Seeing the Prophet in the Dream

When we sleep and we see the  Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) in our dream, how can we be sure that it is the Prophet  has seen? When we sleep and we see the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) in our dream, how can we be sure that it is the Prophet he has seen? The following are various narrations which describe the Prophet(salallahu alayhi wa sallam). If what one saw in his dream is in accordance with this, then one did indeed see the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) because he said:

"Whoever sees me in a dream has real/y seen me, because Shaytaan cannot appear in my image." (Bukhaaree)

Rabee'ah ibn Abi Abdur-Rahmaan said, "I heard Anas ibn Malik describing the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam),

"He was of average height, not too tall and not too short, with a pinkish color, not very white and not dark, and his hair was neither very curly nor very straight. The revelation came to him when he was forty years old, and he stayed in Makkah for ten years after the revelation came, then in Madeenah for ten years. When he died, there were no more than twenty white hairs on his head and in his beard." (Bukhaaree)

AI-Baraa ibn Aazib (RA) said:

"The Messenger of Allah was broad shouldered and had thick hair coming down to his shoulders and earlobes. He was wearing red garment. I have never seen anything more beautiful than him." (Muslim)

Ali (RA) said, "He was neither tall nor short, and had large hands and feet. He had a large head and was big-boned, and the thin line of hair (starting from his chest and extending.to the navel) was long. When he walked, he would lean forward, as if he was walking downhill. I have never seen anyone like him, before or since." (Tirmidhee)

Jaabir ibn Samurah said, "The Messenger of Allah was dalee' al- fam, ashkal al-'ayn and manhoos al-'aqib. Shu'bah said, "I asked Maalik, 'What is dalee' al-fam?' He replied, "Wide-mouthed." I asked, "What is ashkal al-'ayn?" He replied, "Big-eyed." I asked, "What is manhoos al-'aqib?" He replied, "His heels were not fleshy." (Muslim)

Is it possible to see the Prophet (in a dream) in a form that is different from his true form? Due to  the hadeeth,

"Whoever sees me in a dream has indeed seen me, for the Shaytaan cannot imitate me. " (Muslim)

the scholars said that this is to be understood as referring to seeing the Prophet in the physical form that is described in the saheeh ahaadeeth because the Shaytaan cannot imitate the form of the Prophet. But if the Shaytaan comes in another form, whether one is asleep or awake, then lies and says, 'I am the Messenger  of Allah.' then this does not count as seeing the Prophet." So one should know the physical attributes of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) which are mentioned in many ahaadeeth (some of which were cited earlier) which describe his stature, his hands, his forearms, his mouth and teeth, his eyes and his hair.

There were many people who resembled the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam). Those who most resembled him were Al-Hasan ibn 'Ali and 'Abdullaah ibn Ja'far ibn Abi Talib. So if one sees the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) in the form that is narrated in the Sunnah, then you have truly seen him, but if you see him in a form that is different from what is described in the Sunnah and the Seerah (biography) - such as if you see him clean-shaven, or missing a hand or foot - then there are two scholarly points of view in this case:

I. That this is indicative of a person's shortcoming in religious commitment.

2. The view which Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (RA) thought more likely to be correct, which is that this is a false image that comes from the Shaytaan, especially if one sees it whilst awake. It is definitely a false image because the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) is alive in al- Barzakh and no one can see him during wakefulness and he cannot visit or speak to anyone. The scholars have stated that if a person sees the Prophet, who tells him something that goes against the apparent meaning of the Qur'aan or Sunnah or something which requires proof  from the Book and the Sunnah - (in this case,) he should not act upon it because what one seesin a dream is not binding.

What is binding are the facts that one learns when he is awake. You should note that the dreams of the Prophets are wahy (revelation), but seeingthe Prophets in adream is not wahy - according to the scholarly consensus. Rather it is (glad tidings) as explained by al- Nawawi (RAH). Shaytan cannot assume the Prophet's form but he can appear in another form and claim to be the Prophet. AI-Haafidh Ibn Hajar (RAH) said, "We have narrated it with a complete isnaad from Hammaad ibn Zayd from Ayyoob who said,

"If a man told Muhammad (i.e., Ibn Sireen) that he had seen the Prophet (in a dream), he would say, "Describe to me the one whom you saw." If the man (who dreamt) gave description which he (i.e., Ibn Sireen) did not recognize, he would say,"You did not see him." - Its isnaad is saheeh, and I have found another report which corroborates it. AI-Haakim narrated via Aasim ibn Kulayb (who said), my father told me, 'I said to Ibn Abbas, "I saw the Prophet in a dream." He said, "Describe him to me." He said, "I mentioned ai-Hasan ibn Ali and said that he looked like him." He said, "You did indeed saw him." Its isnaad is jayyid (good)." (Fath al- Baaree)

With regard to seeing the Prophet when one is awake, this is akin to Sufi myths. There is no basis for that in the Sharee'ah or in real life. Tremendous events befell the Sahabah after the death of the Prophet, and they were in the greatest need of seeing him - So why did he not appear to them? Why did they not see him when he was the dearest of people to them and they were the dearest of people to him? With regard to those who quote the following hadeeth narrated in the two saheehs from the Prophet ,

"Whoever sees me in a dream will see me when he is awake." 

as evidence that it is possible to see the Prophet when one is awake, there is nothing in this hadeeth to support what they say. Rather it is glad tidings to the one who sees him in a dream - that he will see him in Paradise. It does not mean that he will see him when he is awake in this world. AI-Haafidh ibn Hajar (RAH) said, "Some of the righteous erred and claimed that it is possible to see him with one's own eyes." (Fath al- Baaree)

An-Nawawi (RAH) said in Sharh Muslim concerning the meaning of the words of the Prophet (salaflahu alayhi wa sallam) ,

"... He will see me when he is awake ... "

there are a number of opinions concerning this. I. It referred to the people of his own time - i.e., whoever saw him in a dream and had not migrated, Allah would enable him to migrate and see him with his own eyes when he was awake.

2. He (the one who dreamt) would seethe confi rmation of that dream whilst awake in the Hereafter, because all of his ummah will see him in the Hereafter.

3. He will see him in a specific sense in the Hereafter, by being close to him and attaining his intercession, and so on. What an-Nawawi mentioned in the first opinion is not contradicted by the opinion of al- Haafidh ibn Hajar that it is not possible to see him because an- Nawawi stated the first opinion concerning the people of his own time while al-Haafidh ibn Hajar objected to those who claim to have seen him in a real senseafter

he passedaway. Abul-Abbaas al-Qurtubi said refuting those who said that the Prophet could be seen when one is awake, This idea (that the Prophet may be seen when one is awake) may easily be refuted by common sense, because it implies that no one can see him except in the form in which he died, and that two people may see him at the same time in two different places, and that he may come to life sometimes and emerge from his grave and walk about in the marketplaces and converse with the people. That implies that his body is not in hisgrave and there is nothing left in his grave, so the grave is visited and salaam is said to one who is not there, because he may be seen by night and by day in his real form outside his grave." (Fath al-Baaree)

Moreover, if it were true that someone could see the Prophet (salaflahu alayhi wa aflam) when he isawake, then he would be one of his companions and there would be Sahabah until the Day of Resurrection. AI-Haafidh ibn Hajar al-Asqalaani stated that Ibn Abi Jamrah narrated from some of the Sufis that they saw the Prophet in a dream, then they saw him after that when they were awake, and they asked him about some things which they were worried about, and he told them how to deal with them, and they followed his advice and achieved the desired results. Then al-Haafidh commented of that by saying:

"This is very odd. If we interpret it as it appears to be, then these people would be Sahabah, and there could be Sahabah until the Day of Resurrection. But this may be refuted by the fact that many people see him when they are asleep but no one says that that they saw him when they were awake, so there is an inconsistency." [Fathul-Baaree ( 12/385)]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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