2010 September 15 Wednesday
Dreams Guide Decisions Of Many Muslims

To sleep perchance to dream up an answer to a pressing life question.

The traditional practice of using night dreams to make major life decisions is in widespread use among modern Muslims, reveals a new study whose author is speaking at the British Science Festival on Thursday September 16*.

Interviews with 60 Muslims in the UK, North America, Europe and Pakistan have revealed that night dreams are being used to make choices on issues like marriage, business, career development and politics.

Research leader, Durham University anthropologist Dr Iain Edgar focused on the centuries-old practice of Istikhara, or Islamic 'dream incubation'. His study is the first comprehensive and the most contemporary academic study on Istikhara prayer and practice, which can also include daytime prayer about an important decision.

The idea comes from the Koran.

He said: "Dreams have always had a very important role to play in Islam - the Qur'an shows that the prophet Muhammed was a great dreamer.

"Dream interpretation in Islam is a spiritual way of divining the future and submitting oneself to the personal unconscious and the will of Allah.

Okay Razib, if you read this: Note that the base text of the religion causes a behavior many hundreds of years later. The base texts matter.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2010 September 15 11:56 PM  Culture Compared


Comments
Mark said at September 16, 2010 3:57 AM:

This isn't that unusual. Jung wrote that dreams play a much more prominent role in decision making throughout primitive societies. It's also not necessarily a bad idea, if you accept that people process things subconsciously and that dreams provide a link from the conscious to the subconscious.

Contemplationist said at September 17, 2010 5:24 PM:
Okay Razib, if you read this: Note that the base text of the religion causes a behavior many hundreds of years later. The base texts matter.

Exactly Randall! Its not hard to notice the myriad of ways in which the base texts have led to contemporary practices among a religious group. Razib needs to rethink this notion that a religion is simply what the religious believe AND that base texts play no role in this. This is demonstrably false for Islam


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