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|The part that remains of prophethood|
|08/18/01 at 09:57:54|
|Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh|
[center]The part that remains of prophethood
By Dr Muhammad Kamal Al-Shareef[/center]
Despite all the factors that give human beings strength, man's ignorance of what lies in the future represents a major element of weakness: "Say: It is not within my power to bring benefit or cause harm to myself except as God may please. And if I knew that which is beyond the reach of human perception, abundant good fortune would surely have fallen to my lot, and no evil would ever have touched me. I am nothing but a warner, and a herald of good news to people who will believe." (7: 188)
Man's ignorance of what is kept hidden from him and his fear of what the future may bring make him cling to anything that may give him even some idea of what lies ahead for him. His motive here is to reduce, if possible, his fear and anxiety. Hence, people sometime attach great hopes to the fulfillment of their dreams. That is due to the fact that occasionally people see in dreams some hints of events that came to take place at a later date, which may be in the near or distant future.
The vast majority of people's dreams, which are countless in number, are nothing but mere visions that have no substance or effect. Nevertheless, we sometimes see a dream spelling out great events which would lead to far-reaching disasters, if they were to be fulfilled. Such dreams may become a real cause of anxiety, because the person concerned remains worried that such a dream could take place bringing disaster of far-reaching dimensions.
European psychiatrists who do not believe in anything beyond the reach of human perception insist that all dreams we see are nothing but fantasies reflecting a person's fears and hopes. He may see something he fears taking place in his dream, or else he may see the fulfillment of something he dearly desires but remains unable to achieve it. The Prophet's companions realized that dreams are of three types: a dream is self-expression, just like thought and imagination which preoccupy us when we do not have something to focus upon.
This self-expression takes place when we are asleep and, thus, may lead to confusion as one may confuse dreams with reality. It is this first type that psychologists often refer to: A scaring dream caused by Satan. Under this heading only terrible dreams are included. A good dream heralds something good that is bound to come one's way.
Al-Bukhari relates in his Sahih on the authority of Abu Hurairah: "Dreams are of three types: self talk, a scare caused by Satan, and a happy news promised by God. Whoever sees something he dislikes should not relate it to anyone, but let him get up and pray." This means that sad or scary dreams are the work of Satan. They do not divine the future. In this they are the opposite of clear and happy dreams which point out to future events and herald something good.
The Prophet says: "A happy dream by a devout person is one portion out of 46 portions constituting prophethood." (Related by Al-Bukhari). He also says: "Nothing remains of prophethood except the herald bearing good news." When he was asked to explain what is this herald, the Prophet said: "A goodly dream." (Related by Al-Bukhari).
Aisha, the Prophet's wife, says: "The first sign of prophethood given to the Prophet was true dreams. He would not see anything in his dream but finds its fulfillment clear like the break of dawn." (Related by Al-Bukhari). The Prophet says: "Anyone of you who sees a dream he likes should know that it comes from God. He should praise God for it and he may relate it to people. Should he dream of something different which he dislikes, he should know that it is caused by Satan. He should seek refuge with God against the evil it may carry. He should not relate it to anyone, realizing that it can bring him no harm." (Related by Al-Bukhari).
The Prophet says: "A good dream comes from God, while a bad dream comes from Satan. Should any of you have a bad dream, he should seek refuge with God and signal a spit to his left. It will cause him no harm." (Related by Al-Bukhari). To know that bad dreams are from Satan and that they do not cause anybody any harm is reassuring. It should dispel any anxiety that may result from such dreams. It is to be noted that anxiety and depression may lead to such bad and disturbing dreams. A person suffering from anxiety often sees himself or someone dear to him facing danger. A depression patient finds death a frequent element of his dreams. He may see a funeral, or a dear one dying, or he may repeatedly see a dead relative. The reason is that anxiety and depression enable Satan to cause such dreams which in no way indicate the future.
[i]"Islam in Perspective" - Arab News - 24 July 2000[/i]
Wassalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Haniff (with 2 f's)
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