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Can You Give Examples of True Dreams?


Abraham Lincoln’s dream the night before his assassination is famous. In his dream, he saw the White House servants running to and fro, telling each other that Mr. Lincoln had been killed. He woke from his sleep in great excitement and spent an uneasy day. Despite warnings, he went to a theater that evening and was killed.

Eisenhower’s dream just before he landed on Normandy in June 1944 changed the course of the Second World War. A few days before the date on which he had decided to land, Eisenhower dreamed that a big storm broke out and overturned the landing crafts. This caused him to move up the date. History records that his dream was accurate. The mother of Anne Ostrovosky, a Russian writer, saw many scenes of the German-Russian battles 5 years before the Second World War broke out. Her dream was published in several newspapers.

Several scientific or technological discoveries were first seen in dreams. Elias Howe, while trying to figure out how to thread a sewing machine, dreamed that he was a prisoner of a tribe who wanted him to thread a sewing machine. In mortal fear and puzzled, he suddenly saw holes at the ends of his captors’ spears. He woke up and made a little “spear” with a hole at one end. Niels Bohr, who was studying atomic structures, dreamed of planets connected to the sun with threads and turning around it. When he woke up, he conceived of a resemblance between what he had dreamed and atomic structures.

Many other true dreams have predicted future events or resulted in scientific or technological discoveries. But these few examples must suffice to understand the true nature of dreams—that is, they are the result of the sprit’s journey in inner dimensions of existence (the world of immaterial forms or symbols) and receiving signals therein.

Finally, dreams provide a strong proof for the existence of immaterial worlds as well as for Divine Knowledge and Destiny. If God Almighty had not predetermined and recorded all events in “the Supreme Guarded Tablet,” how could we be informed of future events? Also, dreams show that the measure of time differs greatly according to each world’s features.


A true dream is the result of the elaboration of a presentiment

A true dream is the result of the elaboration of a presentiment. Presentiment is found in everybody to some extent; it is possessed even by animals. I have even discovered that man and animals have, in addition to their inner and outer ones, two other senses that may be called ‘motivating and enticing senses or impulses’. Although the people of misguidance and corrupt thinking foolishly call those unperceived senses ‘instincts’, they should rather be regarded as ‘inborn inspiration’ through which Divine Destiny directs man and animals. It is through such direction of Destiny that, for example, when its eye is blind, a cat goes and finds the herb with which to heal its eye, and, by rubbing it against that herb, its eye is healed.

Likewise, such flesh-eating birds as vultures, which may be regarded as the sanitary officials of the surface of the earth because of being creationally charged with removing the corpses of wild animals, are informed of the existence of a carcass tens of miles away through that direction of Destiny or the inspiration of presentiment or through Divine orientation and are able to locate that carcass.

It is in the same way that some days-old bee can fly miles away and, without losing its way, return to its hive. It even happens frequently that a man unexpectedly appears before you at the moment you have mentioned him. This is because your spiritual faculty has felt, through presentiment, the coming of that man. Such occurrences are so common and often that it is said in Turkey as a proverb: ‘When you mentioned a wolf, get hold of a staff to hit it with.’ You are, in fact, unaware of the coming of the man or a wolf, nor could you have been informed of it by reason. Rather, it is because you felt it through presentiment that you mention it unintentionally. This presentiment develops so far in men of piety, especially in saintly people, that it becomes the source of wonders.

Since the common people are also endowed with some kind of sainthood, they grasp in true dreams some things of the future or the Unseen World. Just as sleep is like a rank of sainthood in respect of true dreams, so also it is a time or space of recreation in which magnificent Divine moving pictures are shown.

Now, a man of good conduct thinks of that which is better, and he who thinks of that which is better sights beautiful tablets. By contrast, a man of evil conduct thinks of that which is worse and thereby sights ugly tablets.

Sleep is, again on account of true dreams, also a window opening on the World of the Unseen in the corporeal world. Further, it is a field of release and freedom for mortal man confined in a restricted area, and also a theatre which has a kind of permanence and where time consists in the present only in which past and future are united. In addition, sleep is a period of repose for living beings crushed under the burdens of life. It is because of such aspects of sleep that the Wise Qur’an teaches us the truth of sleep in such verses as, We have appointed sleep for you as a rest.


True dreams demonstrate God’s Compassion and point to Divine Destiny

True dreams have long convinced me through direct experience and provided a decisive proof for me that Divine Destiny encompasses everything. Those dreams have, in fact, come to mean for me that what will happen to me tomorrow, down to the most insignificant event or business or conversation, has already been predetermined. I learn of them at night in dreams as if I read them with my eyes. It has happened not once or a hundred times, but perhaps a thousand times, that the people I have seen or the matters I have talked about in dreams, turn out the following day to be true with only a slight interpretation. This means that nothing is accidental or coincidental in the universe, nor it is random; rather, everything down to the most insignificant events, has already been destined and predetermined.


This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.