Where does it actually talk about kissing in the Writings

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Where does it actually talk about kissing in the Writings

Postby Guest » Mon Apr 25, 2005 3:43 pm

I have heard a few times that Kissing on the lips is inappropriate for Bahais. But, I have never actually seen the quote.

Does anyone know where I could find this quote. Any help would be appreciated.

Hasan
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Kissing

Postby Hasan » Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:40 pm

I found these two authoritative statements, I have to say that it is not a law, but we have to effort to reach the high Bahá'í standards, although it is not easy in this society.


1210. Kissing in Modern Society is Detrimental to Morals

"What Bahá'u'lláh means by chastity certainly does not include the kissing that goes on in modern society. It is detrimental to the morals of young people, and often leads them to go too far, or arouses appetites which they cannot perhaps at the time satisfy legitimately through marriage, and the suppression of which is a strain on them.

"The Bahá'í standard is very high, more particularly when compared with the thoroughly rotten morals of the present world. But this standard of ours will produce healthier, happier, nobler people, and induce stabler marriages."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 19, 1947)
(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 360)


1438. Pilgrim's Notes Reporting the Master's Words on Embracing and Kissing

"The pilgrim's note reports the Master as saying: 'Women and men must not embrace each other when not married, or not about to be married. They must not kiss each other... If they wish to greet each other, or comfort each other, they may take each other by the hand.' In a letter to an individual written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi it is said: 'The Master's words to... which you quoted, can certainly be taken as the true spirit of the teachings on the subject of sex. We must strive to achieve this exalted standard.' (October 19, 1974)

(From a letter of the Universal of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, February 10, 1974)
(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 439)

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Postby Allah Is The Truth » Tue Apr 26, 2005 1:56 pm

Does that mean that the Pilgrims Note is authenticated because Shoghi Effendi spoke about it?

I'm confused because I've been told that Pilgrim Notes are like Muslim Hadith, some are authentic and some are not. It is hard to tell the false from the true, etc.
Say: He is Allah, the One!
Allah, the ternally Besought of all!
He begetteth not nor was begotten.
And there is none comparable unto him.

Sura 112 (al-ikhlas) of the Noble Qur'an.

Jonah
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Postby Jonah » Wed Apr 27, 2005 12:27 am

That's exactly right, Baha'i studies have no formalized <i>isnad,</i> or the science of studying the "chain of transmission" of hadith. And pilgrims' notes are of varying quality and reliability.

However, this particular pilgrim's note is very well authenticated: John Cornell, the late Baha'i who shared these notes with me, is the very same person who had asked the Guardian for clarification on this point. I.e., in this case the <i>isnad</i> was short and direct: 'Abdu'l-Baha to Shoghi Effendi to John Cornell to the internet. Cornell is the un-named individual who was conversing with the Guardian, quoted in the letter from the House dated October 19 1974, which you quoted. See http://bahai-library.com/?file=guardian ... amiliarity

For clarification, it seems clear that they are only discussing kissing on the lips outside of marriage. Within marriage it is of course not prohibited. Not that that's any consolation to the 99% of contemporary North American couples who kiss each other on the lips before getting married. :?

-Jonah

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Postby Allah Is The Truth » Wed Apr 27, 2005 7:21 am

Thanks Jonah,

I have a question. In the Schools of Thought that most of the Muslims were in at school, I could not sit next to a woman, we had to sit at opposite sides of the table, and we could not shake hands. Some Muslim women didn't mind sitting next to men or shaking hands with them, but they tended to be the "less religious". One of my Baha'i friends who is a woman used to hug me whenever saw eachother, and I didn't think anything wrong with it, but the Muslims seemed to not like that :)

My question is, is there anything in the Baha'i writings that discourage men and women from hugging if they are not married?
Say: He is Allah, the One!

Allah, the ternally Besought of all!

He begetteth not nor was begotten.

And there is none comparable unto him.



Sura 112 (al-ikhlas) of the Noble Qur'an.

brettz9
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Postby brettz9 » Wed Apr 27, 2005 10:45 pm

Yes, Hasan cited it already in reference to not embracing (between those of opposite sex) as well as kissing. This is an aspect of the American Baha'i culture which we need to change.

There are hadíth, as I recall, about the Prophet Muhammad being disappointed seeing two unmarried people of the opposite sex sitting next to each other, but if it was valid for that time, there is nothing about it in the Bahá'í Faith.

Brett

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Postby Guest » Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:10 am

brettz9 wrote:Yes, Hasan cited it already in reference to not embracing (between those of opposite sex) as well as kissing. This is an aspect of the American Baha'i culture which we need to change.

There are hadíth, as I recall, about the Prophet Muhammad being disappointed seeing two unmarried people of the opposite sex sitting next to each other, but if it was valid for that time, there is nothing about it in the Bahá'í Faith.

Brett



Ok. I do not know what I should do, then. Everyone hugs each other in my community, men, women, old, young. I can't just turn someone down like that and be cold. On the other hand, if this is the guidance, then I think I should follow it. This is going to require some meditating. Thank you

Allah-u-Abha

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Postby brettz9 » Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:43 am

It is well worth reading the full context of the pilgrim's note Jonah referred to, I think, both for its also touching explicitly on modesty in dress, as well as 'Abdu'l-Bahá's exhortation to use tact (which I think might apply in this case as well).

Although this is a different subject because it is not so much, I think, about chastity as it is about obedience to a law of Bahá'u'lláh to not humiliate oneself before another (i.e., not kissing hands), it is interesting I think to see how 'Abdu'l-Bahá, in the motion picture of Him, tries to pull His hand away from those visitors who attempt to kiss his hand while lining up to greet Him. He doesn't yank it away fully nor quite allow them to fully kiss it...It does take meditation, I think, as you say, on how or whether to address it in one's community as well as listening to one's "Inner Light" because one does not wish to offend others.

One positive example, I can think of, was when a believer lovingly but without being unnecesarily timid and apologetic mentioned after being embraced and returning the embrace to a degree, that Baha'is really were told not do it.

One might also attempt to anticipate an embrace by extending out one's hand.

It is not only in Middle Eastern cultures that hugging may seem improper (in China, even hand-shaking is generally to be offered first by the woman).

I think a good standard to follow (which may also be an indicator of the non-neutral nature of embracing) is acting as though that other person had a moderately jealous, insecure spouse who was watching the interaction. Could they take offense by it?

Brett

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Postby Allah Is The Truth » Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:00 pm

Is this pilgrims note authenticated, or is just a pilgrims note? Is it in any book that is authentic, or from a letter from the Universal House of Justice? I don't remember.
Say: He is Allah, the One!

Allah, the ternally Besought of all!

He begetteth not nor was begotten.

And there is none comparable unto him.



Sura 112 (al-ikhlas) of the Noble Qur'an.

Jonah
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Postby Jonah » Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:32 pm

There's no process of "authentication" in Baha'i textual studies. But since both Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice quoted or referred to this pilgrim's note, I think it can be taken as authentic and accurately quoted. The letter from the UHJ to John Cornell, or excerpts of it, have been published in places.

-Jonah

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Postby Hasan » Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:36 pm

Anonymous wrote:Ok. I do not know what I should do, then. Everyone hugs each other in my community, men, women, old, young. I can't just turn someone down like that and be cold. On the other hand, if this is the guidance, then I think I should follow it. This is going to require some meditating.


My humble opinion is that we are talking on two things, one is the attitude in the couple before marriage, the other is the way the bahá'ís should salute, both related with chastity. There are exhortations and laws in both cases.

First, the way we salute each other, in the Occident we have to use wisdom and tact, it is easier for the Orientals who observe a more respectful manner to salute. There is the law of Bahá'u'lláh for the whole world which abolishes the practice of "kissing hands" (this is more not to humiliate to other person). There is also the exhortation of the Master that seems that 'Abdu'l-Bahá agrees with the way the Japanese and Chinese salute, i.e. a little bow of reverence instead of kissing or hugging.

The other is the attitude of the couple before marriage, first the exhortation of 'Abdu'l-Bahá to construct a relationship based on the spiritual knowledge and character of both persons and also to avoid the need of feel carnal desire (hugging, kissing) which could conduct to broke the law of Bahá'u'lláh of which forbid extramarital sex.

A quote of the Guardian:

1210. Kissing in Modern Society is Detrimental to Morals

"What Bahá'u'lláh means by chastity certainly does not include the kissing that goes on in modern society. It is detrimental to the morals of young people, and often leads them to go too far, or arouses appetites which they cannot perhaps at the time satisfy legitimately through marriage, and the suppression of which is a strain on them.

"The Bahá'í standard is very high, more particularly when compared with the thoroughly rotten morals of the present world. But this standard of ours will produce healthier, happier, nobler people, and induce stabler marriages."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 19, 1947)
(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 360)

brettz9
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Postby brettz9 » Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:56 pm

When you say:

...exhortation of the Master that seems that 'Abdu'l-Bahá agrees with the way the Japanese and Chinese salute, i.e. a little bow of reverence instead of kissing or hugging.


Is there something in the Writings specific about bowing, or do you just interpret the note we have been talking about this way?

Brett

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Postby Hasan » Fri Apr 29, 2005 12:26 am

brettz9 wrote:Is there something in the Writings specific about bowing, or do you just interpret the note we have been talking about this way?


No, is my interpretation. I think the Teachings say we have to show moderation and respect each other, but no manners are regulated except the abolition of the practice "kissing hands" (which shows some kind of humiliation). It is not for make polemic, personally I like to show love hug and kiss members of my family and shake hands and hug most of my relatives, best friends, etc.

However, I have "Ocean" in Spanish, in the second quote (letter b) of quote # 1210 of the book Lights of Guidance is this (I couldn't find this quote "b" in Ocean English):

b. No besarse indiscriminadamente
«Hemos recibido su carta del 24 de octubre en la cual nos pregunta acerca de la práctica habitual de besarse y abrazarse entre amigos, tanto en Europa como en América.
»Como Ud. sabe, en El Advenimiento de la Justicia Divina, el amado Guardián ha mencionado los principios de la conducta bahá'í que se refieren a ese tema y ha condenado la fácil familiaridad y la conducta frívola. Ciertamente que la práctica de besarse y abrazarse indiscriminadamente entre personas no emparentadas y de distinto sexo no es deseable y está desaconsejada. De manera especial en esta época en que las limitaciones están siendo abolidas una tras otra, los bahá'ís deberían esforzarse al máximo por mantener su nivel de conducta individual a la altura del comportamiento establecido en las Enseñanzas, tanto en su vida personal como en sus relaciones con los demás.»
(De una carta escrita en nombre de la Casa Universal de Justicia a un creyente, 08/11/1966)


My poor translation:

b. Not kissing indiscriminately
«We have received your letter of October 24th in which you ask us about the habitual practice of kissing and hugging among friends, as much in Europe as in America.
» As you know, in The Advent of Divine Justice, the loved Guardian has mentioned the principles of the bahá'í behavior that refer to that topic and he has condemned the easy familiarity and the frivolous behavior. Certainly that the practice of kissing and hugging indiscriminately among non-related people and of different sex is not desirable and is inadvisable. In a special way in this time in that the limitations are being abolished one after other, the bahá'ís should make a maximum effort to maintain their level of individual behavior to the height of the behavior settled down in the Teachings, so much in their personal life as in their relationships with the other ones.»
(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a believer, 08/11/1966)


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