The researcher interviewed individuals in the UK, Pakistan, Northern Cyprus and Turkey to identify the key features of the inspirational night dream. He also reviewed transcripts including that of Osama Bin Laden, who has spoken of the night dream in the context of his concern that “the secret [of the 9/11 attacks] would be revealed if everyone starts seeing it in their dreams.”
According to Iain Edgar, dreams were interpreted to justify violence and legitimise actions. At the Cheltenham Science Festival on the cultural significance of sleeping and dreaming, Edgar said:
Islam is probably the largest night dream culture in the world today. The night dream is thought to offer a way to metaphysical and divinatory knowledge, to be a practical alternative and accessible source of inspiration and guidance, to offer clarity concerning action in this world.
Even if reported jihadist dream narratives are fabricated, the fact that Muslims often believe them and are mobilized to jihad partly on their account is of significance".
Overall, how Moslems, and people in general, understand their night dreams is a powerful tool in assessing their worldview and implicit key motivations.
Iain Edgar has studied the relationship between night dreams and culture, between dream imagery and human behaviour for twenty-five years. He writes more about his dream research in the text “Encountering the ‘true dream’ in Islam: a Journey to Turkey and Pakistan” (pdf)
He has also written a text about Anthropology and the dream
Robert Fisk has commented on his research in the Independent, see his article Visions that come to men as they sleep