There are many hadiths about dreams as well as the well-known story of the Prophet Yusuf in the Qur’an.
“A good dream (that comes true) of a righteous man is one of forty-six parts of prophethood.” (Sahih al-Bukhari), another Hadith says, “A true good dream is from Allah, and a bad dream is from Satan.” (Bukhari).
There are 3 kinds of dreams in Islam:
“Dreams are of three types: a dream from Allah, a dream which causes distress and which comes from the Satan, and a dream which comes from what a person thinks about when he is awake, and he sees it when he is asleep.” (al-Bukhaari, 6499; Muslim, 4200)
- Rahmany: the truthful dream from Allah the most Merciful
- Nafsany: the dream coming from personal desire
- Shaytany: the dream coming from the devil (Satan)
Al Muhallab says, “Most of the dreams of the righteous people are good dreams because sometimes a righteous person could see a dream that is meaningless, but that is not very frequent because Satan’s control on them is very weak. And the opposite is true with other people because Satan has a stronger grasp over them.”
So, yes Allah does speak through dreams and visions. “For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it. He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds. He whispers in their ears and terrifies them with warnings. He makes them turn from doing wrong; he keeps them from pride. He protects them from the grave, from crossing over the river of death” (The Tawrat, Job 33:14-18).
So, according to the verses above, Allah communicates through dreams to:
1. Help people turn from doing wrong
2. Keep people from pride
3. Point people in the right direction
4. Keep people from death
Even though, Allah speaks to us through dreams, the Bible shares these important principles:
- Examine your dream: “Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God” (Ecclesiastes 5:7). This verse seems to warn against placing too much hope in dreams, we should not dwell too much on dreams, and instead, turn to Scripture to hear Allah’s messages to us.
- Examine the source of the dream: “Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:8-9). This verse warns us against placing our faith in the dreams of others. Sometimes false prophets will speak about dreams that did not take place to sway God’s people. We must be careful whenever anyone speaks about a dream and should test everything said in the light of Scripture.