فَقالَ : يا أُمّاهُ إِنّي أَشَمُّ عِندَكِ رائِحَةً طَيِّبَةً كَأَنَّها رائِحَةُ جَدِي رَسُولِ اللهِ ( صلى الله عليه وآله ) ، فَقُلتُ : نَعَم إِنَّ جَدَّكَ تَحتَ الكِساء ،
I replied. "O mother," he said, "I can smell a pleasing scent as if it is the scent of my grandfather the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his Household."
"Yes, it is," I answered, "Your grandfather is now under the cloak."
After the exchange of pure greetings between the Master Lady of the Universe and the Master Youth of Paradise, Imam Hasan (AS) remarks that he smells a pleasant scent at home which resembles the fragrance of his grandfather - the Prophet (SA). This is the second time in the Tradition of the Cloak that the Holy Prophet (SA) is described physically with a positive attribute.
The first being his shining face that resembles a full moon, and the second being the good scent which emanates from his pure being.
It is not surprising as all the prophets and messengers have good fragrance and there was never anything shameful or humiliating ever displayed from them. Then one can imagine the Seal of Prophets and Messengers who is the best of creation! Surely, he must enjoy physical and materialistic purity that complements the spiritual purity.
This is proven by virtue of the purification verse in Verse 33 of Surat Al Ahzaab, “Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purification.”
Every person in this world has two aspects of his life, apparent and concealed which are physical and spiritual, respectively. The balance in the development of a good human being is obligatory for both activities. Islam is a clean religion and prefers a person to be clean physically and have pure thoughts. Physical purity provides a person respect and honor in the eyes of the world.
Allah (SWT) advises the believers to clean themselves for such a condition suits their spiritual state and nature. Cleanliness is considered a form of worship by believers, and is therefore a source of great relief and pleasure to them. In many verses of the Qur’an, Allah (SWT) draws attention to the believers’ spiritual and physical purity.
Prophet Muhammad (SA) often stressed the importance of being clean as he said, “Cleanliness is half of faith”. (Sahih Muslim) The Holy Qur’an also refers to the importance of wearing clean clothes,
“Purify your garments. And shun uncleanness.” (74:4-5)
Furthermore, physical cleanliness is important because it shows one's respect for other people. Indeed, respecting other people requires taking care of one's physical appearance.
Having a pleasant fragrance is certainly a sign of cleanliness and the Prophet (SA) is the best exemplar for both physical and spiritual cleanliness combined together and has apparently attained the reputation of having good scent as it is narrated that a beautiful scent of musk used to emanate from his drops of sweat. This is similar to the scent of musk from Lady Fatima (SA) which came from Paradise, and in that context the Prophet (SA) used to smell his daughter and remark that “Whenever I yearned for the smell of Paradise, I would smell the fragrance of my daughter Fatima”. (Muntakhab Kanz Al-‘Omaal)
So Imam Hasan (AS) recognized his grandfather’s presence at home just by his purified scent. Sure enough, Lady Fatima (AS) confirms that deduction and informs Hasan that his grandfather is indeed under the cloak.