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Prophetic Dreams: Understanding Their Meaning and Insights

Radiance Talley | Aug 17, 2021

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

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Radiance Talley | Aug 17, 2021

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

The dream world has always enchanted me. Whenever I lay my head upon my pillow, I get excited about the journey I’ll embark on, the people I’ll meet, and the insights I’ll wake up with. 

It’s amazing how far we can travel and how many memories we can create without moving a muscle or batting an eyelash.

RELATED: A Spiritual Guide to the Dream World

Throughout my life, I’ve had different kinds of dreams, including those dreams that are confusing and require interpretation. But the prophetic dreams I’ve had are the most profound and meaningful of them all.

Defining Prophetic Dreams

Merriam Webster defines prophetic as “relating to, or characteristic of a prophet or prophecy” or “foretelling events.” So, our dreams are prophetic if they are about a prophet or if they give us glimpses into the future.

RELATED: Discovering the Spiritual Meaning of Dreams

Abdu’l-Baha, the authorized interpreter of the Baha’i writings and the son of Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, discussed how common it is for people to have dreams that forecast future events. He said:

How often it happens that it [the spirit] sees a dream in the world of sleep, and its signification becomes apparent two years afterward in corresponding events. …In wakefulness the eye sees only for a short distance, but in dreams he who is in the East sees the West. Awake he sees the present; in sleep he sees the future.

Many historical figures in the Baha’i Faith had such vivid and fascinating dreams that prophesied significant moments in their lives.

A Prophetic Dream About a Future Husband

silhouette of man kissing his wife's head

The Bab, the forerunner of Baha’u’llah, was a central figure of the Baha’i Faith. He was born in 1819 in Shiraz, Persia (now present-day Iran). Before the Bab married his wife, Khadijih Bagum, at age 23, she had a prophetic dream that the Bab would be her future husband.

Khadijih was one of three sisters, and arranged marriages were common at the time. She shared that one night, she dreamed of the Bab’s mother coming to their home, hoping that Khadjih or one of her sisters would marry her son.

She said, “My sisters and I welcomed her with affection and courtesy. When she sat down, she looked us over keenly, then arose from her seat, came forward and kissed my forehead. In the world of dreams I felt that she was much pleased with my appearance and that I was her favorite.”

After Khadijih woke up the next morning, she felt light and cheerful. Amazingly, that afternoon, the Bab’s mother came to their home.

“With my sisters we went to welcome her, and, to my surprise just as I had seen in my dream, she left her seat, came smilingly toward me, kissed my forehead and embraced me,” Khadijih said.

“After some general conversation she left. My eldest sister whispered into my ears that she had come to ask my hand for her son. I answered, ‘How fortunate I am.’ Then I related my dream of the previous night saying that the realization of this dream had brought to my heart great happiness.”

The Meaning of a Prophetic Dream About a Lion


Khadijih and the Bab soon fell in love and got married. But after they got married, Khadijih later “dreamt of a fearsome male lion that dragged her around her courtyard two-and-a-half times, with her hands around its neck.”

She woke up frightened and trembling and told her husband what she had dreamed. The Bab understood the meaning of this dream and told her that this prophesied that their life together would only last for two-and-a-half years.

The Bab and his wife endured extreme suffering and religious persecution because the Bab announced in 1844 that he was given a revelation from God. He shared that humanity had entered a new era where the entire human race would unify and a materially and spiritually prosperous civilization would emerge. His mission was to prepare people for the coming of Baha’u’llah who he referred to as “He Whom God shall make manifest.”

Understanding Visions and Dreams About Prophets

silhouette of person coming through a gate in space

Abdu’l-Baha discussed how powerful and significant “visions of the Prophets” are. He referred to them as spiritual discoveries that have “heavenly inspiration.”

He explained:

It is therefore clear that the spirit has powerful perceptions that are not mediated by the organs of the five senses, such as the eyes and the ears.

And, with respect to spiritual understandings and inner disclosures, there exists among spiritual souls a unity that surpasses all imagination and comparison and a communion that transcends time and place.

So, for example, when it is written in the Gospel that Moses and Elijah came to Christ on Mount Tabor, it is clear that this was not a material communion but a spiritual condition that has been expressed as a physical meeting.

Tahirih was one of these spiritual souls who prayed, fasted, and practiced religious disciplines each day. One night, she had a prophetic dream, or vision, of the Bab before he declared that he was sent from God.

It was around the time of dawn when “she laid her head on her pillow, lost all awareness of this earthly life, and dreamed” of a young man wearing a black cloak and a green turban.” In her vision, he “appeared to her in the heavens; he was standing in the air, reciting verses and praying with his hands upraised.”

Tahirih immediately memorized one of those verses and quickly wrote it down in her notebook after she woke up. Abdu’l-Baha said:

After the Báb had declared His mission, and His first book, ‘The Best of Stories,’ was circulated, Táhirih was reading a section of the text one day, and she came upon that same verse, which she had noted down from the dream. Instantly offering thanks, she fell to her knees and bowed her forehead to the ground, convinced that the Báb’s message was truth.

In a world full of chaos and confusion, prophetic dreams can give us clarity, certainty, and guidance. They are truly a gift from God, as they inspire us about exciting opportunities, warn us about potential tragedies, or lead us to life-changing discoveries.

If you are a prophetic dreamer, you may want to keep a dream diary close by. You never know what dream events will transpire in your life years, months, or even days later.

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  • Aug 18, 2021
    Well written as always sister Radiance. Interesting and Concise
    • Radiance Talley
      Aug 19, 2021
      Thank you!
  • Foad Farhoumand
    Aug 18, 2021
    Another wonderful post, thank you.
    • Radiance Talley
      Aug 19, 2021
      Thank you!
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