Q: It is related in the Sahih (authentic) Book of Hadith of Al-Bukhari on the authority of
(may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
Whoever sees me in his dream will see me in wakefulness, for Satan cannot take my form.
Does this mean that
a person may actually see the Prophet?
A hot dispute was raised among people on this topic. Some claimed that they see the Prophet (peace be upon him) in wakefulness and mentioned the previous Hadith.
Allah decreed to create people from nothing to test them as to who among them will do good. Then, He causes them to die when their lifetimes are over, then He will resurrect them on the Day of Resurrection for reckoning and retribution. Allah (the Exalted) says:
How can you disbelieve in Allâh? seeing that you were dead and He gave you life. Then He will give you death, then again will bring you to life (on the Day of Resurrection) and then unto Him you will return (See V.40:11)
(Part No. 1; Page No. 486) Allah (Glorified be He) says in Surah Al-Mu'minun:
After that, surely, you will die.
Then (again), surely, you will be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection.
Allah ordains this judgment for all Prophets and Messengers even the Prophet (peace be upon him). Allah (the Exalted) says:
Verily you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) will die, and verily they (too) will die.
Then, on the Day of Resurrection, you will be disputing before your Lord.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) died after conveying the Message (of Islam). With whom Allah perfected Islam and set forth the proofs against creation. His Sahabah (Companions, may Allah be pleased with them) performed the Funeral Prayer and buried him where he died in the room of
`Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her). The Rightly Guided Caliphs followed his path after his death. Events and circumstances faced them and they solved them in the light of Ijtihad (juristic effort to infer expert legal rulings), and did not refer to him. Whoever claims that they actually see him, talk to him, or hear from him before the Day of Resurrection is lying; for it is against Nusus (legal texts), reality, and the Norm of Allah regarding His creation. The Hadith does not imply that a person will actually see him in the flesh in a state of wakefulness. It may mean that they will see him on the Day of Resurrection. It may also mean that they will see the interpretation of their dream because the dream is true. Other narrations lend support to this view like the account that tells that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: (Part No. 1; Page No. 487)
Whoever sees me has indeed seen me ...
Surely, a believer may dream of the Prophet in his true form and qualities.For more information in this regard, refer to the remarkable interpretation of this report by erudite scholar
Ahmad ibn Hajar in his voluminous book Fath Al-Bari.
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.