what's the significance of ablution?

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seeker

what's the significance of ablution?

Postby seeker » Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:27 pm

I have two questions about ablution in daily prayers:

1. is ablution necessary for all kinds of daily prayers: short, medium and long? or it is only for medium and long ones?

2. what is the significance of ablution? if possible, would you please provide the citation from the holy writings?

Thank you very much for your time!

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:38 pm

just medium and long. no instructions for the short one.

it has a spiritual significance of course but I will have to find it

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Postby moyo » Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:11 pm

I think for the short prayer also there must be ablutions. According to you why not ?

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:20 pm

look at your prayer book my friend. does the short prayer have any instructions to do ablutions?

if you take ruhi book 1 you will learn these basics, so its according to the Guardian


moyo wrote:I think for the short prayer also there must be ablutions. According to you why not ?

Guest

Postby Guest » Thu Jan 05, 2006 8:57 pm

"Ablutions are specifically associated with certain prayers. They must precede the offering of the three Obligatory Prayers, the recitation of "Allah-u-Abha" ninety-five times, and the recital of the verse prescribed as an alternative to obligatory prayer and fasting for women in their courses."(Kitab-i-Aqdas, p.180)


For related "notes" and "questions and answers" you can also refer to the Kitab-i-Aqdas.

Hope this is helpful.

Best,
Mike

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:05 pm

Anonymous wrote:
"Ablutions are specifically associated with certain prayers. They must precede the offering of the three Obligatory Prayers, the recitation of "Allah-u-Abha" ninety-five times, and the recital of the verse prescribed as an alternative to obligatory prayer and fasting for women in their courses."(Kitab-i-Aqdas, p.180)


For related "notes" and "questions and answers" you can also refer to the Kitab-i-Aqdas.

Hope this is helpful.

Best,
Mike



Not that helpful but thanks


"9 June 1974
The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Ísafjürdur

Dear Bahá'í Friends,

Thank you for your letter of 4 March 1974 enclosing the enquiry from the Bahá'í Group of Ísafjürdur. It has become apparent from a number of questions we have received that many believers are not clear which are those laws already binding upon the Bahá'ís in the West. We therefore feel it is timely to clarify the situation, and the simplest way is to state those laws listed in the "Synopsis and Codification of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas" which are not at present binding upon the friends in the western world. For ease of reference we give the numbers of the sections listed."

" IV.A.10 The law concerning ablutions, with the exception of the ablutions required for the Medium Obligatory Prayer which are described in Section CLXXXII of " Prayers and Meditations" and are required for the recitation of that prayer."

Source: http://bahai-library.com/uhj/laws.aqdas.html

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:06 pm

so actually i was wrong about the long one

Mike

Postby Mike » Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:41 pm

Mr. "Warrior":

look at your prayer book my friend. does the short prayer have any instructions to do ablutions?

if you take ruhi book 1 you will learn these basics, so its according to the Guardian


Does the Long Obligatory Prayer have any instructions to do ablutions? No it doesn't. Ergo, according to your logic, there is no need to perform the ablutions before the Long Obligatory Prayer either. Is that correct?

Was the Guardian the author of the Ruhi materials?

Best,
Mike

Mike

Postby Mike » Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:32 am

Further Application of the Laws of the Kitab-i-Aqdas
by Universal House of Justice
1999-12-28

Note: see the complete list of laws not yet applicable in the West
(partially superseded by this letter, below).

To the Bahá'ís of the World

Beloved Friends,

In the course of the Four Year Plan, we have been reviewing those laws of the Kitab-i-Aqdas which are not yet universally applied, in order to determine which of them it would be timely to implement now.

In every land we see a growing thirst for spiritual life and moral clarity. There is recognition of the ineffectiveness of plans and programs for human betterment which are not rooted in lives of spiritual awareness and ethical virtue. Who should be better equipped to satisfy this longing than those who are already inspired by the Teachings of Bahá'u'lláh and aided by His Power?

We have determined, therefore, that it is imperative for all the believers to deepen their awareness of the blessings conferred by the laws which directly foster the devotional life of the individual and, thus, of the community. The essentials of these laws are known to all Bahá'ís, but acquiring greater insight into their significance must include carrying out all the divinely revealed aspects of their observance. These are the laws which pertain to obligatory prayer, fasting and recitation of the Greatest Name ninety-five times a day.

Bahá'u'lláh asserts: "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."

The friends have long been familiar with the great importance which Bahá'u'lláh attaches to daily obligatory prayer and to the observance of the fast, but a number of aspects of the law, such as those concerning ablutions, travelling and the compensation for prayers missed, remained to be made universally applicable. This step is now taken. Thus all elements of the laws dealing with obligatory prayer and fasting are, without any exception, now applicable.

We have also decided that it is timely for Bahá'ís in every land to take to their hearts the words of the Kitab-i-Aqdas: "It hath been ordained that every believer in God, the Lord of Judgment, shall, each day, having washed his hands and then his face, seat himself and, turning unto God, repeat `Allah-u-Abha' ninety-five times. Such was the decree of the Maker of the Heavens when, with majesty and power, He established Himself upon the thrones of His Names." Let all experience the spiritual enrichment brought to their souls by this simple act of worshipful meditation.

The spiritual growth generated by individual devotions is reinforced by loving association among the friends in every locality, by worship as a community and by service to the Faith and to one's fellow human beings. These communal aspects of the godly life relate to the law of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar which appears in the Kitab-i-Aqdas. Although the time has not come for the building of local Mashriqu'l-Adhkars, the holding of regular meetings for worship open to all and the involvement of Bahá'í communities in projects of humanitarian service are expressions of this element of Bahá'í life and a further step in the implementation of the Law of God.

Bahá'u'lláh has written: "We have adorned the heaven of utterance with the stars of divine wisdom and holy ordinances as a bounty on Our part. Verily, We are the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Generous. O friends of God throughout the regions! Know ye the value of these days and cling unto whatsoever hath been sent down from God, the Most Great, the Most Exalted. Verily, He remembereth you in the Most Great Prison, and instructeth you in that which will cause you to draw nigh unto a station that delighteth the eyes of the pure in heart. Glory rest upon you and upon those who have attained unto that living fountain which floweth forth from My wondrous Pen."

It is our prayer at the Sacred Threshold that the greater attention to the spiritual heart of the Teachings which these laws express will enhance the devotion of the friends to the Source of all bounties and attract to the Cause the receptive souls among His spiritually famished children.

[SIGNED:
THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE


"Warrior":
How do you know that the person who asked this question is from the west?

And I'd very much like to know why you think Shoghi Effendi is the author of the Ruhi materials?

Best,
Mike

Mike

Postby Mike » Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:35 am

The above letter from the Universal House of Justice can be found at:
http://bahai-library.com/?file=uhj_further_application_aqdas

Best,
Mike

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Postby brettz9 » Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:23 pm

So, to clarify, if it wasn't evident from the citations Mike provided for us, yes, ablutions are required to precede all of the obligatory prayers as well as the 95 Alláh'u'Abhás.

The notes to the Kitáb-i-Aqdas state:

That ablutions have a significance beyond washing may be seen from the fact that even should one have bathed oneself immediately before reciting the Obligatory Prayer, it would still be necessary to perform ablutions (Q and A 18).

(Note 34


Although it is not stated explicitly here, I think washing hands it is a fairly common symbol of spiritual purification. So, we prepare ourselves to enter into the holy communion with a reminder of approaching our Creator (as with all things in life) with reverence and the washing away of all things which are not of God.

take care,
Brett

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Postby Hasan » Sat Jan 07, 2006 1:02 am

brettz9 wrote: Although it is not stated explicitly here, I think washing hands it is a fairly common symbol of spiritual purification. So, we prepare ourselves to enter into the holy communion with a reminder of approaching our Creator (as with all things in life) with reverence and the washing away of all things which are not of God.


Brett, is it washing hands and also face isn't?

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Postby brettz9 » Sat Jan 07, 2006 3:12 am

Yes, Hasan, thanks. I should have said that too:

Also from note 34 (Bahá'u'lláh mentions it in reference to the 95 Alláh'u'Abhás and obligatory prayer in Paragraph 18):

The prescribed ablutions consist of washing the hands and the face in preparation for prayer. In the case of the medium Obligatory Prayer, this is accompanied by the recitation of certain verses (see Some Texts Revealed by Bahá'u'lláh Supplementary to the Kitáb-i-Aqdas).

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sat Jan 07, 2006 1:48 pm

Brettz9,

Thank you for your posts, they are always helpful. Many Baha'is I think do not know that this has been reinstated.

So except for your medium prayer (saying the verses), all you do before the 95 Alláh'u'Abhás and short/long obligatory prayers is wash hands and face? In any particular order? Well, every night before I go to bed I wash my hands and face for hygiene anyways I dont know if that counts though, like if the first thing you do after you step out of the men's room is to go say your prayers.

—Warrior

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:59 pm

This is kind of off topic, I found this quote but does anyone know where it says in the Aqdas that we must turn to Akka to say the prayer?

"1780. He would advise you to only use the short midday Obligatory Prayer. This has no genuflections and only requires that when saying it the believer turn his face towards 'Akka where Baha'u'llah is buried.

This is a physical symbol of an inner reality, just as the plant stretches out to the sunlight--from which it receives life and growth--so we turn our hearts to the Manifestation of God, Baha'u'llah, when we pray; and we turn our faces, during this short prayer, to where His dust lies on this earth as a symbol of the inner act.

. . .



Baha'u'llah has reduced all ritual and form to an absolute minimum in His Faith. The few forms that there are--like those associated with the two longer obligatory daily prayers--are only symbols of the inner attitude. There is a wisdom in them, and a great blessing, but we cannot force ourselves to understand or feel these things, that is why He gave us also the very short and simple prayer, for those who did not feel the desire to perform the acts associated with the other two."

Source http://bahai-library.com/compilations/prayer.meditation.html

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:59 pm

the short obligatory prayer

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Postby brettz9 » Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:47 am

Dear BW,

Thank you for your posts as well. We do appreciate your drawing our attention to many aspects of the Faith, as well as drawing our attention to their details.

To answer your questions...

1) Before the short/long obligatory prayers and 95 Alláh'u'Abhás, besides washing one's hands and face, the only other requirement is facing 'Akká (it is also preferable that one stand for the short prayer--see Question no. 81).
2) Paragraph 18 (in conjunction with obligatory prayer and recitation of the Alláh'u'Abhá, states "washed his hands and then his face")...It'd be kind of hard (and probably non-hygienic) to do otherwise, really...
3) I don't think washing for hygienic reasons is enough:

"That ablutions have a significance beyond washing may be seen from the fact that even should one have bathed oneself immediately before reciting the Obligatory Prayer, it would still be necessary to perform ablutions (Q and A 18).

(Kitáb-i-Aqdas Notes no. 34)


4) In connection with your reference to washing in the evening, as you probably know (maybe you were referring to the long prayer which can be recited at any time), the short prayer can only be said from noon until sunset...
5) It is stated in paragraph 137 of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas that we must face the resting-place of the Manifestation ('Akká):

"The "Point of Adoration", that is, the point to which the worshipper should turn when offering obligatory prayer, is called the Qiblih. The concept of Qiblih has existed in previous religions. Jerusalem in the past had been fixed for this purpose. Muhammad changed the Qiblih to Mecca. The Báb's instructions in the Arabic Bayán were:

"The Qiblih is indeed He Whom God will make manifest; whenever He moveth, it moveth, until He shall come to rest.

"This passage is quoted by Bahá'u'lláh in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (# 137) and confirmed by Him in the above-noted verse. He has also indicated that facing in the direction of the Qiblih is a "fixed requirement for the recitation of obligatory prayer" (Q and A 14 and 67). However, for other prayers and devotions the individual may face in any direction."

(Universal House of Justice, Kitáb-i-Aqdas Notes no. 7)

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sun Jan 08, 2006 1:38 pm

thank you very much!

now i got to just watch for where the sun rises tomorrow...

Mike

Postby Mike » Mon Jan 09, 2006 1:34 am

What if we don't know or are not sure about the direction of the Qiblih? Does an approximation or educated guess suffice or is it necessary under these circumstances to follow Baha'u'llahs instructions for obligatory prayers missed? In other words, would not knowing the direction of the Qiblih constitute "a condition of insecurity" and thus necessitate the performance of the prostrations and repetition of the verse prescribed in paragraph 14 of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas?

Best,
Mike

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Tue Jan 10, 2006 6:25 pm

just buy a compass from the dollar shop and look for East

or look at the sun, it rises in the east and sets in the west

Guest

Postby Guest » Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:34 pm

hello, it is might be use to symbolise preparation of willingness and receptiveness of the mind to be at peace.


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