Question : What is the ruling of planting trees upon the graves?
Answer : The Shaykh hafidhahullahu ta’ala, he responded by saying: It is reported in the Saheehayn on the authority of Ibn Abbas radhiallahu anhuma that the Messenger sallalahu alayhi wasallam passed by a grave, then he took a branch which was moist, meaning it was not a dry branch, he took it and he broke it into two pieces and he planted each branch on one of the graves. He then said, the punishment should be lightened upon them as long as they (the branches) don’t dry and he said that this action of Messenger sallalahu alayhi wasallam was based upon revelation which was given to him.In the hadeeth itself,the Messenger sallalahu alayhi wasallam said :
“Verily they are being punished and they are not being punished for something which is major (and in another narrations he said rather it was something which is major).Then he took the branches and broke them in half and he put each of the wet branch on a grave” This action is from that which is specific for the Messenger sallalahu alayhi wasallam knowing that these two people were being punished, they were punished and this was something which is specific to him sallalahu alayhi wasallam based upon the revelation. So, this is not something which is legislated for everyone and doing this type of action, it is something from the newly invented matters, if he does so.Being that the person going and planting a branch on the grave and saying that maybe they shall be forgiven and so on, then this is something which is in need of a revelation (Wahiy). In addition to this, it has been reported that Buraidah radhiallahu anhu , he did this action meaning that he placed some branches upon the grave. However, this is the ijtihad which he practiced. The major sahaba radhiallahu anhum ajma’een they were not in agreement with this action. So,that which is wajib is for the person, is to leave off this type of action. It is wajib upon him to stay away from this and what is legislated is for a person, is to make dua for his brothers from the muslims, whether he knows them or not! If he passes by their grave,he makes dua for the people who are in their grave with the hadith which has been reported in this matter. Also,the Messenger sallalahu alayhi wasallam, after he died this was not done for him, branches of trees were not placed upon his grave.Likewise, for Abu Bakr and Umar and so and so forth from the Companions of the Messenger sallalahu alayhi wasallam (they did not do this).This is an error. Whether done for the reason of beautification or otherwise , this is something which is an error and it remains to be something from the Khasa’es, that which is specific to the Messenger sallalahu alayhi wasallam.
Answered by : Shaykh Abu Amr Al Hajoori