Meet Muhammad Ibn Seerin: The Greatest Dream Interpreter

Explore the life and legacy of Muhammad Ibn Seerin, a renowned scholar and dream interpreter in Islam.

Explore the life and legacy of Muhammad Ibn Seerin, a renowned scholar and dream interpreter in Islam.

He is Muhammad Ibn Seerin Al-Basri. Born in the city of Basra in Iraq the year 33 A.H. (653 A.D.) Imam Ibn Seerin was a renowned writer and a respected religious scholar of his time. He lived during the first century of the Islamic caliphate and studied the Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh) and the science 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 were Imam Anas Bin Malik, Al-Hassan Bin Abi Al-HassanAI-Ba~ri, Ibn ‘Aown, AI-Fudhayl Bin ‘Iyadh, and 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 Seerin.” In his biographical dictionary, Khairu-Deen AL-Zerekly describes Imam Muhammad Ibn Seerin as a pious, God fearing, and a strong believer, who was a generous host and a trustworthy friend.


Al-Hassan Bin Abi Al-Hassan Al-Bagri once said: “There was a time when, if a man sought knowledge, you could see its effects in every aspect of his life, including his piety, conduct, speech, sight, and hearing.” Muhammad Ibn Seerin 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 todo what isgood and to disuade him from doing evil.”

Muhammad  Ibn Seerin used to fast every other day of his life. The day when he did not fast, he used to have lunch, omit his dinner, and take a bite during the Subiir meal, before the dawn prayers. He used to stand up all night in prayers during the entire month of Ramadan, and he used to say: “One must pray during the night and at least for the time it takes to milk a goat.” Once Hisham Bin Hassan stayed overnight at Imam Ibn Seerin’s house and commented toa friend, saying: “I used to hear his weeping during the night, though he was a most cheerful host during the day.”

Haf£a Bint Seerin, sister of Imam Ibn Seerin, 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 Seerin in the presence of his mother and remarked about 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 melt away in her presence.”

A man asked Imam Ibn Seerin about his opinion on dream interpretation. Ibn Seerin 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, consider carefully from whom you learn it!

Once Miisa BinAI-Mughirah said: “I saw Muhammad Ibn Seerin 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: “0 Abu Bakr (that is his patronym), is this the time to engage in such invocations?” Ibn Seerin’s replied: “In a marketplace, one may be distracted by its 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 Seerin called: “Let only someone who is well versed in Qur’anic recitation lead us, for there are amongst us people who have memorized it.” After the congregational prayers, Ibn ‘Aown asked Imam Ibn Seerin: ”Why did you refrain from leading the prayers?” He replied: “I did not want the people to say: ‘Ibn Seerin led us in prayers tonight.’”

Imam Ibn Seerin 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.” Hisham bin Hassan once said: ”Whenever Hind Bint Al-Muhallab invited Al-Hassan Al-Basriand lbn Seerin to a meal,Al-Hassan obliged, and Ibn Seerin refrained from going.”

Once ImamIbn Seerin refused a gift of forty thousand Dirham because of some doubt about the lawfulness of their source. Commenting on that act, Sulaiman Al-Taymi said: “He refused them because no two scholars will disagree about their unlawfulness“. When Ibn Seerin 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 Seerin, his entire body dies away, limb by limb.”

When Imam Ibn Seerin laid down on his deathbed, he said to his son: “My son! Pay my debts. Pay only what l owe to people.” His son replied: “Oh my father, should I free a slave on your behalf?” Ibn Seerin replied: “God Almighty has the power to reward me and you for whatever good you do on my behalf.”

Imam Ibn Seerin died in the city of Basra the year 110A. H. (729 A. D.) at the age of seventy-six.


I have been interpreting dreams in Islam since 2011. On this site and forum, I respond to people who want to give meaning to their dreams according to Islamic traditions. In all these years, I have had a long experience in this field.

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