Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)
I am now over 30, and I have never seen the Prophet ﷺ in a dream state. Does this mean that I am destined for wretchedness in the next life? What are the means by which I can see him?
May Allah make you firm and may He make your heart tranquil and attach it to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. Your heart’s attachment to the Messenger of Allah and your desire to see him in this world and the next is one of the signs of felicity and goodness. If his vision has been delayed for you, this is not a sign that you are destined for wretchedness in the next life. Rather there are a different wisdoms and reasons behind this delay. Among these reasons may be: your own shortcomings, not following the Sunnah, acts of disobedience, a lack of love and attachment to him, falling short in remembering him and bestowing prayers upon him ﷺ. Then there may be other reasons and wisdoms behind this which only Allah knows. Thus it is not a sign of wretchedness, and if you sincerely turn to Allah and follow the path of the Beloved, while yearning for him and being vigilant in following him and serving his religion, then these are signs that you will attain felicity and all good in the next life. So be sincere with Allah and continue along the path, and surely He will unite you with His Beloved in this world and the next ﷺ.
The most important thing is that love and adoration for the Prophet ﷺ dominate your heart and that he is in your thoughts constantly. Try to increase your yearning, love and attachment to him, remember him and bestow prayers upon him abundance and strive to follow him. These are the most effective means of attaining a vision of him. If all of this is combined with serving the da`wah, and his Ummah, then it will bring a person closer to having the veils lifted, and to Allah honouring him with the vision of the Best of Creation, the Master of the People of Witnessing, the Leader of the People of Prostration, the one granted the praiseworthy station, Muhammad, the one who said to us, as narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari: “Whoever has seen me, has seen me in truth,” and “Whoever sees me in a sleeping state has truly seen me, for the Devil cannot take my form,” and “The one who sees me in a sleeping state will see me in a waking state.” May peace and blessings be upon him, his Family and his Companions. Let him be constantly on your mind, let him occupy your thoughts night and day, and in all your states, and by this surely you will be shown mercy and be honoured with his vision.
Another means of attaining a vision of him is by comforting the broken-hearted and needy of his Ummah. If these people are pious, or from the People of the Prophetic house (Ahl al-Bayt) or callers to Allah then you are more likely to attain the affection of his purest of souls and thus be granted the vision of the face. One of the pious said:
If only He blessed me with the vision of a face,
Wretchedness has been removed from anyone that sees it.