Friday, August 04, 2006

Are there any meanings to dreams?

A few years ago, when PMS was pregnant with our first child, I remember not having any feelings towards the baby until just a few weeks before the baby was born. It was when I had a dream of the baby. I dreamt of a small baby girl, wrapped in a white cotton cloth. Although most babies are born bald, the baby girl had lots of hair on her tiny head. She was also surrounded by my friends, and the baby was always smiling to them, winning their hearts. Since that dream, I developed a deep feeling of love for the baby and when baby Sarah was finally born, I was surprised to find out that one of her physical characteristics was she has lots of hair. I felt as if I’ve known (and loved) Sarah even before she was born, from the dream.

Puan Mama Sarah also had a similar dream. In her dream, a friend of PMS offered the name “Ulfah” for our baby.

Puan Mama Sarah is not an Arabic language scholar and so she was searching for the meaning of Ulfah. The dictionaries describe Ulfah as a female name, meaning “familiar”. PMS also asked about the meaning of Ulfah to her friend, the same person she saw in her dream. The person, an Arab, explained that the name means “The feeling of loving someone, even before you’ve met the person.”

Another example is a dream I had before I was to move to the city I am currently staying in. The numbers 444 was shown prominently in a dream I had. I had been trying to find the meaning of those numbers and it wasn’t till a few months later, when we moved cities that I found out the fact that to go to our new house one has to follow the signs to the A444. Where I am staying now, there are numerous road signs leading to the A444 and following those signs would lead you to this house.

Some dreams I’ve had have been much more sinister:

One week before I was about to get married to PMS I dreamt of the presence of a tall, black creature in the room I was sleeping in, and I woke up with a start, in cold sweat. Shocked, I went to the bathroom and while washing my face, I was thinking of the vivid, scary dream. In the end I came to the conclusion that the dream must have been from Shaitan trying to scare me. As I was having the thought, the glass panel infront of me came down with a huge crash! I’ve stayed in the house for 2 years before that and the glass panel have always been sturdy, and the event needless to say, scared the bej***s out of me.

Since then, and especially after I got married, I started to get strange, scary nightmares. These nightmares have a recurring theme: always of snakes, they were scary and vivid, and always woke me up at around 3-4 in the morning. They were so vivid and scary that for one whole year until the nightmares stopped, I did not get even one night of good, proper sleep and I would be tired after I woke up.

I remember each of the 6 nightmares clearly, even to this day (I suffered from the nightmares 7 years ago). The first of the series started like this:

I was in a moderately crowded shop, when a tall man (like a magician, with a tall hat) approached me. He had a huge, blue snake hanging over his shoulder – the snake looked like one of those man-eating, 10 foot, African pythons or constrictor boas. The magician/man gave me a white mouse and asked me to feed the snake. I took the white mouse, and offered it to the snake, when the snake suddenly hissed, opened its mouth and devoured the mouse, with it my whole right arm up to my elbow. The snake slowly released my arm, but in doing so cut my elbow with its sharp teeth leaving bleeding gashes. Scared, I ran away from the magician/man outside of the shop and … outside, there were snakes EVERYWHERE. The trees were full of snakes hissing, hanging and some were falling to the ground. The ground was also full of hissing and writhing snakes. Then I woke up with a start, sweating. The clock showed 4am.

The series ended like this:

I was in my room, the exact room I was sleeping in at that time. Okay, in fact, it felt less like a dream and more like it actually happened: Over my sleeping body there was a tall man/magician with a huge black, hissing snake and he was feeding that snake into my mouth. With all my might I tried to keep my mouth closed to let the snake inside. And both the snake and myself was fighting and struggling – the snake millimetres away from my closed mouth. Again I woke up with a start, and according to PMS I uttered a few things that scared her that night.

I tell you guys, the last nightmare felt to me less like a dream and more like it really happened. That was the end of my 6-part nightmare, I’ll spare you guys from the other 4 dreams, but they were all about various different coloured snakes.

Guess when the dream ended? Yup, right before Ramadhan of that year. I remember, the first night of Ramadhan of that year was the first night in a loooong while when I had a completely restful sleep.

A month later was a special Eid, the Eid when my whole family met in the UK and celebrated Eid together. When we were staying in London, I don’t know why but I began telling my sister Nurul about the nightmares of snakes. Hearing “snakes” she gasped, and looked frightened.

It turned out that for the past one year before that Ramadhan both my sister and my father were also haunted by nightmares of snakes. Before that, I’ve never told any of my family members about the nightmares I had, and it was shocking to hear that all of us had had similar dreams.

My sister said that the events also ended with a dream: An aunt on my mother’s side was sleeping in our house in Malaysia, when she dreamt of 2 snakes. She killed one of the snakes, but the other one got away down the stairs into a cupboard and hid there in the shape of a piece of wood.

She told my father about the dream and father searched the cupboard she saw in the dream and found the piece of wood, and burnt it. Right before Ramadhan. Exactly the time when all our nightmares ended. Our family agreed that the events were probably due to witchcraft or something...

To be honest guys, I’m writing this because I’m puzzled with some of the recent dreams I’ve been having and I know some of my readers on this blog have “knowledge”. These past few years, especially lately, I have been having these vivid dreams (not nightmares). The dreams would seem so real, and I would always wake up with a start. When I wake up, sometimes I’d be staring straight to my bedside clock and the clock would show weird times like: 2:22 or 3:33 or 4:44 am. On the dot, seriously.

What has made me write about my dreams is my latest one 2 days ago: I dreamt about KKL and O-K, and woke up at exactly 4:44 am. I have never, ever dreamt of KKL ever before in my life and I was looking for the meaning of that dream. It wasn’t until I read O-K’s announcement of KKL’s birthday that I understood.

The dream with O-K and KKL had been a good dream, but actually, I have dreamt of other people in not so good situations as well. Sometimes, I feel like contacting them and give warnings but I’ve always held back, in case they think I’ve gone crazy.

I’ve just rang my sister again just now and she had two stories to share, regarding warning people about dreams.

Once she dreamt that one of her friends would be in danger, and she told the person about the dream as warning. The person didn’t believe her. Two days later, in chemistry class ther person had an accident involving getting acid to his face and was hospitalised.

She also had another dream of a terrible road accident involving a friend and she told that friend to not travel anywhere or drive over the weekend. The friend followed her advice and Alhamdulillah, nothing happened.

Dreams are indeed strange, and to me and my sister, they may carry special meanings. Dreams that I find meaningful have the following characteristics:
1. They are very vivid.
2. You are able to remember those dreams even many years after you’ve had them.
3. They occur early in the morning, around 4am.

So, any readers with stories to share or would like to offer any explanations or suggestions?


Ikelah said...

our family discusion 3 days ago was about Nabi Yusuf and the dream of the egypt ruler, 7 fat and 7 skinny cows. on how nabi Yusuf can read and interpret dreams.

i just usually ignore my dreams but my son kid asking about the special dream. " maman tak taulah dah baligh atau tidak. mimpi baligh tu macam mana abah?" i just answered, "kalau macam ni tak baligh lah lagi."

dr in the house said...


How intriguing! Especially about the snakes and how the same dreams have overwhelmed your family members. And your dad finding that piece of wood in the said cupboard! Masyallah! Yeah I would agree that , that could involve some form of black magic or something, Allahu'alam.

Have you read Ibn Sirin's book of dream interpretation. Since it is Islamic based, reading it might be beneficial to guide you through your current recurring dreams! Btw, I think KKL has the book.

I made an entry on Dreams and you can find if it if you rummage through my December 2005 archives. (Dec 17th to be exact)

All these dream stories must have affected you so much to have warrant you to write this special long entry. I pray that non of the disturbing dreams have any true meaning for you and probably are secondary to your busy calls, :p. May you have more restful sleep from now on, Ameen!

p.s. And if you have any disturbing dreams about me, please keep to yourself ok!! :p

p.p.s. Mama Sarah, please check that he washes his feet before sleep!

dr in the house said...

p.s. here's my emtry on dreams:

(Just scroll down to the 17th Dec entry)

dr in the house said...


Please never put pics of snakes next time...I have extreme phobia for them, even in pics!!!

I had to block that pic from my sight whilst reading your entry! :p

*Sorry to spam!

:) said...

cross the beta blockers off your durg chart mynn

mynn said...

seriously thanks dith
ive been reading your previous entry, and you wrote:
"Before I got married, I had frequent dreams of being chased by snakes. Yucks! The fact that I loathe them, made it worse! There were small ones and there were also big python-like ones. Well, we all know what the Malay interpretations of these dreams are. I don't believe much in it either, but funnily, after getting married, these dreams stopped altogether! Coincidence?"

hmm ... strange isnt it? at the time when i had my dream, although i wasn't feeling afraid of getting married i thought i was having the dreams of snakes because i was subconsciously afraid. also, snakes have many "special" (read: "funny" <-- err read the articles on dream interpretation yourselves!) meanings, meanings close to what ikelah has commented above.

also dith, like you, since having the dreams i also have a sort of phobia with snakes. if i see snakes on tv, or while choosing the picture last night, i froze, and felt like my blood has gone cold. seram. you know.

another thing related to dith's "dream" entry is ... some dreams i dream in black and white - but the ones with the snakes, and some vivid ones were definitely in colour.

LOL. you know what, i remember asking my parents that exact question -> "macamana mimpi nak tau kita dah baligh?"

:) <- is that you? tak tidur lagi ke? buat nights ke? datang sini this weekend? satu lagi drug yang cause hallucinations is amantidine. omeprazole pun apparently.

dr in the house said...

Omeprazole too?? Better check on my patients whether they have snake dreams too, hehe

Anonymous said...

Apology for writing as an anonymous. You know me, so there is no need to reveal my name to public.

Not all dream is to be or could be interpreted. Ibn Sirin rahimahullah, the hadith transmitter and a tabi'in par excellence, was reported only interpreted every one of 40 dreams he was asked about.

Then there is a hadith that says, 'Dreams are of three types: good news from Allah, whispering of Syaitan, and the dreamer talking to himself.'

Then there is a rulings regarding dreams. The one who dreams should not reveal his dream to just about anyone. Some dream are straightforward, some are not. If the person does not mix good with evil in his daily life, he probably knows already the interpreation of his dream. People who mix good with evil in his life may receive true dream, but Devil adds to it some falsehood such that interpretation is dificult when it is attempted. So ruling no. 1 (sort of), when inflicted with repeated dreams, is to start by making a lot of muhasabah.

Secondly, a dream should only be revealed to a righteous person. Asking your readers or family members (even if they have dreams akin to yours) and just by reading books of dreams is not advisable because dreams' interpretations differ from one person to another, even if the dreams are similar. The characteristic of the dreamer will affect not only his dream but also its interpretation.

The most correct interpretation could only come from people who are like sayyidina Yusuf a.s. and ibn Sirin rahimahullah i.e:
1. they are well-versed in Qur'an and Hadith
2. they are well-versed in poetry classical and modern
3. they are people of 'amal, and not only people of talk

It is however good sometimes to shares things with others, so I understand. But really if you think the dreams are serious, the action should be serious too: release yourself from thinking about it - let a scholar do it! ;)

ayumi said...

No knowledge in such field.. but I must say.. those are scary dreams, all right. I'm glad it's all over now. I forget most of my dreams.. but like you said, those significant ones are the ones that I can remember until now.. though they're not that many..

kenakelayan said...

:) I agree with anonymous.

I normally don't remember dreams either. And although I have picked up Ibn Sirin's book a couple of times, I always ended up not buying it. I dunno why.

Some vivid dreams have stayed with me. Some of them I don't know what it means. A couple of them I hope means what I think they do.

mynn said...

there was this one patient who came with new onset hallucinations. kitorang pun korek lah BNF tu to find out what drugs causes hallucinations - it's only small print but omeprazole (and ranitide) apparently causes hallucinations :p having said that many people i know are on omeprazole and don't hallucinate.

anonymous, you've gave alot of useful info in your comment, thanks.

before putting up the post, i asked my sister whether i should. and like you said about not supposed to reveal dreams to others, she was also agaisnt it. but i thought "gasak ler, i want to get to the bottom of this". before this, i would only tell a select few e.g. PMS. some dreams not even PMS knows. many thanks for your input.

even weirder is that DITH also had dreams of snakes before her wedding. i wonder if it's common?

mynn said...

i must find that book

OK said...

A lot of times I dream of going to the loo... so I get up and go to the loo..

pycnogenol said...

OK, what happen if you dream that you've found the loo?

orangkilang said...

hehehe... never had an "accident" if that's what you mean... I wake up...

pycnogenol said...

Oh my...woke up at 4 this morning, all because I dreamt of losing my upper wisdom tooth.

I only hope that I'm suddenly having all this dream because I've been reading your entry Mynn.

mynn said...

haaha Pycno,
as long it's not snakes, or going to the toilet (and wetting the bed) you should be okay ;D

i bet mesti ada "accidents!"

pycnogenol said...

Yes Mynn, I'm sure there must have been "accidents" too.
Let's ask kenakelayan. ;)

kenakelayan said...

*solemnly swears with hand up*

As far as I know there has never been any 'accidents' of such nature...


crimsonskye said...

I remember some of the most vivid dreams I had left me crying so hard in my sleep, then I woke up habis lencun the pillows and all.. hehe.

Your dream about Sarah is so syahdu..

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