Question: In our town, Pattani, which lies in the south of Thailand, big problems have been caused by the issue of the bereaved family making food for the condolers.I hope, Your Eminence, will clarify this issue and the following issues:
The rules of religious obligations are classified into: Waajib (obligatory), Mandoob (commendable), Jaa’iz (permissible), Makrooh (disliked) and Mahdhoor (prohibited).
What is the ruling on a person who denies one of the mentioned rules by saying instead that:
1- The obligatory is rather commendable, permissible, reprehensible or prohibited;
2- The commendable is rather obligatory, permissible, reprehensible or prohibited;
3- The permissible is rather obligatory, commendable, reprehensible or prohibited;
4- The reprehensible is rather obligatory, commendable, permissible or prohibited;
5- The prohibited is rather obligatory, commendable, permissible or reprehensible.
For instance, the knowledgeable scholars said, “It is Makrooh that people should be entertained with food served by the family of the deceased, because this is legitimate only in the time of happiness, not sorrow; it is a loathsome Bid‘ah (innovation in religion).”They also said, “It is Makrooh to serve food on the first, second and third days, until a week passes.” They also said, “The four Imaams (Aboo Haneefah, Maalik, Al-Shaafi‘ee, and Ahmad) are agreed that it is Makrooh that the family of the deceased should make food for the people to gather and eat,” and similar scholarly opinions.
However, in our town, Pattani, most of the scholars stated the opposite of the previously mentioned; some of them said it is Sunnah; others said it is permissible; and a few of them said it is obligatory. Hajj ‘Abdullaah Al-Haj Muhammad Saalih, `Abdul-Rahmaan Jafakiya and I hold the same opinion of the former knowledgeable scholars.
Thus, because of this issue they accuse one another of Kufr (disbelief), they do not eat from one another’s sacrificed animals; nor do they marry from one another’s families. I wish Your Eminence would send us a written Fatwaa so that we can print and distribute it freely among all the people, In sha’a-Allaah (if Allaah wills).
Answer: First: the authentic Sunnah indicates that the family of the deceased are not the ones who should make food, but it is their Muslim brothers who should make food for them as a form of support and showing condolences, as they might be too grieved to think of food… read more here.