Seeing the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (may Allaah exalt his mention), while awake
Fatwa No: 9991

  • Fatwa Date:8-2-2012 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 16, 1433
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Question

Is it possible to see the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, while awake?
How can I respond to a person who claims that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, came to him in a dream and gave him a prescribed set of regular supplications to read?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

 

It is impossible, according to competent researching scholars, to see the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, while awake. They interpret the texts that apparently indicate the possibility to reflect a meaning other than that which first strikes the mind. Moreover, relevant Hadeeths support this view. One such text is the Hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him where he narrated that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said that anyone who sees him while asleep will see him while awake, and that the devil cannot assume his image. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Commenting on this Hadeeth, Ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him mentioned that understanding the Hadeeth according to its apparent implications entails that the one who experiences such a vision must be considered a Companion of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, for a Companion (according to the Sharee‘ah definition) is one who saw the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and died as a Muslim

This would indicate that it is possible that Companionship would continue to exist until the Day of Judgment.

Another evidence that contradicts this understanding is that many people have seen the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in their dreams, but none of them claimed to see him while awake. Al-Khaadimi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him mentioned the impossibility of seeing the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, by one’s eyes after his death, for the dead cannot be seen as long as they are dead.

The only understanding that makes sense is that the Hadeeth indicates that the experience of seeing the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, while asleep is like seeing him while awake. This is supported by another Hadeeth that states something similar.

Another interpretation suggests that it is true that one can see the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in a vision, which may be explained and interpreted in reality.

Another interpretation indicates this Hadeeth was exclusive to those who believed in the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in his lifetime, before seeing him.

A further interpretation states that anyone who saw the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in his dreams will be granted special sight of him on Judgment Day, apart from the persons who see him on Judgment Day without having seen him in their worldly dreams.

On the other hand, seeing the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, while asleep is reasonable and possible under the Sharee‘ah. A person’s claim of seeing the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, can be considered true once the person sees him in his known figure. Through a sound chain of narrators Ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said that Ibn Seereen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him would ask anyone telling him that he saw the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in his dream to describe him. He would discount his vision if it did not match the Prophet's known traits.

Ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him found supporting evidence of this. Abu ‘Aasim Ibn Kulayb  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him told Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him that he saw the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in his dream. Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him asked him to describe the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Abu ‘Aasim Ibn Kulayb  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him told him that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, resembled Al-Hasan Ibn ‘Ali  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him. Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him then affirmed that he had indeed seen the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. [Al-Haakim]

Anyone who claims that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, came to him and gave him a prescribed set of regular supplications should have these scrutinized. If they have been already established under the Sharee‘ah through the Quran and the Sunnah, then they should be practiced. A vision in this case reassures the person who saw it, gives the person glad tidings and urges him to continue doing that lawful act of worship.

If the supplication is otherwise, then it should be noted that the religion has been perfected and that there is no evidence to suggest that whoever receives orders or prohibitions from the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in a dream after his death may use them with this proof. Allaah The Almighty took the Prophet’s soul after he preached the message, ordered Muslims to adhere to the Sharee‘ah and forbade religious innovations.

Allaah Knows best.

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