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Strange dreams: The red soil

By : Ayad Attar

Can a person predict his death; can our dreams tell us when we will die?

We hear and read stories about people that dreamed about their death just before it actually happened. One of these stories is about Harun al-Rashid, the most famous Abbasid Caliph, who ruled a vast empire stretching from Morocco to the borders of China, and he died in 809 AD. Our story happened just a few months before his death while he was in Raqqa in Syria. Let us listen to the story from Jibril bin Bakhtisouh, the private doctor of the Caliph, where he said: One day I entered on the Caliph and found him upset and concerned. I asked him why he was disturbed.

He said that he saw a scary vision in his sleep.

I said : “Is all this sadness because of a vision?! .. It occurs from bad vapors which accumulate in the head, or from bad ideas and worries. It's just a false dream”.

Al-Rashid said: “so let me tell you what I saw, so you can judge... I saw myself sitting on this bed, suddenly a hand appeared from beneath me, I know this hand, I have seen it before, and in the palm of this hand there was red soil. Then I heard a voice, but I didn’t see the speaker, the voice said: This soil is the one that you will be buried in it. I said: Where is this soil?.. He said: in Tous*. Then the hand disappeared and the voice faded and I awoke from my sleep”.

I said: “Your greatness, I swear that this vision is untrue. I figure you took your bed and you thought about Khorasan and its wars and the news you received recently about the rebellion in some of its parts”.

Al-Rashid said: “Yes, this is true”.

I said: “hence these ideas mixed with your dream and generated this bad dream, do not bother about it. God made my spirit a redemption for your soul”.

Then I began amusing him with pleasant talks and fun news until he relaxed and laughed, and as the days passed he forgot about this vision, and we never thought of it again.

Several months later, al-Rashid went to Khorasan to eliminate a rebellion, and during the journey he became ill, and the disease increased until we entered Tous and we landed in the palace of Al-Junaid bin Abdul Rahman in his estate known as Snaabath.

While al-Rashid lying patient in an orchard in that palace, he suddenly remembered his old vision and jumped out of his bed, standing and falling from the severity of the disease ... we rushed to him, saying: “sir, how are you and what happened to you?”.

He said: “O Jibril, I remembered my vision in Raqqa”.

Then he raised his head to his guard Masroor* and said: “bring me some of the soil of this orchard”.

Masroor went and came up with some soil in his palm, and he was lifting his sleeve. When Al-Rasheed looked at him, he said, "I swear that this is the arm that I saw in my vision .. and this is the same palm .. and this is the red soil. Nothing missing!".

Then he began to weep until he died three days later and was buried in that orchard.


* Tous: An ancient city in Khorasan province in western Iran.

* He was the executioner of the caliph and accompanied him wherever he went. He was mentioned in the stories of a thousand nights and nights.

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