Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt
Can we put flowers on the graves of Muslims?
In the Name of God, Most Merciful, Most Kind
Jazāk Allāh Khayr/ Thank you for contacting Mathābah with your question.
There is no religious merit to placing flowers on graves. This is generally a practice of other religions and cultures. Hence it is not appropriate in Islam since it also constitutes a waste of money.
“God has made unlawful for you the squandering of wealth.” (Bukhārī)
Our advice is to rather use that money to help the poor or in any worthy charitable cause, thereafter make du’a (supplications) to God that the deceased receives the rewards.
Abbās (may God be pleased with him) says that Sā’d ibn ʿUbādah (may God be pleased with him) was away when his mother passed away. When he returned, he asked the Messenger of God (peace and blessings upon him), “Will it be of any benefit if I give charity on her behalf? The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) replied in the affirmative”. (Bukhārī)
“It is permissible for the one who fasts, performs prayers and gives charity, to gift its rewards to someone who is either dead or alive. The reward reaches them according to the Ahl al Sunnah wal Jamā’ah (Sunnis).” (Badāiʿ al Ṣanāiʿ)
It is worthy to note that a report of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) placing a twig on two graves is not a substantiation to place flowers on graves since the prophetic action was an exclusive and isolated action by the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him). – (See: Maʾālim Al-Sunnah Li-Khaṭṭābīy, Sharh Muslim Li Nawawīy, Al-Abāṭīl Wa Al-Manākīr Li Al-Jawzjānīy, Al-Mufhim Li Al-Qurṭubīy, Al-Iʾelām Bi-Fawāid Al-Aḥkām)
And Allāh Knows Best