Advertisement

Dreams pp 73-91 | Cite as

Dreams and Dreaming in Islam

  • Marcia Hermansen

Abstract

In my overview of approaches to dreams and dreaming in Islam, I focus primarily on hermeneutic questions about the practice of dream interpretation. As the passage cited above suggests, the idea that there is a factual meaning or indication to a dream is assumed in the tradition. However, the interpretive process, the contextualization of dream and dreamer, and the relation between them are all factors of successful exegesis. This is foundational in approaching Islamic understandings of dreams and dreaming.

Keywords

Muslim Society Dream Content Comprehensive Interpretation Dream Experience Dream Manual 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 4.
    John C. Lamoreaux, “Dream Interpretation in the Early Medieval Near East,” Ph.D. diss., Duke University, 1999, p. 186.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    Toufic Fahd, La divination arabe: Etudes religieuses, sociologiques et folkloriques sur le milieu natif de l’Islam (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1966), p. 271.Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    Ibn Ishāq, The Life of Muhammad (Sīrat rasūl Allāh), trans. A. Guillaume (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 106.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    Fazlur Rahman, Islam (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1979), pp. 13–14.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    Toufy Fahd, “Les songes er leur interpretation selon l’islam” in Les Songes et leur Interpretation (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1959), p. 137.Google Scholar
  6. 21.
    Ibid., no. 126. This report and the role of dreaming of the Prophet in Islam are discussed in Ignaz Goldziher, “The Appearance of the Prophet in Dreams,” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 33 (1912): 503–506. Methods for incubating dreams in which the Prophet will appear are given by al-Jīīī and discussed inGoogle Scholar
  7. Valerie J. Hoffman, “Annihilation in the Messenger of God: The Development of a Sufi Practice” International Journal of Middle East Studies 31, no. 3 (August 1999): 351–369. The fact that the concept of seeing the Prophet in dreams remains important in certain contemporary interpretations of Islam may be verified by consulting Sīrat al-nabī ba‘d az wiṣāl al-nabī (Biography of the Prophet after the Death of the Prophet) by Muḥammad ‘Abd al-Majīd Ṣiddiqī (Lahore: Marḥabā Publications, 1979). The major topic of the book is the continuous and important sighting of the Prophet in dreams as reported in Islamic religious and biographical literature until the present time.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 30.
    Afzaluddin Nizami, A Comprehensive Interpretation of Dreams (Lahore: Mavra, 1993), p. x.Google Scholar
  9. 37.
    Ibn Qutayba’s manual, “‘Ibārat al-ru’yā“ appears only in two manuscripts, which have not been edited or printed. I owe the following material to Lamoreaux’s study, especially pp. 50–53. See also M. J. Kister, “The Interpretation of Dreams: An Unknown Manuscript of Ibn Qutayba’s “Ibārat al-Ru’yā‘” Israel Oriental Studies (1974): 67–103.Google Scholar
  10. 39.
    Al-Dārī, Muntakhab al-kalām (Cairo: Maktaba Muhammad ‘Alī Ṣubaiḥ, 1963), pp. 13–14. Similar but less eloquent formulations in Nabulusī, Ta‘ṭīr al-anam, p. 8 and pseudo-Ibn Sīrīn, Kitāb ta‘bīr al-ru’yā (Beirut: Maktaba al-Tawfīq, n.d.), pp. 4–5.Google Scholar
  11. 45.
    Abū al-Faḍl Ḥubaysh ibn Ibrāhīm al-Tiflisī, Ta‘bīr-i khwāb-i Ibn Sīrīn-o-Dāniyāl (Tehran: Maṭbū‘ātī Ḥusaynī, 1988), pp. 15–17.Google Scholar
  12. 47.
    Muntakhab al-Kalām fī ta‘bīr al-manām, ed. ‘Abd al-Raḥmān al-Jūzū (Beirut: Dār Maktaba al-Ḥayāt, n.d.), the longer text, was actually written by al-Dārī (ca. 1009–1237). See also John Lamoreaux, “Some Notes on the Dream Manual of al-Dārī,” Rivista degli studi orientali 70 (1996): 47–52.Google Scholar
  13. 49.
    These interpretations could be quite extensive. Ibn Shāhīn s material on the chapters of the Qur’ān in dreams fills thirty pages as he gives three readings for each chapter, his own, al-Kirmānī‘s, and Ja‘far al-Ṣādiq’s. Ibn Shāhīn, Tafsīr al-aḥlām: al-ishārāt fī ‘ilm al-‘ibārāt (Cairo: Maṭba‘a al-Madanī, 1991), pp. 57–87.Google Scholar
  14. 55.
    Leah Kinberg, Ibn Abī al-Dunyā Morality in the Guise of Dreams: A Critical Edition of Kitāb al-Manām (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1994), p. 44. Marcia Hermansen, review ofGoogle Scholar
  15. Leah Kinberg, Morality in the Guise of Dreams, Oxford Journal of Islamic Studies 8, 1 (1997): 91–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 58.
    Cairo, al-Bābī al-Ḥalabī,1972. See also G. E. von Grunebaum, “The Cultural Function of the Dream as Illustrated by Classical Islam,” in The Dream in Human Societies, eds. G. E. von Grunebaum and Roger Caillois (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966), 3–21.Google Scholar
  17. 59.
    Hossein Ziai, “Dreams and Dream Interpretation,” Encyclopaedia Iranica VII (Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda, 1989–), pp. 549–551. Online at www.iranica.com/articles/v7f5/v7f569.html.Google Scholar
  18. 60.
    Carl Ernst, Rūzbihān Baqlī, Mysticism and the Rhetoric of Sainthood in Persian Sufism (Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, 1996).Google Scholar
  19. 61.
    Bernd Radtke, The Concept of Sainthood in Early Islamic Mysticism: Two Works by al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi (Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, 1996). Tirmidhī‘s dreams are commented on byGoogle Scholar
  20. Sara Sviri, “Dreaming Analyzed and Recorded: Dreams in the World of Medieval Islam,” in Dream Cultures: Toward a Comparative History of Dreaming, eds. Guy G. Stroumsa and David Shulman (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), pp. 252–273. Sviri discusses al-Tirmidhī specifically pp. 261–268.Google Scholar
  21. 62.
    Jonathan Katz, Dreams, Sufism, and Sainthood: the Visionary Career of Muhammad al-Zawāwīx (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1996).Google Scholar
  22. 63.
    Leah Kinberg, “The Legitimation of the Madhāhib through Dreams,” Arabica 32 (1985): 47–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 64.
    Leah Kinberg, “The Standardization of Qur’ān Readings: The Testimonial Value of Dreams,” in Proceedings of the Colloquium on Arabic Grammar, ed. K. Devenyi (Budapest: Eotvos Lorand University, 1991), pp. 223–238.Google Scholar
  24. 65.
    See Kinberg, Ibn Abī ad-Dunyā, and Marcia K. Hermansen, “Mystical Visions as ‘Good to Think’: Examples from Pre-Modern South Asian Sufi Thought,” Religion 27 (January 1997): 25–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 66.
    Louis Massignon, “Themes archetypiques en onirocritique musulmane,” Eranos Jahrbuch 12 (1945): 241–251. Henry Corbin, “The Visionary Dream in Islamic Spirituality,” The Dream in Human Societies, pp. 381–408.Google Scholar
  26. 68.
    al-Ghazzālī, The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife, book XL of The Revival of the Religious Sciences, trans. T.J. Winter (Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society, 1995), pp. 149–169.Google Scholar
  27. 72.
    Maḥmūd ibn ‘Alī al-Kāshānī, Kitāb miṣbāal-hidāya wa miftāal-kifāya (Tehran: Kitābkhāne-i Sanā‘ī, 1946), pp. 171–179.Google Scholar
  28. 76.
    An “incident” (wāqi‘a) is a true dream or vision. ‘Ibn al-‘Arabī says that “incidents come from inside, since they derive from the essence of man. Some people see them in a state of sleep, some in a state of annihilation (fanā) and others in the state of wakefulness. They do not veil man from the objects of his sense perception at that time” (Futūḥāt 11.491.6). William C. Chittick, The Sufi Path of Knowledge (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989), p. 404, note 24.Google Scholar
  29. 78.
    Annemarie Schimmel, Mystical Dimensions of Islam (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1975), p. 225, quoting Najmuddīn Kubrā (1220).Google Scholar
  30. 86.
    On divination and canon formation as forms of rationality see Jonathan Z. Smith, “Sacred Persistence: Towards a Redescription of Canon,” in Imagining Religion (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983), pp. 36–52, and Hermansen, “Mystical Visions as ‘Good to Think.’”Google Scholar
  31. 92.
    Al-Ghazzālī, Deliverance from Error, trans. Watt (Oxford: One World, 1998), p. 23.Google Scholar
  32. 93.
    Marshall Hodgson, The Venture of Islam (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1974).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 96.
    Sayyid Muḥammad Rezā, Ufaq-i Mustabil (Horizons of the Future) (Karachi: Idāra-’Ulūm-si Āl-i Muḥammad, 1989), p. 6.Google Scholar
  34. 97.
    Katherine P. Ewing. “The Dream of Spiritual Initiation and the Organization of Self-Representations among Pakistani Sufis,” American Ethnologist 17 (1990): 56–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 100.
    J. Johansen, Sufism and Islamic Reform in Egypt (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), p. 138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 102.
    An introduction to a range of these movements is Marcia K. Hermansen, “In the Garden of American Sufi Movements: Hybrids and Perennials,” in New Trends and Developments in the World of Islam, ed. Peter Clarke (London: Luzac Oriental Press, 1997), pp. 155–178.Google Scholar
  37. 103.
    Academic articles surveying the history and teachings of this movement are: James Jervis, “The Sufi Order in the West and Pir Vilayat Khan,” in New Trends and Developments in the World of Islam, ed. Peter B. Clarke (London: Luzac, 1998), pp. 211–260 andGoogle Scholar
  38. Michael M. Koszegi, “The Sufi Order in the West: Sufism’s Encounter with the New Age,” in Islam in North America: A Sourcebook, ed. Michael A. Koszegi and J. Gordon Melton (New York: Garden Publishing, 1992), pp. 211–222.Google Scholar
  39. 104.
    On Corbin and Jungian thought see Steven M. Wasserstrom, Religion after Religion: Gershom Scholem, Mircea Eliade, and Henry Corbin at Eranos (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 105.
    Pir Vilayat Khan, “C. G.Jung and Sufism,” in Sufism, Islam and Jungian Psychology, ed. J. Marvin Spiegelman (Scottsdale, AZ: New Falcon Publications, 1991), pp. 35–53.Google Scholar
  41. 110.
    Andrew Vidich, “A Living Sufi Saint: Shaykh Muhaamad Adil al-Haqqani and the Naqshbandiyya Method of Self-Transformation,” Ph.D. diss., Berne University, New Hampshire, 2000, pp. 189, 500.Google Scholar
  42. 111.
    Refik Algan, “The Dream of the Sleeper: Dream Interpretation and Meaning in Sufism,” Gnosis 22 (winter 1992), online at http://www.webcom.com/threshld/society/articles/dreams.html.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kelly Bulkeley 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcia Hermansen

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations