Stuff dreams are made of

Have you ever had a dream that was so frightening that you jumped out of your bed in a feverish panic? Or a dream that was so good that you did not want to wake up from it? Dreams, in Islam, are not always considered mere concoctions of the brain. Dream interpretation is very real in Islam with dreams being classified into three separate categories:

By Sumayyah Meehan (Living Islam)

Published: Fri 20 Jun 2008, 9:32 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:05 PM

Divine dreams

These dreams are the good ones and come directly from Allah. The dream itself contains positive images and serve to assist or guide the dreamer. Good dreams may also serve as a medium for delivering good news or a warning that something evil may happen soon. These dreams can be considered a gift from Allah. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said we should share our good dreams with others for the benefit of their souls. We should also remember to praise Allah when a good dream comes to us.

Satanic dreams

These dreams are often the horrifying nightmares that send a cold chill up our spine. They are typically evil and scary in nature. They come from the Satan or Devil. These dreams are tools of the Devil and are meant to drive us away from Allah by imprisoning us with fear. The Prophet warned us to keep our bad dreams to ourselves as they cannot harm us and they only sow fear in others. Rather we should ignore such dreams and upon waking turn to other side while seeking refuge in Allah. It is also recommended that the dreamer get out of bed and pray to Allah. The only way to find protection from the Devil is by turning to Allah.

The Prophet said: "I command you to remember Allah, for the likeness of that is that of a man whose enemy comes after him, until he comes to a strong fortress where he protects himself from him. Similarly, a person cannot protect himself against the Devil except by remembering Allah." (Saheeh)

Psychotic dreams

These types of dreams are neither from Allah nor the Devil. Rather these are the dreams that are spawned by our subconscious. Scientists discovered long ago that, quite often, what we think about 20 minutes or so before we sleep is what we usually dream about. So, if you are thinking about the events that occurred during your day right before you fall asleep then you will most likely dream about them as well.

It's unfortunate but many people are often prisoners of their nightmares, which are the worst dreams that any of us can have. This is especially true if in the dream we are harmed or someone we love is harmed. That's why some people seek the help of a soothsayer or a fortuneteller because they are so afraid of their nightmares and what their future holds. Islam rejects people who claim to know the future and people who seek their assistance. Only Allah knows the future. Remember that nightmares have no basis in reality and cannot hurt us. Anyone who is fearful of a dream that they had should hold tight to the rope of Allah and turn to the Lord of this World in sincere devotion and repentance. The best tools to ward off nightmares and seek Allah's protection are the Holy Quran and the guidance of the Last Prophet, peace be upon him.

Sumayyah Meehan is a Kuwait-based American writer who embraced Islam. She can be reached at

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