Is lighting perfumes/fragrances permitted at the grave site?
It is makruh tahrimi (abominable) or haram (strictly forbidden) due to the hadith of the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, “Do not follow up the bier with voices (crying out loud) or fire” in Sunan Abi Dawud and the Musnad (لا تتبع الجنازة بصوت ولا نار). Al-Zurqani said: “Meaning incense, because it is among the pre-Islamic practices (Jahiliyya).” Abu Hurayra (Allah be well-pleased with him) said this is the practice of Ahl al-Kitab. Ibn Abidin said it is among the practices of idol worshippers. “Except a lantern if there is need, by agreement of the jurists” in the Mawsu`at al-fiqhiyya. Al-San`ani said, “His saying ‘with voices’: except for dhikr and tahlil [saying la ilaha illa Allah].” However, at the time of washing the dead, incense is recommended due to the hadith of the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, “When you perfume the dead with incense, do so three times” in the Musnad (إذا أجمرتم الميت ـ أي بخرتموه ـ فأجمروه ثلاثاً) and another narration mentions to fumigate the shroud with incense.
Hajj Gibril Haddad