Hadith of Aisha RA Doing Hayaa From The Grave of Umar RA

The Hadith

حَدَّثَنَا حَمَّادُ بْنُ أُسَامَةَ ، قَالَ : أَخْبَرَنَا هِشَامٌ ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ قَالَتْ كُنْتُ أَدْخُلُ بَيْتِي الَّذِي دُفِنَ فِيهِ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، وَأَبِي فَأَضَعُ ثَوْبِي ، وَأَقُولُ إِنَّمَا هُوَ زَوْجِي وَأَبِي ، فَلَمَّا دُفِنَ عُمَرُ مَعَهُمْ فَوَاللَّهِ مَا دَخَلْتُهُ إِلاَّ وَأَنَا مَشْدُودَةٌ عَلَيَّ ثِيَابِي ، حَيَاءً مِنْ عُمَرَ.

Aisha ra said: Whenever I entered the house in which Prophet (Peace be upon him) and my father (i.e. Abu Bakr ra) are buried, I used to take off my sheet (from head) thinking that it’s only my father and husband (whom I am visiting), however By Allah! When Umar (ra) got buried with them, I never went inside without being fully covered, this is because of being ashamed of Umar (ra) [Musnad Ahmed bin Hanbal, Volume No. 6, Page No. 202, Hadith # 25701]

Some people say that This hadith is a proof that Umar ra would see the people around him. But this is a false claim because there is a dispute whether the dead is informed regarding the visitor and he recognise him. But to say that He can see us has no evidence.

For example it is mentioned in the ahadith that It was obligation on the wives of Prophet peace be upon him to do veil from blind people (even those who can not see)

Narrated Umm Salamah, Ummul Mu’minin: I was with the Messenger of Allah (saws) while Maymunah was with him. Then Ibn Umm Maktum came. This happened when we were ordered to observe veil (purdah). The Prophet (saws) said: Observe veil from him. We asked: Messenger of Allah! is he not blind? He can neither see us nor recognise us. The Prophet (saws) said: Are both of you blind? Do you not see him?

Imam Abu Dawood says :
هَذَا لأَزْوَاجِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم خَاصَّةً
This was peculiar to the wives of the Prophet peace be upon him. [Sunan Abu Dawood]

One can see there are some rules which are only for the wives of Prophet peace be upon him, This athar does not prove that whoever visits him he can see him. Let us see what the scholars of Ahlus sunnah understood from the hadith of Aisha ra
The commentator of Mishkaat, Allaamah at-Teebi (D. 746) said:
فِيهِ أَنَّ احْتِرَامَ الْمَيِّتِ كَاحْتِرَامِهِ حَيًّا
“This hadeeth indicates towards the RESPECT for the Dead like the Respect of the Living”

And after quoting this saying of at-Taybee, Allaamah Mulla Ali Qaari al-Hanafi did not oppose him[Mirqaat al-Mafateeh Sharh Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh (4/1260)]

Similarly, Allaamah Ubadyullah al-Mubaarakpoori also did not oppose this saying in his explanation of Mishkaat [5/520 above references are provided by brother Ibn Abi Raza]

Imam Noor al-din Haythami mentioned this narration in Majma az-Zawaid Book of Adab Chapter of Hayaa
مجمع الزوائد ومنبع الفوائد » كتاب الأدب » باب ما جاء في الحياء والنهي عن الملاحاة

The hadith of Musnad Ahmad just means she did haya as The sanctity of the dead is like the sanctity of the living,

Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Humayd said: It is not permissible to interfere with graves in any way so long as any remains of the dead are still to be found in them. The sanctity of the dead is like the sanctity of the living. So it is not permissible to subject graves to any disrespect… We should not lean on graves, or step on them, or show any disrespect towards them; all of that is not allowed. And Allaah is the Source of strength.[From Fataawa al-Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Humayd, p. 161,Islam qa fatwa no: 4309]

Fataawa Islamiyaah says: The sanctity of the dead among the Muslims is like the sanctity of the living. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions. [Al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah Fataawa Islamiyyah, 3/22]