The foundation of all Islamic knowledge is revelation contained in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. Since good dreams are also a form of revelation from Allaah, any legitimate attempt to interpret the symbolism of dreams should rely primarily on the symbolism found in the Qur’aan and Sunnah.
A dream interpreter must listen to the complete story, and its minute details. He also must investigate and find acceptable religious references for each element in the dream. Ifhe does not fully understand the dream, or if he is unable to find such references, then it is better for him to refrain from making up an interpretation. In that case, he will be giving a religious ruling, though dreams relate to psychology.
Indeed, it will be a sin to tell a false interpretation, while one will be rewarded if he remains silent when he does not know the answer. Imam Ibn Seerm was the most renowned master in this science, and he often refrained from interpreting someone’s dream. Perhaps, he would interpret only one out of every forty dreams when askedto do so. Of three out of four such dreams, he used to say:
I do not know the meaning of this dream.” The dream interpreter must investigate the dream and establish its acceptable religious references. It is related that Imam Ibn Seerm used to spend a good part of the day questioning the person about himself, his life, type of work, living condition, and surrounding circumstance, for a dream interpreter is not a prophet and cannot tell about the future.
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