Selections from Kitab al-Iman of Miftah al-Ma`ani

1. `Abdullah ibn `Amr reports the Prophet, that he said, “(With reference to the verse) For them are good tidings in the life of this world: “A believer’s true dream brings glad tiding to him; they are forty-ninth part of prophethood. So, whoever experienced it, might inform others. But he who experienced what gives him anxiety, may spit on his left side, three times, and stay quiet, speaking not to anyone about it.” (Ahmad – Sahih)

Commentary

A true dream is true for that person alone who experienced it. He may inform others because others might have also seen the same kind of dream, and will gather strength thereby. However, the scholars have warned that neither can any rule be made in view of a true dream, nor has it a Shari`ah value of any sort.

They could be of the nature of a piece of good news, or even a warning to him who experienced it. (Tibi, Mirqah)

Some reports state other figures and so it can be said that depending on how true the dream is, various figures have been mentioned by the Prophet: 25th, 46th, 49th, etc. (Tayseer bi Sharh Jami` Sagheer)

Other reports of similar nature mention “a righteous believer,” (and not simply a believer). Further, a thing being a part of something, does not make that thing; just like saying the words, “Laailaahailla Allah” aloud does not make it the adhaan, although it is a part of adhaan. The Prophet has said, “Prophethood is gone, what remains is good tidings.” (SharhZarqani and others)

True dreams are a part of prophethood of such importance that the Prophet (saws) used to inquire after Fajr, whether anyone had experienced it. (Fayd al Qadeer)

True dreams are (from Allah), those which do not lead to self-conceit. (Ibn Battal)

True dreams are those which a man experiences in real life, what he saw in his dream. As for dreams that cause anxiety, (they are from Shaytan); they may not be spoken of to others because they might interpret it wrongly, (out of envy or antipathy), and it might actually happen that way, by Allah’s will. (Fayd al Qadeer and others)

Frequent occurrence of good dreams points to the inner purity, while frequent occurrence of bad dreams points to uncleanliness of the inner self. (Fayd al Qadeer: from Ghazali)

Dreams coming true is not a necessary quality of true dreams. Sometimes they can just be of the nature of what pleases the soul (based on Ibn Battal). They can also be of the nature of inspiration of right tenets and doctrines in the heart, while one is asleep. (SharhTahrib)

The hadith is of the same nature as the Prophet’s statement: “The middle path in economy and finance is twenty-fourth part of prophethood,” meaning, it is the characteristic of the Prophets. On the other hand, true dreams are a light upon the Unseen. And, against fearful dreams apart from spitting, making wudu, doing some prayers are useful. When Khalid ibn Waleed told the Prophet, “My dreams scare me,” he said, “Say: ‘I seek Allah’s protection with the complete words, against the evil of the created.” Khalid (ra) said later, “I wouldn’t care a hoot for what I saw thereafter.” (Tibi in SharhMishkah)

2. On Abu Hurayra’s authority, the Prophet said, “A believer’s example is like grass. Winds bend it down. A believer (comfortably) receives the calamities. On the other hand, the example of a hypocrite is like a pine tree. It does not bend down (under wind pressure) until it is cut down.”

Commentary

In actual fact, calamities are lessened for an unbeliever in this world, so that they are not lessened in the Next World. And Tibi has remarked that the words, “until it is cut down,” are indicative that he dies an evil death. (Mir`ah)

3. On Abu Hurayra’s authority, the Prophet said, “Allah is Jealous, and a believer too is jealous, and Allah’s jealousy is that the believer should commit what He has been forbidden.” (Muslim)

Commentary

Jealousy, (not in the common sense) is an attribute of Allah that the believers imitate. Accordingly, they get upset and angry when Allah’s commands are ignored.

 

“Allah’s Jealousy” is also explained as His disapproval. (Al-Tanwir)

4. Abu Hurayrah says, “I met the Prophet while I was in a state of major impurity. I strolled with him until he sat down. (When he did that) I slipped out, went up to the house, washed myself and went back. He was still sitting there. He asked, ‘Where were you?’ I explained, ‘You met me while I was in a state of major impurity; and wouldn’t like to sit with you while I was in that state, so I went back and washed myself. He said, ‘Allah (swt) be glorified! A believer is never impure.’” (Bukhari)

Commentary

A believer is never impure physically, man or woman, dead or alive. In fact, an unbeliever is never physically impure either. As for the Qur’an saying, “Surely, the pagans are unclean,” the allusion is to their beliefs and not to their bodies. As for Ibn `Abbas saying that their physical bodies are unclean, like the bodies of pigs, or for Hasan al-Basri’s opinion that whoever shook hands with an unbeliever, may redo his ablution, that seems to be out of exaggeration. Most scholars allow handshake with those needing major ablution, and intermingling with them. The hadith is also evidential that ablution can be delayed to a convenient time, and that a believer is not impure, but rather, he is in a “state of impurity.” (Mirqah and others)

Further, as Ibn `Abbas has said, a man needing major ablution does not render water impure, if he dips his hands in it. So also, a Jew or a Christian is not (najis) impure. (`Umdatu al Qari from Baghawi)

Abu Hurayrah’s hesitance to be in the Prophet’s company while he was in a state of impurity gives us an idea of how deep and profound was the respect the Companions had for the Prophet. (Al-Tasweer al Nabawi)

When asked the reason of his absence, Abu Hurayrah could have simply said, “Something urgent.” But his frank narration of the reason speaks of his frankness, and, perhaps his hope that the Prophet would make a correction, a guess which came out true. (Au.)

The Prophet uttering “Glory to Allah,” after he heard Abu Hurayrah’s narrative tells something about his regard for believers. As if to say, “How could you say of a believer that he is impure?” (Au.)

5. On Abu Hurayra’s authority, the Prophet (saws) said, “Do not name grapevine as ‘karam’ because it is a believer who is ‘karam.’ (According to another report: “because it is a believer’s heart which is ‘karam.’”)

Commentary

The word ‘karam’ was used by the Arabs for ‘vine, grapes, and wine made out of grapes.’ But, due to the high position a believer occupies in the sight of his Lord, the Prophet did not approve of a term which happens to be his quality, but which the common people use for wine and what is related to wine. Another connotation of ‘karam’ is being honorable, respectable, etc. Accordingly, it is said, ‘an honorable (karam) man, an honorable (karam) woman etc., where the word ‘karam’ is in the sense of ‘kareem.’ Apart from `inab,the Prophet suggested another word: ‘hablah.’ (`Umdatu al-Qari, Suyuti, and many others)