Q: chitor asti Imaam. Our mother died on may 31st. 1) when would her Idaat end. 2) What is the best meal we should feed for her? ma salam DeadinMemphis (email)
A1: May your mother rest in peace. May all the good she has imparted continue, Ameen.
Iddat period is 4 months and 10 days. It is calculated as follows: 4months X 30 days= 120 days. Then add 10 days to that as well. Total would be 130 days from time of departure from this world.
Should the month have only 29 days, merely subtract a day from it when it remains necessary for you to do so.
Use the Islamic counting system of 29 or 30 days for optimal results.
A2: No meal needs to be fed for your mother that has passed away.
Feeding for those that have passed away is a bidah (innovative) custom as it is done in today’s time. To inconvenience the grieved family members remains insensitive. I have not seen any authentic report requesting that once the iddat has passed we must feed anyone in the name of the dead! This practice must be abandoned in exchanged of better spiritually enlightening practices. It creates undue hardship for those that cannot afford such luxuries. It also creates animosity between those that cannot attend such bidah based occasions. Let our life and death be a pleasure, not a point of conflict and contention.
As a gesture of kindness you are welcome to give charity on behalf of those that have passed away. Likewise, you can feed a poor person, go for a nafl hajj or Umrah on her behalf (preferably after you have done your own hajj), read quran and ask Allah (SWT) to send its reward to her, etc. The dead are waiting for you to send good deeds their way. Do you have to do this? No. Would it be beneficial for you and the ones that have passed away? Yes.
Allah Certainly Knows Best.