A Forgotten Supplication
“The believer is a mirror for (another) believer” –hadîth of the Prophet
When one stands or sits in front of a mirror, one becomes aware of one’s defects and can take appropriate steps to fix them before going out into the real world. When we spend time in the company of believers, we become aware of our internal deficiencies (by seeing their goodness) and thus are reminded to fix them. However, if that mirror is dusty, it cannot show any defects, and the mirror itself will look displeasing, causing one to devise methods to clean the mirror.
This was a segment of a talk given by Shaykh Muhammad al-Ya`qoubi (may Allah protect him) at the Seerah Conference on Saturday, July 3, 2004 that preluded one of the greatest displays of scholarship that I have ever witnessed. He continued by saying that we must therefore make the Prophet (salallahu `alayhi wa sallam) our mirror (since he is a believer) as he is the shiniest of all possible mirrors; if one wants to know one’s deficiencies, then one should look in the mirror of the Prophet.
Unfortunately for us, we have not been blessed to have the physical vision of the Prophet in our lifetimes. However, the door of seeing him in our dreams has not been closed, and seeing him in a dream is one of the greatest rewards one can receive in this world. Moreover, a vision of the Prophet is true, since Shaytan cannot impersonate the Prophet. Shaytan did come to Shaykh Abdul-Qadir Jilani in the form of Allah and told him to stop praying—which of course, caused Shaykh Abdul-Qadir to curse Shaytan off, since he know that drawing nearer to Allah actually means to increase one’s worship.
Shaykh Muhammad then continued by talking about the amazing Shama’il Tirmidhi, which starts with the physical description of the Prophet, and the final section is on seeing him in a dream. He said that if one truly grasps the meaning of the Shama’il, one will see the Prophet in a dream, and hence he includes the physical characteristics such that the dreamer can recognize the Prophet. The Prophet also said, on the authority of `Abdullah b. Mas`ûd, that “One who sees me in a dream has really seen me, for Shaytan cannot impersonate me.” He then said that he was thinking about this hadith in the plane from England to the United States, and he realized that there were many dreams of the Prophet that people had in the past that the scholars had wrote down in various places, but that there wasn’t a single work where all of these had been compiled. So he said that since he had nothing else to do on the plane, he took out a sheet of paper, and went through his memory of various books
, and started to write down all the confirmed interpretations of people seeing the Prophet in various states in their dreams, and what the scholars (especially Ibn Sireen) interpreted them to represent. He said that we may see the Prophet in many forms, but we should note his physical description because even that will tell us something about our behavior.
Then, like a normal person reciting their multiplication tables, Shaykh Muhammad then listed out, with no notes, all the ways a person can see the Prophet in a dream, and what each means, as explained by our great classical scholars. I feverishly copied them down and have reproduced them here. My commentary on certain points is in italics:
• If one sees the Prophet taller than he was, then it means that a fitnah will come
• If you see him shorter than he was, then it means you are a person of treachery
• If you see him without a beard, then it means you lack righteousness
• If you see him without hair/shaved head, then it means you haven’t done Hajj and you ought to (i.e., you are financially able and responsible)
• If you see him with too much hair, then it means you are too extravagant in spending
• If you see him leaning on something, then it means your problems will be removed
• If you see him as a younger person, then there is a fitnah coming and you should get away from that locality.
• If you see him as an elder person, then the political affairs of the state will improve
• If you see him in a darker shade of skin, it means your tawbah (repentance) has been accepted
• If you see him in a whiter shade of skin, it means you will have istiqâmah (constancy) in matters of religion
• If you see him with longer legs, it means the current ruler will rule for a long time.
• If you see him with bigger thighs, it means you will have lots of wealth and children.
• If you see him with his hands open, it means you will go on Hajj soon and be prosperous (financially)
• If you see him with his hands closed, it means you have stinginess within you
• If you see him with a bigger neck, it means a righteous ruler will soon come to the land
• If you shake hands with him in the dream, it means you will enter Paradise (according to the hadith: “Whosoever shakes my hand will enter Paradise”)
• If you walk with him, then it means you will follow his sunnah
• If you sit with him, then it means you will enjoin good and give good counsel to others
• If you sleep next to him, it means your body won’t get eaten in the grave
• If you take knowledge from him, it means you will marry from ahl al-bayt (the family of Prophet)
• If (as a woman, obviously =)…) you see yourself pregnant in the dream and meet him, and then give birth later to a boy, you should name him Muhammad and he will be a righteous believer
• If you hear him give a speech in your dream, it means that Islam will be triumphant
• If you see him wearing armor, then it means the Muslims will be victorious
• If you see him making wudu, it means you need to make tawbah
• If you see him making ghusl, it means you like women too much (Shaykh Muhammad Ya`qoubi’s words… not mine…)
• If you see him making adhân, then you will have victory over your enemies
• If you see yourself answering this adhân that he is making, you will go to Hajj soon.
• If you see him giving iqâmah, then there will be unity amongst the Muslims (dang, we need someone to have this dream soon)
• If you see him barefoot, it means you are not praying enough of your prayers in congregation and you need to increase praying in congregation.
• If you see him wearing leather socks, then your du’a will be accepted (I think, I don’t know if I wrote this down accurately… take it for what it’s worth)
• If you see him walking with guards, there is a plot against you
• If you see him combing his hair, then your worries will be removed
• If you see him applying kohl (dye) on his eyes, you will study hadîth
• If you see him putting a turban on you, you will be a leader
• If you see him put a cap (topi) on you, you will be a walî (saint) of Allah.
• If you see him put a cloak (burdah) on you, you will have political authority.
• If you see him give you an izar (waist wrapper, i.e. in Urdu, lungi), you will get married soon
• If you see him give you a shirt (khamîs), you will be a successful businessman
• If you see him give you a coat, then you will be a minister
• If you see him give you armor, then you will be a mujahid (warrior for the sake of God) and you will die the death of a martyr (shahîd)
• If you kiss his right hand, then you will soon propose to and marry a woman (or man, I guess, if you’re willing to go propose…) of ahl al-bayt (family of the Prophet)
• If you kiss his left hand, you will be wealthy
• If you kiss his head, you will be more successful than others
• If you kiss his feet, you will live in Madinah for a while
• If you kiss his belly, you will die as a martyr
• If you kiss his shoes, you will have honor and glory in both worlds.
• If you kiss his turban, you will have the company of awliya (people of God)
• If you kiss his shoulder, you will marry from the Banî Hâshim (the familial tribe of the Prophet, branch of the Quraysh)
• If you see him at the beginning of the night, you will have a good ending to your life
• If you see him in the middle of the night, you will become a wali at age 40.
• If you see him at the end of the night, your worries will be removed.
• If you see him in your sleep after Fajr, it means you are not making enough dhikr (remembrance of God)
• If you see him in your sleep after the sun has risen after Fajr, it means you are lazy and need to stop sleeping so much (dang, that’s referring to me for sure… how cool is that though, our scholars interpreted seeing the Prophet after Fajr as one meaning, and then seeing him after the sun has risen after Fajr as another meaning)
• If you see him in your sleep after Zuhr, it means you need to be less engaged in worldly matters (dunya)
• If you see him in your sleep after `Asr, it means you are not loyal to the present ruler
• If you see him in your sleep after Maghrib, it means you are lazy and need to stop sleeping so much
• If you see him when you have debt, it means Allah will provide a means for your debt to be paid off
• If you see him when you are traveling, it means you will have a safe return
• If you see him while you are a student, it means you will be successful in attaining knowledge (Shaykh Muhammad commented here that it also means one will be successful in an exam… man, I wish I can see the Prophet the night before I take my Step 1 Board exams, Inshallah)
• If you see him and you are an honest businessman, you will be given more profit and wealth in your business
• If you see him and you are a mujahid, you will be given victory
• If you see him and you drink blood from him, you will be the bravest of the brave
• If you see him and you drink from his saliva, you will be eloquent in speech
• If you see him and you drink from his urine, you will have freedom from the Hellfire (note, this is a manifestation in the dream realm and has no relevance in the earthly realm; urine, even the Prophet’s urine, is impure in the physical world and drinking it is not condoned except for the treatment of certain rare diseases as it comes to us in Prophetic medicine… this is a discussion for another day, however.)
• If you drink from the water of his wudu, your face will shine with brightness on the Day of Judgment
• If you drink from the same drink/vessel that he is drinking from, you will given much wisdom
• If he offers you water to drink and you drink it, it means you will be live a life of zuhd (asceticism)
• If you eat bread from him, you will be given lots of wealth
• If you eat dates from him, you will be given a large inheritance
• If you eat grapes from him, you will be able to memorize many texts
• If you eat bananas from him, you will be given a long life
• If you drink milk given by him, you will be given ma`rifah (knowledge) of Allah
• If he gives you gold/silver, you will soon get married
• If he gives you honey to drink, you will memorize the Qur’an (interesting personal story on this… perhaps in a later post)
• If he gives you a mushaf (copy) of the Qur’an, you will have the correct verdict to solve the conflict (I’m assuming that this refers to a person who is in a position to give a verdict, such as a judge or arbitrator between two people?)
• If he gives you a text other than the Qur’an, you will be a teacher of sacred knowledge
• If he gives you a pen, you will be a writer for the sake of God
• If he gives you a sword, you will be a ruler
• If he gives you a miswâk (tooth-stick), you will live long and enjoy a healthy life.
Here ends the 79 ways that Shaykh Muhammad al-Ya`qoubi mentioned that one can see the Prophet in a dream.
The main points of this post:
- Learn the noble physical characteristics of the Prophet such that one can recognize him (or recognize how he is different) in a dream or Inshallah in Paradise.
- The doors of seeing the Prophet in this world are not closed as seeing him in one’s dream is a very possible reality that we should all hope we are blessed with. Pray to Allah, as the early communities did, to be granted a vision of the Prophet in your dreams.
- If you enjoyed my sharing this with you, pray that I--being that pathetic sinner that I am--get blessed by Allah to see the Prophet in a positive vision in my dreams many times in my life.