The Baha'i Fast:

Discussion in 'Baha'i' started by arthra, Mar 2, 2020.

  1. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Messages:
    3,622
    Likes Received:
    112
    Baha'is have begun the Nineteen Day Fast which consists of abstaining from food and liquids from sunrise to sunset for nineteen days … the last month in the Baha'i year... the month of 'Ala or Loftiness.

    The purpose of Fasting is spiritual:

    Fasting, said ‘Abdu’l-Bahá “is the cause of awakening man. The heart becomes tender and the spirituality of man increases. This is produced by the fact that man’s thoughts will be confined to the commemoration of God, and through this awakening and stimulation surely ideal advancements follow”.1

    However, it is important to note that fasting should not be viewed as a practice of asceticism, nor is it to be used as a means of penance: “[T]his material fast is an outer token of the spiritual fast; it is a symbol of self-restraint, the withholding of oneself from all appetites of the self, taking on the characteristics of the spirit, being carried away by the breathings of heaven and catching fire from the love of God.”2

    https://www.bahai.org/beliefs/life-spirit/devotion/fasting

    A prayer for the Fast:

    "I beseech Thee, O my God, by Thy mighty Sign, and by the revelation of Thy grace amongst men, to cast me not away from the gate of the city of Thy presence, and to disappoint not the hopes I have set on the manifestations of Thy grace amidst Thy creatures. Thou seest me, O my God, holding to Thy Name, the Most Holy, the Most Luminous, the Most Mighty, the Most Great, the Most Exalted, the Most Glorious, and clinging to the hem of the robe to which have clung all in this world and in the world to come.

    "I beseech Thee, O my God, by Thy most sweet Voice and by Thy most exalted Word, to draw me ever nearer to the threshold of Thy door, and to suffer me not to be far removed from the shadow of Thy mercy and the canopy of Thy bounty. Thou seest me, O my God, holding to Thy Name, the Most Holy, the Most Luminous, the Most Mighty, the Most Great, the Most Exalted, the Most Glorious, and clinging to the hem of the robe to which have clung all in this world and in the world to come.

    Read the complete prayer at
    https://www.bahaiprayers.org/fast1.htm

    Exemptions from Fasting:

    There are exemptions permitted from Fasting.... among which are:

    "The sick, elderly, and very young are exempt from fasting, as are pregnant or nursing mothers, travellers and those doing heavy physical work.

    "If a Holy Day occurs during the traditional period of fasting, then the fast is not obligatory on those days."

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/bahai/customs/fasting.shtml
     
  2. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Messages:
    3,622
    Likes Received:
    112
    This article is an excerpt from

    Fasting | What Bahá’ís Believe

    Bahá’u’lláh designated a nineteen-day period each year during which adult Bahá’ís fast from sunrise to sunset each day. This period coincides with the Bahá’í month of Alá—meaning Loftiness—from 2 to 20 March, which immediately precedes the Bahá’í new year. It is a time of prayer, meditation, and spiritual rejuvenation.

    A number of special prayers have been revealed specifically for the period of the fast. One, for example, begins with these words:

    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.”3
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2020
  3. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Messages:
    3,622
    Likes Received:
    112
  4. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2003
    Messages:
    3,622
    Likes Received:
    112
    The Kitáb-i-Aqdas states:

    “We have commanded you to pray and fast from the beginning of maturity [15 years]; this is ordained by God, your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers... The traveler, the ailing, those who are with child or giving suck, are not bound by the fast... Abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sundown, and beware lest desire deprive you of this grace that is appointed in the Book.”

    The Kitáb-i-Aqdas

    The period of the Fast is March 2 through March 20.

    “This material fast is an outer token of the spiritual fast; it is a symbol of self-restraint, the withholding of oneself from all appetites of the self, taking on the characteristics of the spirit, being carried away by the breathings of heaven and catching fire from the love of God.”

    — Abdu’l-Bahá

    Selections From the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

    Fasting is a spiritual obligation for Baha’is between the ages of fifteen and seventy years of age.

    The Fast involves abstaining from liquids and solid food from sunrise to sunset in the last month of ‘Ala (Loftiness) of the Baha’i year which consists of nineteen days. Since the Baha’i Fast is always near the equinox we fast from 6 AM to 6 PM. In Polar Regions we still fast according to the clock.

    There are exemptions from fasting granted:

    “Those who are ill should not fast:

    “In clear cases of weakness, illness or injury the law of the Fast is not binding.”

    “The law of the Fast is ordained for those who are sound and healthy; as to those who are ill or debilitated, this law hath never been nor is now applicable.”

    ·”Those who are doing heavy manual work need not fast. They should show respect for the law by eating “with frugality and in private”.

    Travelling

    “· Those who are travelling need not fast, if the journey is longer than 9 hours. A journey is the whole period of travel, from leaving one place until arriving at the destination, it is not just the time spent in a car, train, boat, plane, etc Those who are travelling on foot need not fast, if the journey is longer than 2 hours. If a traveller arrives at a place during the Fast, and is going to stay there for at least 19 days, he or she should fast following the first 3 days after arrival.” If a traveller stays in one place for less than 19 days, he or she need not keep the Fast during that time. Travellers who reach home during the Fast should start fasting from the day after they arrive.

    Exemptions for women:

    “· Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should not fast. Women need not fast during a period, provided that each day they perform their ablutions (washing of the hands and face) and repeat 95 times “Glorified be God, the Lord of Splendour and Beauty”. In this case a day means between one noon and the next.”

    The Bahá'í Fast

    There are no “make ups” if you miss several days during the Fast in other words you don’t have to make up for missed days later in the year.

    There are certain prayers revealed for the Fast:

    This is, O my God, the first of the days...
     

Share This Page