Prayer in bahai faith?

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SpiritualSeeker
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Prayer in bahai faith?

Postby SpiritualSeeker » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:00 am

Hello all,

I read one passage that said prayer consisted of some rakat. I believe it was 9. However, I hear that due to persecutions, the prayer had to be changed is this true? If it is how come in this modern age where many of us have freedom to practice anywhere, how come we cannot practice the original form of prayer?
Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself. When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself. The practice is always to go back to oneself.Thich Nhat Hanh

BritishBahai
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Re: Prayer in bahai faith?

Postby BritishBahai » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:53 pm

Please would you quote the passage...I've never read that before.

Rakat is the daily obligatory prayers for muslims, isnt it? (Where they have to say it 5 times a day).

In the Bahai faith, we do have an obligatory prayer, but instead we are able to choose which one we want to say.
There are 3 to choose from: the short, medium and long.

I wrote this ages ago. Its copied and pasted from elsewhere. Its basically summarising the pros and cons of the 3 obligatory prayers (my own personal opinion, of course).
_____________________

SHORT obligatory prayer
requirements - can only be said anytime between noon and sunset (so cannot be said during the morning)

(advantages) short (10-15 seconds)
(disadvantages) Can only be said between noon and sunset. Difficult if youre working from 9am-5pm, unless if you make a habit - e.g. saying it in private after you've had lunch, etc.


MEDIUM obligatory prayer
Is to be said 3X a day.
Abultions (face-washing) is used

(advantages) its good to use this one from time to time for a change, e.g. you can do this during the summer holidays when you have more free time.
(disadvantages) Must remember to say it 3X a day

LONG obligatory prayer
This takes approximately 15 minutes to say. I usually say this one at the end of the night when ive got time for myself. Does not involve face-washing (a.k.a. "abultions")
You say the prayer in different standing positions (i.e. kneeling down, standing up with hands in the air, forehead touching ground, etc). Theres a good website which shows the positions - i'll add it one day...

(advantages) Can be said during any part of the day. You get to choose. Also, if you forget to say your short obligatory prayer, and have neither made a start on your medium obligatory prayer, you still can resort to the Long one as your back up plan.

(disadvantages) Takes about 15 mins - so may not be ideal for busy mums during the day when theyre running around or at night when they're tired.
"I have desired only what Thou didst desire, and love only what Thou dost love"

nharandi
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Re: Prayer in bahai faith?

Postby nharandi » Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:44 pm

I don't think I've ever read anything like that, either. I'd like to see it.

Anyway, rakat is one unit of Islamic prayer (which is called Salat/Salah). Each of the five prayers said throughout the day in Islam have a specifically assigned number of rakats.

BritishBahai
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Re: Prayer in bahai faith?

Postby BritishBahai » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:12 pm

SpiritualSeeker wrote:Hello all,

I read one passage that said prayer consisted of some rakat. I believe it was 9 . However, I hear that due to persecutions, the prayer had to be changed is this true? If it is how come in this modern age where many of us have freedom to practice anywhere, how come we cannot practice the original form of prayer?

**I think I know where you're getting confused**

You are most probably confusing this idea of "rakahs" due to the medium obligatory prayer (see my previous posting above).
The medium obligatory prayer (not the short/long one) is the only one which needs to be said 3 times (so, 3 "rakahs" per se).
Here it is: http://www.bahaiprayers.org/obligmedium.htm


Highly doubt this. Bahais have always been persecuted --- even to this day.
Point is, if we are to alter our prayers because of persecution then we would have to stop doing it altogether ;)
"I have desired only what Thou didst desire, and love only what Thou dost love"

brettz9
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Re: Prayer in bahai faith?

Postby brettz9 » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:41 am

Yes, there was such a prayer:

We have enjoined obligatory prayer upon you, with nine rak'áhs, to be offered at noon and in the morning and the evening unto God, the Revealer of Verses.

(Baha'u'llah Kitab-i-Aqdas, par. 6)


We have set forth the details of obligatory prayer in another Tablet.

(Baha'u'llah Kitab-i-Aqdas, par. 8)


But Baha'u'llah explains:

QUESTION: In the Kitáb-i-Aqdas obligatory prayer hath been enjoined, consisting of nine rak'áhs, to be performed at noon, in the morning and the evening, but the Tablet of Obligatory Prayers [FN: The Tablet containing the three Obligatory Prayers now in use] appeareth to differ from this.

ANSWER: That which hath been revealed in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas concerneth a different Obligatory Prayer. Some years ago a number of the ordinances of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas including that Obligatory Prayer were, for reasons of wisdom, recorded separately and sent away together with other sacred writings, for the purposes of preservation and protection. Later these three Obligatory Prayers were revealed.

(Baha'u'llah, Kitab-i-Aqdas Questions and Answers, no. 63)


Note 9 to the Kitab-i-Aqdas states:

The original Obligatory Prayer had "for reasons of wisdom" been revealed by Bahá'u'lláh in a separate Tablet (Q and A 63). It was not released to the believers in His lifetime, having been superseded by the three Obligatory Prayers now in use.
Shortly after the Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh, the text of this prayer, along with a number of other Tablets, was stolen by Muhammad-'Ali, the Arch-breaker of His Covenant.

(Notes to the Kitab-i-Aqdas, no. 9)


Note 4 explains the nature of the rak'ahs:
A rak'áh is the recitation of specifically revealed verses accompanied by a prescribed set of genuflections and other movements.
The Obligatory Prayer originally enjoined by Bahá'u'lláh upon His followers consisted of nine rak'áhs. The precise nature of this prayer and the specific instructions for its recitation are unknown, as the prayer has been lost. (See note 9.)
In a Tablet commenting on the presently-binding Obligatory Prayers, 'Abdu'l-Bahá indicates that "in every word and movement of the Obligatory Prayer there are allusions, mysteries and a wisdom that man is unable to comprehend, and letters and scrolls cannot contain".
Shoghi Effendi explains that the few simple directions given by Bahá'u'lláh for the recital of certain prayers not only have a spiritual significance but that they also help the individual "to fully concentrate when praying and meditating".

(Notes to the Kitab-i-Aqdas, no. 4)


Even if we did have access to the original prayer, the law was changed for us to follow the new ones. Exactly why this happened, I don't think we can say at this point (to progressively reduce the number of required prayers from the 5 daily in Islam (thereby indicating God's compassion), highlight the evil of the enemies of the Faith, etc.?--this is probably a question for individual interpretation, assuming it is really worth speculating on now).

best wishes,
Brett

Sen McGlinn
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Re: Prayer in bahai faith?

Postby Sen McGlinn » Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:52 am

The medium and long obligatory prayer contains many of the actions that are found in one raka'ah, but the prayer consists of one unit, rather than several raka'ah that are repeated. The medium prayer actions are:

Then let him stand up, and facing the Qiblih ... [and] say:
Let him, then, bend down, with hands resting on the knees, and say:...
Then, standing with open hands, palms upward toward the face, let him say:...
Let him, then, be seated and say: ...

And for the long prayer, the sequence is somewhat like six raka'ah, the second and fourth ending with ruku' rather than sujjud, and the jalsa coming after the third and sixth rather than on the even-numbered raka'ah;

1. ... let him stand up (qiyaam) and turn unto God,
... let him gaze to the right and to the left, as if awaiting the mercy of his Lord, (this is like the Sunni taslim, but the symbolic meaning differs)
Then let him say:..
Let him then raise his hands in supplication toward God... and say:...
Let him then kneel, and bowing his forehead to the ground, let him say:.... (sujjud)

2. Let him then stand and say: ... (qiyaam)
Let him again raise his hands in supplication, and say:...
Let him then raise his hands, and repeat three times the Greatest Name. (cf takbir)
Let him then bend down with hands resting on the knees ...and say: ... (ruku')

3. Let him then stand and raise his hands twice in supplication, and say:  ...(qiyaam)
Let him then raise his hands thrice, and say:...
Let him then kneel and, bowing his forehead to the ground, say:... (sujjud)

Let him then seat himself and say:... (jalsa)

4. Let him then stand erect and say:... (qiyaam)
Let him then repeat the Greatest Name thrice, (cf takbir)
and bend down with hands resting on the knees, and say: .... (ruku')

6. Let him then rise and say:.... (qiyaam)
Let him then repeat the Greatest Name thrice, (cf takbir)
and kneel with his forehead to the ground, and say:....(sujjud)

Let him then raise his head, and seat himself, and say:... (jalsa)

However - while this division into units may make the structure clearer for someone familiar with the Islamic obligatory prayers, in Bahai terms this is not called a prayer of 6 raka'ah, it is called one salat / obligatory prayer

~~ Sen McGlinn

Highmountain
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Re: Prayer in bahai faith?

Postby Highmountain » Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:47 am

Hello, Haven't posted in a while. I was purusing the forum and stumbled upon this thread and noticed this:


BritishBahai wrote:LONG obligatory prayer
This takes approximately 15 minutes to say. I usually say this one at the end of the night when ive got time for myself. Does not involve face-washing (a.k.a. "abultions")
You say the prayer in different standing positions (i.e. kneeling down, standing up with hands in the air, forehead touching ground, etc). Theres a good website which shows the positions - i'll add it one day...

(advantages) Can be said during any part of the day. You get to choose. Also, if you forget to say your short obligatory prayer, and have neither made a start on your medium obligatory prayer, you still can resort to the Long one as your back up plan.

(disadvantages) Takes about 15 mins - so may not be ideal for busy mums during the day when theyre running around or at night when they're tired.


I'm not trying to nitpick or anything but BB, I always thought ablutions were for all obligatory prayers. Am I incorrect?

Peace

HM

Sen McGlinn
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Re: Prayer in bahai faith?

Postby Sen McGlinn » Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:43 pm

Highmountain wrote:I always thought ablutions were for all obligatory prayers. Am I incorrect?


That's correct: for all the obligatory prayers and for the recitation of the Greatest name:

"It hath been ordained that every believer in God, ... shall, each day, having washed
his hands and then his face, seat himself and, turning unto God, repeat "Allah-u-Abha" ninety-five times.... Perform ye, likewise, ablutions for the Obligatory Prayer; ....
(The Kitab-i-Aqdas, para 18; p. 26)

Fadl
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Re: Prayer in bahai faith?

Postby Fadl » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:32 am

So I was searching the internet for some information regarding Baha'i obligatory prayers and the number of raqa'ts they contain, versus the 9 prescribed in the text of the Aqdas, and came across this old thread. There was some interesting discussion here, but I wanted to point some things out, as I keep stumbling across some misconceptions about ablutions and obligatory prayers and a few other ill facts apparently common among Baha'is.

Ablutions, the washing of the hands and face, must be performed for all three obligatory prayers. In the case that washing is not possible, then the verse In the name of God the most pure, the most pure" should be repeated 5 times in substitution for ablutions. That goes for all three prayers. I am not sure if the medium prayer can be recited in the absence of water or not, because it has prescribed verses to be said while washing the hands and the face. Perhaps someone knows the answer to that. However, the verses that are said during washing while performing the medium prayer are part of the medium prayer. One does not need to say any verses when doing ablutions before performing the short or long prayer. If someone wished to say them, I suppose that's up to the individual, but it is not necessary.

The most important part I wanted to iterate, is simply that Baha'is should be doing ablutions for all 3 obligatory prayers, even the short and long prayer that don't have verses revealed for washing.

Also, don't forget that it is important to face the qiblih, and say the prayers at the prescribed times, and with the prescribed instructions. The qiblih lies in the East, ie Bahji in Akka in Israel, but it is NOT true that facing the qiblih simply means facing east. If you are one of those who travels a lot think you can face the qiblih by merely identifying where is east, you'd be wrong! The qiblih is not eastward for most of the world, so check it out. If you take the time to figure out the qiblih in your home, you can be a resource for a traveling Baha'i who may not know where the qiblih is, and may not have an i phone with a handy app to tell him or her such things, but it is a little lazy and a lot wrong to not learn where the qiblih is in your own home--in my opinion! :wink:

Don't forget, on the Badi calendar, the day starts and ends at sunset, and this does matter for your prayers! For example, the long prayer is quite flexible and need only be recited once in 24 hours. However, you must say it once every day. That means if it is Monday night after sunset, say 9PM and the sun set that day at 6PM, and I perform the long prayer, I am actually performing Tuesday's prayer. That is not a problem at all, just so long as I have done one of the prayers for Monday too.

Lastly, the short obligatory prayer is relatively flexible, and it can be performed from noon until 2 hours after sunset. It doesn't have any prostrating or genuflecting, but it MUST be performed standing, and facing the qiblih, after washing. This means saying in bed or on your commute won't cut it. Sure, you can say it anywhere, anyhow, anytime, but for it to be the obligatory prayer, it must be performed in accordance with the rules.

I know this is a lot to say, but all of this is to respond in a general way to a vast number of errors I've run into among the believers lately, and wanted to raise the topic here to raise it up for discussion.
"Thus doth the Nightingale utter His call unto you from this prison. He hath but to deliver this clear message. Whosoever desireth, let him turn aside from this counsel and whosoever desireth let him choose the path to his Lord." - Baha'u'llah

BruceDLimber
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Re: Prayer in bahai faith?

Postby BruceDLimber » Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:15 am

I--and probably most other Baha'is here--have no idea whatever what a "raqa't" is! You would do better to post your comments in English.

>The qiblih lies in the East, ie Bahji in Akka in Israel, but it is NOT true that facing the qiblih simply means facing east.

In fact, the best way to face the qiblih is to use the great-circle direction!

The easiest way to determine this is to stretch either a string or a rubber band on a globe from your location to 'Akka. Whichever direction it leaves your position is the great circle direction to 'Akka.

For example, in the DC area this is roughly northeast (actually, about 38 degrees). This means, FWIW, that in DC if you're facing Cape Cod, you're facing the qiblih!

Peace, :-)

Bruce

Fadl
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Re: Prayer in bahai faith?

Postby Fadl » Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:35 am

BruceDLimber wrote:I--and probably most other Baha'is here--have no idea whatever what a "raqa't" is! You would do better to post your comments in English.

>The qiblih lies in the East, ie Bahji in Akka in Israel, but it is NOT true that facing the qiblih simply means facing east.

In fact, the best way to face the qiblih is to use the great-circle direction!

The easiest way to determine this is to stretch either a string or a rubber band on a globe from your location to 'Akka. Whichever direction it leaves your position is the great circle direction to 'Akka.

For example, in the DC area this is roughly northeast (actually, about 38 degrees). This means, FWIW, that in DC if you're facing Cape Cod, you're facing the qiblih!

Peace, :-)

Bruce


The word rak'ah doesn't really have a good English equivalent which is probably why it's not translated in the Aqdas (yes, it's in there: "We enjoined obligatory prayer upon you, with nine rak'ahs..." -Aqdas, vs. 6, p. 21) but left raq'ah. Its an Arabic word used primarily in Islam in order to perform the different salat (obligatory prayers) through out the day correctly. It basically defines a unit of salat, and the number of units vary in the different salats in Islam (Read the discussion above). For a Baha'i the concept is not important for performing our salat, because one need only choose a prayer and follow the instructions with it. The composition of the prayer will not change based the time of day, for example.

The concept is important though, because it is used in the Aqdas when commanding us to perform salat (with 9 rak'aat) and it wouldn't be strange at all for a seeker, new Baha'i, etc., to notice it and ask what it is. Hopefuly we can say something more than "urm..." to that question. Someone interested in the Faith from an Islamic background might also find this information important and find it strange if we are unable to answer simple questions about our prayers as explained in our own holy book. Antagonists might also be keen to point out that Baha'is don't even pray their salat in the prescribed way with 9 rak'aat, and one should be able to respond to such attacks with accuracy and wisdom.

The easiest way to find the Qiblih that I have found is to use: http://qiblih.com/index.php

If you are lucky enough to own an i phone you can buy a fantastic obligatory prayer app which automatically shows you where to face and you can buy it at itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/3pray/id ... mpt=uo%3D4 I don't have an i phone, but I may soon, if for no reason other than this! 8-)
"Thus doth the Nightingale utter His call unto you from this prison. He hath but to deliver this clear message. Whosoever desireth, let him turn aside from this counsel and whosoever desireth let him choose the path to his Lord." - Baha'u'llah

brettz9
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Re: Prayer in bahai faith?

Postby brettz9 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:03 am

Thank you for sharing those observations, Fadl. And for kicking up some activity here!

The only issue that may be off is that the House of Justice has stated that we do not know when the 24-hour period begins: http://bahai-library.com/uhj_contacting ... ptions#s1b

As far as reciting verses, back in college a Baha'i friend gave a handout of a supposed quotation saying that one should say 9 Allah'u'Abha's before beginning the obligatory prayer, but I have not seen this anywhere, and even if it exists, it would seem not to be any kind of law, since it wasn't mentioned in the Aqdas.

Also, as my own personal recommendation, based on my own experiences in not broaching this successfully, I find the VAST majority of people are not very amenable to correction, even if things are in the Writings, particularly for more minute matters such as these, and often even if one says so with the utmost courtesy. I would strongly advise bringing it to the friends' attention in forums such as Feasts or deepenings, where no one feels corrected, and even there, being sure to offer it lovingly for the friends to abide or turn aside. Otherwise, one can both become frustrated with a lack of knowledge or interest to adhere to the laws and also deprive oneself and others for that matter of the spirit of the Faith exemplified by 'Abdu'l-Baha. I particularly like 'Abdu'l-Baha's telling of a story about Abraham showing impatience to a polytheist guest at His home and then calling to mind God's patience in allowing the polytheists to carry on for thousands of years. I think in the West this is particularly true (and no doubt a reason the laws have not all been applied here) where there is no such culture.

But for those who are open to the verse of Revelation 3:19: "Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.", these may be more amenable to adoption.

Best wishes,
Brett

Fadl
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Re: Prayer in bahai faith?

Postby Fadl » Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:20 pm

brettz9 wrote:Thank you for sharing those observations, Fadl. And for kicking up some activity here!

The only issue that may be off is that the House of Justice has stated that we do not know when the 24-hour period begins: http://bahai-library.com/uhj_contacting ... ptions#s1b

As far as reciting verses, back in college a Baha'i friend gave a handout of a supposed quotation saying that one should say 9 Allah'u'Abha's before beginning the obligatory prayer, but I have not seen this anywhere, and even if it exists, it would seem not to be any kind of law, since it wasn't mentioned in the Aqdas.

Also, as my own personal recommendation, based on my own experiences in not broaching this successfully, I find the VAST majority of people are not very amenable to correction, even if things are in the Writings, particularly for more minute matters such as these, and often even if one says so with the utmost courtesy. I would strongly advise bringing it to the friends' attention in forums such as Feasts or deepenings, where no one feels corrected, and even there, being sure to offer it lovingly for the friends to abide or turn aside. Otherwise, one can both become frustrated with a lack of knowledge or interest to adhere to the laws and also deprive oneself and others for that matter of the spirit of the Faith exemplified by 'Abdu'l-Baha. I particularly like 'Abdu'l-Baha's telling of a story about Abraham showing impatience to a polytheist guest at His home and then calling to mind God's patience in allowing the polytheists to carry on for thousands of years. I think in the West this is particularly true (and no doubt a reason the laws have not all been applied here) where there is no such culture.

But for those who are open to the verse of Revelation 3:19: "Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.", these may be more amenable to adoption.

Best wishes,
Brett



Thanks Brett. I hadn't seen this guidance about the 24 hour period before. I was merely following the logic that since the fasting, holy days, feasts, calendar are determined with sunset, rather than midnight, being the start/end point, it makes sense it would be so for prayers too. This is how I do it in my own life, at any rate.

You are right about correcting people, and that's why I brought these issues up here, so that we can have the discussion and awareness raising without anyone feeling they've been outed or something. Often times the errors come about from the best intending souls who are creating videos or blogs, etc. out of a sincere wish to share the teachings, use their talented voices or art in that regard, and end up revealing their own ignorance on the matter. If it is big, I will tell the individual about the error, but I don't like correcting people, so find a broad discussion in a forum like this easier.

In my opinion, these things are all very important. Sometimes we are all too clever for our own good. I mean, isn't God EVERYWHERE? (Why face the qiblih?) I think God will understand if I say my short noon prayer lying in my bed, (why do ablutions, or stand up?) he's the Most Compassionate, etc. But these ideas suggest how little we understand about the nature of obligatory prayer in general. All of those kinds of justifications can be solved in my mind by asking: If these are true, why did Baha bother us with all this minutiae? Didn't he have anything better to do? We (people) seem to have a core belief about prayer that we do it for the benefit of God, rather than for ourselves. Surely, everything the Divine Physician prescribed needs to be followed carefully, and, considering none of us are physicians ourselves, faithfully.
"Thus doth the Nightingale utter His call unto you from this prison. He hath but to deliver this clear message. Whosoever desireth, let him turn aside from this counsel and whosoever desireth let him choose the path to his Lord." - Baha'u'llah

brettz9
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Re: Prayer in bahai faith?

Postby brettz9 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:44 pm

Good points.

There is indeed the emphasis on "allusions, mysteries and a wisdom" in the (currently revealed) obligatory prayers.
On the flip side though, there is the following from Baha'u'llah about the changing of the Qiblih (from Jerusalem to Mecca):

"Verily, God caused not this turmoil but to test and prove His servants. Otherwise, He, the ideal King, could easily have left the Qiblih unchanged, and could have caused Jerusalem to remain the Point of Adoration unto His Dispensation, thereby withholding not from that holy city the distinction of acceptance which had been conferred upon it." (Kitab-i-Iqan, par. 54)


Perhaps some of the testing is about both how we bring up these details as well as how people respond to learning about them. But indeed, ongoing education is not something to withhold from others since there is a call to do it.

As far as the point to the effect about it being better for us to adhere to "every ordinance" (Kitab-i-Aqdas, par. 1), Yes, that is a good point and one which I think ought to be considered more often.

In second language learning literature, there is a theory of the "affective filter"--that our performance is affected by emotional sensitivity. I think people have such filters in teaching too. I recall reading Shoghi Effendi write to the effect that if we waited to know everything before teaching, no teaching work would get done. I think it can be particularly challenging to correct someone who is already engaged in the midst of teaching. However, the Writings also do allow us, and even encourage us to lovingly bring up issues (e.g., if we think someone is saying something off as far as the Covenant, the House details how we can bring this kindly to someone's consideration).

On the other hand, the standard of education in the community of all kinds surely does need to be increased. That is supposed to be one role of the Auxiliary Board and their assistants (and potentially travel-teachers). I notice people are hugely more receptive to change when the context is already a learning environment, such as a deepening or training course, so bringing some things up in training courses (without derailing the process by too much information, since the process is meant to progressively introduce such information already anyways). It also gives time for the wisdom of the community to round out an analysis of the issue which we as individuals might miss.

And while bringing it up in forums like this can be helpful--and I hope that as meeting technology becomes more accessible, even more possibilities of deepening online will become possible, a lot of times it is the people who do not come online to study more which need this information the most. :) While the Ruhi courses certainly can bring many such details to light, as the intro to Ruhi Book 7, "Walking Together on a Path of Service", mentions, there is also a need for ongoing meetings (mentioned as being for graduates). I think this need is well supported by the startlingly MANY quotations I was able to find encouraging such ongoing meetings (with a special focus on the proofs and history and reciting of Tablets) and collected at http://bahai-library.com/zamir_adult_youth_study .

I'm not sure about your local community, but perhaps you may be interested to offer your services to host such a meeting in your area?

Also, might you be interested in a periodic online meeting to advance such meetings (including possibly online)?

I have access to use "GoToMeeting" software which lets people share audio and their screens and have been thinking about such a meeting to try to see about drawing together materials and approaches for such an ongoing study. Shoghi Effendi mentioned use of "study outlines" as one tool in such study, and I think online materials already developed could be put to such use (e.g., using one or more of the published or online outlines of the Iqan, the Dawn-breakers, etc.--books emphasized for study meetings as well as individual study). My strong sense after reading the Writings on the need for these meetings, that eventually the Ruhi sequence itself might end up incorporating encouragement for such ongoing meetings which can take the necessary time to study the proofs and history in adequate depth, for example, deepening on entire books as advised in the Writings (with particular books such as the Dawn-breakers being recommended for such study).

Humanity as a whole is sorely in need of such spiritual training as you mention, and contributing to both the Ruhi courses, and I think perhaps a little attention to the other type of meeting mentioned in the Writings, is the best way to help achieve this among the masses.

Best wishes,
Brett

Fadl
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Re: Prayer in bahai faith?

Postby Fadl » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:56 am

Brett,

You have many wonderful suggestions, and I would be interested in seeing how one of these virtual meetings would work if you want to pull off the first one, since you are probably more tech saavy and seem to know about it since you brought it up! It is intriguing, and I agree, very necessary. At the community level, I always try and raise awareness about the details of obligatory prayers because it is something that has interested me for a number of years. I have studied them a long time, and, as a result, seem to know some details that many don't. I only approached the forum with these things because, first, this is a great forum with many participants who are keen to go deep into the teachings. Second, most of the errors I encounter are on the internet, so I wanted to address it on the internet. Errors at home are less visible, I guess, since we aren't in the habit of watching each other or monitoring who is praying correctly, or at all! That's a good thing.

I wouldn't be surprised to see an institute course or ruhi that addresses the obligatory prayers at some point in the future, which would be wonderful. Not to confess my sins, but to share a story about how a lack of deepening in these matters has an impact, I didn't really know anything about obligatory prayer until I'd been a Baha'i for over ten years! Sure, I had a prayer book, and I had noticed that right at the beginning were these prayers called "obligatory." I even knew what the word obligatory meant, but it somehow never clicked that this meant I actually had to do them--every day! As it finally sunk in that I probably ought to be doing these obligatory things, I looked to the community to get educated about it. I naturally presumed that only I was ignorant and neglectful of them. To my surprise, I found that wherever I turned, reliable information and knowledge was pretty scarce. It wasn't actually until much later, after studying arabic, and making greater acquaintances of with arabic and persian speaking Baha'is, and those of middle eastern background that I was able to piece together how to do these things. I can tell you it has made a big difference in my spiritual life too. The things Baha'u'llah has given to us are extremely powerful and effective, but only if we will enact them.

Let me know if you want to have a virtual deeping with your software. I know you here for a lot of years now, so I know you have a lot you could deepen us on. Sign me up!
"Thus doth the Nightingale utter His call unto you from this prison. He hath but to deliver this clear message. Whosoever desireth, let him turn aside from this counsel and whosoever desireth let him choose the path to his Lord." - Baha'u'llah

owl3951

Re: Prayer in bahai faith?

Postby owl3951 » Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:03 am

LONG obligatory prayer
This takes approximately 15 minutes to say. I usually say this one at the end of the night when ive got time for myself. Does not involve face-washing (a.k.a. "abultions")
You say the prayer in different standing positions (i.e. kneeling down, standing up with hands in the air, forehead touching ground, etc). Theres a good website which shows the positions - i'll add it one day...


What is the authority for the website's specifying the positions, plz? Altho' he was often asked by western Baha'is, Hand of the Cause Mr. Khadem always refused to show anyone how he assumed OP positions, for such would be interpretation of the Writings.

I have seen a great deal of individual interpretation of what individuals thought were the appropriate positions.
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Fadl
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2004 4:55 am
Location: somewhere "in this immensity"

Re: Prayer in bahai faith?

Postby Fadl » Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:32 pm

owl3951 wrote:
LONG obligatory prayer
This takes approximately 15 minutes to say. I usually say this one at the end of the night when ive got time for myself. Does not involve face-washing (a.k.a. "abultions")
You say the prayer in different standing positions (i.e. kneeling down, standing up with hands in the air, forehead touching ground, etc). Theres a good website which shows the positions - i'll add it one day...


What is the authority for the website's specifying the positions, plz? Altho' he was often asked by western Baha'is, Hand of the Cause Mr. Khadem always refused to show anyone how he assumed OP positions, for such would be interpretation of the Writings.

I have seen a great deal of individual interpretation of what individuals thought were the appropriate positions.


Surely there should be no problem in someone showing some possible ways of doing it as a suggestion, or demonstrating "this is how I do it" so long as there is nothing about this is how "you must do it" and hold your hands exactly this high, and your feet apart exactly this much as is seen in Islam.

It's important to not become to rigid in these things, and I feel this goes both ways. Not too rigid in defining how it is done, and not too rigid in saying nobody has the slightest clue how to do it all. We all have to decide how to do it, and we all have to decide to do it. If it is helpful for an individual to ask suggestions from those who seem to have worked it out satisfactorily for themselves, and doing this helps them to make a start of it too, then that seems like a good thing! 8-)
"Thus doth the Nightingale utter His call unto you from this prison. He hath but to deliver this clear message. Whosoever desireth, let him turn aside from this counsel and whosoever desireth let him choose the path to his Lord." - Baha'u'llah

Chad
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:16 am

Re: Prayer in bahai faith?

Postby Chad » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:06 am

In alKafi Volume Three, (Islamic Seminary Inc. New York), it states that the only required Wudu' (obligatory salat/prayer washing) is the area of the face that the right hand can cover from the top of the forehead to the tip of the chin, then washing the left and right hands.


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