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Is it permitted to discuss dreams at night?

Question:
Is it permitted to discuss dreams at night? I was told not to. Also, shouldI follow Islamic books on interpretations of dreams.

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

Indeed, discussing dreams is from the Sunna of the Prophet (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him). There are a number of sound narrations where the Prophet (sa) would ask his companions (May Allah be pleased with them), after the Fajir prayer, if they had any dreams. In another narration the Prophet (sa) equated the righteous dream with a part of Prophet-Hood itself.

However, there are a few points that should be noted:

1. There is an agreement amongst the scholars that dreams cannot be used as proof regarding Islamic Law.

2. The interpretation of dreams and the like is not something that is learned, but is a gift from Allah (The Most High) given to some of His servants.

3. Good dreams should be shared with one’s close and sincere friends. I would personally recommend sharing it with one’s Sheikh or Imam only for the following reasons:

a) You will avoid the jealousy and animosity of others.
b) You will avoid the danger of showing off and falling into showing off.

4. If one has a frightening dream, he should spit on is left side and not inform others of it. This is based on the statement of the Prophet (sa) related by Al-Bukhari:

“The good visions are from Allah and the evil dreams are from Satan. If one sees a dream which one does not like, one should spit on one’s left side and seek the refuge of Allah from Satan; it will not do any harm, and one should not disclose it to anyone, and if one sees a good vision one should feel pleased but should not disclose it to anyone but whom one loves.”

5. Regarding the different books written on dream interpretation there are a few important points that should be noted:
a) Such books represent opinions that might or might not be correct pertaining to the person. Thus, when consulting such works, the opinions expressed should not be accepted say, as a hadith or verse of Qur’an. In others words, such interpretations are not Qat’i (decisive)but mere opinions. They might be right, or they might be wrong.

b) Many of the books written on the subject do not contain sound chains back to the claimed author. For example, the famous work of Ibn Siren is not authentically traced with a sound sanad back to the great Tab’i and scholar Ibn Siren (May Allah’s mercy be upon him). For this reason it might be best to avoid such books and refer one’s dreams directly to a scholar or local person of knowledge.

6) Any advice given regarding dreams and their interpretations must not contradict the Sacred Law. If such advice is given seek clarification from the interpreter. If you are certain that this is advices contradicts the Sacred Law then leave it.

May Allah grant us dreams of the Prophet (May Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) and bless us to join him (May Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him)

And Allah (The Most High) knows best

About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship.

Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010 and his website, www.SuhaibWebb.com, was voted the best “Blog of the Year” by the 2009 Brass Crescent awards.

Suhaib Webb has lectured extensively around the world including in the Middle East, East Asia, Europe, North Africa and North America. Upon returning from his studies in Egypt, Webb lived in the Bay Area, California, where he worked with the Muslim American Society from Fall 2010 to Winter 2011. He currently serves as the Imam of the Islamic Society of Boston’s Cultural Center (ISBCC).

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  • Asslamu alaykum; Sheikh Suhaib,

    I usually leave my dreams uninterpreted; however, there are a few recent ones that have raised my curiosity. Do you know of or recommend anyone certified I can reach who can interpret them for me?

    Jazak Allahu Khair!

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