"Whoever claims to have seen a dream which he did not see will be ordered to make a knot on a barley grain (on the Day of Resurrection)." Will you explain this hadith?

Details of the Question

- Why did the Prophet (pbuh) talk so seriously about this issue?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The hadith narrations regarding the issue are as follows:

“Whoever adds lies to his dream or tells of a false dream will be ordered (on the Day of Resurrection) to make a knot on a barley grain.” (Darimi, Ruya, 5, Riqaq 3; Ibn Majah, Ru'ya 8)

“Whoever claims to have seen a dream which he did not see will be ordered to make a knot between two barley grains, which he will not be able to do.” (see Bukhari, Ta’bir: 45)

Allah clearly renders telling lies haram:

“Truly Allah guides not one who transgresses and lies." (al-Mumin, 40/28)

It is a lie for a person to say that he did something though he did not do it and to say that he said something though he did not say it; similarly, the Prophet (pbuh) states that it is a lie for a person to say that he saw a dream for a dream that he did not see. Furthermore, the Prophet (pbuh) states the following in another hadith:

“The worst lie is that a person claims to have seen a dream which he has not seen.” (Bukhari, Tabir, 45; Musnad 2/96, 119)

He says it is "the worst lie". Therefore, he attracts attention to the fact that it is haram for a person to tell others about a dream that he has not seen as if he has seen it and warns people against it.

A person who says he has seen a dream though he has not seen is regarded to have told a lie deliberately. It is impossible to make a knot between two barley grains. This liar will be ordered to make a knot between two barley grains, which are not connected to each other and which are impossible to tie, because he made up words that are not connected with each other. Thus, his penalty will be in accordance with his crime. He will be punished because he will not be able to do it. As a matter of fact, the following statement exists in some narrations: “and he will not be able to make a knot between two barley grains”.

The reason why the penalty of telling a lie by saying that one has seen a dream though he has not seen is more severe than other lies is as follows: 

There are hadiths stating that true and generally liked dreams is a portion of prophethood:

"Indeed messengership and prophethood have been terminated; so, there shall be no messenger or a prophet after me. However, there will be ‘mubashshirat’'. The Companions asked, 'O Messenger of Allah! What is mubashshirat?' He said, 'The Muslim's dream because it is a portion of the portions of prophethood.'" (Tirmidhi, Ruya, 2)

"The dream of a believer is a portion among the forty portions of prophethood.” (see Abu Dawud, Adab, 96; Tirmidhi, Ruya, 6; Ibn Majah, Ruya, 6)

"When the Day of Resurrection approaches, the dreams of a believer will hardly fail to come true." (Bukhari, Ruya, 26)

As it is known, prophethood is based on revelation. A person who lies about dreams is regarded to have slandered Allah by claiming that Allah showed him something that He did not show and that Allah gave him the true dream, which is a portion of prophethood. It is natural that it is a worse lie to slander Allah than slandering His creatures; its penalty is more severe. (see Ibn Athir, an-Nihaya, 1/443)

There is an increase in all sins at the end of time, the time when we live; people have started to tell one another dreams that they have not seen very frequently. Therefore, it is necessary not to tell people about the dreams that have not been seen and nothing must be added to the dreams that have been seen.

It is necessary to keep away from such lies and to repent of this sin if one has committed it before the hereafter.

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