My question has several parts. Firstly is it permissible to place a thin piece of concrete, stone, or wood (level with the ground) at the head of the grave, so one knows where the grave is? The second part is whether it is permissible to write on the concrete, stone or wood who lies in the grave. If not, is it permissible to write whether the grave belongs to a man or woman? Please note that I do not mean a headstone, which is above ground level; I speak of a marker which is the same level as the ground.
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
It is permissible to put a sign on the grave, either a stone, wood and the like, according to the opinion of the majority of scholars . The scholars of the Shaafi'i School of jurisprudence, are even of the view that this is desirable.
Ibn Qudaamah said: "It is permissible to put a stone or a piece of wood as a sign in order to recognise the grave. Imaam Ahmad said: "It is permissible for a man to put a sign on the grave in order to recognise the buried as the Prophet put a sign on the grave of 'Uthmaan Ibn Math'oon . Besides, Abu Daawood reported that when 'Uthmaan Ibn Math'oon was buried, the Prophet ordered a man to bring a stone in order to mark the grave, but the man was unable to lift the stone [as it was very heavy], so the Prophet rolled up his sleeves, lifted the stone and put it at the head of the buried, and said: "This is to recognise the grave of my brother so that I would bury whoever dies of my family next to his grave." [end of the quote of Ibn Qudaamah]
Therefore there is no harm if this sign is at the ground level or raised a span of a hand from the level of the ground.
As regards writing on the grave, then this is disliked according to the view of the majority of the scholars . Jaabir narrated that the Prophet forbade covering the grave with cement, or sitting on it, or erecting on it, or writing on it. [An-Nasaa'i and At-Tirmithi]
So writing on the grave is disliked and this applies to whether the deceased is a man or a woman.
Allaah Knows best.
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