Q. What does Islaamic Shariah say concerning the practice of putting flowers on the graves of deceased relatives?
A. The Islamic Shariah does not permit to carry out such deeds on the graves, which are not stated in the Ahadith. There are only two things mentioned in the Ahadith; Ziarah (visit) of grave and supplication standing nearby. At the time of supplication, one should stand facing the Ka’bah so that there would not be doubt of asking the dead person. (Fatawa-e-Hindiah 1: 166- 5: 350)
As far as the matter of offering flowers, perfumes or anything else on the graves is concerned, it may be either for acquiring the pleasure of the dead person, following the tradition or decorating the graves. The offering is prohibited in all the three cases. Since it is an act of Shirk to intend to acquire the pleasure of saint and believe that he would accept one’s request. If the offering is as a tradition then also it is wasting of money and taking the similarity of Hindus while Muslims are not allowed to imitate the ritual of non-Believers. Likewise, decorating of graves is also not allowed, because the sole purpose of visiting graveyard is to remind oneself of the mortality of this temporary world and the eternity of the life hereafter. Better, give the money in charity than to spend on purchasing flowers, and convey the reward to the saint or whom you wish to.
Allah knows best,