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.