From "Inception" to Islam

I'm proud to admit that my 'favoritest' movie of all time is "Inception". How do I know this? Well, I saw it 3 times when it was (and still IS!) in the theatre (one of those times was IMAX and it was INCREDIBLE!), and bought the special edition Blu-Ray and DVD combo pack (the DAY it came out!) with a spinning top t-shirt, which I ceremoniously gave to my younger brother as a 'Happy Inception-release day' gift. Since that ubiquitous purchase, I've watched the movie 4 times and viewed the behind the scenes extras just last night. My brother almost convinced me to watch the movie again last night, but I resisted and created a 'one-week between Inception viewing' rule that I plan to enforce with an iron fist!

For those who have seen the movie (which I hope is everyone reading 2-3 people!), you'll most likely agree that its complex, brilliant, and has some amazing sequences. AND, fun fact, did you know that the ice fortress scene was shot in KANANASKIS at the top of the unused Fortress mountain in November 2009. Hollah out to Calgary!

OK, back to my point. All this watching and thinking about dreams and dream interpretation started spinning my cognitive gears about what Islam says about dreams. I've been reading the Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari Hadiths, and lo and behold, Book 95 is with regards to dream interpretation. So I investigated this a couple of nights ago. And yes, you're right, I was feeling very guilty about my Inception obsession and decided to link it back to Islam with hopes of making this obsession a little more spiritual in nature. But hey, I learned something, and you may too! So here goes:

1. The beginning of the revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was through a dream:

6581. 'Urwa related that 'A'isha said, "The beginning [of the revelation] to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, took the form of the true dream in sleep. Whenever he had a dream, it was clear like the break of day'.

2. When we have a good dream, we should share it with others. On the other hand, when the dream is 'bad' it is because of Shaytaan (the Devil) and it should not be shared:

6584. 'Abdullah ibn Khabbab related that Abu Sa'id al-Khudri heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, "When one of you sees a dream that he likes, it is from Allah and so he should praise Allah and talk about it. When he sees other than which he dislikes, it is from Shaytan and he should seek refuge from its evil and not mention it to anyone. It will not harm him."

3. Ibrahim (PBUH), through a dream, was told by Allah to sacrifice his son:

The words of the Almighty, "When he was of an age to work with him, he said, 'My son, I saw in a dream that I must sacrifice you. What do you think about this?' He said, 'Do as you are ordered, father.Allah willing, you will find me resolute.' Then when they had both submitted and he had lain him face down on the ground, We called out to him, 'Ibrahim! you have discharged your vision.' That is how We recompense good-doers." (37:102-105)

4. With regards to the Night of Power:

6590. Salim ibn 'Abdullah related from Ibn 'Umar that some people had a dream that the Night of Power was in the last seven days and that some people had a dream that it was in the last ten days. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Look for it in the last seven days."

5. Some who sees the Prophet (PBUH) in a dream:

6592. Abu Salama related that Abu Hurayra said, "I heard the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'Anyone who sees me in a dream will see me awake. Shaytan does not take my form.'"

6. Dreaming about milk:

6604. Hamza ibn 'Abdullah related that Ibn 'Umar said that he head the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, "While I was asleep, I dreamt that I was brought a bowl of milk and I drank from it until I was so quenched that it came out of my nails. Then I gave what remained (i.e. to 'Umar)." They asked, "How did you interpret that, Messenger of Allah?" "As knowledge," he answered.

7. Dreaming about a long shirt:

6606. Abu Umama ibn Sahl related that he heard Abu Sa'id al-Khudri say that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "While I was asleep, I saw people being presented to me wearing long shirts. Some of the shirts reached their breasts, and some of them reached below that. Then 'Umar ibn al-Khattab passed by me, dragging his shirt." They asked, "How did you interpret it, Messenger of Allah?" "As the deen," he answered.

8. Holding onto a handle or a ring:

6612. Qays ibn 'Ubad related that 'Abdullah ibn Salam said, "I dreamt that I was in a meadow in the middle of which was a pillar and there was a handle on top of the pillar. I was told, 'Climb it.' I said, 'I cannot.' A servant came and lifted up my garment and I climbed up and took hold of the handle. I woke up while still holding onto it. I recounted it to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he said, 'That meadow is the meadow of Islam. That pillar is the pillar of Islam. That handle is the firmest handle and you will continue to hold to Islam until you die.'"

There is a lot more information with regards to other dreams and those relating specifically to individuals from the time of the Prophet (PBUH). The dream scenarios above are those which inferences can be drawn from right away, whereas some others require a greater level of interpretation and understanding. For more information, see:

For those who are craving more information about the movie "Inception", check out the following website:

Also, Christopher Nolan (Director and Writer) and Hans Zimmer (Composer) recently released an iPhone App. Check that out too:

Alright, I just realized how crazy I am to jump from "Inception" to Islam! Anyway, hope you learned something! :)


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