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Bad Dreams After Fajr

Answer by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalam’alaikum

I wanted to ask a question: I find that when I go back to sleep after praying Fajr, I get very bad dreams. Is there anything I could do to prevent this from happening?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam, I pray you’re well insha’Allah.

There is no harm in sleeping after fajr if one needs to. Perhaps the following will prevent the bad dreams:
Things to avoid before going to sleep (at night or after Fajr):

Looking at screens

-Watching or reading very vivid, engrossing, disturbing things

-Eating just before sleep

-Going to bed too late

-Avoid too much entertainment in general

Lifestyle changes:

-Exercise regularly, with a mix of strength, cardio, and stretching

-Limit junk food and eat wholesome foods

-Seek out lawful food only, avoid doubtful or unlawful foods

-Keep away from any sins

-If you have stresses in your life, find practical ways to alleviate this. Seek help if necessary.

Things to do when going back to sleep after Fajr:

-After Fajr, recite Quran, even if a little

-After Fajr, have a light amount of dhikr that you do

-Stay on Wudu when sleeping if possible

-When you get back into bed, spend a couple of minutes in ‘meditation’ with controlled breathing, through the nose and using your diaphragm and stomach. Close your eyes and imagine your day going exactly the way you want it to go: that you’re going to have a refreshing sleep now, that you will have pleasant, warm dreams, that you’re going to wake up refreshed and ready to get the day started, that you have a pleasant journey to work, you have a successful day of work and relationships … until the end of the day. Alternatively, or additionally, close your eyes and imagine a warm light running from the top of your head down to your spine, gently passing and enveloping each vertebrae, one by one, as it goes all the way down to the bottom of your spine.

-Seek refuge from the devil in Allah, say the Quls and Ayatul Kursi, send salutations on the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), recite the sunna supplications before sleeping, and blow on yourself three times, and lie down.

-As you’re going back to sleep, breathe through the nose as above, relaxing at each exhalation.

-If it helps, listen to the Quran with earphones on, and the sound low, as you go back to sleep.

Insha’Allah, the above steps will help you sleep better and not be disturbed by bad dreams. It may take a week or so to take effect. If however, the bad dreams continue, then I would encourage you to seek help from a natural therapist. Homeopathy is particularly adept in treating any subconscious reasons and fears that may underlie such conditions.

Warmest salams,

[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Bad Dreams and What They Mean

Shaykh Jamir Meah gives a detailed answer on bad dreams, waking up emotionally distraught from them, and how one should deal with them.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

What does it mean when you have a bad dream, you cry in the dream and wake up crying?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

Some dreams carry meanings, and others are merely subconscious processing and filtering of emotions, stimuli, memories, and information absorbed from the waking state. Other dreams are inspired by God, and others are from the whispering of the devil. Some dreams are true and some are false.

This is confirmed through the saying of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, “Dreams are of three types: The good dream which is good tidings from Allah; the upsetting dream which causes pain is from the satan; and the third one is a suggestion of one’s own mind.” (Muslim)

While it is not possible to give an interpretation of your dream, given the upsetting nature of your dream and your reaction upon waking, consider it as belonging to the second type of dreams, from the mischief of the devil.

What to Do upon Seeing a Bad Dream

In the same hadith mentioned above, the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, gave us instructions on what to do upon waking up from a distressing dream, “So if any one of you sees a dream which he does not like he should stand up and offer prayer and he should not relate it to people.”

In another narration, he, blessings and peace be upon him, advised, “Good dreams are from Allah, so if any one of you sees something which he likes he should not disclose it to one but whom he loves, but if he sees something which he does not like he should spit on his left side thrice and seek refuge with Allah from the mischief of the Satan and its [the dream’s] mischief, and he should not relate it to anyone, then it will not harm him.” (Muslim)

He, blessings and peace be upon him, also said, “When one of you sees a bad dream let him blow three times on his left, seek refuge in Allah from the Satan three times [i.e., by saying, A‘udhu billahi min al shaytan al rajim] and change the side on which he was lying.”

Protection when Sleeping

The sunna of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, gives us not only solutions to the problems, but also the preventive prescriptions to avoid situations and harm. Therefore, we find a comprehensive outline of bedtime etiquette which affords protection during sleep. For further details, please see How Can I Protect Myself From Bad Dreams? and Praiseworthy Acts to Do Before Sleeping.

Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Loving the Books of Imam Ghazali is a Sign that Allah Loves you

“You open the books of Imam Ghazali and your basking in the favours of Allah”  says Shaykh Ibrahim Osi-Efa, while introducing Imam Ghazali and the book Breaking the Two Desires from his work Ihya Ulum Al-Din.

Shaykh Ibrahim emphasizes the importance of the books of Imam Ghazali by relating insightful dreams people have had with the Imam in them and also gives a beautiful summary of how the Ihya is broken down. We thank Greensville Trust for this video.

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Resources for Seekers

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Did the Answer to My Istikhara Come in My Dreams?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I have been doing Istikhara for the last few days and one night recently I had a dream afterwards. I am not sure if this dream is relevant or if there is any interpretation for it with regards to problems I’m dealing with.

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

What needs to be noted is that the answer to one’s guidance prayer (istikhara) does not come simply in the form of dreams and feelings but in how Allah facilitates and unfolds events for an individual after he or she genuinely strives to do what is best.

As such, with the guidance prayer, a person needs to:

a. Take the most effective means, which includes consulting those whose knowledge and wisdom one has confidence in, and
b. Place their trust in Allah.

Lastly, one needs to be patient in terms of receiving the answer to their prayers. As Ibn `Ata’illah states, “If you make intense supplication and the timing of the answer is delayed, do not despair of it. His reply to you is guaranteed; but in the way He chooses, not the way you choose, and at the moment He desires, not the moment you desire.” [Ibn `Ata’illah, Hikam]

This echoes the words of our Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace). “The supplication of everyone of your is granted as long as he does not show haste and say that he made a supplication but it was not accepted.” [Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]

Wassalam
Salman

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answer:

The Reality of Istikhara

‘True’ Dreams Are 1/46 of Prophecy

Answered by : Shaykh Gibril Haddad

Question:’True’ dreams 1/46 of prophecy

Answer: Muslims use two value-laden Arabic words for “dream”, ru’ya and hulm, respectively “vision” and “fantasm” — both of which are mentioned in the Qur’an and the Prophetic Sunnah — which differ widely in application and significance, the first one being good and the latter either bad or meaningless.

When the dream originates from a higher spiritual source — such as God or the angels — it is a “truthful vision” (ru’ya sadiqah). This is the term the Mother of the Believers Aisha used when she described the beginnings of the descent of revelation upon Prophet Muhammad upon him and his family blessings and peace. Such visions are not only uplifting as a rule, but they also present meaningful disclosures which are invariably confirmed in a wakeful state: “He would never see a vision,” she continued, “except it subsequently came true as surely as the cleaving of the dawn.” The Prophet saw in his dream that he had conquered Mekah long before the conquest took place, after which the Quranic verse was revealed: { “Allah has fulfilled the vision of His Messenger in very truth” } (46:26). Similarly, Prophet Joseph saw 11 planets prostrating to him (12:4), which stood for his 11 brothers who eventually came under his sway.

If, however, the dream originates from a lower source such as one’s ego (nafs), the devil (shaitan) or a collaboration of both, it is considered either insignificant or harmful. Examples of nafs-bound dreams are sexual fantasies, dreaming of water when thirsty, wealth or other preoccupations rooted in one’s psyche as well as incoherent narratives. Examples of satanic whisperings are dreams that affect one’s spirit negatively. All such phenomena the Qur’an calls { “a confused jumble” } (12:44, 21:5), hence the Prophet himself made the semantic distinction: “Ru’ya is from God while hulm is from the devil.” He recommended to recount only dreams of the first type. As for bad dreams, we are ordered to keep their harm at bay by seeking refuge in God from them and strictly never retelling them to anyone.

Islam forbids the interpretation of dreams to all but experts. This prohibition is in recognition of the positive or negative effect dreams can have on our wakeful state and also because of the ineffable connection between their interpretation and reality in light of the Prophetic hadith, “Dreams are one out of 46 parts of Prophecy.” A similar hadith states: “Nothing remains of the beginnings of Prophethood except the good vision a Muslim may see.” Among the few people to whom the Companions confided their dreams were the Prophet himself and his close friend Sayyiduna Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, both of whom were expert interpreters. Among the Muslims of the succeeding generation, the most eminent interpreter was Ibn Sirin, who warned against amateurs: “This matter is connected with religion, so look well from whom you take your religion!” When Imam Malik was asked whether anyone could interpret dreams, he replied: “What! Is religion a plaything?”

Perhaps the most ironclad guarantee of a good dream in Islam is the Prophet’s statement that “Whoever sees me in a dream has truly seen me, for the devil cannot impersonate me”. However, apart from his direct contemporaries, how can one be sure that one is seeing Prophet Muhammad and not something else he imagines to be the Prophet? The ulema answered: Know the Prophet’s characteristics so you can be sure. This is why Imam al-Tirmizi compiled al-Shamail al-Nabawiyya, the most famous collection of hadiths (about 400) on the physical and moral Attributes of the Prophet, which he closed with the above-cited narrations on the high status of truthful dreams in Islam and the warning of Ibn Sirin against unqualified interpreters. In this respect, the Shamail is a manual on how to see the Prophet — a momentous glad tiding, dearly to be wished in the life of a Muslim.