Having a dream while we were sleeping ia a perfectly normal thing. Everyone get dreams when they sleep, and what appear in their dreams is something beyond their control. Dreams can be good but can also be very bad.
“There are three kinds of dreams: the promptings of the heart, feared by Satan, and the good news from Allah.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
A good dream is a dream from Allah SWT while bad dreams or nightmares is the Satan’s doing. They chase us into our sleep and plant fear in our heart, trying to shake our iman. Nightmares come when we are in the weakest state of body and mind. While we are stress or the body is not feeling well, we tend to have nightmares since we couldn’t get a deep and peaceful sleep.
“That good dream is from Allah. While the bad dream is from the Satan.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Since nightmares make us feel uncomfortable, here are the spiritual ways how to prevent nightmares in Islam:
1. Make Dua Before Sleep
Making dua before sleep means that we seek for protection from Allah SWT. Once we make dua, our heart become light and we fall into a deep sleep without any disturbance between. Never skip praying before going to sleep.
“O Allah indeed I take refuge in You from all the actions of the Satan and from the ugliness of this dream.”
Also read: Rules of Sleeping in Islam
2. Seek Protection Through Salat
Salat is the most powerful kind of worshiping. It’s the only way we connect to Allah SWT. Make sure we have prayed Isha’ prayer before sleep and as addition we can do sunnah prayer to specifically asking protection from bad dreams and nightmares.
“If one of you see in your dream the thing you hate then let stand for the prayer and do not tell it to others.” (HR Muslim no. 2263)
3. Take Wudhu
Wudhu is an act to keep ourselves clean from najs and dirt. Wudhu can act as a shelter to push aside all the bad things that may come while we were sleeping. There are hadith that said whoever Muslim takes wudhu before going to sleep, Angels will look after them through the night.
Also read: Sins for Not Praying Fajr Prayer
4. Say Bismillah Before Sleep
Bismillah is a powerful word that works like magic to us. By saying bismillah, we show that we have faith in Allah for He never stop guarding us through the night and prevent any bad dreams from disturbing our sleep.
“However, the right one is saying “Bismillah”. If you say something like this, the Satan will grow smaller until he will be like a fly. “
5. Recite Last Three Surah in Quran
According to the Prophet, reciting the last three verses in Islam, as well as ayatul Kursy. they will give us protection until the morning falls.
“When you lie down on the bed, read the verse of Kursi until it is finished (thoroughly) because then Allah will always take care of you and Satan will not approach you until morning.” (HR Bukhari)
Also read: Etiquettes of Reading The Holy Quran
6. Read About the Prophet’s Life
Make a new habit before we sleep to read the life of our Prophet. There are many means we can learn from there to be applied in our daily lives. It will make our heart stronger and the story of the Prophet will be brought to our dreams as well. This way we can avoid from having bad dream.
7. Clean the Bed
When our bed is clean, we will have a comfortable sleep. As the Prophet has shown us, he used to clean his bed by his own blanket so that the bed would be clean and prevent him form having a nightmare or any kind of bad dreams.
Also read: Cleanliness in Islam
8. Istighfar Many Times
Awakened in the middle of the night is very uncomfortable. Always be in remembrance of Allah by saying istighfar as many times as we can. By saying istighfar, our heart will be soothed and we can continue our sleep in peace.
9. Fill Mind with Positive Thoughts
Get rid all the horrible thoughts before going to sleep. Instead, recite Allah SWT names inside the heart until we fallen asleep. Allah may gives us the best protection until the morning falls and taking away the bad dreams.
Also read: Importance of Positive Thinking in Islam
10. Take a Good Position
After having a bad dreams, it will be better for us to change the positions of our sleep. From Abu Salamah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“… and let him change (shift from) his original sleeping position.” – Muslim
What to Do After Having Nightmares
After we wake up from a scary nightmare, here are what we can do:
- Spit Three Times to the Left. Right after we had the nightmares, our Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded us to spit the breath three times to the left. Left direction is a dirty place, just like how dirty and hated Satan is.
- Don’t Tell Anyone About the Dream. Nightmares shouldn’t be shared with anyone. What we had in our dream could scare other people as well and they might have a nightmare because of our story.
- Say Istighfar. Remembering Allah SWT is the best shelter and help us to calm our mind. Take a deep breath and say istighfar to soother the heart.
- Take Wudhu. Taking wudhu is necessary after we have calmed ourselves down. Before going back to sleep, doubled the protection by taking wudhu and it also clean ourselves from the dirt of Satan.
Those are all the ways how to avoid nightmares in Islam. Even though dream is a dream and it’s not real, the fact that we had nightmares means Satan has successfully enter our mind.