Seeing the Prophet in a Dream: Only for Someone Who Has Seen Him in Real Life?

An individual who has not seen the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) in real life is still able to see him in a dream, This is clearly shown by:


(a) Textual Evidence: Abu Hurayra said, “I heard the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) say, ‘He who sees me in a dream will see me in a wakeful state, and the devil cannot take on my form.” [Bukhari] Similarly, Anas ibn Malik narrates that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Whoever sees me in a dream has certainly seen me for the devil cannot impersonate me. The vision of the believer is one of forty-six parts of prophethood.” [Bukhari]

There is no indication in any of these narrations that the dream-vision is limited to only those who have seen the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) in real life. All of them are general and to state otherwise is to condition the narration without proof. Imam Nawawi stated, “the meaning of this narration is that the vision of the dreamer is true…” [Sharh Sahih Muslim] Rather, the second narration is clear in associating the dream-vision of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) with the vision of the  generality of believers. There is no mention of the believer being someone who had previously seen the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) or not.

(b) Rational Proof: The rational possibility of such a vision occurring for anyone, a possibility which cannot be rendered impossible unless with clear proof. Such a proof does not exist and therefore the vision of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) remains possible for anyone.

(c) Mass-Transmitted Reports: The occurrence of this vision for numerous individuals, scholars and non-scholars alike, in every generation of Muslim history. The number of incidents are too numerous to mention and books are replete with their mention. They range from the time of the students of the companions down to our own times, including the greatest scholars of our religion such as the four Imams.

By: Shaykh Zain ul Aqtab Siddiqi

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