By Fatima Ariadne
This article should have been published like 5 months ago, were it not for fear that people will flood my email asking for dream interpretation….. to which I might not be able to answer! But anyway…. I decide to let this gigantic writing (12 pages long in MS Word) to see the light of the day….
First of all, by writing this, I would never ever claim I have a total knowledge regarding dream interpretation. Nor I’m a “gifted one”. What I’ll provide here are just real-life examples that happened to be working, period.
But honestly, delving this dream interpretation thing alone, is like fishing in a murky water.
Dream interpretation is very subjective matter and it’s not uncommon that the same dream symbol can mean differently for different persons. But for the most case, no one really knows whether a dream you had last night or last year really has a meaning or not. Unless it’s a recurring dream, now that’s a different story.
Interpreting dream is easier if you already know the person’s background really well. At least, if the person recognizes the events that might trigger the dream, the interpretation would be easier. But if not, you can only tell the “possible what that is” through their dream symbols, which again, very very subjective.
Dream Interpretation is Not Divination Tool
Most people always think that interpreting dream is a means to predict the future. It’s not always the case.
Most dream interpretation actually, should be treated rather as an early warning than future prediction. Sure some dreams have a “future prediction” trait, but again, it’s safer to treat dreams as pre-warning or even a feedback to your current situation. I’ll explain the latter.
I’m with Carl Jung that our subconscious mind is our own healer. Dream is how your subconscious mind, conscience, or God, telling you a clue : “hey, if you keep doing X, the possible outcome will be likely Y”. See the emphasis on “possible outcome”.
And secondly, okay and this is my pet peeve that should be addressed. But many people come up with thought that certain dreams must be a “key to future”.
Dream interpretation is not divination or magical crystal ball, and should not be treated as one. Why? Because first, no one knows your exact future except God. And two, you have a free will to change your circumstance. That said, dream interpretation is not a tool to give up your free will.
After you read this, I don’t want to hear any of you telling me you want to divorce your spouse just because you dream you see him sleeping with another woman or man.
How to Have Vivid Dreams and Improve Dream Recall
“But I don’t even remember my dreams!” – I hear you scream.
Dream recall has something to do with biological sleep cycles and stages. One sleep cycle has 4 stages which lasts for 90 to 120 minutes. Dream can happens in any of these four stages, but the most memorable one occurred during REM or Rapid Eye Movement phase. If you wake up shortly after REM phase, or during REM phase, you’ll be able to recall your dreams.
The unique thing is, even scientists still can’t decode why our brain experiences REM.
“The Dream” by Salvador Dali
Personally my night life is “wow” ^__^. Usually I recalled 60% of my dreams every night, but only lately I just don’t recall my dreams that much anymore, mostly due to stress and abstaining milk.
If you want to improve your dream recalls, you can do this by keeping a dream journal. So when you wake up, write away your dreams in that journal. Actually I have one in my cellphone’s MS Word and OneNote. (Though my first intention doing this is to not falling asleep anymore after wake up!)
Secondly, to have a memorable, insanely detailed vivid dreams – here’s the trick. Drink a glass of milk, a small cut of cheddar cheese, and banana at least an hour prior to sleep.
One word : TRYPTOPHAN.
Milk, cheddar cheese, and banana are good sources of tryptophan. In your body, tryptophan is transformed into serotonin. Serotonin induces vivid dreams.
Other you could try to induce serotonin production is by taking supplement of Vitamin B6, one hour prior to sleep.
I have a habit drinking milk prior to sleep (even without banana and cheese), and hence most of my dreams are vivid. The side effect of taking milk before sleeping, however, it will make you gain weight. Well I’m underweight, so this is what I do to add or maintain my weight without hassle. So far it works quite well.
Do this tips below if you can, it works for me ^__^ :
My Dream Examples
“There are three types of dreams: a righteous dream which is glad tidings from Allah, the dream which causes sadness is from Shaitan, and a dream from the ramblings of the mind”. (Sahih Muslim)
1) The Kaaba, Roses, and Full Moon
When I just began practicing Islam, one night in Ramadan I spent my time after suhoor meal with Qur’an, and slept with the Mushaf Shareef (the book) in my head.
I dreamed of seeing Kaaba next to my house. Delighted, I took a bath and ablution, wearing hijab and came to Kaaba. Afterward, I walked my home garden at night and seeing white roses with diamonds in it. And when I looked up to the sky, I saw a huge full moon. Then I woke up.
Though the dream was many years ago, only recently I could interpret that dream. It’s the most vivid spiritual dream I’ve ever had in my life. I remember I was delighted when I woke up, and now I still remember every single detail of it as if I had it yesterday.
The Interpretation :
– Kaaba represents Allah. (In many people I interpreted, Kaaba to them represents their state of imaan/faith.)
– Bath and ablution represents heart or self purification and repentance from the past.
– White roses represents Al Qur’an, as it carries a layers upon layers of wisdom like the roses’ petals. To think about it, rose in Sufism symbolizes the illumination of soul toward Divine path.
– Diamonds represents wisdom, purity, conscience, and truth.
– Full moon is a common personification of Prophet Muhammad, and thus the moon in this dream represents his teachings or Sunnah.
So basically, Allah showed me how I can travel my journey to Islam : by approaching Him (in pure tawheed), purifying my heart, and live by Qur’an and Sunnah.
2) The Vivid Recurring Package
Years ago I used to have depression, and during that time I had COUNTLESS recurring vivid dreams I still remember until today. These dreams are changing gradually as I went through stages of recovery. In this case, all of the dreams acted as a feedback rather than “future prediction”.
When I was in my worst depression state, I had countless recurring dreams about swimming pool, flood, unruly children, oceans, and haunted houses.
Then in the first healing phase, I had recurring dreams about moving from one house to another. I packed my stuff from the old house to new one. But the houses are always haunted and filled with ghosts.
Then in second healing phase, I had recurring dreams about sailing boat on the river and walking under the heat of sun rays.
Only this time I could discern all of their possible meanings. Now it just makes sense.
So this is the interpretation :
First of all, you must understand that every landscape you go through in your dream represents your unconscious and inner-state in one or another.
Now these dream symbols interpretation are examples and not absolute or set in stone, and could differ from one person to another.
How do you see swimming pool? It was boxed, with fixed size, and it’s also very artificial. Hence (intuitively, in my specific case only) swimming pool represents the limitation of mind and spirit.
Unruly children, is my mirror of inner part that refuses to take responsibility and negative childlike mentality. (This is the only meaning I derived from Carl Jung theory that people you see in dreams represent your own character. And it’s true for my case. I was unruly, rebellious, confused, and naïve)
I don’t know about oceans, but oceans generally represent the unknown, the unconscious, mystery, instability, sometimes knowledge. For my case, oceans more represents the unknown and instability. When I was depressed my inner life was basically erratic and messed up.
Flood — the dream meaning was more or less, represented the inner chaos and spiritual downfall.
House represents the soul’s state of mind, or sometimes the inner-self. The first phase of healing, where I dreamed of changing houses, represents that I had fixed my state of mind from old to new. Ghost in my dreams, possibly represents the ingrained fear, excessive anxiety.
Then the third phase dream : sailing boat on river. River in dream generally represents transition. Hence, sailing on it means making a change or transition. While the heat of sun represents the “light after darkness”, or the truth we finally come into realization.
3) “Who Deserves MY Mercy?”
This dream is kinda made me goosebumps just to remember it. This is experienced when I was in a downtime, and getting really lazy or sidetracked to do my prayers and dhikrullah (remembrance of God).
In this dream, I was standing on the hill and see the world from the bird-eye view. I see some men and women in prayers clothes, doing their prayers. Three women among them doing dhikrullah while sitting and a bit swaying their bodies left and right (it’s common move here while we recited “laa ilaaha ilallah”).
Some people did their worldly activity. Then I saw two holes that represented the grave. One grave had its inhabitants punished by angels, while the other grave had its inhabitant sit in peace.
Just when my eyes were returned to the glimpse of the group of praying people, a very authoritative whispering voice, neither male nor female, was audible from above my head :
“Who deserves My mercy? Who deserves My forgiveness?”
Then I woke up, after several details I could not remember anymore.
The only thing I could say is…. that must be a warning for myself.
Most of Times….. Dreams are Just Rambling
Unless it’s a recurring dream, try to not take everything seriously.
Some (many!) dreams are just rambling in nature and could be originated from your own thought. For example, I have many dreams of ascending to outer space because I’m obsessed with extraterrestrials stuff.
I once had a dream of becoming Cinderella :D. I wore a beautiful dress and danced with an unknown man, but then ran away in frantic when seeing the clock showing 12. I’ve had so many fun dreams like singing operatic aria perfectly, playing piano sonata, floating up in weightless space, calling up hurricane, messing up a concert in dream by hijacking the stage, etc.
They have no meaning, but they always make me smile :D.
But there is one that is so special that I never forget :
“Goodbye Earth” by Chase Stone
One time, in a strange series of vivid dreams —- I left earth in a spaceship owned by extraterrestrial people of Caucasian race : blonde hair, some brunet, blue eyes and all. These extraterrestrial people wore a black spacesuit with a blue line in its side. In the spaceship, I was a guest, wearing simple clothes and hijab.
At the time of dreams, I didn’t watch any sci-fi movies at all. I had even abstained from TV and most movies for 2 years.
The dream scenes were insanely intense and life-like.
I was seeing earth from elevated space, seeing asteroids outside spaceship window where they looked like a giant floating rocks, and even the speedy motion inside the spaceship.
I even felt an intense grief why I left earth and everyone I love there, LOL!
Then in second dream, as a continuation, I saw these extraterrestrial Caucasians stood surrounding table. They were led by an elder gray-haired, gray-eyed Caucasian man, saying “we shall travel to to the sun!”.
We traveled to a destination called “the sun”. It was a giant planet with reddish illuminated ground shimmering to space, and from every corner I saw spaceships big and small.
It was very very verrrrry complex scenery, modern beyond belief, and beautiful. I couldn’t describe it by words! Really this single vision alone can beat any scenes in sci-fi movies.
From what I know, riding airplane or spaceship in dream represents a significant transition we’re going to make by seeing things from a different perspective. Actually several months after the dream, I indeed experienced what I called “dramatic spiritual change”. So the dream could have meaning, or not.
Okay nuff ramblings! xD. But my point?
Sometimes you just know better than the interpreter which dreams are rambling in nature.
Sooo guys, it’s verrrrryy subjective!
“Wait, How Can You Interpret Dreams?”
Back then, I used to learn Carl Jung method of dream analysis in high school. But then I gave up, because it’s just complicated. My teenager brain couldn’t discern it. The only thing I’d agree with Jung is that other people appearing in your dream represents your own character.
But even for this, later I found it’s not always true for every single dream. For example, if you see your husband or family member in dream, sometimes it could represents themselves in real life – not an archetype of your character. But I’ve found too the dreams where other people represents the dreamer’s character as in Jung’s theory. Hence it’s not set in stone.
Okay now back to the question : how can I do this.
Ah, man!I feel like opening a can of worm! But I gotta say something here…..
I’d answer, God knows best. I never realize this until my mother related her dreams to me, and I just “suddenly know” the meaning.
That said, I can’t always interpret every single dream. I’ve had my own share of saying “I don’t know” if the dream is just too difficult, I don’t feel any vibes about it, or there are symbols I didn’t know of.
I think so far only 20% of dreams people asked me I could interpret, the rest 80% is “I don’t know”. And out of the 20%, half never give me any feedback, or the interpretation didn’t happen yet. So I never knew.
Usually dreams from Istikharah prayer (Islamic prayer to ask question to God) are the easiest to interpret, it’s very crystal clear. As for dreams that come from your ego (I call it “rambling dreams”), there’s no reaction at all in my part, and I just know “it has no meaning”.
But the most dominant factor is, if my worship quality with God is poor, I cannot interpret anything at all. It’s just dark. And if my ego interfering me with even a small pride, I cannot interpret anything too.
That’s why if you want to have your dreams interpreted, you must ask yourself these questions :
1. What do you feel about the dream overall? Does something inside you tell you it “contains a meaning”? Or do you just consider it like…. a passing mind-play?
2. How was your life lately? Is there any events that likely trigger that dream?
3. Is it a recurring or repeated dream?
If you want a dream interpretation, no worry. I’ll refer you to an Islamic scholar who’s really good with that, later!
Dream Interpretation Examples
These are examples from both family members, friends, and complete strangers. With feedback attached. Though they’re written with the “I” word, none of them are mine. They belong to other people who asked interpretation to me.
I can’t always interpret dreams all the time, but these are just examples when I happened to…can
1) Dream :
I dreamed I see 3 buckets of water, all of them have a hole in the bottom or leaked. The water was supposed to flow from the leaking part, but nothing happened. The water just stayed in tranquil state inside the bucket.
This is my mother’s dream so I know our condition very well. In us, water represents providence. I interpreted this as my father who will work on 3 businesses, all of them will work out though the result haven’t seen yet as for now. But Allah just has them in store. Just keep working on it and be persistent.
2) Dream :
I cooked 3 lambs in a grill, in the middle of desert. Suddenly my father appeared out of nowhere, saying the meat is not cooked well. So he took a fork and sliced one of the lamb to taste it.
This is istikharah dream, which is the easiest to interpret. The desert represents adversity. I interpret the 3 lambs as the 3 years of the dreamer’s unhappy marriage. The lamb sequence : left, middle, right, represents her year of marriage from the first, second, to third.
I asked a guessing question : “did your father sliced the third lamb, the one on the right?”. She said “yes”. So I said, “your father will be your intermediary and help you out regarding your problematic marriage”.
Several days later, the woman said the dream is coming true. Her father came visiting her to think of a problem solving for the marriage.
3) Dream :
This is recurring dream for years. I was in an elevator and pressing the “down” button so it started going down. Suddenly the elevator free fall downward and I screamed like crazy. Then it’s just strangely spinning and I managed to get out from the elevator.
Going down from the elevator represents falling into great sin. Free fall inside the elevator means carrying the consequence of the sin being done. Sure you will survive this, but with a great remorse.
The dreamer later said he was indeed had slept around with prostitutes and finally repented and became a practicing muslim. But days and nights afterward he was haunted by fear of HIV. I told him to have HIV test done, and he did it. It came out negative. But still long time after that, he often expressed his remorse, desperation and grief for doing the multiple fornications.
4) Dream :
My sister’s dream, she saw a man shooting a ghost in dream.
I asked the person if her sister recently has a great anxiety or paranoid recently, and she said yes. In this case, the ghost in dream represents fear, excessive anxiety, or paranoid.
5) Dream :
I purchase a lamb and take it walking with me. But twice in our journey, he just stopped. I have to persuade the lamb so he’d want to walk again.
This is my friend’s dream, so I know his current background well.
The lamb in this case represents his business, as he’s starting a new business. He purchasing the lamb signifies his investment to the business. But there would be some problems on the road regarding it. He must strive and not giving up just because of these small obstacles.
Two weeks later, he reported he has a little problem with his business associate. It’s more a schedule problem and trivial things, but quite annoying as it slows down his business progress.
6) Dream :
I went to a park at night, and suddenly a small wild monkey bites my right hand. I managed to shoo him off. This small monkey went to his leader, which is a really huge monkey. And then I faced the huge monkey, and I woke up.
This is my relative’s dream, so I knew his background very well. I interpreted this as having a problem in his workplace. Right hand in dream represents his work or career. Someone will attack his work, and make him involved in greater problem with upper hierarchy of the company.
The dreamer later told me he had a conflict with his new employer, who’s unhappy and gave a bad mark in his evaluation. And finally my relative’s salary was cut, despite that he is a dedicated employee.
7) Dream :
I walked a road while calling my fiance on the phone, crossed a river through a bridge and went to a faraway place which is my fiance’s house. It was in an isolated meadow and just suddenly I felt isolated from anywhere.
This is an istikharah dream where she asked God through prayer — if the man of her choosing, is right for her. I interpreted the dream that if she married the man, he will take her into a foreign country and live as a stranger. She will have no freedom anymore and have to really cling to her husband. River and bridge in dream represents transition, and in this case, symbolizes her life after marriage. This is not a “yes” or “no”, just a choice.
8) Dream :
I dreamt of wearing a huge necklace, but suddenly one of its sapphire eye fell.
I interpreting this that she would approach fornication with an immoral man. Jewel in her dream represents chastity. She would compromise her chastity, though not necessarily her virginity (no sexual penetration happened). She must stay away and be careful.
She told me she has done “stuff” with her boyfriend. Though no penetration happened.
9) Dream :
The same sister told me after several months, she dreamed she walks in a dark alley wearing a white hijab (she doesn’t wear hijab in real life), and suddenly a robber tried to rape her.
White hijab , again, represents her chastity. It’s in a threat. Darkness in dream represents ignorance of dreamer on the current happening. She must really broke up with her immoral boyfriend who only wants her body, but doesn’t really love or want her.
She said she almost had sex with her boyfriend. But this time, he refused to put responsibility and instead blaming her. Now she plans to break up with him.
10) Dream :
I was really hungry in the dream and ate a bread that happened to belong to a raven. The raven screeched violently, calling his friends which are 2 panthers. I was chased by the panthers, ran into a labyrinth, and one of them ended up biting my left hand and left me dead. This is recurring dream.
The first come up in my mind was the Prophet Muhammad interpreted the raven in dream as immoral man. I interpreted that his potential (his boyfriend) has an immature attitude. If something going wrong in the relationship, he will blame her before his father and another relative. And in return they will blame her and pointed her mistakes without working on the guy’s side.
The left hand being bitten in dream represents fault-finding by the other person. Panthers in her dream represent influential persons.
Later the sister told me her potential is indeed immature and likes to blame her instead of carrying responsibility. And his father and his uncle indeed holds a position key in government.
11) Dream :
I have recurring dream where I ride my car and the brake is always breaks down. The car moves here and there violently.
Vehicle in dream represents your life direction in general, and riding a vehicle represents how you walk your life direction. You are spontaneous in nature and “let everything goes”, but lack of discipline and confused. Try to be a good planner and develop some self discipline. Fail to plan is planning to fail.
The dreamer agreed with this interpretation.
12) Dream :
I was chased by lion inside a house
Meaning & Feedback :
I asked the dreamer if she has a family member or closed one who is so controlling, selfish, and make her life a living hell. She answered “it’s my sister in law. Lately she’s here and makes my days miserable”.
Want a Dream Interpretation?
If you are a Muslim and want a qualified dream interpretation, then contact this Mufti (senior Islamic scholar) and tell him your dream. He usually responds within 3 – 4 days time span. (Kudos to Sunniforum.com members for recommending him)
Other Islamic scholarly websites providing dream interpretation for free is Darul-Uloom. However you must register first before submitting a question.
If you want to have your dreams interpreted in Islamic way, please pick one of those Islamic scholars to help you for that. They are much more reliable than me, and possessing more knowledge and experience combined.
Just in case you are tempted to ask me for dream interpretation, well my role here is only to provide you examples from my experiences that coincidentally worked, which is strictly limited. I’m not an expert on this and most dreams above I just interpreted them intuitively.
For the note, if you want to contact me for dream interpretation, then feel free to do so, I will not reject you. BUT …. there’s never a guarantee I could interpret your dreams accurately. In most case, I’ll just say “I don’t know”.
Mufti Ebrahim Salajee (contact him if you’re a Muslim in need of good dream interpretation.)
Darul Uloom Deoband (Providing dream interpretation too, but I don’t know the queue. Looks like you have to be patiently waiting until they give you the interpretation. The website has hundreds of examples of dream interpretation too, you might want to browse them.)
Islamic Learning Materials (I thank brother Muttaqi Ismail for his post about dream interpretation inspired me to step to the edge publishing this article, which I procrastinated doing.)
17 Rules of Islamic Dream Interpretation
Sahih Bukhari, The chapter of dream interpretation (Compilation of Dream interpretation examples from Prophet and his companions)
Does Allah Speaks to Us through Dream?
My Islamic Dream . Don’t take it too seriously. Honestly, some of its interpretations are really weird. But still, it’s pretty good to give you a quick insight.