Q: With regards to flowers on the grave: I am highly confused that this is not permissible. Putting flowers on the graves of loved ones has been passed on from generation to generation. Lots of Muslims do it so I am highly confused that we only know now that this is unacceptable. Is there a quranic ayath or hadith to refer to?
A. It is Makrooh to remove grass, etc. which is growing naturally on the grave. It is not Makrooh to remove dry grass.
Placing of flowers on the grave is not proven from the Sunnah nor was it the practice of the Sahaabah (Radhiyallaahu Anhum). Those in favour of placing flowers on the grave quote the narration wherein it is mentioned that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) passed by two graves whose inmates were receiving punishment. He asked for a green twig, broke it in two pieces and pushed one on each grave, hoping that the punishment will be decreased for as long as the twigs remain green. Using this narration as proof for placing flowers on the grave is erroneous for the following reasons:
a) Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) used green twigs and not flowers.
b) He pushed them into the earth and did not place them on the grave.
c) He was informed through revelation (Wahi) that they were receiving punishment.
We will never know if the inmate of a grave is receiving punishment or not. We will have hope that the inmate is in comfort; therefore we beseech Allah Ta’aala for His mercy for the inmate of the grave.
d) Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) pushed the twigs with his own blessed hands. The blessing in his hands could be the cause of the punishment being decreased.
e) This incident is unique to Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) and not for everyone because the condition of the inmates of the two graves was revealed to him and this privilege is his alone. Others do not receive revelation. Placing of flowers on a grave must be avoided. It is the custom of other nations and not of Muslims.
Allah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Siraj says:
It is not permissible to place flowers on a grave because this is not established from any Hadeeth or practice of the Sahaabah. Furthermore, it is also a practice of the Nasaaraa in our times. It is therefore, Haraam and Bid’ah to place flowers on the grave. However, it will be permissible to place a dry twig or branch on the grave, but this should be done once only, not on a continuous basis.
And Allah Ta’aala knows best.
Moulana Yusuf Laher
Checked by: Mufti Siraj Desai