Can we put flowers on graves, & can the dead really hear & see us?


Is it haram (forbidden) to put flowers on the graves of dead people? Also, my husband’s uncle is really religious and he told us that the dead can not hear nor see us – I asked another Sheikha and she said the same, but that if we do dua (supplications) for them a star sends it to the dead every Friday? I read one of your questions on that and you guys said that they can see and hear us – I don’t know what to think.


It is not haram to put flowers on the graves of the dead. When a person dies, their body decays but their soul remains in the world of Barzakh or the world of the Grave. In this world, their souls are aware of what happens to their friends and loved ones in this world. They can hear and see us,  and they especially enjoy when we visit their graves. It is recommended to recite Qur’an and supplications near the graves of loved ones, friends, or believers in general, and dedicate its reward to them. The following narrations from the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) prove that the people of the Grave can hear and see us:

Muhammad Ibn Muslim:, a close and trusted companion of Imam Sadiq once asked about visiting the graves of believers, and whether this should be done. Imam Sadiq(as) said: ‘Yes’.  Muhammad asked; ‘Do they acknowledge that? ‘ The Imam (as) replied: “Yes, by Allah! They surely understand your visit, feel delighted and enjoy your company.”  (al-Faqih 1:115).

“The believers are given a chance to visit their families, are permitted to see that which pleases them, whilst all that that displeases them is hidden. The disbelievers are (also) given a chance to visit their families (but) they get to see that which displeases them and all that would please them is hidden. There are those who visit every Friday and there are those that visit according to the measure of their deeds” (Al-Kafi, 3:230).

There are also instances where the Prophet (s) and Imam Ali (as) would address the people of the grave.  The Prophet (s) spoke to the martyrs of Uhud, and Imam Ali (as) chastised those enemies of Islam who were killed after one of the battles he fought during his Caliphate.

Answered by: Dr Ali Alsamail
Certified by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei