) O Allah’s Apostle? He replied, ‘(It is religious) knowledge’.

There are several more ahadith related to dreams. However, the two mentioned above to make my point clear. Some people also have the wrong notion that true and meaningful dreams were shown only to the Prophets of Allah (swt) and in today’s age, the whole idea seems to be preposterous. Now this is another case of making claims without bothering to check out the facts. I shall prove this idea to be baseless with the help of a hadith, which says:

‘Towards the end of time, i.e. the period before the Doomsday, hardly any dream will be untrue. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said, ‘That will be because Prophethood and its effects will be so far away in time, so the believers will be given some compensation in the form of dreams which will give them some good news or will help them to be patient and steadfast in their faith’. (Al Bukhari- & Muslim).

In another hadith, narrated Anas bin Malik, ‘’Allah’s Apostle said, ‘A good dream (that comes true) of a righteous man is one of forty- sixth part of prophetism’ (Bukhari-, volume: 9, Book:87, number 112)

In the second hadith Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) has not restricted the good and true dreams, which are seen by people, to any particular era. He has just stressed on the fact that such dreams are shown to the righteous people. This proves that those who are righteous, (irrespective of the era to which they belong), will be shown true dreams as a blessing from Allah (swt).
Or do the critics of true dreams claim that in the present age, not a single soul is righteous?

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amel soname
amel_soname@yahoo.com

INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS IN ISLAM

Assalam oalaikum,

So far I have discussed about the importance of dreams in our day-to-day life. I have earlier proved with the help of the Quranic verses and the ahadith that dreams are meaningful. However, just like it is essential to crack secret codes and puzzles it is essential to crack a dream too. This is because dreams are presented before us as a secret code or a puzzle, so in order to understand them and to get Divine guidance from them we first need to crack them, like we would crack a puzzle.
In the history of Islam, dreams interpretation holds special importance and it was considered to be a spiritual exercise. Muhammad Ibn Sirin, who lived in the 8th century, was a notable Muslim interpreter of dreams. He stated that after Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) it was Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) who was the best interpreter of dreams. It is a generally acceptable idea that dream interpretation requires a pure heart and spiritual insight.

According to an authentic hadith Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said, ‘If I were to choose as my bosom friend I would have chosen the son of Abu Quhafa (Abu Bakr) as my bosom friend’. This hadith throws light on the close bond of friendship and mutual understanding between Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (ra). Their friendship is also reflected by the fact that both of them used to narrate the dreams they saw to each other and then interpret it.

In this post, I shall mention some of the important dreams of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) which were interpreted by Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (ra).

Once Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) saw in a dream that he was driving a herd of black sheep. Then he found himself driving a herd of white sheep and some time later both the herds got mixed up to the extent that they could not be separated from each other Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (ra) interpreted this dream in the following way: The black sheep symbolized the Arabs whereas the white ones symbolized the people of other religions. Mixing up of both the herds shows that Islam will eventually spread to other religions.
Once Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) saw in a dream that he was walking along with Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and soon he went ahead of him by two and a half steps. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) interpreted this dream of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in the following way: Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) would be the first to be summoned by Allah (swt) and Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) would follow him after two and a half years.

Prophet Mohammad (saw) a dream (prior to the Battle of Uhud) that he was driving some cows and some of the cows got slaughtered.  He also saw a dent on his sword.  Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) interpreted this dream of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in the following way: Slaughtering of some of the cows which Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) was driving symbolized the martyrdom of some of his Companions (ra) in the battle. Moreover, the dent in the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) sword signified the martyrdom of one of the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) relative. Eventually Hazrat Hamza (ra), who was the uncle of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) got martyred in the battle.

Once Hazrat Ayesha (ra) saw in a dream that three moons had descended on her house. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) interpreted her dream in the following way: Three luminaries would be buried in her house. Subsequently her house did become the burial place of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and lastly Hazrat Umar (ra).

Once a man saw in a dream that he was urinating blood. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) interpreted his dream in the following way: That man used to have sexual intercourse with his wife even during her menstruation. Abu Bakr (ra) admonished that man and told him to abstain from doing so.

Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) had also interpreted the dreams of his dearest Companion, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (ra) amongst others. There is a separate chapter devoted to the topic of interpretation of dreams in Sahih Bukhari, which consists of 61 ahadith. All this goes to show the importance of dream interpretation and analysis in Islam.




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amel soname
amel_soname@yahoo.com

THE FIRST STEP IN DREAM INTERPREATION


Assalam oalaikum,

Now since we know what a dream is and how it occurs so let us now move on to its interpretation.
The most common hurdle in dream interpretation, which is faced by many people, is the inability to recall their dreams. Those who cannot remember their dreams may not necessarily have a weak memory yet they forget about their dreams once they wake up. So how can they interpret them and find out the message their dreams try to convey to them? Well, if such people change their outlook towards dreams then definitely they will pay more attention towards their dreams. If they attach importance to their dreams only then will they be able to recall them easily. Secondly, those people who know the value of dreams are mentally prepared to interpret their dreams before leaving their bed on waking up. So if a person is suddenly awakened by an alarm clock and then jumps out of the bed in a hurry then there are fewer chances of his or her being able to recall what they saw in their dreams. If using an alarm to wake up is imperative then at least some time should be spend in the bed in order to remember whatever one saw while sleeping and to make a note of it. Waking up all of a sudden and then immediately getting involved in the daily activities can be detrimental to recalling one’s dreams.
One can slowly start practicing how to remember the dreams and if we succeed in doing so then half the battle is almost won!
Once you start recalling your dreams you will find that you may either see just one dream or multiple dreams, each night. Don’t worry about their number because once you make up your mind to decode the message of each dream of yours, recalling each of them will be cakewalk for you.
It is not surprising that dream interpretation has not been regarded by Islam as a science or an art, but it is considered to be a form of spiritual exercise. Focusing, recalling and analyzing one’s dreams require spiritual strength and meditation. Many people like solving sudoku puzzles, which appear daily in almost every newspaper and tabloid. They find it akin to meditation as they have to focus a lot on the brainteaser, in order to find out the solution. Meditation, as we know, also involves focusing on a single object. Likewise, dream interpretation is also similar to meditation because it requires us to focus our attention on each dream. So for those who strike a right chord between materialism and spirituality, dream interpretation cannot be an arduous task; as compared to those who are out and out materialistic. If a person who has a materialistic outlook is keen on learning how to interpret his or her dreams, then such a person will have to start from scratch. On the other hand, for those who have a spiritual outlook and who meditate often, interpreting dreams will be comparatively easier.


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amel soname
amel_soname@yahoo.com

THE SECOND STEP IN DREAM INTERPREATION


Assalam oalaikum,
The ahadith inform us that dreams can either be nightmares, which are shown to us by Satan or else they can be enlightening dreams from Allah (swt), which again can either be a source of glad tidings/ good news or they may simply be means through which our faith can get strengthened.
Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said, ‘True dreams are from Allah and bad dreams are from Shaitan’. (Sahih Bukhari)
 Since centuries have passed away after the demise of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) so the dreams shown to us by Allah (swt) have become the source through which we can get enlightenment and also we can fortify our faith.
Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said, ‘Nothing is left of prophethood except glad tidings. Those with him asked him, ‘What are glad tidings? He replied, ‘Good dreams’.
Now since we have a fair idea about the type of dreams which we may see let us now move on to the next step in interpreting dreams. Once we start observing our dreams and recollecting them we will find that dreams occur haphazardly, i.e. on certain days we may not see any dream at all whereas on other days we may see a plethora of dreams. The second step in dreams interpretation is to sort out the dreams. The dreams that are shown to us by Satan are meant to scare us. They are the nightmares which may give us gooseflesh and they leave a bad taste in the mouth. The aim of Satan is to weaken our faith which he tries to fulfill by showing us frightening dreams. For example, a woman loves her only child a lot and she prays to Allah (swt) after every namaz for his long life. She is hopeful that Allah (swt) will answer her prayers and she will not lose her only child to some disease. Since Satan knows how insecure and emotional the woman is regarding her child so he may cunningly try to exploit her insecurity by showing her a scary dream in which she will see herself losing her child forever. Now if the woman is prudent enough to understand that such a dream can be shown only by Satan then she will never believe in the dream. However, if she does not have any idea about the tricks Satan does through the dreams so it is possible that she will lose hope and her faith will get weakened. She will feel that her prayers have gone unheard and her loss of faith will be Satan’s gain.
Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we are able to identify our dreams. The simplest way of identifying the dreams which are shown to us by Satan is that they create tensions in our mind. Such dreams do not need any interpretation at all although they may seemingly have a story to tell. Since the intention of Satan is to scare us so we should thwart his plans by not believing in what we see. Satan can never show anyone a true dream as it is beyond his capacity. He only revels in delusions and in cunning deception.
Moreover, as I have discussed in my previous posts, such scary dreams should be dealt in the following manner:
They should not be discussed with anybody lest we start taking them to be true.
We should spit (dry) thrice towards our left side once we wake up after the dream.
For further protection from the evil effect of the dream we can offer two rakat namaz.
We should change the side on which we were lying when we saw the bad dream.
By following these four steps we will be seeking refuge of Allah (swt) from Satan and thereby, we will get protection from the evil effects of the dream.
Once we identify the nightmares shown to us by Satan and we follow the above mentioned steps of dealing with them, the remaining dreams will be the good ones which are meant to give us good news or else they are meant to fortify our faith.
So in the second step in dream interpretation we will be sorting out our dreams and we will filter out the Satanic dreams. The remaining dreams are the good ones, which I shall discuss in my next post, Inshallah.


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amel soname
amel_soname@yahoo.com

THE THIRD STEP IN DREAM INTERPRETATION


Assalam oalaikum,

As we delve deeper into the enigmatic world of dreams the journey gets more and more exciting. In order to unravel the mysteries of dreams we first need to tighten our seat belts because the world of dreams is truly a roller-coaster ride with its own shares of thrills and spills.
In order to interpret our dreams successfully first of all we need to get rid of the preconceived notion that dreams merely reflect our inner most thoughts, fears and insecurities. I have already proved with the help of reference from the Holy Quran and the ahadith that dreams are an important and integral part of our lives and a blessing from Allah (swt).  Would any of us close the door on someone who is trying to help us? Certainly not! In fact, we will welcome the person and hear him out. Likewise our dreams also offer practical solutions to our day-to day problems in a coded form and they guide us in a symbolic way. So it would not be prudent on our part to ignore them or consider them to be meaningless. Just because we have not worked out on ways of interpreting them that does not mean that the dreams do not carry any weight. A puzzle may apparently seem to be very tough and confusing at first glance but if we work out ways of solving it then we can certainly solve it, no matter what. It is the same case with our dreams.

According to a hadith, ‘Those who have the most truthful dreams are the ones who are the most truthful in speech’. (Muslim 4200).

There is another hadith which throws light not only on the truthfulness of dreams but it also enlightens us about the logic behind their occurrence.

‘Towards the end of time, hardly any dream will be untrue. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said, ‘This will be because Prophethood and its effects will be so far away in time so the believers will be given some compensation in the form of dreams which will bring them good news or will help them to be patient and steadfast in their faith’. (Sahih Bukhari: 6499 & Muslim: 4200)

This hadith gives us a crystal clear explanation about the concept of dreams in Islam.
So the third step in dream interpretation will be to understand the true meaning and importance of dreams in the light of Islam so that we do not have any misconceptions about dreams. Once we get our basics right then we can easily surge ahead in the right direction.
 


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amel soname
amel_soname@yahoo.com

THE FOURTH STEP IN DREAM INTERPREATION


Assalam oalaikum,

A common mistake that people usually make while interpreting dreams is that they tend to forget that our dreams are presented before us in a coded form and in a symbolic language. Therefore, taking our dream as it is would be a mistake just like it would be a mistake, on our part, to take people at face value. So firstly, we need to understand that whatever is shown to us in a dream can have a hidden meaning also. The exercise of interpreting our dreams requires patience and racking our brains just as we would do to solve a riddle.

As I have discussed earlier, dream interpretation will definitely be a tougher exercise for those people who are not into meditation as compared to those who are not new to meditation. A meditative mind can focus on a dream longer and in a better way as compared to an easily distracted mind.

Our dreams give us a hint, whether directly or indirectly, clearly or subtly;   about the message they try to give to us.   Even a single hint is enough for a wise person to be able to understand the hidden meaning of the dream. However, if we miss this hint/clue then we may end up in utter confusion.
Being able to recall a dream is like a battle half won. Firstly, we need to observe minutely whatever we saw. Do not worry even if it seems Greek to you but what is important is that you remembered your dream. It does not make much difference as to how much time you had to invest in tying to understand your dream. What is actually important is that you finally managed to interpret your dream. I have ignored the time factor here due to a sound reason. You may have heard people saying that I shall do this when the time is ripe of I shall give her this news when the time is ripe. This means that certain things need to be done or told only at a certain time or at the right time. Likewise, our dreams also carry some message for us but some of them need to be told to us only when the time is ripe. Otherwise, there are chances that we will not be able to understand the dream at all.
For example: A girl suffers from some dreadful disease and she loses all hope of survival. Her exams are round the corner but her chances of recovering are less, though not nil. Let us suppose that this girl is actually destined to not only survive her illness but also to be miraculously able to appear for her exams and pass with flying colors. Now if this girl is shown a dream, during her terrible illness, regarding her success in the exams (in a symbolic way) will she be able to believe in her dream? Certainly not! Due to her current ordeal she will not be able to understand that how will she be able to perform such an amazing feat. Such a dream will become comprehensible to her only when she is able to appear for her exams. Otherwise during her state of illness it will be beyond her imagination to even appear for the exams.
There are chances that this girl will ignore her dream, since she will not be able to relate to it at all, during her illness. However, the same dream will flash across her mind when she is recuperating and has become hopeful of appearing in the exams. So she will suddenly remember her dream when the time is ripe.

This is the reason why I have not paid much attention to the time factor, were dream interpretation is concerned!
 

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amel soname
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THE FIFTH STEP IN DREAM INTERPRETATION


Assalam oalaikum,

We know for sure that Satan is our biggest enemy and he does not want anyone amongst us to follow the path shown to us by Allah (swt). He tries every trick in the book to deter us from being righteous. He can deceive us in numerous ways such as Satanic whispers or evil dreams. However, there is one thing which is beyond his capacity and that is to deceive us by impersonating Prophet Mohammad (pbuh). Suppose Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) appeared in our dream and offered us some advice, then in such a case would any true Muslim have the audacity to ignore his advice? Definitely not! Now if Satan had the power to impersonate Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) then we can well imagine how much damage Satan could have caused. He could have taken advantage of the fact that nobody can turn down the advice of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and then he could have fooled people around. However, he has not been given the power to impersonate our Beloved Prophet (pbuh) and this is evident by the following hadith:

“Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (ra) reports that Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said, ‘He who saw me in a dream has certainly seen me for Shaitan cannot take my form’. (Sahih al-Bukhari & Sahih Muslim)

This makes it clear that Satan cannot dupe us by impersonating Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) in our dreams. Hazrat Moinuddinf Chishti has reportedly migrated to India after seeing Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) in a dream. One night when he was in a trance like state he was commanded by the Holy Prophet (pbuh), ‘O Moinuddin! You are a prop of our faith. Proceed to India to show the path of truth to the people there. Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti who originally belonged to Seistan, left for India after getting the command from the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

Many people have been fortunate enough to have seen Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) in a dream. In one case, a pious, old man had a dream during the month of Ramadan. He saw that he was sitting along with Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and a group of some other people. There was a large bowl of water placed before them. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) lifted the bowl and took a sip from it. He then passed on the bowl to the old man before anyone else. The old man narrated his dream to a Maulwi, was proficient in dream interpretation. The Maulwi used euphemism in interpreting the dream so that he would not hurt the old man. However, the pious, old man was clever enough to understand this. He informed his kith and kin that ‘This is my last Ramadan’, i.e. he would not live for another year. He had interpreted his dream in his own way. He realized that his dream gave him a sign of his fast approaching death because Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) had offered him water before giving it to anyone else. In the next few months that old man suffered from an incurable disease and very soon, breathed his last. What he had told his near and dear ones had turned out to be true that ‘This would be my last Ramadan’

In yet another case a competent student of Islamic history was about to complete his Ph.D. However, as it happens with many students, the last phase of his Ph. D had turned out to be a nightmare for him. Overcoming the final hurdles had become impossible for him due to the incompetent and irresponsible supervisors. He had lost his patience and had almost given up. During this phase in his life he saw Prophet Mohammad (saw) in a dream and he saw himself sitting near his feet. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) smiled at him and by a gesture of his hand he showed him a mirror in which the entire world was visible. The student was amazed by what he saw in the dream. Some time later a dream interpretation expert explained the entire dream to him. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) had encouraged the student to complete his doctorate by reminding him about his command over the subject. In a subtle way he made it clear to the student that it would not be suitable for him to give up when success is round the corner. The whole world shown to him in the mirror was a symbol of the vast knowledge the student had about his subject.

The critics would argue that what has the Holy Prophet to do with a student’s doctorate? Well, however insignificant we consider the student to be amongst the sea of doctorates yet we should not overlook the fact that he was a student of Islamic history. After completing his Ph.D he is now imparting Islamic knowledge in a university and in his own small way he is contributing to the spread of Islam.

At this point I would like to mention another hadith from Sahih Bukhari, vol: 9, Book of interpretation, which dissuades the people from fabricating dreams. It says:

Ibn Abbas narrated that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said, Whoever claims to have seen a dream which he did not see, then he will be commanded to make a knot between two grains of barley which he will not be able to do..’

In another hadith Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said, ‘Indeed, the worst of lies is that of a person who falsely claims to have dream (Sahih Bukahri)

These ahadith make it clear that concocting dreams can prove to be hazardous for those who do so, on the Day of Resurrection. Therefore, it would be wiser to abstain from such evil.



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amel soname
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THE SIXTH STEP IN DREAM INTERPRETATION


Assalam oalaikum,

After going through my previous posts I think those who are interested in dream interpretation will be all set for this tough yet interesting task.

Once we start observing and keeping a note of all our dreams we can learn a lot through our own experience. Life is the best teacher and each new dream will enrich our experience, thereby increasing our command over the subject of dream interpretation.

In the sixth step, in order to interpret our dreams methodically, we will have to classify them into four broad groups so that the seemingly daunting task of interpreting them becomes easier for us to handle.

Nightmares
Black magic related dreams
Recurring dreams
Symbolic dreams

The first group, i.e. nightmares has been only mentioned here but I shall not go into its details as I have explained its meaning and the ways in which it should be dealt, in my previous post: THE SECOND STEP IN DREAM INTERPREATION (link add kar den)

I have also discussed about the second category of black magic related dreams in my blog HYPERLINK "http://ilmerooh.blogspot.in/2012/05/rooh-or-khab.html" http://ilmerooh.blogspot.in/2012/05/rooh-or-khab.html .

In this post, I shall discuss about the third category of recurring dreams, which refer to those cases in which people tend to see the same type of dream, intermittently. For example, we know that Allah (swt) tests those amongst us, whom He loves, through various tests and tribulations. The people who have to face these tests often see dreams about appearing in exams. The examination halls which they see symbolize life, in general, whereas the exams they seemingly appear for in their dream, symbolize the test which they are made to go through by Allah (swt). Allah (swt) wishes to tests our patience and faith in Him by putting us to test. Now this is a basic and general explanation about such dreams. The dreams which are related to exams may vary between different people, depending on their different situations. For example: a woman who was well-educated suddenly fell on hard times. Her husband suffered from an unrecoverable loss in business due to which her life came crumbling down. Allah (swt) had put her and her family to test through this ordeal. She remained steadfast and her situation improved gradually. At one point in life she saw a dream that she was appearing for her graduation exam all over again. She felt perplexed and thought to herself (in her dream) that why is she appearing for the exam all over again, since she is already a graduate. Her dream gave her the message that she will not have to face the problems which she has faced hitherto, again in her life. At another point in life, the same woman saw in a dream that she was appearing for a test but the paper was of a subject which was totally new for her. She had neither studied for it nor prepared for it. Her dream implied that she should not feel bewildered because of the new tests that Allah (swt) makes us go through in life as we will be sufficiently rewarded for each one of them.

Some people often dream of setting forth on a journey either by railway or some other mode of transport. Generally speaking such dreams mostly reflect the hardships we face through the journey of life. Journeys, as most would agree, usually cause discomfort. Those who are facing some ordeal in life are more prone to seeing such dreams. However, there can be some variations in the dreams as each person has a different type of problem. There was a woman who had to go through many trials in life but she was destined to emerge triumphant eventually due to her steadfastness and unwavering faith in Allah (swt). Once she simply saw a train crossing a river bridge in her dream. Now even a layman will be able to decipher this dream easily. We know for sure that when the train in which we are traveling crosses a river bridge it gives the jitters to almost everyone because of the river below. Moreover, we also know that this jittery feeling is temporary because the train takes very less time to cross the river bridge. So this dream indicated that the woman may be going through a rough patch in her life but soon after her life will become smoothly- sailing and her struggles will gradually come to an end.
Dreams can either be somewhat general or else they can be specific and unique. For example, the general dreams can be interpreted by a dream interpreter easily after getting to know the background of the person who saw the dream. However, if the dream is specific then it will be easier for the one who saw the dream to crack it rather than for someone else. For example: if a person has become very greedy under the influence of Satan and his faith is at stake so he may be shown a dream for guidance so that he does not go astray. We know that dreams cannot be taken at face value since they use symbolic language. Now suppose that man watches a television soap regularly in which there is an old lady who is very greedy. Now this particular old lady will become a symbol of greed for that man. The dream, which will be shown to him for guidance, may show that old lady stumbling and falling down and spoiling her lovely dress. If the man is clever enough then he will get the hint. He will understand that the dream means that if he does not stop being greedy then he may end up tarnishing his reputation.
   
Interpreting dreams successfully requires a little bit of common sense apart from spiritual insight. If one is spiritual and good at meditation then focusing our thoughts on the dream can also help us get guidance from our own self or soul/sub-conscience.

In my next post, I shall discuss about the fourth and the last category of dreams, i.e. the symbolic dreams, Inshallah.
 

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amel soname
amel_soname@yahoo.com

THE SEVENTH STEP IN DREAM INTERPRETATION


Assalam oalaikum,

In this post, I shall be discussing about the dreams which are by and large symbolic. But we already know that all dreams speak to us in a symbolic language. So what is so special about the dreams which I have decided to discuss here, separately? Well, what makes these dreams slightly different from others is that they have a common meaning. Though the recurring dreams, such as those of traveling or appearing for exams, also exhibit a common meaning but the symbolic dreams are not recurring dreams. They occur only once in a while when the occasion arises. I shall clear the air about these dreams in this post, Inshallah.

Before I go into the details I shall like to remind the readers that dreams are not supposed to be taken at face value. For example, a man who is driving a car in his dream recklessly does not mean that the man is not a good driver and that he should drive safely. The car symbolizes his life and his reckless driving symbolizes his living at neck-break speed and the dream would signify that the man needs to be more careful in life. So as far as a dream is concerned, in most cases, it cannot be taken just like it is. Effort has to be made in order to understand its hidden meaning through the clues which each dream offers to us.

Now let us come back to the main point of the symbolic dreams, which are quite common and many people may see them at some point of the other in their life.
Some people see their teeth falling in a dream. They see that handful of teeth keep falling into their hands. They may throw them once but they fall again. Unfortunately, those who try to interpret dreams merely with their intellect or reasoning but sans a spiritual insight tend to interpret dreams superficially. They may take pains to interpret this dream and then they may reach a conclusion that teeth symbolize our health or our beauty or maybe some other thing. However, a careful analysis of this common seen dream means that a person (who sees it) should not let him or her get affected by the tensions that others around him give to him. Surprised? Well, once you are able to unravel the mystery of dreams, you will find that nothing is impossible here. Once a man told me that he dreamt that he had won a jackpot and he felt exuberant. I interpreted his dream for him and told him that his father was ill due to which the man was feeling quite tensed. His father handled the entire family matters very well as such and the man feared that if something untoward happened to his father then things would become quite difficult for him. However, the dream gave him the good news that his father’s illness is temporary and he will soon recover fro it. So the man should stop worrying unnecessarily. According to the ahadith which we I have mentioned earlier in this blog, this dream was a source of glad tidings for this man as it had some good news for him. On hearing this interpretation the man got puzzled. He could not help wondering that how could winning a jackpot have got to anything to do with his father’s illness. Both seemed to be so diametrically opposite. However, he also revealed that he was actually quite upset since the last few days in the wake of his father’s health problem.
The second symbolic dream that occurs at some point of life is that of construction. It could either be an entire building being constructed, a house or maybe just a part of the house. This dream symbolizes death. Yes, the dreams which inform us about the death of a person will not actually show him dying since dreams have a symbolic language. The message of death is conveyed to us through construction based dreams. For example: a young girl saw a huge construction site in her dream and her father was going towards that site, hurriedly. However, the girl caught hold of his hand and pulled him away from that place. Some after seeing this dream the girl’s father suffered from a massive heart attack and he had to go through a complicated heart surgery. However, the surgery was successful and her father survived. Therefore, her dream meant that her father was going to have a close shave in life. In another case, a man saw himself doing some construction work in his old house where he used to live. He saw this dream many times in life and each time he saw it one of his relative passed away. So the man learnt through his personal experience that construction in a dream symbolizes death. There is another symbolic dream which implies death and that is seeing a marriage or a feast in one’s dream. However, a point which should be noted here is that a dream pertaining to marriage can also mean something else besides death but a dream related to a feast has to imply death, no matter what. For example: a woman had an ailing mother, who was quite old and hospitalized. According to the doctors, there was some hope of recovery as the old lady had a very strong will to live. However, the woman saw in a dream that a feast was going on in her mother’s house and the woman was feeling anxious that how would she be able to accommodate so many guests. Her mother passed away a couple of weeks after she saw this dream.

In my next concluding post, I shall explore the topic of wet dreams in the light of Islam. I would like to end this post with a little exercise for the readers.
“A woman remembered having seen a dream during her childhood that a tiger had swallowed her and she could feel herself sliding into his stomach. Later on she could hear a rumbling sound within the lion’s stomach”. Definitely this dream of hers did not have anything to do with her childhood days, but it was related to her whole life, in a general sense. I shall interpret this dream for my readers in my next post. Till then, happy dream interpretation!
 

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amel soname
amel_soname@yahoo.com

THE EIGHTH STEP IN DREAM INTERPRETATION


Assalam oalaikum,

I had concluded my previous post with an exercise for those who are interested in learning how to interpret their dreams. The dream goes like this:
    “A woman remembered having seen a dream during her childhood that a tiger had swallowed her and she could feel herself sliding into his stomach. Later on she could hear a rumbling sound within the lion’s stomach”.
This dream is not a fabrication but a real one. Now we will have to start the interpretation step by step. A tiger is a carnivorous animal and getting swallowed by it would definitely have to do something with one’s enemies. So in this dream the tiger would depict the enemy. The second most important clue which can help us get to the root of the dream is that though the girl had been swallowed by the tiger yet it could hear the rumbling noise within the body of the tiger, i.e. she was still alive. This implies that though the girl’s enemies will try to overcome her yet they will not be able to cause her any harm. The fact that the girl had survived despite being gobbled up by a ferocious animal such as a tiger shows that the girl may have many enemies who will try to get the better of her but they will be in vain.

Now let us move on to the main topic of this post, i.e. wet dreams, which are also known as nocturnal emissions, nightfall and night ejaculations. Before I go into the details of nightfall I shall explain its meaning and its cause first.
As far as women are concerned even a layman may have a rough idea about the menses which take place every month. The lining of the uterus becomes thick in order to receive and nourish the fertilized egg every month. If the woman does not get pregnant, i.e. if the egg is not fertilized then the body sheds the uterus lining. This process of shedding the lining of the uterus along with bleeding, is known as menstruation.

On the other hand, nightfall refers to the release of the semen through the male copulatory organ while they are asleep. Though there are several theories related to nightfall but the soundest one is that nightfall is a way by which the body expels its built-up semen. Semen, which is a whitish fluid, starts accumulating in the testicles after puberty. The amount of semen produced by the body can become more than the body can assimilate. Therefore, whenever the semen is produced more than the body can hold, it gets discharged through nocturnal emissions.
The nocturnal emissions may take place along with erotic dreams, known as wet dreams. Although a lot has been written about wet dreams but I have decided to dedicate this post to this topic for two reasons. Firstly, there is some amount of guilt associated with such dreams which I would like to discuss in the light of Islam. Secondly, there is some confusion between the totally natural wet dreams and those sex-related dreams which are shown to us by Shaitan. Somewhere along the line the two have been mixed up and have created confusion.
As I have explained above there is a biological reason due to which such nocturnal emissions take place. Now, as far as the erotic dreams (along with the discharge of semen while sleeping) are concerned I shall mention a hadith, which shows that there is no reason to feel guilty about either the discharge or the sexual dreams.

Narrated Ali Abu Ibn Talib, ‘there are three whose actions are not recorded: a lunatic, whose mind is deranged till he is restored to consciousness, a sleeper till he is awake and a boy till he reaches puberty’. (Sunan Abu Dawood, volume: 3, hadith #:4389)

This shows that a person cannot be held responsible for any sexual dream which he sees while he is fast asleep. Therefore, he should not feel guilty unnecessarily. Moreover there is a hadith which proves that even the Companions (ra) of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) used to see wet dreams.

Yahya related to me from Malik from Hashim ibn Urwa that Zuyayd Ibn As-salt said, ‘I went with Umar Ibn al- Khattab to Juruf and he looked down and noticed that he had a wet dream and had prayed without taking a bath. He said, ‘By Allah I realize that I had a wet dream and I was not aware about it and I did not take bath. So he took a bath and washed away whatever he saw on his clothes and sprinkled with water whatever he did not see. Then he gave the adhaan and prayed in the mid-morning’. (Malik’s Muwatta)

What we notice in this hadith is that whereas the wet dream is not frowned upon, since it is a natural phenomenon, the main focus lies on restoring one’s state of purity so that namaz can be offered.

Now coming to the second point, I find that there is some confusion about the erotic dreams which are often associated with the nocturnal emissions. These sexual dreams are often confused with the evil sort of dreams which are shown to us by Shaitan. If we maintain that both nocturnal emission, (which is a natural phenomenon), as well as Satanic dreams can lead to erotic dreams along with discharge of semen then how can a person identify the type of dream that he has seen? Well, the Satanic dreams can be easily identified because they tend to make the person sexually perverted so that he goes astray. The normal wet dreams may have some sexual content but they will not create evil thoughts in the mind.

The gist of the matter is that if the person who experiences wet dreams is absolutely sure of a discharge from his or her private parts then they will be considered to be in a state of major impurity. In such a case It will become compulsory for them to take a full bath of purification so that they an offer namaz.

I shall wind up this topic with another hadith which makes it clear that what is of utmost importance in this case is to restore one’s purity by taking a full bath.

Hazrat Ayesha (ra) reported that Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) was asked about man who found semen discharge but could not remember having seen an erotic dream. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said, ‘He should take a bath’. Then he was asked about a man who remembered having seen an erotic dream but he did not experience a discharge. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), ‘He does not need to take bath’. Umm Sulaim asked, ‘Does a woman need to bathe if she sees something like this? Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) replied, ‘Yes, verily women are the counterparts of men’. (Musnad Ahmad-25663)


So whether a sexual dream is shown to us by Shatian or due to the natural phenomenon of nocturnal emission, what is of utmost important for us is that we need to take a bath for purification in order to resume Salaah.
 

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amel soname
amel_soname@yahoo.com