بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَالْصَّلَاةُ والْسَّلَامُ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ الْكَرِيمِ
وَعَلَى اَهْلِ بَيتِهِ الْطَّيِّبِينَ الْطَّاهِرِينَ الْمَظْلُومِينَ
Previously I wrote: “Wrapping oneself in a lengthy garment appears to have some connection with the Prophets, particularly our Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) when he was in a state of prophesying or in a state of worship.” Here I would add that drawing the garment or sheet over one’s face is also from the Sunna of the Prophet when he was in a state of receiving or expecting to receive Wahi or inspiration:
أَنَّ عَائِشَةَ، وَابْنَ، عَبَّاسٍ رضى الله عنهم قَالاَ لَمَّا نَزَلَ بِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم طَفِقَ يَطْرَحُ خَمِيصَةً عَلَى وَجْهِهِ، فَإِذَا اغْتَمَّ كَشَفَهَا عَنْ وَجْهِهِ، فَقَالَ وَهْوَ كَذَلِكَ لَعْنَةُ اللَّهِ عَلَى الْيَهُودِ وَالنَّصَارَى، اتَّخَذُوا قُبُورَ أَنْبِيَائِهِمْ مَسَاجِدَ . يُحَذِّرُ مَا صَنَعُوا
Narrated A’isha and Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with them): On his death-bed Allah’s Messenger (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) put a sheet over his face and when he felt hot, he would remove it from his face. When in that state he said, “May Allah’s curse be on the Jews and the Christians for they build places of prostration at the graves of their prophets.” (By that) he intended to warn (the Muslim) from what they (i.e. Jews and Christians) had done. (Bukhari & Muslim)
It is apparent from this Hadith that when the Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wa aalih) had covered his face, he had received inspiration from Heaven regarding what his Umma might do in the future with regard to the graves of their righteous, and so was directed to curse the Jews and Christians by way of warning for his own Umma. In order to concentrate on making dhikr of Allah, it is beneficial to cover one’s head and face with a sheet and in that state there is a greater probability that a Believer may receive some inspiration from Heaven as was the case with the Prophets of Allahumma. And Allah knows best.