The mystic concept of dreams in Sufiana spheres.

Interpretation of dreams


Without peace within, there can be no strength coming from within. When we cease to draw from within, it appears that our resources are exhausted. It appears then, as if a bank has gone into liquidation, and a receiver has been appointed to pay a certain percentage of their deposits to the creditors.

The eminent English poet, P.B Shelley, finding himself deprived of inner peace, says thus, in an anguishing tone:


“Alas! I have nor hope nor health,

Nor peace within nor calm around

Nor that content, surpassing wealth

The sage in meditation found,

And walked with inward glory crowned.

Nor fame, nor power, nor love, nor leisure; 

Others I see whom these surround

Smiling they live, and call life pleasure;

To me that cup has been dealt in another measure.” 


Many of us today share the anguish and agony of Shelly, because, we have ceased to lead inner life, which can alone give us what we need most, peace and nothing but peace. When we keep ourselves away from the axis of power, suffering, mental and spiritual, is inevitable.

All the philosophy, all the ethics, all the codes, all the laws and all the norms and standards are directed towards making life true, sublime, beautiful, happy and noble. But alas! We have achieved little in this direction. It appears that the sermons of the sages and the preaching of the philosophers have done little to make our life what it should have been.

Whatever we have achieved so far has not proved of much use as we do not know the right use of it.

There can be no doubt that we receive guidance from different sources. But there are a very few people, indeed, who give consideration and serious thought to a source of light and guidance, which is of vital importance.  What is that source? Should I tell you? It is your dreams.

When I talk to you about dreams, I do not intend to enter into needless controversy about dreams. I decry discussing dogma or theory. I am not interested in the “how” and “why” of dreams. I am interested in dreams as such. I am aware of their importance and significance in our life.

I am more interested in Dreams than in the definition of dreams. Some people may ask why we see dreams. My reply is that since we are human beings, so we see dreams. As human beings we are endowed with the faculty of seership so we see dreams. As human beings we have the faculty of reason. We have the senses of touch, hearing, seeing, smelling, and tasting. But nobody asks and questions, why do we see, hear, touch, smell and taste, for everyone knows they an integral part of human life. Likewise, they must know that dreams are also a natural gift to human beings.

I am not interested in counting trees in a garden. I feel interested in eating the fruits of the trees of the garden, and enjoying the fragrance and smell and I wish to be at peace in the bewitched natural scene of tender plants, of scented dust, and smiling flowers.

Everybody sees dreams. Is there anyone who can say that he or she has never seen a dream in his or her lifetime?

There is nothing surprising about it. As we say, that, to err is human, so we can say that to dream is human.

Dreams constitute the spiritual heritage of mankind. It is good to have dreams. But it is not good to be day dreaming.

It is said of dreams, that it constitutes one fortieth part of prophethood.


Nature of Dreams

The dream of a prophet is revelation. The dream of a saint is inspiration. The dream of an enlightened person is intuition. The dream of others is illumination, or indication.

Dreams have been variously described. Some say that a dream is a figment of the imagination. To others, a dream is a manifestation of the thought which a person may be holding in the day, previous to the dreams.

There are others, however, who hold that a dream is a nightmare, which is the result of indigestion.

A dream is a little story having a plot in it. The story is short and the plot is intricate. There are few words and its duration is short. As we see a picture on a screen, or a play on the stage, likewise we see a dream in sleep.

A dream is an insight into life. A dream is search for the solution of our conflicts and difficulties.

All the dreams cannot be a figment of imagination or the result of indigestion. There are different types of dreams. There are dreams which serve as a warning. There are dreams, which are of the nature of suggestion, or indication. There are also prophetic dreams. There are symbolic dreams. There are dreams which serve as forecast.

There are dreams which serve as a guide. There are dreams which acquaint the person of the condition of another person. Prophetic dreams are forecasts. Some dreams are of the type of clairvoyance.

There are also exhibition dreams. There are also dreams of action. There are flying dreams. There are floating dreams. There are typical dreams. There are dreams of one’s own personal condition. Some dreams have colour. Some dreams are without colour.

Dreams have a vital bearing on life. Some dreams point to a person’s spiritual progress.

Some people remember their dreams. Some people forget their dreams. It is good to train oneself to remember dreams. It is better to write them down and watch their effect.


As regards length of dreams, it may be said, that it varies from dream to dream. Some dreams are very short, whereas some dreams are not too short. Some dreams are long, having inter-related plots.

Dream period is not very important. It is the dream that you see which is of importance.

Dreams in the first period of the night are generally short but muddled. Picture is not clear. The dream after midnight is a little long. But a dream between three and four o’clock in the morning is of an average duration. A dream in the day is sometimes short and sometimes a little long.

Multiplicity of dreams

A person may see one dream in a night or he may see more than one dream. The number of dreams in a night does not matter much.


Emotional reaction

The emotional reaction during a dream is also to be taken into account. How did one feel in the dream? Did he feel joy or self-satisfaction? Did he feel remorse or fear of guilt or the apprehension of some impending misfortune, or catastrophe or trouble, or affliction? Did he feel guilt or shame? What does he feel when he recalls as he recollects his dream? Does he feel any sensation of joy when recollecting it?

Does he feel fear, revulsion, relief, consolation, or whatever else it may be?



As regards the manifestation of the effect of dreams, it may be said that some dreams have a quick effect whereas the effect of some dreams is noticeable after some time. Sometimes it may be in a few months, or in a few years. The prophetic dreams, which are in the nature of forecasts, take time to fulfil the prophecy. The symbolic dreams manifest their effect comparatively at an early period. The dreams of suggestions are a message to the dreamer. As soon as the dreamer understands the message and acts upon it, the purpose of the dream is fulfilled.

Dreams, which are seen in the day, take time to manifest their effect. The effect of the dreams, which are seen between three and four o’clock in the morning, is noticeable in the not too distant future.


Some Historical dreams


Joseph, when he was about seventeen years old, saw a dream to this effect that the eleven stars and the sun and the moon prostrated themselves before him. He narrated the dream to his father, Prophet Jacob. His father, on hearing the dream, gave him this word of comfort and cheer, that he will be a chosen one of God and he will be endowed with the knowledge of interpretation of dreams. He would be exalted in rank, honour and prestige.

In the dreams, the sun stood for father, the moon for mother, and the eleven starts for his eleven brothers.

The dream prefigured the eminence of Joseph.

It is said of Abdul Qasim Al-Junayed of Baghdad, that he was reluctant to give discourses to his disciples so long as his own spiritual guide, Sari Saqti was alive.  One night it so happened, that he saw the Holy Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.T-Peace be upon them) in a dream, who ordered him to preach to the people, for God had made his words the means of saving myriads of people.

Upon awakening, he was pleased with what he saw in the dream, and thought that his rank was higher than that of Sari Saqti, since the Holy Prophet himself had commanded him to preach to the people at large.

At the time of sunrise, his spiritual guide Sari Saqti sent a messenger to him, with this message, that now that the Holy Prophet had commanded him to preach, he should start preaching, though he had been ignoring in the past the request of his disciples, the intercession of the sheikhs of Baghdad, and above all, this own entreaties on this behalf.

Junayed, on receiving this message was surprised and thought that the rank of Sari Saqti was no doubt higher than his own, as he was acquainted with his secret thoughts, whereas he was ignorant of Sari Saqti’s state.

He went to him and tendered him an apology. He requested him to let him know how he came to know his dream, in which the Holy Prophet commanded him to preach.

Sari Saqti told him in reply that he saw God in a dream, who informed him that he had sent his Apostle to command him to preach.

Hzrt Khwaja Moinuddin Hassan Sanjri Chishty Ajmeri (R.A) an eminent Sufi saint, belonging to the Chishty order saw the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon them) in a dream continuously for forty nights, commanding him to make Khwaja Qutubuddi Bakhtiar Kaki(R.A) his Caliph and to confer upon him the robe.

He also saw God in a dream giving him a similar order.

He did what he was commanded to do in the dreams.

The Day Hzrt khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiar kaki (R.A) came to know of the death of his spiritual guide Hzrt Khwaja Moinuddin Hassan Sanjari Chishty Ajmeri (R.A), that very night he saw him in a dream standin underneath the throne of God.

On being questioned, Hzrt Khwaja Moinuddin Hassan Sanjari Chishty Ajmeri (R.A) acquainted his disciple, Caliph and Sajjad-a-nashin, Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiar kaki (R.A) of the mercy of God having showered upon him and of his being allotted a place near the angels and of his living underneath the Throne of God.

Interpretation of dreams

No two dreams are similar as no two persons are similar. In spite of some outward resemblances, there are some difference:

In interpreting a dream, every detail should be taken into account.

Every dream has its own individual importance, and when interpreting the dreams, its basic importance should be given due recognition.

Every symbol means something different to different people.

When a dream is repeated, and its underlining ideas, visible in the form of symbols, appear more than once in dream, it marks out the dream as conveying an important direction or suggestion to the dreamer.

When a dream is repeated, it is a force to be reckoned with. Such a dream conveys a meaningful message.

In interpreting dreams, emotional reaction is to be taken into account, and immediate experience is also to be considered.

In interpreting dreams the immediate situation in which the dreamer finds himself, is to be taken into account.

The season in which the dream is seen constitutes a vital factor in the interpretation of dreams. A person sees in a dream fire underneath his bed. If he has seen this dream in summer, it is a source of trouble, but if he has the same dream in winter, then it points to comfortable living for the dreamer.

On awakening from the dream, one must not be in a hurry to search and seek it interpretation. He should have no forebodings about his dream. He should try to convince himself that his dream is good and offers a solution to him.

A dream should not be narrated to each and every one. It should not be narrated in the night. When narrating his dream one should be very exact and precise. He should not add anything to it and he should not suppress any of its portion or detail. Addition to or subtraction from the dream is misrepresentation of the dream.  Misrepresentation deprives a dream of much of its power and influence, howsoever good and inspiring the dream may be.

A dream should be narrated, and that too privately, to the one who is sympathetic to the dreamer and who takes interest in his life and is concerned with his welfare and happiness.

A dream should be related to a saint or to a saintly person, or to a man of lofty moral character, or to a learned man who is supposed to have insight into life.

Sometimes, it so happens, that a dream loses its inherent effect if narrated to any ordinary man, or to a man who is not very friendly to the dreamer.

A person saw in a dream, that he had drunk the whole ocean, the dreamer tried to convey the dream for interpretation to another person who was pious and learned both. The person, appointed to convey the dream for interpretation, met another person on the way. After exchanging greeting, the person asked him where he was going. He replied that he was commissioned to get the interpretation of the dream from another person, whom he named. On being asked the dream, he narrated the whole dream. Upon this the person who had met him said. “I am surprised that drinking the ocean his stomach did not burst.”

As soon as he reached his destination, the saintly and learned man said, “What is the use coming to me now, when you have already narrated the dream to a person on the way, who, in haste and without any sense of proportion and perspective, has given a prejudiced interpretation. The dream was good, but it has been marred and maimed and mutilated by the ill-conceived interpretation. The person who saw the dream would have acquired abundant knowledge and learning, but for the interpretation. It has lost it charm and effect, and the person has lost the chance.”

Signs and symbols

A dream is a search for realities. It is a quest for new avenues. It is a milestone in the journey of life.

A dream is a peep into the future, which may be black or bright.

A dream constitutes a window of the mind through which can be seen things unseen and unknown, some pleasant and inspiring and some unpleasant and depressing.

The environment in which a person lives and works has vital bearing not only on his life and thoughts, but also to a great extent, on his dreams.



A dream as a suggestion, is kindness shown.

A dream as a message, is manifold grace conferred.

A dram as a warning, is a favour, indeed.

A dream is an educative experience.

A dream is a secret entrusted to a person during sleep.

Narration of a dream is to invite another person to share that secret revealed to him during sleep.

Let us now take some dreams and dream signs and symbols. The list is illustrative. It cannot be exhaustive for the simple reason that every individual dream is a class by itself.

Teeth:          To see one’s teeth falling in dream means long life.


Water:          To be dipped in water means to be freed from pain, trouble and sorrow.

Bathroom:    To see a bathroom is a sign of death.


Garden:        To see a garden implies comfortable living in the future.


Watering:     To see oneself watering trees means to look after the downtrodden and the weak and the helpless.


Washing:     To see washing clothes means to be freed from bad habits or from sin.


Tree             To see a tree without fruit implies less profit and little benefit.


Snake:          To see a snake means to get wealth. It may also mean an enemy. It depends on the circumstances or situation in which the            dreamer finds himself.

To kill a snake means to overcome an enemy.


Hair:            To see one’s hair (of head) cut, means to be freed from the burden of debt. Payment of debt makes a person light.


Mango:        To see the eating of mangoes means to have a child. It also means to have wealth.


Prayer:         To see oneself giving a call to prayer at a wrong or inappropriate time, means to undergo anxiety or fear.


Ascent:        To go up high means to get respect. It may also mean promotion or the attainment of a high status.


Descent:       To descend from a high place means disgrace or loss of respect or degradation.


Horse:          To see a horse implies eminence.

To see one’s self riding a horse implies eminence.

To get down from a house is a sign of disappointment, frustration, and loss of post. But, it may also mean reaching the destination and thus achieving success in an undertaking. The crucial point in this dream is where the dreamer gets down from the horse, and on getting down from the horse what was uppermost in his mind, and what type of feelings did he undergo then.


Grazing:       To graze the goats implies guidance and leadership. Whether spiritual or political. It may also mean to govern and to rule.


Coffin:         To see one’s own, points to life prolonged.

To see oneself being wrapped up in a coffin implies disgust with the world, renunciation of the world or losing charm for the world.



Prayer:         To see oneself leading prayer means to be a spiritual guide and teacher.


Carpet:         To see oneself stretching a carpet on the floor means to be a source of comfort to others and to be a benefactor of mankind.


Drinking:     To see oneself drinking water to quench thirst and thirst increasing still, means acquisition of knowledge.


Saint:           To see a saint in a dream is to receive help and guidance.


Angles:        To see a saint in a dream is to receive help and guidance.


Spiritual Guide:     To see one’s own spiritual guide is to be blessed.


Rings:                    To see wearing a ring means prosperity, or marriage of his or her own liking.

To see a ring implies wealth.


Saint:                     To see a saint in a dream ordering someone else to give papers to the dreamer, pertaining to the dreamer, is to entrust the                                    dreamer with some exalted spiritual office or assignment.



Tree:            To see shady tree falling down on the ground points to the death of some elderly person in the family.


Sun:             To see oneself sitting bareheaded under the burning sun is to be deprived of help, assistance or advice. If a child sees such a                                  dream sitting bareheaded under the sun and eating food, this points to his or her becoming an orphan.


Darkness:     To see oneself gong in darkness means anxiety, trouble, affliction or suffering.


Light:           To see light is to get comfort, peace and prosperity.


Hands:         To see oneself washing hands implies failure, despondency, and despair in regard to the object that he wants to achieve.


Diamond:     To see a diamond is financial security.


Stairs:          To go up a staircase or to climb up a ladder points to success in the undertaking.


Pen:             To see a pen implies knowledge.

To see a pen in hand means acquisition of more knowledge or attainment of perfection in artistic pursuit.

To see oneself writing means to diffuse and spread knowledge.

To hold a pen means to exert authority.


Weeping:     To see oneself weeping in a dream implies to be rid of sorrow and get happiness afterward.


Water:          Pure and sweet water in a dream is ample provision for sustenance.

Muddy and unclear water points to an unhappy life.

Water flowing on muddy ground is an indication of obstruction to the achievement of the object that the dreamer has                   uppermost  in his mind at the time.


Wind:          Stormy wind is an indication of anxiety, pain or sorrow.

Moderate wind is a source of joy to the dreamer, but it constitutes grief to the enemy.


Naked:         To see oneself naked in a dream is the mark of disgrace.


Smoke:        smoke in a dream points to the increase of anxiety and trouble.


The Dead:    To take anything from the dead is the sure sign of some help, or assistance.

To give something to the dead points to some misfortune. It may be some loss in business or it may be some other loss.


Perfume:      To see perfume, which is applied is an indication of joy and pleasure, but to see perfume which is scattered invites trouble.


Ice:              To see Ice in a dream means helplessness to cope with the problem or the challenges of life. It may also mean death.


Lamp:          To see a lamp or lantern means the attainment of spiritual knowledge, or the wish to attain that type of knowledge, or light of the                        lamp or the lantern may throw some light on the problem which the dreamer wants to solve and which is evading solution.


Camel:         If seen in a dream it means a journey which is not comfortable.


Cow:            Cow in the dream stands for good crops and prosperity.


Barber:         To see a barber in a dream means that the dreamer will have trouble. His affairs will not admit to easy settlement.

Carrier:        A water carrier in dreams means wealth and so does a potter and a porter.


Goldsmith: If one may see a goldsmith in a dream it indicates wealth and success in the pursuit of the dreamer.


Physician:    To see a physician implies illness and pain and suffering.


Tailor:          To see a tailor is a sure indication of change in circumstances for the better.


Lion:            Lion in dream stands for an arrogant and cruel enemy.


Elephant:     Elephant in a dream is indicative of ruler whose anger and wrath know no bounds.


Desert:         To see a desert implies frustration and loss of refined sentiments and creative ideas.


Scissors:      To see a pair of scissors in a dream implies that the dreamer wants to get rid of someone whom he does not like and from whom he would like to separate himself.


Bridge:         To cross a bridge means success in the undertaking.


Clear water:     To see clear water flowing implies solution of some difficulty or successfully tackling the problem.


Well:            To see oneself falling in a well implies happiness and joy after sorrow and suffering.

Hunting:      Dreams of shooting and hunting are indication of the dreamer becoming a ruler.


Clothes:       New garment is the symbol of wealth. Old garment is an indication of sorrow and grief


Moon:          To see the new moon in a dream on first day of its appearance implies continuous pursuit of knowledge.


Tree Growth:         To see a tree growing in the courtyard and becoming shady indicates the birth of a son who will be a great conqueror or a                                  leader or benefactor of man.


Road:           To see the road or the railway line cleared means the removal of obstruction in some undertaking which the dreamer is engaged                           in. It serves as a green signal.


Lock:           To see a lock in a dream implies safety, security. Or it may mean captivity. To open the lock means to overcome difficulty. Not to                          succeed in opening a lock is an indication for the dreamer concerning the situation which he finds himself to be in.


Wedding:     To see a wedding in a dream is the solution of the future which the dreamer has been looking forward to.

The postponement or cancellation of the wedding or the bridegroom not turning up indicates that the woman loves the                        bridegroom but feels different about her future and is also not confident that she will fit well in the new atmosphere after the marriage.


Key:             To see a key in a dream implies anxiety of the dreamer to find a clue pointing to the solution of his problem.

The dream is also indicative of the dreamer’s desire to lead an inner life. It also implies release.


Broken Handles:    To see the handle of the sword or walking stick breaking, is a warning for the death of father or uncle or some near relation.


Storm:                    To see lightning or thunderstorm is an indication of impending catastrophe or some trouble to the dreamer.


Tombs:                  To see oneself at the tomb of some saint implies the dreamer’s yearning for spiritual progress.


Drum:                    To see drum in a dream means that, the secret will no more be a secret. It will be out.


Whispering:           `To see some saint whispering in the ear implies that the saint intends to entrust to the dreamer his own exalted spiritual office.


Burial:                    To see the burying of someone is indicative of the dreamer’s fear of being separated from that person, and thus the mutual                                  relationship is coming to an end.

To see oneself being buried means to be under a heavy weight of anxiety.


Shoes:                    To see shoes unbuckled implies divorce of wife.


Dogs:                     To see a dog in a dream means war and quarrel.

Ship:                      To see a ship is the glad tiding of getting wealth.


Goat:                      To see a goat means mean and quarrel some people.


Leopard:                To see a leopard means a dangerous enemy.


Monkey:                To see a monkey means some impending mischief.


Bear:                      Bear in the dream means an enemy who is scheming and treacherous both. It also means a robber who will not let anyone go.


Fox:                       To see a fox in a dream means an enemy who is wild, cunning, crafty and deceitful. Same is true of a wolf and a hyena.


Scorpion:               a scorpion in a dream points to some calamity.



Hunter:                  To see hunter in a dream is a warning of treachery, deceit, and fraud.


Flying:                   Flying dreams are generally the indication of suppressed ambition and aspiration seeking an outlet.


Cat:                        To see a cat in a dream implies the increase in greed and avarice or it may refer to an evil.


Watch:                   To see a watch in a dream refers to an already missed or likely to be missed opportunity. It may have reference to the                                            feelings of regret and remorse of the dreamer. To see the watch stopped implies that the days of life of the dreamer are                                           numbered. The same is true of a clock.


Mantle:                  Mantle and cloak in the dream are indication of inner peace, harmony, self-satisfaction and of spiritual and moral beauty.


Garments:              A red garment in a dream stands for happiness and joy.

A black garment refers to fear. Yellow garment implies sorrow and suffering. Blue garment is grief and woe.


Cap:                       To put a cap on the head is to earn respect.

To see a cap falling from the head is the sure mark of disgrace.


Talisman:               To get a talisman is to be cured of magic.


Umbrella:               Umbrella in a dream signifies safety and security. It also refers to good living and protection from the storms of life. It also                                     refers to shield and shelter.


Walking stick:        To see oneself carrying a walking stick in hand is a message to the dreamer of his becoming a leader and guide and                                                   enjoying respect and honour.


The end of the Dream


Our dream period is over. We are awake. We no more live in the world of sign and symbols. We are once again driven to the world’s fancies, perception and delight.


Let us now recollect our dream. The dream lesson reminds us, that, a trained

And still mind can catch a message easily, and act upon it wisely.

To get good dreams and to get good suggestions and good messages, let us be

accompanied by good and positive thoughts when we go to bed. Place aside

Confusion and anxiety and toil and tears of the day. Have a still mind and calm

thoughts, and thus, get a glimpse through the window of the mind of some signs

and symbols which are uplifting and see a world which need not be new and

brave, but which is, undoubtedly, informative, indicative, suggestive, and at

times, inspiring too.


What more and what next?

Let you bad dreams become ineffective.

Let your good dreams come true too soon.


Journey of life

Call life by whatever you may,

A battle, a gamble or a game to play;

Success and failure a passing pause, I say,

But pain and pleasure do not display.

…. Unknown

This is a series of postings to come, on the subject of Sufi Mysticism. The postings will give in-depth knowledge in the complete world & ultimate sphere of Sufi spirituality. The postings are enlisted in Categories : ‘Sufi’s Spirituality’ (Tasawwuf )  & in ‘Tasawwuf ‘(Path  of Mysticism). Alternatively you can subscribe to our blog for updates.












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