According to Quran and Sunnah
The dreams of the Prophets are Divine Inspirations.
Hadith - Bukhari 2:468, Narrated Samura bin Jundab
Whenever the Prophet finished the (morning) prayer, he would face us and ask, "Who amongst you had a dream last night?" So if anyone had seen a dream he would narrate it. The Prophet would say: "Ma sha'a-llah"
Hadith - Bukhari 9:119, Narrated AbuHuraira
I heard Allah's Apostle
saying, "Nothing is left of the prophetism except Al-Mubashshirat." They asked, "What are Al-Mubashshirat?" He
replied, "The true good dreams (that conveys glad tidings)."
Hadith - Bukhari 9:168, Narrated Abu Salama
Hadith -Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 87, Number 115: Narrated Abu Qatada
I used to see a dream which would make me sick till I heard Abu Qatada saying, "I too, used to see a dream which would make me sick till I heard the Prophet
saying, "A good dream is from Allah, so if anyone of you saw a dream which he liked, he should not tell it to anybody except to the one whom he loves, and if he saw a dream which he disliked, then he should seek refuge with Allah from its evil and from the evil of Satan, and spit three times (on his left) and should not tell it to anybody, for it will not harm him."
said, "A good dream that comes true is from Allah, and a bad dream is from Satan, so if anyone of you sees a bad dream, he should seek refuge with Allah from Satan and should spit on the left, for the bad dream will not harm him."
Hadith - Muslim 5640, Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah, r.a.
said: There came to him (the Prophet) a desert Arab and said: I saw in a dream that I had been beheaded and I had been following it (the severed head). Allah's Apostle
reprimanded him saying: Do not inform about the vain sporting of devil with you during the night.
Hadith - Sahih Bukhari 9:144, Narrated Abu Huraira
said, "When the Day of Resurrection approaches, the dreams of a believer will hardly fail to come true, and a dream of a believer is one of forty-six parts of prophetism, and whatever belongs to prothetism can never be false."
Muhammad bin Sirin said, "But I say this." He said, "It used to be said, 'There are three types of dreams: The reflection of one's thoughts and experiences one has during wakefulness, what is suggested by Satan to frighten the dreamer, or glad tidings from Allah. So, if someone has a dream which he dislikes, he should not tell it to others, but get up and offer a prayer." He added, "He (Abu Huraira) hated to see a Ghul (i.e., iron collar around his neck in a dream) and people liked to see fetters (on their feet in a dream). The fetters on the feet symbolizes one's constant and firm adherence to religion." And Abu 'Abdullah said, "Ghuls (iron collars) are used only for necks."
Hadith - Al-Muwatta 52.5
Yahya related to me from Malik from Hisham ibn Urwa that his father said about this ayat, "For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present world, and in the Hereafter," (Sura 10 ayat 64), that it was the good dream which the man who was salih saw or which was shown to him.
The Noble Qur'an - Yunus 10:64
For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present world. (i.e. righteous dream seen by the person himself or shown to others), and in the Hereafter. No change can there be in the Words of Allâh, this is indeed the supreme success.
Some examples of symbolism in the Prophet's or companion's dreams:
Description Symbolized the believers (who were martyred) on the Day of Uhud in a dream of the Prophet
Source Bukhari 4:818, 5:407
2. Symbol Dates, Fresh
Description good in religion
Source Abu Dawud, Narrated Anas ibn Malik
3. Symbol Garden with a pillar in the middle
Description the garden of Islam
Source Bukhari 9:142, Narrated 'Abdullah bin Salam
4. Symbol Milk protruding out of nails or limbs after drinking it
Description (Religious) knowledge
Source Bukhari 9:134, 135, Narrated Ibn 'Umar
5. Symbol Prophet Muhammad :statisfie
Description Whoever sees me in a dream then surely he has seen me for Satan cannot impersonate meSource Bukhari 1:110, Narrated Abu Huraira
6. Symbol Shirts, covering various lengths on body on different people
Description The religionSource Bukhari 9:137, Narrated Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri
7. Symbol Spring, freshwater
...and he said, "That flowing spring symbolizes his good deeds."
Source Bukhair 9:132, Narrated Az-Zuhri
8. Symbol Sword whose blade was broken
Description the defeat which the Muslims suffered from, the casualities, on the Day of Uhud
Source Bukhari 4:818, 5:407
9. Symbol Sword becoming unbroken
Description victory (conquest of Mecca) and gathering together of Muslims
Bukhari 4:818, 5:407
A dream from Allah, must happen Bukhari 9:139, Narrated 'Aisha
said (to me), "You were shown to me twice in (my) dream. Behold, a man was carrying you in a silken piece of cloth and said to me, "She is your wife, so uncover her,' and behold, it was you. I would then say (to myself), 'If this is from Allah, then it must happen.' "
Examples of Revelationary Dreams amongst the companions
Some men amongst the companions of the Prophet were shown in their dreams that the night of Qadr was in the last seven nights of Ramadan. Allah's Apostle said, "It seems that all your dreams agree that (the Night of Qadr) is in the last seven nights, and whoever wants to search for it (i.e. the Night of Qadr) should search in the last seven (nights of Ramadan)." --Bukhari 3:232, Narrated Ibn 'Umar
Even the Companions could misinterpret a dream
Bukhari 9:170, Narrated Ibn Abbas
An Example of the Methodology of Correct Interpretation
Hadith - Sahih Al-Bukhari 5.659, Narrated Ibn Abbas, r.a.
A man came to Allah's Apostle
and said, "I saw in a dream, a cloud having shade. Butter and honey were dropping from it and I saw the people gathering it in their hands, some gathering much and some a little. And behold, there was a rope extending from the earth to the sky, and I saw that you (the Prophet) held it and went up, and then another man held it and went up and (after that) another (third) held it and went up, and then after another (fourth) man held it, but it broke and then got connected again." Abu Bakr said, "O Allah's Apostle! Let my father be sacrificed for you! Allow me to interpret this dream." The Prophet
said to him, "Interpret it." Abu Bakr said, "The cloud with shade symbolizes Islam, and the butter and honey dropping from it, symbolizes the Qur'an, its sweetness dropping and some people learning much of the Qur'an and some a little. The rope which is extended from the sky to the earth is the Truth which you (the Prophet) are following. You follow it and Allah will raise you high with it, and then another man will follow it and will rise up with it and another person will follow it and then another man will follow it but it will break and then it will be connected for him and he will rise up with it. O Allah's Apostle! Let my father be sacrificed for you! Am I right or wrong?" The Prophet
replied, "You are right in some of it and wrong in some." Abu Bakr said, "O Allah's Prophet! By Allah, you must tell me in what I was wrong." The Prophet
said, "Do not swear."
Musailima Al-Kadhdhab came during the lifetime of the Prophet and started saying, "If Muhammad gives me the rule after him, I will follow him." And he came to Medina with a great number of the people of his tribe. Allah's Apostle went to him in the company of Thabit bin Qais bin Shammas, and at that time, Allah's Apostle had a stick of a date-palm tree in his hand. When he (i.e. the Prophet ) stopped near Musailima while the latter was amidst his companions, he said to him, "If you ask me for this piece (of stick), I will not give it to you, and Allah's Order you cannot avoid, (but you will be destroyed), and if you turn your back from this religion, then Allah will destroy you. And I think you are the same person who was shown to me in my dream, and this is Thabit bin Qais who will answer your questions on my behalf." Then the Prophet went away from him. I asked about the Statement of Allah's Apostle: "You seem to be the same person who was shown to me in my dream," and Abu Huraira informed me that Allah's Apostle said, "When I was sleeping, I saw (in a dream) two bangles of gold on my hands and that worried me. And then I was inspired Divinely in the dream that I should blow on them, so I blew on them and both the bangles flew away. And I interpreted it that two liars (who would claim to be prophets) would appear after me. One of them has proved to be Al Ansi and the other, Musailima."