Book Review: On the Means of Beholding The Prophet in a Dream

On the means od beholding the Prophet in a dream

Title: On The Means of Beholding The Prophet (peace be upon him) in a Dream
Publisher: Ihsanica Media (2011) (http://www.ihsanica.com/)
Author: Imam Yusuf b. Ismail al-Nabahani
Translator: Imam Abdul Aziz Suraqah (http://ibrizmedia.com/)

This book presents 40 means that Imam Yusuf al-Nabahani has collected in order to see Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in a dream. The means or methods are supplications of salutations and blessings upon the Prophet (peace be upon him) with specific wordings, said a specific number of times, at specific times of the day or week and may be coupled with certain verses of the Qur’an which are also recited a certain number of times. The supplications presented are referenced to scholars and sages of the past who had advised on the means to behold the Prophet (peace be upon him) in a dream. These are the supplications that scholars, sages and righteous individuals of the past have employed and found success therein. This book is a gift for those who long to behold him, out of sheer love for him (peace be upon him).

Imam Abdul Aziz has advised that these means are not simply tricks to see the Prophet (peace be upon him) rather they are deep expressions and sentiments of love, longing and respect for the Prophet (peace be upon him). They are not to be recited as a mere formula, rather the aim is to imbue one’s heart with sincere longing and to increase ones love of him, in order that one become honored by Allah so that he sees the Prophet (peace be upon him) in his dream.

Indeed, there are righteous Muslims or others who have seen the Prophet (peace be upon him) in their dreams without these specific means, simply out of their sincere piety and love for Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) and/or by Allah’s generosity. Allah gives to whomsoever He wills.

The back cover of the book elaborates further:

This unique collection, taken from Imam Yusuf al-Nabahani’s monumental Sa‘adat al-darayn fi al-salat ‘ala Sayyid al-kawnayn (Felicity in the Two Abodes Through Prayers upon the Master of the Two Realms – may Allah bless him and grant him peace), details forty tried and true methods for seeing the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) in a dream. Gleaned from the works of the early and later spiritual masters, this collection is a veritable treasury of Gnostic expressions of prophetic love and longing. Each supplication is presented in its original Arabic along with its translation and transliteration.

Imam Yusuf b. Isma‘il al-Nabahani (1265–1350 ah), hadith scholar, Sufi, jurist, judge, and biographer, was born in Beirut, Lebanon. A prolific author, al-Nabahani left behind a staggering collection of works in hadith, fiqh, theology, and most famously, poetry and prose in praise of our master Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). Al-Nabahani was a paragon of prophetic love (‘ishq) and his works continue to exercise a profound influence on popular Muslim spirituality.

Some skeptics may question the relevance of dreams and their significance in our day and age when we emphasis the material existence over the spiritual existence. There is a chapter of the interpretation of dreams in Bukhari and some of the hadiths are mentioned below:

Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “The beautiful dream of a righteous person is a part of the forty-six parts of Prophethood”
[Al-Bukhari, Book 91, Hadith 2]

Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “There is nothing left from Prophethood except that which conveys glad tidings” They asked “What is that which conveys glad tidings?” He said, “The dreams of the righteous”
[Al-Bukhari, Book 91, Hadith 9]

Anas relates that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever sees me in a dream then he has in fact seen me, for verily, the Satan cannot appear as me’
[Al-Bukhari, Book 91, Hadith 13]

If that was not convincing enough, we have Qur’anic verses which convey the significance of good dreams such as to Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him):

“And when he reached with him [the age of] exertion, he said, “O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think.” He said, “O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast.”
[Qur’an 37:102]

and in the case of Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him):

When Joseph said to his father, “O my father, indeed I have seen [in a dream] eleven stars and the sun and the moon; I saw them prostrating to me.”
[Quran 12:4]

Lastly, the publisher leaves us with great advice in the Foreword:

Do not be saddened, dear reader, if you implement some of the means presented here and fail to behold the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him): it is enough of an honor for you that Allah has blessed you with the ability and pure intention to invoke blessings and salutations upon His Prophet (peace be upon him). Allah does not make one’s tongue moist with the praises for His Beloved (peace be upon him) save that He blesses that person with more and draws him or her near. And what’s more, Allah has blessed you with the intense longing to see His Messenger (peace be upon him), and that alone may be the wind in your sail to drive you unto him and be under his standard on the Last Day and to drink of his pure Pond.

May Allah make us among those beautiful righteous people who are blessed with beholding the Prophet (peace be upon him) in a dream and those who meet him in the hereafter as a part his nation. May Allah increase the rank of and bless all those who participated in publishing this book. Ameen.

Other resources regarding the book can be found here:

http://ihsanica.com/nabahani_darayn_vol3.html
https://ianwhiteman.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/on-the-means-of-beholding-the-prophet-in-a-dream/
https://brislamic.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/book-review-on-the-means-of-beholding-the-prophet-in-a-dream/

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