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Dreams, Visions, and Nightmares in Islam: From the Prophet Muḥ̣̣ammad to the Fundamentalist Mindset

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Chapter Summary

In December of 2001 a website offered a transcript in English translation of a videotaped conversation among individuals from (or close to) the al-Qaeda scene, while they were paying a courtesy visit to an allied Shaykh. This chapter is mainly interested in the type of language applied by participants who are in or close to the Islamic fundamentalist scene. The transcript features altogether seven dreams. Islam has a long tradition of dream narration and dream interpretation. Both scriptural texts, the Quran and the adith (the collection of the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad), record and discuss dreams. The "Qandahar dreams" are interpreted literally to mean that a plane or planes could be expected to hit one or more buildings. Literal dreams have also been utilized by Islam's leading Sunni schools of Law (madhāhib, from sing. madhhab) to legitimate their respective jurisprudential methodologies.

Keywords: Ḥadīth; dream interpretation in Islam; Islamic fundamentalist; madhāhib; Prophet Muḥammad; Qandahar dreams; Qurʾān



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