In these stories just related we have come across many cases where Rasulullah Sal’am had been seen in a dream. Now it is my duty to bring to the notice of the readers, something important. It is that whenever Rasulullah Sal’am was seen in a dream, it must be believed that it was the Rasul Sal’am who was seen and no one else. For numerous are the authentic reports wherein is stated the Rasulullah Sal’am said: “Whoever sees me in a dream, has indeed seen none but me, for verily Shaytaan is not allowed to imitate me.”
The form in which various people see him differs in many cases. The difference does not lie in the object seen but in him who sees. The eyes belong to the body of the beholder and as much; the instrument (eyes) changes from person to person. For example in the case of a green, red, blue or black spectacles. If one looks at any object with any of these colored spectacles the picture will be according to the color of the spectacles. However the form and shape of the actual object did not change.
Hence when any one sees Rasulullah Sal’am and on him sees anything which does not become one of such exalted rank, it should be borne in mind that the fault lies in the beholder and not in the Rasul Sal’am. Similarly, if the dreamer hears anything from the Rasul Sal’am which goes against Shariah; the fault lies with the hearer and not with Rasulullah Sal’am.
Hazrat Ibn Ameerul Haaj R.A. writes in his ” Mad’khal”: “When having seen a dream or heard a voice form the unseen, one should be careful about inclining towards implementing that order which was seen or heard; when that order is not in accordance with the practice of the elders of Islam of the first century. And so also one should guard against following a practice seen in a dream when the practice is against the Shari’ah.
An example of this is those people to whom the Rasul Sal’am in a dream gave some order or prohibited something. They then started to follow that act accordingly without having referred back to the Qur’aan and sunnah.
The Qur’aan says:
“And if you differ in anything among yourself, refer it to Allah and His Rasul.” (Surah Nisaa: 59)
Referring to him in person during his lifetime and comparing with his sunnah after his death. Note also that even though the saying of Rasulullah Sal’am; ” Whosoever sees me in a dream has indeed seen none but me” is truth, yet, did Allah not command us to follow the injunctions received during dreams nor act in accordance therewith.
In fact Rasulullah Sal’am told us that the pen is lifted from three people; the sleeper till he awakens; the infant and the insane. Further also, one can receive an authentic report only from one who awake, of sound mind and conscious not from him who is asleep. Thus whenever any order reaches us from Rasulullah Sal’am during our sleep, it should be first examined in the light of the Qur’aan and the sunnah. If found according to the Shari’ah; the dream is truth, and so also the words spoken; having come to the dreamer as glad tidings. However if found to be against the Shari’ah, then let it be known that the dream is truth, but as a result of Satanic influence some distortion has taken place in the hearing or seeing instruments (eyes and ears)
Hazrat Imaam Nawawi R.A. writes at the beginning of his book ‘Tahzeebul Asmaa wal Lughaat’ about the specialities of Rasulullah Sal’am: “Whoever has seen him in a dream, has indeed seen him; for Shaytaan cannot imitate him. However, if anything is heard about the prescriptions of Sharia’h, it is not possible to follow these; not because of any doubt about the truth of the dream, but because the memory of the dreamer is unreliable.”
The same is also explained in greater detail in ‘Mad’khal’, I have quoted as much as was felt necessary. The same is said by numerous other ulama.