power of imagination mixes things up and depicts them accordingly; or it recalls some stimulating event that happened to the person that day, or previously, or even at the same time a year or two earlier, and it modifies and reproduces it in some other form. These are both “A confused medley of dreams,” and not worth interpreting.
The third sort is true dreams. When the senses that bind man to the Manifest World and roam in it rest and cease their activity, the dominical subtle faculty in man’s make-up forms a direct relation with World of the Unseen and opens up a window onto it. Through the window, it looks on events that are in preparation; it comes face to face with the manifestations of the Preserved Tablet and some samples of the missives of divine determining; it beholds some true occurrences. Sometimes the imagination governs in such dreams, dressing them in the garments of form. There are numerous types and levels of this sort of dream. Sometimes they turn out exactly as dreamed; sometimes they turn out slightly obscured, as though under a fine veil; and sometimes they turn out heavily veiled.
It is narrated in Hadiths that the dreams God’s Most Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) had at the outset of the revelations turned out as true and clear as the breaking of morning.1
True dreams are a higher development of premonitions. Everyone has premonitions to a greater or lesser degree. Animals even have them. At one time I discovered two senses including premonition scientifically, additional to the well-known external and inner senses such as the unconscious instinctive senses that impel and stimulate, and hearing and sight. Philosophers and the people of misguidance mistakenly and foolishly call those little known senses “natural instinct.” God forbid! They are not “natural” instinct; divine determining impels human beings and animals through a sort of innate inspiration. For example, if some animals like cats lose their sight, through this impulse of divine determining, they go and find a plant that heals their eyes and rub it on them, and they get better.
Also, birds of prey like eagles, which, similarly to the public health officials of the earth are charged with the duty of removing the carcasses of nomadic animals, are informed through that impulse of divine determining, that inspiration of the sense of premonition, that divine drive, of animal remains a day’s distance away, and they go and find them.
Bukhari, Badi’ al-Wahy, 3; Tafsir Sura, 96:1; Ta’bir, 1; Muslim, Iman, 252; Tirmidhi, Manaqib, 6; Musnad, vi, 153, 232.