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Last Updated: 2007/03/16
Summary of question
How is it possible to see the messenger of Allah (s) in one’s dreams?
Salaam. I want to see Rasullullah in my dreams; I want to feel my greatest love! What can I do?
Concise answer

Supplications and actions have been mentioned in Mifātīh al-Jinān for seeing divine people in one’s dreams, but it must be noted that these actions are not sufficient in and of themselves for seeing the desired person. What is meant is that it is not true that anyone who performs these actions will see the Noble Prophet (s) in his dream because there are other conditions like refraining from sin, performing obligatory actions, and having a pure inner-existence. When all of the conditions are met then one would be able to see the Noble Prophet (s) in his dreams.

Detailed Answer

Before we answer, we must allude to the essence of a dream and the different types of dreams.

There have been many lengthily and detailed discussions on dreams. Some say that they are the result of a large portion of blood being transferred from the brain to other parts of the body and in this way believe dreams to be the result of a physical factor.

Others believe that a large amount of physical activity produces a special type of poison in the body and this is what effects the nervous system and puts humans in the dream-state. They say that this continues until the poisons are digested by the body and in this way believe dreams to be the results of a chemical factor.

Still, some others believe dreams to be the result of a nervous factor by saying that the active organ in the brain that is the source of continuous bodily movement gets extremely tires and shuts off.

Although these factors cannot be completely thrown out, they have not been able to give a satisfactory answer regarding dreams.

The reason that scholars today are unable to give a clear explanation of dreams is due to their materialist thinking. They want to explain this issue without accepting the soul and its independence. Before dreams are bodily, they are spiritual, which cannot be explained without a correct understanding of one’s soul.

The Quran has given the most accurate description of dreams saying that dreams are a form of a ‘spiritual heartbeat’ or an incomplete separation of the body and soul.

So, when Allah orders the soul to leave the body and only a small portion of it beats into the body, the mind stops and man is unable to feel or sense things, even though the parts of his body that are needed to remain alive stay active, for example: the heart beats, blood moves, and the lungs breathe.[1]

So, part of the brain is shut off in dreams,[2] but not all human faculties, and that is why dreams have been called the brother of death in the Quran.[3]

A tradition from Imām ‘Alī (a) states: “Dreams ease pain and is on the same line as death.”[4]

There are different types of dreams which can be divided into three categories: one, clear dreams which do not have to be interpreted. Two, dreams which do not have an interpretation due to their being difficult or to another excuse. Three, dreams where the soul uses similes; these dreams can be interpreted.[5]

After this introduction it must be stated that one, in a dream, can sore through the mithali existence and meet one of the beloved ones. When a person has a dream and enters the mithali world and the world of the intellect, he will realize the part of reality that he has the potential to see.[6] So, if we read that huge personalities such as Shaheed Mutahari have done this,[7] it should not be surprising.

But, first, everyone does not have a choice when it comes to dreams in that they would be able to see what they want in their dream.

Second, although there is a method[8] found in Mafātīh al-Jinān[9] to see the Prophet (s) in a dream which could have some effect, but cannot be the complete cause for seeing the Prophet (s) in one’s dream in that anyone who would perform those actions would definitely see the Prophet (s) in his dream. There are other conditions for an important thing like this, for instance: refraining from committing sin, performing obligatory actions, and purifying one’s soul. One would have to have all of these conditions to see the Prophet (s) in his dream. Those people who have purified themselves are able to reach the goals that they set.

If you performed these actions and did not get what you set out for, Allah will give you another reward because both having the desire to see the Noble Prophet (s) and performing those actions, which mostly are recommended supplications in and of themselves, are held high by Allah.

The concluding point is that seeing the Noble Prophet (s) in one’s dream is not limited to those actions; it is also possible through other methods like seeking nearness with the divine ones. It has been written that the grand Ayatollah Mar‘ashī Najafī said: “One night before sleep I sought nearness {to one of the holy people} in order to be able to see a divine person in my dream. He saw Imām ‘Alī (a) in his dream where a famous poem which starts with ‘Ali you are that mercy…’[10]

[1] Refer to Tafsīr Namūnah, v.19, pgs. 482-483

[2] Mukāram Shīrāzī, Nāsr Ma‘ād wa Jahān Pas az Marg, p.385

[3] Awālī al-Alī, p.73, tradition 4

[4] Gharar al-Hikam, tradition 1461

[5] Tafsīr al-Mīzān (Farsi edition), v.11, p.372

[6] Refer to Tafsīr al-Mīzān (Farsi edition), v.11, pgs. 366-373

[7] His wife narrated: “One night the professor jumped out of bed breathing very heavily. I asked him what happened and he said that he saw a dream where he and Imam Khomeini met the Messenger of Allah (s). I told the Prophet that Imam was his son and then the Prophet hugged the Imam. Then they hugged me. I think that an important thing will happen in my life now. He was martyred three days later.”

[8] Reciting Sūrahs: Shams, Layl, Qadr, Kāfirūn, Tawhīd, Nās and Falaq, then reciting Sūrah Tawhīd 100 times, then reciting 100 salawāts, then sleeping on one’s right side with wudū’.

[9] It is found in the side notes to the book.

[10] Sabūrī, Hussayn Sharīyār Mā, the 1381 edition.

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