DANIEL. Arabic Daniyal. A prophet celebrated amongst Muhammedans as an interpreter of dreams. He is not mentioned in either the Qur’an or the Traditions, but in the Qasusu ‘l-Anbiya, p. 231, it is stated that the reign of Bukhtu Nassar (Nebuchandnezzer) he was imprisoned; and when he was in prison, the king had a dream which he had forgotten, and hearing that Daniel was an interpreter of dreams, he sent for him. When Daniel was in the presence of the King, he refused to prostrate saying it is lawful to prostrate alone to the Lord Almighty. For this he nearly lost his life but was spared to interpret the king’s dream which was as follows: “He saw a great idol the head of which was gold, above the navel of silver, below the navel of copper, the legs of iron, and the feet of clay. And suddenly a stone fell from heaven upon the idol, and ground it to powder, and mixed all the substances, so that the wind blew them in all directions; but the stone grew gradually, and to such an extent that it covered the whole earth.” The interpretation of it, as given by Daniel is said to be this: The idol represented different nations; the gold was the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar, the silver the kingdom of his son, the copper the Romans, the iron the Persians, and the clay the tribe Zauzan, from which the kings of Persia and Rome should be desconded; the great stone being a religion which should spread itself over the whole earth in the last day.
Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam