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The Interpretation of Dreams: The Complete and Definitive Text

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  • Different types of books on dream interpretation can help you explore dreaming and its possible meanings. Some texts are organized like dictionaries with entries that include images and symbols as well as their possible meanings. Others cover psychology, most predominantly in psychoanalysis, that explore theories about why we dream.

    Books on dream interpretation include encyclopedias that offer in-depth information about dream symbols and their possible meanings. The Dream Encyclopedia by James R. Lewis is an exploration of dreaming that includes psychological aspects, historical and cultural views, and mythologies.

  • Since none of the books which I read on dream interpretation in English or Arabic addressed the topic academically, I felt it necessary to research the subject in order to get proper clarification for myself and to provide for English readers an authentic and comprehensive analysis of this intriguing subject. Most books on the subject of dream interpretation are either attributed to Muhammad ibn Seereen (653-729CE) or refer much of their material and methodology to him. He was born and raised in the city of Basrah, in Iraq, where he later became a major fiqh (jurisprudence) and hadeeth scholar among the students of the Prophet's companions. A number of the hadeeths on dreams narrated by Aboo Hurayrah and other companions were transmitted by him and he became known for dream interpretations. Subsequently, many fables about his interpretational ability were circulated. Eventually, books on dream interpretation were attributed to him, though his contemporaries make no mention of them, and these books are without reliable chains of narrators. That is, Ibn Seereen, without a shadow of a doubt, did not write any book on dream interpretation. He did, however, write a compilation of Aboo Hurayrah's narrations from the Prophet (pbuh) along with the opinions of Aboo Hurayrah. This text was kept by his brother, Yahyaa ibn Seereen, because Muhammad ibn Seereen, in his later days, did not like to keep books. Ibn Nadeem in his Fihrist made the first recorded reference to a book, Ta'beer ar-Ru'yaa (The Interpretation of Dreams) ‘written’ by Ibn Seereen. The Arabic text, Muntakhab al-Kalaam fee Tafseer al-Ahlaam, which is in wide circulation today, is also falsely attributed to Ibn Seereen. Consequently, English translations based on it as well as other books, like Ibn Seerin's Dictionary of Dreams and Dreams and Interpretations, are all unauthentic.

The Interpretation of Dreams ..