Archive for the ‘Prayer and fasting’ Tag

9 March ― 9 ‘Alá’   Leave a comment

9 March ― 9 ‘Alá’

The Holy Period of the Fast

Day 9


MORNING:

We beseech God to assist His people that they may observe the most great and exalted Fast, which is to protect one’s eye from beholding whatever is forbidden and to withhold one’s self from food, drink and whatever is not of Him. We pray God to confirm His loved ones that they may succeed in accomplishing that which they have been commanded in this Day.

—Bahá’u’lláh

Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting,

FROM THE WRITINGS OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH,  #XII

EVENING:

Praise be unto Him Who hath revealed laws in accordance with His good-pleasure. Verily, He is sovereign over whatsoever He wisheth. O My friends! Act ye in accordance with what ye have been commanded in the Book. Fasting hath been decreed for you in the month of ‘Alá’. Fast ye for the sake of your Lord, the Mighty, the Most High. Restrain yourselves from sunrise to sunset. Thus doth the Beloved of mankind instruct you as bidden by God, the All-Powerful, the Unconstrained. It is not for anyone to exceed the limits laid down by God and His law, nor should anyone follow his own idle imaginings. Well is it with the one who fulfilleth My decrees for the love of My Beauty, and woe to the one who neglecteth the Dayspring of Command in the days of his Lord, the Almighty, the Omnipotent.

— Bahá’u’lláh

Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting,

FROM THE WRITINGS OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH,  #XIII

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

Just as the earth attracts everything to the center of gravity, and every object thrown upward into space will come down, so also material ideas and worldly thoughts attract man to the center of self. Anger, passion, ignorance, prejudice, greed, envy, covetousness, jealousy and suspicion prevent man from ascending to the realms of holiness, imprisoning him in the claws of self and the cage of egotism. The physical man, unassisted by the divine power, trying to escape from one of these invisible enemies, will unconsciously fall into the hands of another. No sooner does he attempt to soar upward than the density of the love of self, like the power of gravity, draws him to the earth. The only power that is capable of delivering man from this captivity is the power of the breaths of the Holy Spirit. The attraction of the power of the Holy Spirit is so effective that it keeps man ever on the path of upward ascension. The malevolent forces of no enemy will touch those sanctified souls who have made this universal power their guide. With tranquil heart and assured spirit they are flying upward day and night, journeying through the illimitable space of the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh.

Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 546

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8 March ― 8 ‘Alá’   Leave a comment

8 March ― 8‘Alá’

The Holy Period of the Fast

Day 8

MORNING:

A Fast

We beseech God to assist His people that they may observe the most great and exalted Fast, which is to protect one’s eye from beholding whatever is forbidden and to withhold one’s self from food, drink and whatever is not of Him. We pray God to confirm His loved ones that they may succeed in accomplishing that which they have been commanded in this Day.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting,

FROM THE WRITINGS OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH,  #XI

EVENING:

IMG_0231Of the new Obligatory Prayers that were later revealed, the long Obligatory Prayer should be said at those times when one feeleth himself in a prayerful mood. In truth, it hath been revealed in such wise that if it be recited to a rock, that rock would stir and speak forth; and if it be recited to a mountain, that mountain would move and flow. Well is it with the one who reciteth it and fulfilleth God’s precepts. Whichever prayer is read will suffice.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting,

FROM THE WRITINGS OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH,  #X

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

IMG_8746

Concerning obligatory prayer, it hath been revealed in such wise that whosoever reciteth it, even one time, with a detached heart, will find himself wholly severed from the world…

…O My brother! How great, how very great, can the law of obligatory prayer be, when, through His mercy and loving kindness, one is enabled to observe it. When a man commenceth the recitation of the Obligatory Prayer, he should see himself severed from all created things and regard himself as utter nothingness before the will and purpose of God, in such wise that he seeth naught but Him in the world of being. This is the station of God’s well-favored ones and those who are wholly devoted to Him. Should one perform the Obligatory Prayer in this manner, he will be accounted by God and the Concourse on high among those who have truly offered the prayer.

The Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting, #8-#9

 

6 March ― 6 ‘Alá’   Leave a comment

6 March ― 6 ‘Alá’

The Holy Period of the Fast

Day 6

IMG_0230

 

MORNING:

As for obligatory prayer, it hath been sent down by the Pen of the Most High in such wise that it setteth ablaze the hearts and captivateth the souls and minds of men.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting,

FROM THE WRITINGS OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH,  #VII

IMG_0232EVENING:

Concerning obligatory prayer, it hath been revealed in such wise that whosoever reciteth it, even one time, with a detached heart, will find himself wholly severed from the world.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting,

FROM THE WRITINGS OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH,  #VIII

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

The Obligatory Prayers are binding inasmuch as they are conducive to humility and submissiveness, to setting one’s face towards God and expressing devotion to Him. Through such prayer man holdeth communion with God, seeketh to draw near unto Him, converseth with the true Beloved of his heart, and attaineth spiritual stations…

 IMG_0525

 

…O thou spiritual friend! Thou hast asked about the wisdom of obligatory prayer. Know thou that such prayer is mandatory and binding. Man under no pretext whatsoever is excused from observing the prayer unless he is incapable of performing it or some great obstacle interveneth. The wisdom of obligatory prayer is this: That it causeth a connection between the servant and the True One, because at that time man with all his heart and soul turneth his face towards the Almighty, seeking His association and desiring His love and companionship. For a lover, there is no greater pleasure than to converse with his beloved, and for a seeker, there is no greater bounty than intimacy with the object of his desire. It is the greatest longing of every soul who is attracted to the Kingdom of God to find time to turn with entire devotion to his Beloved, so as to seek His bounty and blessing and immerse himself in the ocean of communion, entreaty and supplication. Moreover, obligatory prayer and fasting produce awareness and awakening in man, and are conducive to his protection and preservation from tests.

Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting,

FROM THE WRITINGS OF ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ,  #’s 6-7

5 March ― 5 ‘Alá’   Leave a comment

5 March ― 5 ‘Alá’

The Holy Period of the Fast

Day 5

MORNING:

Know thou that religion is as heaven; and fasting and obligatory prayer are its sun and its moon. We entreat God, exalted and glorified be He, to graciously aid everyone who acteth according to His will and good-pleasure.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting,

FROM THE WRITINGS OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH,  #V

EVENING:

Be not neglectful of obligatory prayer and fasting. He who faileth to observe them hath not been nor will ever be acceptable in the sight of God. Follow ye wisdom under all conditions. He, verily, hath bidden all to observe that which hath been and will be of profit to them. He, in truth, is the All-Sufficing, the Most High.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting,

FROM THE WRITINGS OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH,  #VI

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

The laws of God, such as fasting, obligatory prayer and the like, as well as His counsels regarding virtues, good deeds and proper conduct, must be carried out everywhere to the extent possible, unless some insurmountable obstacle or some great danger presents itself or it runneth counter to the dictates of wisdom. For indolence and laxity hinder the outpourings of love from the clouds of divine mercy, and people will thus remain deprived…

…O ye loved ones of God! Out of gratitude for firmness in the eternal Covenant arise to serve the threshold of the omnipotent Lord, observe obligatory prayer and fasting, and spend your time in diffusing the sweet savors of God and in spreading the Divine verses. Tear asunder the veils, remove the obstacles, proffer the life-giving waters, and point out the path of salvation. This is what ‘Abdu’l-Bahá admonisheth you every morn and eve.

Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting,

FROM THE WRITINGS OF ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ,  #’s 4-5

3 March ― 2 ‘Alá’   Leave a comment

3 March ― 3 ‘Alá’

The Holy Period of the Fast

Day 3

MORNING:

One who performeth neither good deeds nor acts of worship is like unto a tree which beareth no fruit, and an action which leaveth no trace. Whosoever experienceth the holy ecstasy of worship will refuse to barter such an act or any praise of God for all that existeth in the world. Fasting and obligatory prayer are as two wings to man’s life. Blessed be the one who soareth with their aid in the heaven of the love of God, the Lord of all worlds.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting,

FROM THE WRITINGS OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH,  #III

1.29

EVENING:

Cling firmly to obligatory prayer and fasting. Verily, the religion of God is like unto heaven; fasting is its sun, and obligatory prayer is its moon. In truth, they are the pillars of religion whereby the righteous are distinguished from those who transgress His commandments. We entreat God, exalted and glorified be He, that he may graciously enable all to observe that which He hath revealed in His Ancient Book.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting,

FROM THE WRITINGS OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH,  #IV

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

The laws of God regarding fasting and obligatory prayer are absolutely incumbent upon His servants. Therefore, they must turn their faces to the Point of Adoration of the celestial Concourse, hold fast to the most sublime Station, and pray and supplicate that they may be freed from the doubts of misinterpretation. This is the way of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. This is the religion of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. This is the path of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Whoever cherisheth the love of Baha, let him choose this straight path. Whoever abandoneth this path, verily, he is of them who are shut out as by a veil from Him. Shouldst thou observe any soul who is in doubt about this commandment or who misinterpreteth it, but hath no secret motive or defiance in what he doeth, be friendly towards him, and with the utmost cordiality and through kind speech, endeavor to turn him from the path of such interpretation towards the plain meaning of the verses of God.

Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting,

FROM THE WRITINGS OF ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ,  #3

 

 

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN OF THE FAITH SHOGHI EFFENDI:

Let us pray to God that in these days of world encircling gloom, when the dark forces of nature, of hate, rebellion, anarchy and reaction are threatening the very stability of human society, when the most precious fruits of civilization are undergoing severe and unparalleled tests, we may all realize, more profoundly than ever, that though but a mere handful amidst the seething masses of the world, are in this day the chosen instruments of God’s Grace, that our Mission is most urgent and vital to the fate of humanity and, fortified by these sentiments, arise to achieve God’s holy purpose for mankind.

 

Your brother in His service

 

Shoghi

 

Haifa, Palestine,

 

December 2, 1923

Letters from the Guardian to Australia and New Zealand, p. 2)

 

 

FROM HAND OF THE CAUSE OF GOD,

MR. ABU’L-QASIM FAIZI:

The words of Imams and divines of Islam served to draw the longing souls to the fountainhead of true knowledge. There is a very powerful prayer which the Shí’ah Muslims chant as a dawn prayer during the month of the fast. The faithful believer awakens at dawn to catch the melody of its tune as it is chanted from the minarets of mosques or, in these days, is broadcast from the radio stations. In introducing this prayer, Imam Fida has said, “I swear by God that the Greatest Name is found in this prayer. Had you known this, you would have fought with swords to possess this prayer.”* The opening words of this prayer read as follows: “O God! My God! I beseech Thee by Thy Bahá, Thy Bahá in its entirety. I beseech Thee by all Thy Bahá.” The prayer then goes on mentioning other Names of God including “Beauty”, “Splendor”, and all the Names which are a part of the Bahá’í calendar.

* Mafatihu’l Jenan, Keys of Paradise, compilation of Muslim Prayers

An Explanation of the Greatest Name, p. 5

1 March ― THE FEAST OF ‘Alá’   Leave a comment

1 March ― THE FEAST OF ‘Alá’

The Holy Period of the Fast

Day 1

 

MORNING:

This is, O my God, the first of the days on which Thou hast bidden Thy loved ones to observe the Fast. I ask of Thee by Thy Self and by him who hath fasted out of love for Thee and for Thy good-pleasure – and not out of self and desire, nor out of fear of Thy wrath – and by Thy most excellent names and august attributes, to purify Thy servants from the love of aught except Thee and to draw them nigh unto the Dawning-Place of the lights of Thy countenance and the Seat of the throne of Thy oneness. Illumine their hearts, O my God, with the light of Thy knowledge and brighten their faces with the rays of the Daystar that shineth from the horizon of Thy Will. Potent art Thou to do what pleaseth Thee. No God is there but Thee, the All-Glorious, Whose help is implored by all men.

Assist them, O my God, to render Thee victorious and to exalt Thy Word. Suffer them, then, to become as hands of Thy Cause amongst Thy servants, and make them to be revealers of Thy religion and Thy signs amongst mankind, in such wise that the whole world may be filled with Thy remembrance and praise and with Thy proofs and evidences. Thou art, verily, the All-Bounteous, the Most Exalted, the Powerful, the Mighty, and the Merciful.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting,

PRAYERS BY BAHÁ’U’LLÁH FOR THE FAST,  #1

EVENING:

In the Name of Him Who hath been promised in the Books of God, the All-Knowing, the All-Informed! The days of fasting have arrived wherein those servants who circle round Thy throne and have attained Thy presence have fasted. Say: O God of names and creator of heaven and earth! I beg of Thee by Thy Name, the All-Glorious, to accept the fast of those who have fasted for love of Thee and for the sake of Thy good-pleasure and have carried out what Thou hast bidden them in Thy Books and Tablets. I beseech Thee by them to assist me in the promotion of Thy Cause and to make me steadfast in Thy love, that my footsteps may not slip on account of the clamour of Thy creatures. Verily, Thou art powerful over whatsoever Thou willest. No God is there but Thee, the Quickener, the All-Powerful, the Most Bountiful, the Ancient of Days.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting,

PRAYERS BY BAHÁ’U’LLÁH FOR THE FAST,  #1

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

Obligatory prayer and fasting are among the most great ordinances of this holy Dispensation…

 

…In the realm of worship, fasting and obligatory prayer constitute the two mightiest pillars of God’s holy Law. Neglecting them is in no wise permitted, and falling short in their performance is of a certainty not acceptable. In the Tablet of Visitation He saith: “I beseech God, by Thee and by them whose faces have been illumined with the splendours of the light of Thy countenance, and who, for love of Thee, have observed all whereunto they were bidden.” He declareth that observance of the commands of God deriveth from love for the beauty of the Best-Beloved. The seeker, when immersed in the ocean of the love of God, will be moved by intense longing and will arise to carry out the laws of God. Thus, it is impossible that a heart which containeth the fragrance of God’s love should yet fail to worship Him, except under conditions when such an action would agitate the enemies and stir up dissension and mischief. Otherwise, a lover of the Abhá Beauty will assuredly and continually demonstrate perseverance in the worship of the Lord.

Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting,

FROM THE WRITINGS OF ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ,  #1-2

21 April ― 13 Jalál   Leave a comment

MORNING:

O Aḥmad! Forget not My bounties while I am absent. Remember My days during thy days, and My distress and banishment in this remote prison. And be thou so steadfast in My love that thy heart shall not waver, even if the swords of the enemies rain blows upon thee and all the heavens and the earth arise against thee.

Be thou as a flame of fire to My enemies and a river of life eternal to My loved ones, and be not of those who doubt.

And if thou art overtaken by affliction in My path, or degradation for My sake, be not thou troubled thereby.

Rely upon God, thy God and the Lord of thy fathers. For the people are wandering in the paths of delusion, bereft of discernment to see God with their own eyes, or hear His Melody with their own ears. Thus have We found them, as thou also dost witness.

Thus have their superstitions become veils between them and their own hearts and kept them from the path of God, the Exalted, the Great.

Be thou assured in thyself that verily, he who turns away from this Beauty hath also turned away from the Messengers of the past and showeth pride towards God from all eternity to all eternity.

Learn well this Tablet, O Aḥmad. Chant it during thy days and withhold not thyself therefrom. For verily, God hath ordained for the one who chants it, the reward of a hundred martyrs and a service in both worlds. These favors have We bestowed upon thee as a bounty on Our part and a mercy from Our presence, that thou mayest be of those who are grateful.

By God! Should one who is in affliction or grief read this Tablet with absolute sincerity, God will dispel his sadness, solve his difficulties and remove his afflictions.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tablet of Aḥmad

 

EVENING:

13. O SON OF SPIRIT!

I created thee rich, why dost thou bring thyself down to poverty? Noble I made thee, wherewith dost thou abase thyself? Out of the essence of knowledge I gave thee being, why seekest thou enlightenment from anyone beside Me? Out of the clay of love I molded thee, how dost thou busy thyself with another? Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting.

14. O SON OF MAN!

Thou art My dominion and My dominion perisheth not; wherefore fearest thou thy perishing? Thou art My light and My light shall never be extinguished; why dost thou dread extinction? Thou art My glory and My glory fadeth not; thou art My robe and My robe shall never be outworn. Abide then in thy love for Me, that thou mayest find Me in the realm of glory.

15. O SON OF UTTERANCE!

Turn thy face unto Mine and renounce all save Me; for My sovereignty endureth and My dominion perisheth not. If thou seekest another than Me, yea, if thou searchest the universe for evermore, thy quest will be in vain.

16. O SON OF LIGHT!

Forget all save Me and commune with My spirit. This is of the essence of My command, therefore turn unto it.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

 

The Arabic Hidden Words

FROM THE EXEMPLAR OF THE CAUSE  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

Question: How shall we determine the truth or error of certain biblical interpretation, as, for instance, the higher criticism and other present-day Christian teachings?

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Your question is an abstruse and important one. Complete answer to it would require a long time. I will reply to it briefly. The only true Explainer of the Book of God is the Holy Spirit, for no two minds are alike, no two can comprehend alike, no two can speak alike. That is to say, from the mere human standpoint of interpretation there could be neither truth nor agreement.

Question: Do you approve of the new thought in which the control of mind over matter is the central principle?

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Philosophy develops the mind. Christ and the Word of God are revealed through the Spirit. Plato says, “The mental conclusions are so and so.” Christ says, “Be led of the Spirit.”

The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp: 212-213

 

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN OF THE BAHÁ’Í FAITH,

SHOGHI EFFENDI:

Dynamics of Prayer.

While in Haifa, the beloved Guardian of the Cause gave to the writer (Mrs Ruth Moffat), the most concise, complete, and effective formula she has ever seen, for the Dynamics of Prayer. After saying to stress the need of more prayers and meditation among the friends, he said to use these five steps if we had a problem of any kind for which we desired a solution or wished help.

First Step. – Pray and meditate about it. Use the prayers of the

Manifestations as they have the greatest power. Then remain in the silence of

contemplation for a few minutes.

Second Step. – Arrive at a decision and hold this. This decision

is usually born during the contemplation. It may seem almost

impossible of accomplishment but if it seems to be as answer to a prayer or

a way of solving the problem, then immediately take the next step.

Third Step. – Have determination to carry the decision through.

Many fail here. The decision, budding into determination, is blighted

and instead becomes a wish or a vague longing. When determination is

born, immediately take the next step. 

Fourth Step. – Have faith and confidence that the power will

flow through you, the right way will appear, the door will open, the

right thought, the right message, the right principle or the right

book will be given you. Have confidence, and the right thing will

come to your need. Then, as you rise from prayer, take at once the

fifth step.

Fifth Step. – Then, he said, lastly, ACT; Act as though it had

all been answered. Then act with tireless, ceaseless energy. And as

you act, you, yourself, will become a magnet, which will attract

more power to your being, until you become an unobstructed channel

for the Divine power to flow through you. Many pray but do not

remain for the last half of the first step. Some who meditate arrive at

a decision, but fail to hold it. Few have the determination to

carry the decision through, still fewer have the confidence that the

right thing will come to their need. But how many remember to act as

though it had all been answered? How true are those words – “Greater

than the prayer is the spirit in which it is uttered” and greater

than the way it is uttered is the spirit in which it is carried out.

 

The above statement belongs properly to the class of statement known as “pilgrim’s notes” and as such as no authority but, since it seems to be particularly helpful and clear, it was felt that believers should not be deprived of it.

Principles of Bahá’í Administration, pp: 90-91