Is it permissible to burn incense sticks on the grave?
One should refrain from burning incense sticks on top of graves even if the sticks are placed in a container. The appearance of smoke from the grave is a bad omen.
If the incense stick is burnt near the grave (and not on it), if there is no one sat there or no one reciting the Qur’an or performing Zikr and the incense is only being burnt for the sake of the grave with no one alive present, then this will be extravagance and it will be considered wasting money. A pious deceased person is in no need of any incense stick or fragrance due to the sweet fragrance of the cool breeze of Jannah and the sweet fragrance of the flowers of Jannah. Allah ﷻ forbid! If the deceased is otherwise, then burning incense sticks shall not benefit him.
If the incense stick is burnt near the grave (and not on it) for the sake of those who are present at the Fatihah ceremony, or for those who are reciting the Holy Qur’an or those who have gathered for the remembrance of Allah ﷻ, then this is better and recommended.
And Allah ﷻ knows the best
Imam Ahmad Rida Khan رحمة الله تعالى عليه
Translation by Dr Musharraf Hussain Al-Azhari Translator of Majestic Quran, www.majesticquran.co.uk