BETWEEN REALITY AND ILLUSION Dreaming is one of the physical abilities bestowed upon human beings. However, interpreting dreams is not a job for all, says Abbas Di Palma
tudying human potentialities and capabilities is not an easy task. The human being is a very complex creature: from his physical abilities to his power of thought and his soul’s faculties, he has been subject to numerous studies undertaken in the field of humanities and even metaphysics. One of the more interesting features of the mysterious human realm is undoubtedly the world of dreams. According to Islamic traditions, some dreams have special peculiarities. In the twelfth chapter of the Qur’an, they hold a particular and meaningful position along the narration of the story of Prophet Yusuf. The holy Qur’an mentions a dream that Yusuf related to his father Ya’qub who told him not to reveal it to his brothers because they would plot against him. The Qur’an also describes the capability of the Prophet Yusuf to interpret dreams as an adult, as he did, for example, when he interpreted the dreams of his two fellow prisoners and that of Pharaoh. From Yusuf’s story, we learn that sometimes even the dream of a child can be truthful. Another important factor to be deduced is not to reveal
our dreams to any random person, especially if there is the possibility of aversion from their side. Rather dreams could be recounted to those who are worthy of hearing them, as in the case of the two prisoners who asked Yusuf’s interpretation as he was a good man: “Inform us of the interpretation of these [dreams] for we surely find you ofthe good-doers” (12:36). Also a Prophetic narration adds: “The truthful dream is one of the seventy parts of prophecy”. This tradition could also be translated using “truthful
vision”. However, many Muslim scholars have interpreted it as “dream”. Furthermore, prophetic histories bring witness that a good number of prophets received revelations through a truthful dream like the history of Abraham and his son Ismael: “He said: -My son! I have seen in a dream that I sacrifice you. So consider what you think-. He said: -My father! Do as you are commanded if God wills you will find me among the patient-. So when both of them submitted themselves and he laid him down on his forehead we called out to him saying: - You have fulfilled the dream. That is how we reward the good-doers.” (37:102-105).