Sunday, 6 March 2016
Dreams Precede Revelation
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is extracted from “The Prophet Muhammad Mustafa the Elect” by Shaykh Osman Nuri Topbas.
After an upright youth and exceptional perfection that manifested through a blameless family life, the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.), the cause of all Creation, became prophet at forty. Six months prior to his fortieth year, the Divine Majesty Inaugurated a sacred school for him in Makkah at the Cave of Hira. These edifying and enlightening sessions, in a manner that eternally remains a secret between him and his Lord, saw the Blessed Prophet (s.a.w.) receive Divine training, without any book or pen, at the end of which he became ready to receive Divine Revelation.
During the early part of the six-month phase of preparation, the Prophet-to-be (s.a.w.) underwent experiences in a form that has since come to be known as ‘truthful dreams’, ar-ruya asw-swadiqah, where things would develop in the exact manner in which the Blessed Prophet (s.a.w.) had previously seen in his dreams. In relation, ‘Aishah (r.a.) narrated, “Revelation Sent to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) first began in the form of truthful dreams in his sleep; lucid dreams, which turned out true as clearly as the morning light.” This is recorded in Swahih al-Bukhari.
Since prophethood is a responsibility of enormous magnitude, the archangel, Jibril (a.s.) at first appeared to him only in his dreams, in order to ease the process of preparing him for the difficulties to come, and embed the love of the mission in his heart.
According to a report from Alqamah ibn Qays (r.a.), whatever is sent to prophets, whether advices, Commands or Prohibitions, is always Revealed first in dreams, only later to be disclosed in the authorised form of Revelation.
Dreams, thus, count as one of the ways through which prophets receive Revelation, illustrating which is the following from the Qur’an:
Then when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said, “O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: now see what is thy view!” (The son) said, “O my father! do as thou art Commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so Wills, one practicing patience and constancy!” (Surah asw-Swaffat:102)
It should be borne in mind that even though the eyes of prophets may sleep, their hearts do not. Therefore, there is no barrier to prevent them from receiving Revelations even in their dreams. As regards the truthful dream, the Prophet (s.a.w.) is reported to have said, during the later part of his life, “One-forty-sixth of prophethood consists of truthful dreams.” This is recorded in the Shaykhayn. It is interesting that this six-month period corresponds exactly to one-forty-sixth of his twenty-three-year period as prophet.