Ibn Seerin's Dictionary of Dream Interpretation
By Shaykh Muhammad Al-Akili
Publisher: Pearl Publishing House
© 1995-2013 Pearl Publishing House
Imam Muhammad Ibn Seerïn
(God bless his soul)
He is Muhammad Ibn Seerïn Al-Basri, of the city of Basra in Irãq (33-110 A.H., 653-729 A.D.) who is also known by his patronymic name as Abu Bakr. He was a renowned writer and a respected religious scholar of his time. Imam Muhammad Ibn Seerïn lived during the first century of the Islãmic caliphate. He studied the Islãmic jurisprudence and the scinece of prophetic sayings (Hadith) at the hand of the early followers of the companions of God's Messenger, upon whom be peace. Among his contemporaries lived renowned religious scholars such as Imam Anas Bin Mãlik; Al-Hassan Bin Abi Al-Hassan Al-Basri; Ibn 'Aown; Mouriq Al-'Ujali; Sulaimãn Al-Taymï; 'Ãsim Al-Ahwal; Al-Fudhayl Bin 'Iyãdh, among others.
Mouriq Al-'Ujali once said: "I have not seen a man who is more sagacious in his piety, or more pious in his knowledge than Muhammad Ibn Seerïn.
In his biographical dictionary, Khairu-Deen Al-Zerekly describes Imam Muhammad Ibn Seerïn as a pious, God fearing, and a strong believer. He was a generous host, and a trustworthy companion.
HIS PIETY & ASCETICISM
Al-Hassan Bin Abi Al-Hassan (Al-Basri) once said: "There was a time when a man sought knowledge, you can see its effects in every aspect of his life, including, his piety, conduct, speech, sight, and hearing. Imam Muhammad Ibn Seerïn used to say: "When God Almighty wills to bless His servant, He will direct him to a wise man to admonish him. He also used to say: "If a man wishes to benefit in this world and in the hereafter, he must seek the company of someone who will command him to do what is good, and to disuade him from doing evil.
Imam Ibn Seerïn used to fast every other day in of his life. The day when he did not fast, he used to have lunch, omit his dinner, and take a bite during the Suhür meal, before the dawn prayers. He used to stand up all night in prayers during the entire month of Ramadãn, and he used to say: "One must pray during the night, and at least for the time it takes to milk a goat." Once Hishãm Bin Hassãn stayed overnight at Imam Ibn Seerïn's house and commented to a friend, saying: "I used to hear his weeping during the night, though he was a most cheerful host during the day."
Hafsa Bint Seerïn, sister of Imam Ibn Seerïn once said: "When Muhammad entered before our mother, he used to stand before her with modesty, and refrain from speaking to her with his whole tongue. Once, someone visited Imam Ibn Seerïn in the presence of his mother and remarked his outstanding respect for her. When the man left, he asked: "Is Muhammad not feeling well?" Someone replied: "He is well, but he reveres his mother so much that he nearly melts away in her presence."
A man asked Imam Ibn Seerïn about his opinion on dream interpretation. Ibn Seerïn replied: "Fear God when you are awake, and do not worry about what you see in a dream." Whenever he is asked to give a religious opinion about two similar interpretations, he took the closest one to God's book. He once said: "In essence, this knowledge is taken from our religion. Thus, think well from whom you learn it."
Once Müsa Bin Al-Mughïrah said: "I saw Muhammad Ibn Seerïn entering the marketplace in the middle of the day. He was totally absorbed in his prayers, glorifying, and celebrating God's praises." Someone asked him: "O Abu Bakr (that is his patronym), is this the time to engage in such invocations?" Ibn Seerïn's replied: "In a marketplace, one may be distracted by the glitters and become negligent of his devotion."
One time, the call to prayers came during a gathering. When the people stood to perform their prayers, Imam Ibn Seerïn called: "Let only someone who is well versed in Qur'ãnic recitation lead us, for there are amongst us people who have memorized it." After the congregational prayers, Ibn 'Aown asked Imam Ibn Seerïn: "Why did you refrain from leading the prayers?" He replied: "I did not want the people to say: 'Ibn Seerïn led us in prayers tonight."
Imam Ibn Seerïn used to abstain from even some lawful things in fear of indulgence. He was once invited to a wedding, and before leaving his house, he asked his family: "Give me some sweets to eat!" They replied: "You are going to a wedding, and you will have it there." He answered: "I hate to satisfy my hunger from people's food. He also used to say: "Do not burden your friend with a gift greater than he can bear." Hishãm bin Hassãn once said: "Whenever Hind Bint Al-Muhallab invited Al-Hassan Bin Abi Al-Hassan Al-Basri and Ibn Seerïn to a meal, Al-Hassan obliged, and Ibn Seerïn refrained from going. "
Once Imam Ibn Seerïn refused forty thousand Dirham because of some doubt about the intent of their source. Commenting on that act, Sulaimãn Al-Taymï said: "He refused them because no two scholars disagree about their source." Ibn Seerïn was asked once about two brothers who turned enemies of one another, he replied: "Evil came between them."
Ibn Zuhair once said: "Whenever death is mentioned before Imam Ibn Seerïn, his entire body died away, limb by limb."
When Imam Ibn Seerïn laid down on his deathbed, he said to his son: "My son! Pay my debts. Pay only what I owe to people." His son replied: "Oh my father, should I free a slave on your behalf?" Ibn Seerïn replied: "God Almighty has the power to reward me and you for whatever good you do on my behalf."
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