The Hayaa of Hazrat ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu)

Hazrat ‘Aa’ishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) reports the following:

On one occasion, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) was lying down in my home and his kurta was slightly moved from the area of his blessed thighs or his blessed shin, though his blessed thighs and shins were covered by his lungi.

During that time, Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) requested permission to enter. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) permitted him to enter, and spoke to him while lying down in the same condition.

After some time, ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) requested permission to enter. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) permitted him to enter and spoke to him while lying down in the same condition.

Thereafter, ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) requested permission to enter. When ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) sought permission to enter, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) immediately sat up and straightened his clothing, placing his kurta over his lungi. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) then permitted him to enter, after which they spoke for some time.

Hazrat ‘Aa’ishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) then mentioned:

When ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) left, I asked Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), “I noticed that when Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) entered, you remained lying down. Thereafter, when ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) entered, you also continued to lie down. However, when ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) entered, you sat up and straightened your clothing (i.e. why did you sit up and straighten your clothing for Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu).” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “How can I not display extra hayaa before a man who is such that even the angels display hayaa before him?” (Saheeh Muslim #2401)

In another similar narration, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “ ‘Uthmaan (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) is a man who possesses an exceptionally high level of hayaa. I feared that if I had to permit him to enter while I was in that condition (lying down), then he would feel reserved in expressing his need to me (due to his exceptionally high level of hayaa).” (Saheeh Muslim #2402)

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