Is it permissible to offer a waleemah (meal) after the end of the ‘iddah following the husband’s death?
The end of a woman’s ‘iddah is not a happy occasion on which it is encouraged to invite people to a feast like those offered at weddings and ‘aqeeqahs. Rather this is more akin to what many people do of repeating the mourning gatherings forty days after a person’s death, or what they call the anniversary of the death.
Many husbands died during the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and their wives observed the ‘iddah, but there is no report – as far as we know – that the husband’s family or the wife’s children made food and invited the wife’s relatives to come and eat after the ‘iddah ended.
Based on this, it is not permissible to make food (a waleemah) and invite people to it on the occasion of end of the woman’s ‘iddah following her husband’s death.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: What is the ruling on the mourning customs, such as offering food, reading Qur’aan, forty-day anniversaries, yearly anniversaries, and so on?
These customs have no basis in sharee’ah and are baseless, rather they are innovations and matters of Jaahiliyyah. Holding a feast (waleemah) when a person dies and inviting neighbours, relatives and others to it for the purpose of mourning is an innovation and is not permissible. The same applies to doing these things every week or at the new year, All of these are innovations of Jaahiliyyah. Rather what is prescribed for the family of the deceased is to be patient and seek reward with Allaah, and to say what the patient say: Inna Lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon (verily to Allaah we belong and unto Him is our return). Allaah has promised them much good, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “They are those on whom are the Salawaat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones” [al-Baqarah 2:157]. There is nothing wrong with them making regular food for themselves as needed, and if they have guests there is nothing wrong with them making food for them as appropriate, because of the general meaning of the evidence concerning that. It is prescribed for their relatives and neighbours to make food for them and send it to them, because it is proven that when news of the death of Ja’far ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), when Ja’far was killed in the battle of Mu’tah in Syria, he said to his family: “Make food for the family of Ja’far, for there has come to them that which is preoccupying them.” This indicates that it is prescribed for relatives and others to send food to the family of the deceased at the time of the calamity. End quote.
Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (9/318).
And Allaah knows best.