• Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Kitáb-i-Aqdas (part 2)

E-mail Print

This is the Counsel of God; would that thou

mightest heed it! This is the Bounty of God; would

that thou mightest receive it! This is the Utterance of

God; if only thou wouldst apprehend it! This is the

Treasure of God; if only thou couldst understand!


This is a Book which hath become the Lamp of the

Eternal unto the world, and His straight, undeviating

Path amidst the peoples of the earth. Say: This is the

Dayspring of Divine knowledge, if ye be of them that

understand, and the Dawning-place of God's commandments,

if ye be of those who comprehend.


Burden not an animal with more than it can bear.

We, truly, have prohibited such treatment through a

most binding interdiction in the Book. Be ye the

embodiments of justice and fairness amidst all creation.


Should anyone unintentionally take another's life, <p88>

it is incumbent upon him to render to the family of the

deceased an indemnity of one hundred mithqals of

gold. Observe ye that which hath been enjoined upon

you in this Tablet, and be not of those who overstep its



O members of parliaments throughout the world!

Select ye a single language for the use of all on earth,

and adopt ye likewise a common script. God, verily,

maketh plain for you that which shall profit you and

enable you to be independent of others. He, of a truth,

is the Most Bountiful, the All-Knowing, the All-Informed.

This will be the cause of unity, could ye but

comprehend it, and the greatest instrument for

promoting harmony and civilization, would that ye

might understand! We have appointed two signs for

the coming of age of the human race: the first, which is

the most firm foundation, We have set down in other of

Our Tablets, while the second hath been revealed in

this wondrous Book.


It hath been forbidden you to smoke opium. We,

truly, have prohibited this practice through a most

binding interdiction in the Book. Should anyone

partake thereof, assuredly he is not of Me. Fear God, O

ye endued with understanding! <p89>







A number of Tablets revealed by Baha'u'llah after the

Kitab-i-Aqdas contain passages supplementary to the

provisions of the Most Holy Book. The most noteworthy of

these have been published in Tablets of Baha'u'llah revealed

after the Kitab-i-Aqdas. Included in this section is an extract

from the Tablet of Ishraqat. The text of the three

Obligatory Prayers referred to in Questions and Answers

and the Prayer for the Dead mentioned in the Text are,

likewise, reprinted here. <p90>







This passage, now written by the Pen of Glory, is

accounted as part of the Most Holy Book: The men of

God's House of Justice have been charged with the

affairs of the people. They, in truth, are the Trustees of

God among His servants and the daysprings of

authority in His countries.

O people of God! That which traineth the world is

Justice, for it is upheld by two pillars, reward and

punishment. These two pillars are the sources of life to

the world. Inasmuch as for each day there is a new

problem and for every problem an expedient solution,

such affairs should be referred to the House of Justice

that the members thereof may act according to the

needs and requirements of the time. They that, for the

sake of God, arise to serve His Cause, are the recipients

of divine inspiration from the unseen Kingdom. It is

incumbent upon all to be obedient unto them. All

matters of State should be referred to the House of

Justice, but acts of worship must be observed according

to that which God hath revealed in His Book.

O people of Baha! Ye are the dawning-places of

the love of God and the daysprings of His loving-kindness.

Defile not your tongues with the cursing and

reviling of any soul, and guard your eyes against that

which is not seemly. Set forth that which ye possess. If

it be favourably received, your end is attained; if not, to <p92>

protest is vain. Leave that soul to himself and turn unto

the Lord, the Protector, the Self-Subsisting. Be not the

cause of grief, much less of discord and strife. The hope

is cherished that ye may obtain true education in the

shelter of the tree of His tender mercies and act in

accordance with that which God desireth. Ye are all the

leaves of one tree and the drops of one ocean.

(Tablets of Baha'u'llah revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas)







Whoso wisheth to recite this prayer, let him stand up

and turn unto God, and, as he standeth in his place, let

him gaze to the right and to the left, as if awaiting the

mercy of his Lord, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate.

Then let him say:


O Thou Who art the Lord of all names and the

Maker of the heavens! I beseech Thee by them Who are

the Daysprings of Thine invisible Essence, the Most

Exalted, the All-Glorious, to make of my prayer a fire

that will burn away the veils which have shut me out

from Thy beauty, and a light that will lead me unto the

ocean of Thy Presence.


Let him then raise his hands in supplication toward

God--blessed and exalted be He--and say:


O Thou the Desire of the world and the Beloved of <p93>

the nations! Thou seest me turning toward Thee, and

rid of all attachment to anyone save Thee, and clinging

to Thy cord, through whose movement the whole

creation hath been stirred up. I am Thy servant, O my

Lord, and the son of Thy servant. Behold me standing

ready to do Thy will and Thy desire, and wishing

naught else except Thy good pleasure. I implore Thee

by the Ocean of Thy mercy and the Day-Star of Thy

grace to do with Thy servant as Thou willest and

pleasest. By Thy might which is far above all mention

and praise! Whatsoever is revealed by Thee is the desire

of my heart and the beloved of my soul. O God, my

God! Look not upon my hopes and my doings, nay

rather look upon Thy will that hath encompassed the

heavens and the earth. By Thy Most Great Name, O

Thou Lord of all nations! I have desired only what Thou

didst desire, and love only what Thou dost love.


Let him then kneel, and bowing his forehead to the

ground, let him say:


Exalted art Thou above the description of anyone

save Thyself, and the comprehension of aught else

except Thee.


Let him then stand and say:


Make my prayer, O my Lord, a fountain of living

waters whereby I may live as long as Thy sovereignty

endureth, and may make mention of Thee in every

world of Thy worlds.


Let him again raise his hands in supplication, and say:


O Thou in separation from Whom hearts and souls <p94>

have melted, and by the fire of Whose love the whole

world hath been set aflame! I implore Thee by Thy

Name through which Thou hast subdued the whole

creation, not to withhold from me that which is with

Thee, O Thou Who rulest over all men! Thou seest, O

my Lord, this stranger hastening to his most exalted

home beneath the canopy of Thy majesty and within

the precincts of Thy mercy; and this transgressor

seeking the ocean of Thy forgiveness; and this lowly

one the court of Thy glory; and this poor creature the

orient of Thy wealth. Thine is the authority to

command whatsoever Thou willest. I bear witness that

Thou art to be praised in Thy doings, and to be obeyed

in Thy behests, and to remain unconstrained in Thy



Let him then raise his hands, and repeat three times the

Greatest Name. Let him then bend down with hands

resting on the knees before God--blessed and exalted be

He--and say:


Thou seest, O my God, how my spirit hath been

stirred up within my limbs and members, in its

longing to worship Thee, and in its yearning to

remember Thee and extol Thee; how it testifieth to that

whereunto the Tongue of Thy Commandment hath

testified in the kingdom of Thine utterance and the

heaven of Thy knowledge. I love, in this state, O my

Lord, to beg of Thee all that is with Thee, that I may

demonstrate my poverty, and magnify Thy bounty and

Thy riches, and may declare my powerlessness, and

manifest Thy power and Thy might. <p95>


Let him then stand and raise his hands twice in

supplication, and say:


There is no God but Thee, the Almighty, the All-Bountiful.

There is no God but Thee, the Ordainer,

both in the beginning and in the end. O God, my God!

Thy forgiveness hath emboldened me, and Thy mercy

hath strengthened me, and Thy call hath awakened me,

and Thy grace hath raised me up and led me unto Thee.

Who, otherwise, am I that I should dare to stand at the

gate of the city of Thy nearness, or set my face toward

the lights that are shining from the heaven of Thy

will? Thou seest, O my Lord, this wretched creature

knocking at the door of Thy grace, and this evanescent

soul seeking the river of everlasting life from the hands

of Thy bounty. Thine is the command at all times, O

Thou Who art the Lord of all names; and mine is

resignation and willing submission to Thy will, O

Creator of the heavens!


Let him then raise his hands thrice, and say:


Greater is God than every great one!


Let him then kneel and, bowing his forehead to the

ground, say:


Too high art Thou for the praise of those who are

nigh unto Thee to ascend unto the heaven of Thy

nearness, or for the birds of the hearts of them who are

devoted to Thee to attain to the door of Thy gate. I

testify that Thou hast been sanctified above all

attributes and holy above all names. No God is there

but Thee, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious. <p96>


Let him then seat himself and say:


I testify unto that whereunto have testified all

created things, and the Concourse on high, and the

inmates of the all-highest Paradise, and beyond them

the Tongue of Grandeur itself from the all-glorious

Horizon, that Thou art God, that there is no God but

Thee, and that He Who hath been manifested is the

Hidden Mystery, the Treasured Symbol, through

Whom the letters B and E (Be) have been joined and

knit together. I testify that it is He whose name hath

been set down by the Pen of the Most High, and Who

hath been mentioned in the Books of God, the Lord of

the Throne on high and of earth below.


Let him then stand erect and say:


O Lord of all being and Possessor of all things

visible and invisible! Thou dost perceive my tears and

the sighs I utter, and hearest my groaning, and my

wailing, and the lamentation of my heart. By Thy

might! My trespasses have kept me back from drawing

nigh unto Thee; and my sins have held me far from the

court of Thy holiness. Thy love, O my Lord, hath

enriched me, and separation from Thee hath destroyed

me, and remoteness from Thee hath consumed me. I

entreat Thee by Thy footsteps in this wilderness, and

by the words "Here am I. Here am I" which Thy

chosen Ones have uttered in this immensity, and by the

breaths of Thy Revelation, and the gentle winds of the

Dawn of Thy Manifestation, to ordain that I may gaze

on Thy beauty and observe whatsoever is in Thy Book. <p97>


Let him then repeat the Greatest Name thrice, and bend

down with hands resting on the knees, and say:


Praise be to Thee, O my God, that Thou hast

aided me to remember Thee and to praise Thee, and

hast made known unto me Him Who is the Dayspring

of Thy signs, and hast caused me to bow down before

Thy Lordship, and humble myself before Thy Godhead,

and to acknowledge that which hath been uttered

by the Tongue of Thy grandeur.


Let him then rise and say:


O God, my God! My back is bowed by the burden

of my sins, and my heedlessness hath destroyed me.

Whenever I ponder my evil doings and Thy benevolence,

my heart melteth within me, and my blood

boileth in my veins. By Thy Beauty, O Thou the

Desire of the world! I blush to lift up my face to Thee,

and my longing hands are ashamed to stretch forth

toward the heaven of Thy bounty. Thou seest, O my

God, how my tears prevent me from remembering

Thee and from extolling Thy virtues, O Thou the Lord

of the Throne on high and of earth below! I implore

Thee by the signs of Thy Kingdom and the mysteries of

Thy Dominion to do with Thy loved ones as becometh

Thy bounty, O Lord of all being, and is worthy of Thy

grace, O King of the seen and the unseen!


Let him then repeat the Greatest Name thrice, and kneel

with his forehead to the ground, and say:


Praise be unto Thee, O our God, that Thou hast <p98>

sent down unto us that which draweth us nigh unto

Thee, and supplieth us with every good thing sent

down by Thee in Thy Books and Thy Scriptures.

Protect us, we beseech Thee, O my Lord, from the

hosts of idle fancies and vain imaginations. Thou, in

truth, art the Mighty, the All-Knowing.


Let him then raise his head, and seat himself, and say:


I testify, O my God, to that whereunto Thy

chosen Ones have testified, and acknowledge that

which the inmates of the all-highest Paradise and those

who have circled round Thy mighty Throne have

acknowledged. The kingdoms of earth and heaven are

Thine, O Lord of the worlds!

(Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, CLXXXIII)








Whoso wisheth to pray, let him wash his hands, and

while he washeth, let him say:


Strengthen my hand, O my God, that it may take

hold of Thy Book with such steadfastness that the hosts

of the world shall have no power over it. Guard it,

then, from meddling with whatsoever doth not belong

unto it. Thou art, verily, the Almighty, the Most



And while washing his face, let him say: <p99>


I have turned my face unto Thee, O my Lord!

Illumine it with the light of Thy countenance. Protect

it, then, from turning to any one but Thee.


Then let him stand up, and facing the Qiblih (Point of

Adoration, i.e. Bahji, Akka), let him say:


God testifieth that there is none other God but

Him. His are the kingdoms of Revelation and of

creation. He, in truth, hath manifested Him Who is

the Dayspring of Revelation, Who conversed on Sinai,

through Whom the Supreme Horizon hath been made

to shine, and the Lote-Tree beyond which there is no

passing hath spoken, and through Whom the call hath

been proclaimed unto all who are in heaven and on

earth: "Lo, the All-Possessing is come. Earth and

heaven, glory and dominion are God's, the Lord of all

men, and the Possessor of the Throne on high and of

earth below!"


Let him, then, bend down, with hands resting on the

knees, and say:


Exalted art Thou above my praise and the praise of

anyone beside me, above my description and the description

of all who are in heaven and all who are on



Then, standing with open hands, palms upward toward

the face, let him say:


Disappoint not, O my God, him that hath, with

beseeching fingers, clung to the hem of Thy mercy and

Thy grace, O Thou Who of those who show mercy art

the Most Merciful! <p100>


Let him, then, be seated and say:


I bear witness to Thy unity and Thy oneness, and

that Thou art God, and that there is none other God

beside Thee. Thou hast, verily, revealed Thy Cause,

fulfilled Thy Covenant, and opened wide the door of

Thy grace to all that dwell in heaven and on earth.

Blessing and peace, salutation and glory, rest upon Thy

loved ones, whom the changes and chances of the world

have not deterred from turning unto Thee, and who

have given their all, in the hope of obtaining that

which is with Thee. Thou art, in truth, the Ever-Forgiving,

the All-Bountiful.


(If anyone choose to recite instead of the long verse these

words: "God testifieth that there is none other God

but Him, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting,"

it would be sufficient. And likewise, it would suffice

were he, while seated, to choose to recite these words: "I

bear witness to Thy unity and Thy oneness, and

that Thou art God, and that there is none other

God beside Thee.")


(Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, CLXXXII)







I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created

me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify, at this <p101>

moment, to my powerlessness and to Thy might, to my

poverty and to Thy wealth.

There is none other God but Thee, the Help in

Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

(Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, CLXXXI)





O my God! This is Thy servant and the son of Thy

servant who hath believed in Thee and in Thy signs,

and set his face towards Thee, wholly detached from all

except Thee. Thou art, verily, of those who show mercy

the most merciful.

Deal with him, O Thou Who forgivest the sins of

men and concealest their faults, as beseemeth the

heaven of Thy bounty and the ocean of Thy grace.

Grant him admission within the precincts of Thy

transcendent mercy that was before the foundation of

earth and heaven. There is no God but Thee, the Ever-Forgiving,

the Most Generous.


Let him, then, repeat six times the greeting "Allah-u-Abha",

and then repeat nineteen times each of the

following verses:


We all, verily, worship God.

We all, verily, bow down before God.

We all, verily, are devoted unto God.

We all, verily, give praise unto God. <p102>

We all, verily, yield thanks unto God.

We all, verily, are patient in God.


(If the dead be a woman, let him say: This is Thy

handmaiden and the daughter of Thy handmaiden,



(Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, CLXVII) <p103>




1. QUESTION: Concerning the Most Great Festival.


ANSWER: The Most Great Festival commenceth

late in the afternoon of the thirteenth day of the

second month of the year according to the Bayan.

On the first, ninth and twelfth days of this

Festival, work is forbidden.


2. QUESTION: Concerning the Festival of the Twin Birthdays.


ANSWER: The Birth of the Abha Beauty+F1 was

at the hour of dawn on the second day of the

month of Muharram,+F2 the first day of which

marketh the Birth of His Herald. These two days

are accounted as one in the sight of God.


3. QUESTION: Concerning the Marriage Verses.+F3


ANSWER: For men: "We will all, verily, abide by

the Will of God." For women: "We will all,

verily, abide by the Will of God."


4. QUESTION: Should a man go on a journey without

specifying a time for his return--without indicating, in

other words, the expected period of his absence--and

should no word be heard of him thereafter, and all trace


+F1 Baha'u'llah

+F2 First month of the Islamic lunar calendar

+F3 In Arabic the two verses differ in gender <p106>


of him be lost, what course should be followed by his



ANSWER: Should he have omitted to fix a time for

his return despite being aware of the stipulation of

the Kitab-i-Aqdas in this regard, his wife should

wait for one full year, after which she shall be free

either to adopt the course that is praiseworthy, or

to choose for herself another husband. If, however,

he be unaware of this stipulation, she should abide

in patience until such time as God shall please to

disclose to her his fate. By the course that is

praiseworthy in this connection is meant the

exercise of patience.


5. QUESTION: Concerning the holy verse: "When We heard

the clamour of the children as yet unborn, We doubled

their share and decreased those of the rest."


ANSWER: According to the Book of God, the

estate of the deceased is divided into 2,520 shares,

which number is the lowest common multiple of

all integers up to nine, and these shares are then

distributed into seven portions, each of which is

allocated, as mentioned in the Book, to a

particular category of heirs. The children, for

example, are allotted nine blocks of 60 shares,

comprising 540 shares in all. The meaning of the

statement "We doubled their share" is thus that

the children receive a further nine blocks of 60

shares, entitling them to a total of 18 blocks all

told. The extra shares that they receive are

deducted from the portions of the other categories <p107>


of heirs, so that, although it is revealed, for

instance, that the spouse is entitled to "eight parts

comprising four hundred and eighty shares",

which is the equivalent of eight blocks of 60

shares, now, by virtue of this rearrangement, one

and a half blocks of shares, comprising 90 shares in

all, have been subtracted from the spouse's portion

and reallocated to the children, and similarly in

the case of the others. The result is that the total

amount subtracted is equivalent to the nine extra

blocks of shares allotted to the children.


6. QUESTION: Is it necessary that the brother, in order to

qualify for his portion of the inheritance, be descended

from both the father and the mother of the deceased, or is

it sufficient merely that there be one parent in common?


ANSWER: If the brother be descended from the

father he shall receive his share of the inheritance

in the prescribed measure recorded in the Book;

but if he be descended from the mother, he shall

receive only two thirds of his entitlement, the

remaining third reverting to the House of Justice.

This ruling is also applicable to the sister.


7. QUESTION: Amongst the provisions concerning inheritance

it hath been laid down that, should the deceased

leave no offspring, their share of the estate is to revert to

the House of Justice. In the event of other categories of

heirs, such as the father, mother, brother, sister and

teacher being similarly absent, do their shares of the

inheritance also revert to the House of Justice, or are they

dealt with in some other fashion? <p108>


ANSWER: The sacred verse sufficeth. He saith,

exalted be His Word: "Should the deceased leave

no offspring, their share shall revert to the House

of Justice" etc. and "Should the deceased leave

offspring, but none of the other categories of heirs

that have been specified in the Book, they shall

receive two thirds of the inheritance and the

remaining third shall revert to the House of

Justice" etc. In other words, where there are no

offspring, their allotted portion of the inheritance

reverteth to the House of Justice; and where there

are offspring but the other categories of heirs are

lacking, two thirds of the inheritance pass to the

offspring, the remaining third reverting to the

House of Justice. This ruling hath both general

and specific application, which is to say that

whenever any category of this latter class of heirs is

absent, two thirds of their inheritance pass to the

offspring and the remaining third to the House of



8. QUESTION: Concerning the basic sum on which Huququ'llah

is payable.


ANSWER: The basic sum on which Huququ'llah

is payable is nineteen mithqals of gold. In other

words, when money to the value of this sum hath

been acquired, a payment of Huquq falleth due.

Likewise Huquq is payable when the value, not

the number, of other forms of property reacheth

the prescribed amount. Huququ'llah is payable

no more than once. A person, for instance, who <p109>


acquireth a thousand mithqals of gold, and payeth

the Huquq, is not liable to make a further such

payment on this sum, but only on what accrueth

to it through commerce, business and the like.

When this increase, namely the profit realized,

reacheth the prescribed sum, one must carry out

what God hath decreed. Only when the principal

changeth hands is it once more subject to payment

of Huquq, as it was the first time. The Primal

Point hath directed that Huququ'llah must be

paid on the value of whatsoever one possesseth;

yet, in this Most Mighty Dispensation, We have

exempted the household furnishings, that is such

furnishings as are needed, and the residence itself.


9. QUESTION: Which is to take precedence: the Huququ'llah,

the debts of the deceased or the cost of the funeral

and burial?


ANSWER: The funeral and burial take precedence,

then settlement of debts, then payment of Huququ'llah.

Should the property of the deceased prove

insufficient to cover his debts, the remainder of his

estate should be distributed among these debts in

proportion to their size.


10. QUESTION: Shaving the head hath been forbidden in the

Kitab-i-Aqdas but enjoined in the Suriy-i-Hajj.


ANSWER: All are charged with obedience to the

Kitab-i-Aqdas; whatsoever is revealed therein is

the Law of God amid His servants. The injunction

on pilgrims to the sacred House to shave the head

hath been lifted. <p110>

11. QUESTION: If intercourse take place between a couple

during their year of patience, and they become estranged

again thereafter, must they recommence their year of

patience, or may the days preceding the intercourse be

included in the reckoning of the year? And once divorce

hath taken place, is it necessary that a further period of

waiting be observed?


ANSWER: Should affection be renewed between

the couple during their year of patience, the

marriage tie is valid, and what is commanded in

the Book of God must be observed; but once the

year of patience hath been completed and that

which is decreed by God taketh place, a further

period of waiting is not required. Sexual intercourse

between husband and wife is forbidden

during their year of patience, and whoso committeth

this act must seek God's forgiveness, and, as a

punishment, render to the House of Justice a fine

of nineteen mithqals of gold.


12. QUESTION: Should antipathy develop between a couple

after the Marriage Verses have been read and the dowry

paid, may divorce take place without observance of the

year of patience?


ANSWER: Divorce may legitimately be sought

after the reading of the Marriage Verses and

payment of the dowry, but before the consummation

of the marriage. In such circumstances there is

no need for observance of a year of patience, but

recovery of the dowry payment is not permissible.


13. QUESTION: Is the consent of the parents on both sides <p111>


prerequisite to marriage, or is that of the parents on one

side sufficient? Is this law applicable only to virgins or to

others as well?


ANSWER: Marriage is conditional upon the consent

of the parents of both parties to the marriage,

and in this respect it maketh no difference whether

the bride be a virgin or otherwise.


14. QUESTION: The believers have been enjoined to face in the

direction of the Qiblih when reciting their Obligatory

Prayers; in what direction should they turn when

offering other prayers and devotions?


ANSWER: Facing in the direction of the Qiblih is a

fixed requirement for the recitation of obligatory

prayer, but for other prayers and devotions one

may follow what the merciful Lord hath revealed

in the Qur'an: "Whichever way ye turn, there is

the face of God."


15. QUESTION: Concerning the remembrance of God in the

Mashriqu'l-Adhkar "at the hour of dawn".


ANSWER: Although the words "at the hour of

dawn" are used in the Book of God, it is acceptable

to God at the earliest dawn of day, between dawn

and sunrise, or even up to two hours after sunrise.


16. QUESTION: Is the ordinance that the body of the deceased

should be carried no greater distance than one hour's

journey applicable to transport by both land and sea?


ANSWER: This command applieth to distances <p112>


by sea as well as by land, whether it is an hour by

steamship or by rail; the intention is the hour's

time, whatever the means of transport. The sooner

the burial taketh place, however, the more fitting

and acceptable will it be.


17. QUESTION: What procedure should be followed on the

discovery of lost property?


ANSWER: If such property be found in the town,

its discovery is to be announced once by the town

crier. If the owner of the property is then found, it

should be delivered up to him. Otherwise, the

finder of the property should wait one year, and if,

during this period, the owner cometh to light, the

finder should receive from him the crier's fee and

restore to him his property; only if the year should

pass without the owner's being identified may the

finder take possession of the property himself. If

the value of the property is less than or equal to the

crier's fee, the finder should wait a single day from

the time of its discovery, at the end of which, if

the owner hath not come to light, he may himself

appropriate it; and in the case of property discovered

in an uninhabited area, the finder should

observe a three days' wait, on the passing of which

period, if the identity of the owner remain

unknown, he is free to take possession of his find.


18. QUESTION: With reference to the ablutions: if, for

example, a person hath just bathed his entire body, must

he still perform his ablutions? <p113>


ANSWER: The commandment regarding ablutions

must, in any case, be observed.


19. QUESTION: Should a person plan to migrate from his

country, and his wife be opposed and the disagreement

culminate in divorce, and should his preparations for the

journey extend until a year hath passed, may this period

be counted as the year of patience, or should the day the

couple part be regarded as the starting-point of that



ANSWER: The starting-point for computation is

the day the couple part, and if, therefore, they

have separated a year before the husband's departure,

and if the fragrance of affection hath not been

renewed between the couple, divorce may take

place. Otherwise the year must be counted from

the day of his departure, and the conditions set

forth in the Kitab-i-Aqdas observed.


20. QUESTION: Concerning the age of maturity with respect

to religious duties.


ANSWER: The age of maturity is fifteen for both

men and women.


21. QUESTION: Concerning the holy verse: "When travelling,

if ye should stop and rest in some safe spot, perform

ye ... a single prostration in place of each unsaid

Obligatory Prayer..."


ANSWER: This prostration is to compensate for

obligatory prayer omitted in the course of travel,

and by reason of insecure circumstances. If, <p114>


at the time of prayer, the traveller should find

himself at rest in a secure place, he should perform

that prayer. This provision regarding the compensating

prostration applieth both at home and on a



22. QUESTION: Concerning the definition of a journey.+F1


ANSWER: The definition of a journey is nine hours

by the clock. Should the traveller stop in a place,

anticipating that he will stay there for no less than

one month by the Bayan reckoning, it is incumbent

on him to keep the Fast; but if for less than

one month, he is exempt from fasting. If he

arriveth during the Fast at a place where he is to

stay one month according to the Bayan, he should

not observe the Fast till three days have elapsed,

thereafter keeping it throughout the remainder of

its course; but if he come to his home, where he

hath heretofore been permanently resident, he

must commence his fast upon the first day after his



23. QUESTION: Concerning the punishment of the adulterer

and adulteress.


ANSWER: Nine mithqals are payable for the first

offence, eighteen for the second, thirty-six for

the third, and so on, each succeeding fine being

double the preceding. The weight of one mithqal


+F1 This relates to the minimum duration of a journey which exempts the

+F1 traveller from fasting <p115>


is equivalent to nineteen nakhuds in accordance

with the specification of the Bayan.


24. QUESTION: Concerning hunting.


ANSWER: He saith, exalted be He: "If ye should

hunt with beasts or birds of prey" and so forth.

Other means, such as bows and arrows, guns, and

similar equipment employed in hunting, are also

included. If, however, traps or snares are used, and

the game dieth before it can be reached, it is

unlawful for consumption.


25. QUESTION: Concerning the pilgrimage.


ANSWER: It is an obligation to make pilgrimage

to one of the two sacred Houses; but as to which, it

is for the pilgrim to decide.


26. QUESTION: Concerning the dowry.


ANSWER: Regarding dowry, the intention of

contenting oneself with the lowest level is nineteen

mithqals of silver.


27. QUESTION: Concerning the sacred verse: "If, however,

news should reach her of her husband's death", etc.


ANSWER: With reference to waiting a "fixed

number of months" a period of nine months is



28. QUESTION: Again inquiry hath been made about the

teacher's share of the inheritance.


ANSWER: Should the teacher have passed away,

one third of his share of the inheritance reverteth <p116>


to the House of Justice, and the remaining two

thirds pass to the deceased's, and not the teacher's,



29. QUESTION: Again inquiry hath been made about the



ANSWER: By pilgrimage to the sacred House,

which is enjoined upon men, is intended both the

Most Great House in Baghdad and the House of

the Primal Point in Shiraz; pilgrimage to either of

these Houses sufficeth. They may thus make

pilgrimage to whichever lieth nearer to the place

where they reside.


30. QUESTION: Concerning the verse: "he who would take

into his service a maid may do so with propriety."


ANSWER: This is solely for service such as is

performed by any other class of servants, be they

young or old, in exchange for wages; such a

maiden is free to choose a husband at whatever

time she pleaseth, for it is forbidden either that

women should be purchased, or that a man should

have more wives than two.


31. QUESTION: Concerning the sacred verse: "The Lord hath

prohibited ... the practice to which ye formerly had

recourse when thrice ye had divorced a woman."


ANSWER: The reference is to the law which

previously made it necessary for another man to

marry such a woman before she could again be

wedded to her former husband; this practice hath

been prohibited in the Kitab-i-Aqdas. <p117>

32. QUESTION: Concerning the restoration and preservation

of the two Houses in the Twin Spots, and the other sites

wherein the throne hath been established.


ANSWER: By the two Houses is intended the Most

Great House and the House of the Primal Point.

As for other sites, the people of the areas where

these are situated may choose to preserve either

each house wherein the throne hath been established,

or one of them.


33. QUESTION: Again inquiry hath been made about the

inheritance of the teacher.


ANSWER: If the teacher is not of the people of

Baha, he doth not inherit. Should there be several

teachers, the share is to be divided equally

amongst them. If the teacher is deceased, his

offspring do not inherit his share, but rather two

thirds of it revert to the children of the owner of

the estate, and the remaining one third to the

House of Justice.


34. QUESTION: Concerning the residence which hath been

assigned exclusively to the male offspring.


ANSWER: If there are several residences, the finest

and noblest of these dwellings is the one intended,

the remainder being distributed amongst the

whole body of the heirs like any other form of

property. Any heir, from whichever category of

inheritors, who is outside the Faith of God is

accounted as non-existent and doth not inherit. <p118>

35. QUESTION: Concerning Naw-Ruz.


ANSWER: The Festival of Naw-Ruz falleth on the

day that the sun entereth the sign of Aries,+F1

even should this occur no more than one minute

before sunset.


36. QUESTION: If the anniversary either of the Twin

Birthdays or of the Declaration of the Bab occurreth

during the Fast, what is to be done?


ANSWER: Should the feasts celebrating the Twin

Birthdays or the Declaration of the Bab fall within

the month of fasting, the command to fast shall

not apply on that day.


37. QUESTION: In the holy ordinances governing inheritance,

the residence and personal clothing of the deceased

have been allotted to the male offspring. Doth this provision

refer only to the father's property, or doth it apply

to the mother's as well?


ANSWER: The used clothing of the mother should

be divided in equal shares among the daughters,

but the remainder of her estate, including property,

jewellery, and unused clothing, is to be

distributed, in the manner revealed in the Kitab-i-Aqdas,

to all her heirs. If, however, the deceased

hath left no daughters, her estate in its entirety

must be divided in the manner designated for men

in the holy Text.


38. QUESTION: Concerning divorce, which must be preceded


+F1 The vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere <p119>


by a year of patience: if only one of the parties is inclined

toward conciliation, what is to be done?


ANSWER: According to the commandment

revealed in the Kitab-i-Aqdas, both parties must

be content; unless both are willing, reunion cannot

take place.


39. QUESTION: In connection with the dowry, what if the

bridegroom cannot pay this sum in full, but instead were

to formally deliver a promissory note to his bride at the

time of the wedding ceremony, on the understanding that

he will honour it when he is able to do so?


ANSWER: Permission to adopt this practice hath

been granted by the Source of Authority.


40. QUESTION: If during the year of patience the fragrance

of affection be renewed, only to be succeeded by antipathy,

and the couple waver between affection and aversion

throughout the year, and the year endeth in antipathy,

can divorce take place or not?


ANSWER: In each case at any time antipathy

occurreth, the year of patience beginneth on that

day, and the year must run its full course.


41. QUESTION: The residence and personal clothing of the

deceased have been assigned to the male, not female,

offspring, nor to the other heirs; should the deceased have

left no male offspring, what is to be done?


ANSWER: He saith, exalted be He: "Should the

deceased leave no offspring, their share shall revert

to the House of Justice..." In conformity <p120>


with this sacred verse, the residence and personal

clothing of the deceased revert to the House of



42. QUESTION: The ordinance of Huququ'llah is revealed

in the Kitab-i-Aqdas. Is the residence, with the

accompanying fixtures and necessary furnishings,

included in the property on which Huquq is payable,

or is it otherwise?


ANSWER: In the laws revealed in Persian We have

ordained that in this Most Mighty Dispensation

the residence and the household furnishings

are exempt--that is, such furnishings as are



43. QUESTION: Concerning the betrothal of a girl before



ANSWER: This practice hath been pronounced

unlawful by the Source of Authority, and it is

unlawful to announce a marriage earlier than

ninety-five days before the wedding.


44. QUESTION: If a person hath, for example, a hundred

tumans, payeth the Huquq on this sum, loseth half the

sum in unsuccessful transactions and then, through

trading, the amount in hand is raised again to the sum

on which Huquq is due--must such a person pay Huquq

or not?


ANSWER: In such an event the Huquq is not



45. QUESTION: If, after payment of Huquq, this same sum

of one hundred tumans is lost in its entirety, but <p121>


subsequently regained through trade and business

dealings, must Huquq be paid a second time or not?


ANSWER: In this event as well, payment of

Huquq is not required.


46. QUESTION: With reference to the sacred verse, "God hath

prescribed matrimony unto you", is this prescription

obligatory or not?


ANSWER: It is not obligatory.


47. QUESTION: Supposing that a man hath wed a certain

woman believing her to be a virgin and he hath paid her

the dowry, but at the time of consummation it becometh

evident that she is not a virgin, are the expenses and the

dowry to be repaid or not? And if the marriage had been

made conditional upon virginity, doth the unfulfilled

condition invalidate that which was conditioned upon



ANSWER: In such a case the expenses and the

dowry may be refunded. The unfulfilled condition

invalidateth that which is conditioned upon it.

However, to conceal and forgive the matter will,

in the sight of God, merit a bounteous reward.


48. QUESTION: "A feast hath been enjoined upon you..."

Is this obligatory or not?


ANSWER: It is not obligatory.


49. QUESTION: Concerning the penalties for adultery,

sodomy, and theft, and the degrees thereof.


ANSWER: The determination of the degrees of

these penalties rests with the House of Justice. <p122>

50. QUESTION: Concerning the legitimacy or otherwise of

marrying one's relatives.


ANSWER: These matters likewise rest with the

Trustees of the House of Justice.


51. QUESTION: With reference to ablutions, it hath been

revealed, "Let him that findeth no water for ablution

repeat five times the words 'In the Name of God, the Most

Pure, the Most Pure'": is it permissible to recite this

verse in times of bitter cold, or if the hands or face be



ANSWER: Warm water may be used in times of

bitter cold. If there are wounds on the face or

hands, or there be other reasons such as aches and

pains for which the use of water would be harmful,

one may recite the appointed verse in place of the



52. QUESTION: Is the recitation of the verse revealed to

replace the Prayer of the Signs obligatory?


ANSWER: It is not obligatory.


53. QUESTION: With reference to inheritance, when there

are full brothers and full sisters, would half-brothers

and half-sisters on the mother's side also receive a



ANSWER: They receive no share.


54. QUESTION: He saith, exalted be He: "Should the son of

the deceased have passed away in the days of his father

and have left children, they will inherit their <p123>


father's share..." What is to be done if the daughter

hath died during the lifetime of her father?


ANSWER: Her share of the inheritance should be

distributed among the seven categories of heirs

according to the ordinance of the Book.


55. QUESTION: If the deceased be a woman, to whom is the

"wife's" share of the inheritance allotted?


ANSWER: The "wife's" share of the inheritance is

allotted to the husband.


56. QUESTION: Concerning the shrouding of the body of the

deceased which is decreed to comprise five sheets: does the

five refer to five cloths which were hitherto customarily

used or to five full-length shrouds wrapped one around

the other?


ANSWER: The use of five cloths is intended.


57. QUESTION: Concerning disparities between certain

revealed verses.


ANSWER: Many Tablets were revealed and dispatched

in their original form without being

checked and reviewed. Consequently, as bidden,

they were again read out in the Holy Presence, and

brought into conformity with the grammatical

conventions of the people in order to forestall the

cavils of opponents of the Cause. Another reason

for this practice is that the new style inaugurated

by the Herald, may the souls of all else but Him be

offered up for His sake, was seen to be marked by

substantial latitude in adherence to the rules of <p124>


grammar; sacred verses therefore were then

revealed in a style which is for the most part in

conformity with current usage for ease of understanding

and concision of expression.


58. QUESTION: Concerning the blessed verse, "When travelling,

if ye should stop and rest in some safe spot, perform

ye ... a single prostration in place of each unsaid

Obligatory Prayer": is this compensation for the Obligatory

Prayer missed by reason of insecure circumstances, or

is obligatory prayer completely suspended during travel,

and doth the prostration take its place?


ANSWER: If, when the hour of obligatory prayer

arriveth, there be no security, one should, upon

arrival in safe surroundings, perform a prostration

in place of each Obligatory Prayer that was

missed, and after the final prostration, sit cross-legged

and read the designated verse. If there be a

safe place, obligatory prayer is not suspended

during travel.


59. QUESTION: If, after a traveller hath stopped and rested

it is the time for obligatory prayer, should he perform the

prayer, or make the prostration in its stead?


ANSWER: Except in insecure circumstances

omission of the Obligatory Prayer is not permissible.


60. QUESTION: If, due to missed Obligatory Prayers, a

number of prostrations are required, must the verse be

repeated after each compensating prostration or not? <p125>


ANSWER: It is sufficient to recite the designated

verse after the last prostration. The several prostrations

do not require separate repetitions of the



61. QUESTION: If an Obligatory Prayer be omitted at home,

is it to be compensated for by a prostration or not?


ANSWER: In answer to previous questions it was

written: "This provision regarding the compensating

prostration applieth both at home and on a



62. QUESTION: If, for another purpose, one hath performed

ablutions, and the time of obligatory prayer arriveth, are

these ablutions sufficient or must they be renewed?


ANSWER: These same ablutions are sufficient, and

there is no need for them to be renewed.


63. QUESTION: In the Kitab-i-Aqdas obligatory prayer

hath been enjoined, consisting of nine rak'ahs, to be performed

at noon, in the morning and the evening, but the

Tablet of Obligatory Prayers+F1 appeareth to differ from



ANSWER: That which hath been revealed in

the Kitab-i-Aqdas concerneth a different Obligatory

Prayer. Some years ago a number of the

ordinances of the Kitab-i-Aqdas including that

Obligatory Prayer were, for reasons of wisdom,


+F1 The Tablet containing the three Obligatory Prayers now in use <p126>


recorded separately and sent away together with

other sacred writings, for the purposes of preservation

and protection. Later these three Obligatory

Prayers were revealed.


64. QUESTION: In determining time, is it permissible to rely

on clocks and watches?


ANSWER: It is permissible to rely on clocks and



65. QUESTION: In the Tablet of Obligatory Prayers, three

prayers are revealed; is the performance of all three

required or not?


ANSWER: It is enjoined to offer one of these three

prayers; whichever is performed sufficeth.


66. QUESTION: Are ablutions for the morning prayer still

valid for the noonday prayer? And similarly, are

ablutions carried out at noon still valid in the evening?


ANSWER: Ablutions are connected with the

Obligatory Prayer for which they are performed,

and must be renewed for each prayer.


67. QUESTION: Concerning the long Obligatory Prayer, it is

required to stand up and "turn unto God". This seemeth

to indicate that it is not necessary to face the Qiblih; is

this so or not?


ANSWER: The Qiblih is intended.


68. QUESTION: Concerning the sacred verse: "Recite ye the

verses of God every morn and eventide." <p127>


ANSWER: The intention is all that hath been sent

down from the Heaven of Divine Utterance. The

prime requisite is the eagerness and love of

sanctified souls to read the Word of God. To read

one verse, or even one word, in a spirit of joy and

radiance, is preferable to the perusal of many



69. QUESTION: May a person, in drawing up his will,

assign some portion of his property--beyond that which is

devoted to payment of Huququ'llah and the settlement of

debts--to works of charity, or is he entitled to do no more

than allocate a certain sum to cover funeral and burial

expenses, so that the rest of his estate will be distributed

in the manner fixed by God among the designated

categories of heirs?


ANSWER: A person hath full jurisdiction over his

property. If he is able to discharge the Huququ'llah,

and is free of debt, then all that is recorded

in his will, and any declaration or avowal it

containeth, shall be acceptable. God, verily, hath

permitted him to deal with that which He hath

bestowed upon him in whatever manner he may



70. QUESTION: Is the use of the burial ring enjoined

exclusively for adults, or is it for minors as well?


ANSWER: It is for adults only. The Prayer for the

Dead is likewise for adults.


71. QUESTION: Should a person wish to fast at a time <p128>


other than in the month of Ala', is this permissible or

not; and if he hath vowed or pledged himself to such a

fast, is this valid and acceptable?


ANSWER: The ordinance of fasting is such as hath

already been revealed. Should someone pledge

himself, however, to offer up a fast to God,

seeking in this way the fulfilment of a wish, or to

realize some other aim, this is permissible, now as

heretofore. Howbeit, it is God's wish, exalted be

His glory, that vows and pledges be directed to

such objectives as will profit mankind.


72. QUESTION: Again a question hath been asked concerning

the residence and personal clothing: are these to

revert, in the absence of male offspring, to the House of

Justice, or are they to be distributed like the rest of the



ANSWER: Two thirds of the residence and personal

clothing pass to the female offspring, and

one third to the House of Justice, which God hath

made to be the treasury of the people.


73. QUESTION: If, upon completion of the year of patience,

the husband refuseth to allow divorce, what course should

be adopted by the wife?


ANSWER: When the period is ended divorce is

effected. However, it is necessary that there be

witnesses to the beginning and end of this period,

so that they can be called upon to give testimony

should the need arise. <p129>

74. QUESTION: Concerning the definition of old age.


ANSWER: To the Arabs it denoteth the furthest

extremity of old age, but for the people of Baha it

is from the age of seventy.


75. QUESTION: Concerning the limit of fasting for someone

travelling on foot.


ANSWER: The limit is set at two hours. If this is

exceeded, it is permissible to break the Fast.


76. QUESTION: Concerning observance of the Fast by

people engaged in hard labour during the month of



ANSWER: Such people are excused from fasting;

however, in order to show respect to the law of

God and for the exalted station of the Fast, it is

most commendable and fitting to eat with

frugality and in private.


77. QUESTION: Do ablutions performed for the Obligatory

Prayer suffice for the ninety-five repetitions of the

Greatest Name?


ANSWER: It is unnecessary to renew the ablutions.


78. QUESTION: Concerning clothes and jewellery which a

husband may have purchased for his wife: are these to be

distributed, after his death, amongst his heirs, or are

they specially for the wife?


ANSWER: Aside from used clothing, whatever

there may be, jewellery or otherwise, belongeth to <p130>


the husband, except what is proven to have been

gifts to the wife.


79. QUESTION: Concerning the criterion of justness when

proving some matter dependent on the testimony of two

just witnesses.


ANSWER: The criterion of justness is a good

reputation among the people. The testimony of all

God's servants, of whatever faith or creed, is

acceptable before His Throne.


80. QUESTION: If the deceased hath not settled his obligation

to Huququ'llah, nor paid his other debts, are these to be

discharged by proportionate deductions from the residence,

personal clothing and the rest of the estate, or are the

residence and personal clothing set aside for the male

offspring, and consequently the debts must be settled from

the rest of the estate? And if the rest of the estate is

insufficient for this purpose, how should the debts be



ANSWER: Outstanding debts and payments of

Huquq should be settled from the remainder of the

estate, but if this is insufficient for the purpose,

the shortfall should be met from his residence and

personal clothing.


81. QUESTION: Should the third Obligatory Prayer be

offered while seated or standing?


ANSWER: It is preferable and more fitting to stand

in an attitude of humble reverence.


82. QUESTION: Concerning the first Obligatory Prayer <p131>


it hath been ordained, "one should perform it at whatever

time one findeth oneself in a state of humbleness and

longing adoration": is it to be performed once in twenty-four

hours, or more frequently?


ANSWER: Once in twenty-four hours is sufficient;

this is that which hath been uttered by the Tongue

of Divine Command.


83. QUESTION: Concerning the definition of "morning",

"noon" and "evening".


ANSWER: These are sunrise, noon and sunset. The

allowable times for Obligatory Prayers are from

morning till noon, from noon till sunset, and from

sunset till two hours thereafter. Authority is in the

hand of God, the Bearer of the Two Names.


84. QUESTION: Is it permissible for a believer to marry an



ANSWER: Both taking and giving in marriage are

permissible; thus did the Lord decree when He

ascended the throne of bounteousness and grace.


85. QUESTION: Concerning the Prayer for the Dead: should

it precede or follow the interment? And is facing the

Qiblih required?


ANSWER: Recital of this prayer should precede

interment; and as regards the Qiblih: "Whichever

way ye turn, there is the face of God."+F1


+F1 Qur'an 2:115 <p132>

86. QUESTION: At noon, which is the time for two of

the Obligatory Prayers--the short midday prayer, and

the prayer to be offered in the morning, noon, and

evening--is it necessary in this case to perform two

ablutions or would one suffice?


ANSWER: The renewal of ablutions is unnecessary.


87. QUESTION: Concerning the dowry for village-dwellers

which is to be of silver: is it the bride or bridegroom

who is intended or both of them? And what is to be

done if one is a city-dweller and the other a village-dweller?


ANSWER: The dowry is determined by the

dwelling-place of the bridegroom; if he be a city-dweller,

the dowry is of gold, and if he be a

village-dweller, it is of silver.


88. QUESTION: What is the criterion for determining if

one is a city-dweller or a village-dweller? If a city-dweller

taketh up residence in a village, or a village-dweller

in a city, intending to settle permanently, what

ruling is applicable? Is the place of birth the deciding



ANSWER: The criterion is permanent residence

and, depending on where this is, the injunction in

the Book must be observed accordingly.


89. QUESTION: In the holy Tablets it hath been revealed that

when someone acquireth the equivalent of nineteen

mithqals of gold, he should pay the Right of God on that <p133>


sum. Might it be explained how much of this nineteen

should be paid?


ANSWER: Nineteen out of one hundred is established

by the ordinance of God. Computation

should be made on this basis. It may then be

ascertained what amount is due on nineteen.


90. QUESTION: When one's wealth exceeds nineteen, is it

necessary for it to increase by a further nineteen before

Huquq is due again, or would it be due on any increase?


ANSWER: Any amount added to nineteen is

exempt from Huquq until it reacheth a further



91. QUESTION: Concerning pure water, and the point at

which it is considered used.


ANSWER: Small quantities of water, such as one

cupful, or even two or three, must be considered

used after a single washing of the face and hands.

But a kurr+F1 or more of water remaineth unchanged

after one or two washings of the face,

and there is no objection to its use unless it is

altered in one of the three ways,+F2 for example its

colour is changed, in which case it should be

looked upon as used.


92. QUESTION: In a treatise in Persian on various questions,

the age of maturity hath been set at fifteen; is


+F1 This refers to a volume of approximately one half of a cubic metre

+F2 Colour, taste and smell <p134>


marriage likewise conditional upon the reaching of

maturity, or is it permissible before that time?


ANSWER: Since the consent of both parties is

required in the Book of God, and since, before

maturity, their consent or lack of it cannot be

ascertained, marriage is therefore conditional upon

reaching the age of maturity, and is not permissible

before that time.


93. QUESTION: Concerning fasting and obligatory prayer

by the sick.


ANSWER: In truth, I say that obligatory prayer

and fasting occupy an exalted station in the sight

of God. It is, however, in a state of health that

their virtue can be realized. In time of ill-health it

is not permissible to observe these obligations;

such hath been the bidding of the Lord, exalted be

His glory, at all times. Blessed be such men and

women as pay heed, and observe His precepts. All

praise be unto God, He who hath sent down the

verses and is the Revealer of undoubted proofs!


94. QUESTION: Concerning mosques, chapels and temples.


ANSWER: Whatever hath been constructed for the

worship of the one true God, such as mosques,

chapels and temples, must not be used for any

purpose other than the commemoration of His

Name. This is an ordinance of God, and he who

violateth it is verily of those who have transgressed.

No harm attacheth to the builder, for he <p135>


hath performed his deed for the sake of God, and

hath received and will continue to receive his just



95. QUESTION: Regarding the appointments of a place of

business, which are needed for carrying on one's work or

profession: are they subject to the payment of Huququ'llah,

or are they covered by the same ruling as the

household furnishings?


ANSWER: They are covered by the same ruling as

the household furnishings.


96. QUESTION: Concerning the exchange of property held in

trust for cash or other forms of property, to guard against

depreciation or loss.


ANSWER: Regarding the written question on the

exchange of property held in trust to guard against

depreciation and loss, such exchange is permissible

on condition that the substitute will be equivalent

in value. Thy Lord, verily, is the Expounder, the

Omniscient, and He, truly, is the Ordainer, the

Ancient of Days.


97. QUESTION: Concerning the washing of the feet in winter

and summer.


ANSWER: It is the same in both cases; warm

water is preferable, but there can be no objection

to cold.


98. QUESTION: A further question on divorce.


ANSWER: Since God, exalted be His glory, doth <p136>


not favour divorce, nothing was revealed on

this issue. However, from the beginning of the

separation until the end of one year, two people or

more must remain informed as witnesses; if, by the

end, there is no reconciliation, divorce taketh

place. This must be recorded in the registry by the

religious judicial officer of the city appointed by

the Trustees of the House of Justice. Observance of

this procedure is essential lest those that are

possessed of an understanding heart be saddened.


99. QUESTION: Concerning consultation.


ANSWER: If consultation among the first group of

people assembled endeth in disagreement, new

people should be added, after which persons to the

number of the Greatest Name, or fewer or more,

shall be chosen by lot. Whereupon the consultation

shall be renewed, and the outcome, whatever

it is, shall be obeyed. If, however, there is

still disagreement, the same procedure should be

repeated once more, and the decision of the

majority shall prevail. He, verily, guideth whomsoever

He pleaseth to the right way.


100. QUESTION: Concerning inheritance.


ANSWER: Regarding inheritance, that which the

Primal Point hath ordained--may the souls of all

else but Him be offered up for His sake--is well

pleasing. The existing heirs should receive their

allotted shares of the inheritance, while a statement

of the remainder must be submitted to <p137>


the Court of the Most High. In His hand is the

source of authority; He ordaineth as He pleaseth.

In this regard, a law was revealed in the Land of

Mystery,+F1 temporarily awarding the missing heirs'

inheritance to the existing heirs until such time as

the House of Justice shall be established, when the

decree concerning this will be promulgated. The

inheritance, however, of those who emigrated in

the same year as the Ancient Beauty, hath been

awarded to their heirs, and this is a bounty of God

bestowed upon them.


101. QUESTION: Concerning the law on treasure trove.


ANSWER: Should a treasure be found, one third

thereof is the right of the discoverer, and the other

two thirds should be expended by the men of

the House of Justice for the welfare of all people.

This shall be done after the establishment of the

House of Justice, and until that time it shall be

committed to the keeping of trustworthy persons

in each locality and territory. He, in truth, is the

Ruler, the Ordainer, the Omniscient, the All-Informed.


102. QUESTION: Concerning Huquq on real estate which

yieldeth no profit.


ANSWER: The ordinance of God is that real estate

which hath ceased to yield income, that is,


+F1 Adrianople <p138>


from which no profit accrueth, is not liable to

payment of Huquq. He, verily, is the Ruler, the



103. QUESTION: Concerning the holy verse: "In regions where

the days and nights grow long, let times of prayer be

gauged by clocks..."


ANSWER: The intention is those territories that

are remote. In these climes, however, the difference

in length is but a few hours, and therefore

this ruling doth not apply.


104. In the Tablet to Aba Badi', this holy verse hath

been revealed: "Verily, We have enjoined on every

son to serve his father." Such is the decree which

We have set forth in the Book.


105. And in another Tablet, these exalted words have been

revealed: O Muhammad! The Ancient of Days hath

turned His countenance towards thee, making

mention of thee, and exhorting the people of God

to educate their children. Should a father neglect

this most weighty commandment laid down in the

Kitab-i-Aqdas by the Pen of the Eternal King, he

shall forfeit rights of fatherhood, and be accounted

guilty before God. Well is it with him who

imprinteth on his heart the admonitions of the

Lord, and steadfastly cleaveth unto them. God, in

truth, enjoineth on His servants what shall assist

and profit them, and enable them to draw nigh

unto Him. He is the Ordainer, the Everlasting. <p139>

106. He is God, exalted be He, the Lord of majesty and

power! The Prophets and Chosen Ones have all

been commissioned by the One True God,

magnified be His glory, to nurture the trees of

human existence with the living waters of uprightness

and understanding, that there may appear

from them that which God hath deposited within

their inmost selves. As may be readily observed,

each tree yieldeth a certain fruit, and a barren tree

is but fit for fire. The purpose of these Educators,

in all they said and taught, was to preserve man's

exalted station. Well is it with him who in the

Day of God hath laid fast hold upon His precepts

and hath not deviated from His true and fundamental

Law. The fruits that best befit the tree of

human life are trustworthiness and godliness,

truthfulness and sincerity; but greater than all,

after recognition of the unity of God, praised and

glorified be He, is regard for the rights that are

due to one's parents. This teaching hath been

mentioned in all the Books of God, and reaffirmed

by the Most Exalted Pen. Consider that which the

Merciful Lord hath revealed in the Qur'an, exalted

are His words: "Worship ye God, join with Him

no peer or likeness; and show forth kindliness and

charity towards your parents..." Observe how

loving-kindness to one's parents hath been linked

to recognition of the one true God! Happy they

who are endued with true wisdom and understanding,

who see and perceive, who read and understand,

and who observe that which God hath <p140>


revealed in the Holy Books of old, and in this

incomparable and wondrous Tablet.


107. In one of the Tablets He, exalted be His words, hath

revealed: And in the matter of Zakat, We have

likewise decreed that you should follow what hath

been revealed in the Qur'an. <p141>















A. Turn towards Him

B. Refer to Him









A. Prayer

B. Fasting

C. Laws of Personal Status

D. Miscellaneous Laws, Ordinances and Exhortations













A. The faithful are enjoined to turn their faces towards

the One "Whom God hath purposed, Who hath

branched from this Ancient Root".

B. The faithful are bidden to refer whatsoever they do

not understand in the Baha'i writings to "Him Who

hath branched from this mighty Stock".






A. The House of Justice is formally ordained.

B. Its functions are defined.

C. Its revenues are fixed.




A. Prayer


1. The sublime station occupied by the Obligatory

Prayers in the Baha'i Revelation.


2. The Qiblih:

a. Identified by the Bab with "the One Whom

God will make manifest".

b. The appointment made by the Bab is

confirmed by Baha'u'llah.

c. Baha'u'llah ordains His resting-place as

the Qiblih after His passing. <p146>


d. Turning to the Qiblih is mandatory while

reciting the Obligatory Prayers.


3. The Obligatory Prayers are binding on men

and women on attaining the age of maturity,

which is fixed at 15.


4. Exemption from offering the Obligatory

Prayers is granted to:

a. Those who are ill.

b. Those who are over 70.

c. Women in their courses provided they

perform their ablutions and repeat a

specifically revealed verse 95 times a day.


5. The Obligatory Prayers should be offered



6. The choice of one of the three Obligatory

Prayers is permissible.


7. By "morning", "noon" and "evening", mentioned

in connection with the Obligatory

Prayers, is meant respectively the intervals

between sunrise and noon, between noon and

sunset, and from sunset till two hours after



8. The recital of the first (long) Obligatory

Prayer, once in twenty-four hours is sufficient.


9. It is preferable to offer the third (short)

Obligatory Prayer while standing.


10. Ablutions:

a. Ablutions must precede the recital of the

Obligatory Prayers.

b. For every Obligatory Prayer fresh ablutions

must be performed. <p147>


c. Should two Obligatory Prayers be offered

at noon one ablution for both prayers is


d. If water is unavailable or its use harmful

to the face or hands, the repetition, five

times, of a specifically revealed verse is


e. Should the weather be too cold the use of

warm water is recommended.

f. If ablutions have been performed for other

purposes, their renewal prior to the

recital of the Obligatory Prayer is not


g. Ablutions are essential whether a bath has

been taken previously or not.


11. Determining the times fixed for Prayer:

a. Reliance on clocks is permissible in

determining the times for offering the

Obligatory Prayers.

b. In countries situated in the extreme north

or south, where the duration of days and

nights varies considerably, clocks and

timepieces should be relied upon, without

reference to sunrise or sunset.


12. In case of danger, whether when travelling or

not, for every Obligatory Prayer not offered a

prostration and the recital of a specific verse is

enjoined, to be followed by the repetition,

eighteen times, of another specific verse.


13. Congregational prayer is forbidden except the

Prayer for the Dead.


14. The recital, in its entirety, of the Prayer for <p148>


the Dead is prescribed except for those unable

to read, who are commanded to repeat the six

specific passages in that Prayer.


15. The Obligatory Prayer to be thrice repeated,

three times a day, at morn, noon and evening,

has been superseded by three Obligatory

Prayers subsequently revealed.


16. The Prayer of the Signs has been annulled, and

a specifically revealed verse substituted for it.

The recital of this verse is not however



17. Hair, sable, bones and the like do not nullify

one's prayer.


B. Fasting


1. The sublime station occupied by fasting in the

Baha'i Revelation.


2. The period of fasting commences with the

termination of the Intercalary Days, and ends

with the Naw-Ruz Festival.


3. Abstinence from food and drink, from sunrise

to sunset, is obligatory.


4. Fasting is binding on men and women on

attaining the age of maturity, which is fixed at



5. Exemption from fasting is granted to:

a. Travellers

i. Provided the journey exceeds 9


ii. Those travelling on foot,

provided the journey exceeds 2


iii. Those who break their journey

for less than 19 days. <p149>


iv. Those who break their journey

during the Fast at a place where

they are to stay 19 days are

exempt from fasting only for the

first three days from their arrival.

v. Those who reach home during

the Fast must commence fasting

from the day of their arrival.


b. Those who are ill.

c. Those who are over 70.

d. Women who are with child.

e. Women who are nursing.

f. Women in their courses, provided they

perform their ablutions and repeat a

specifically revealed verse 95 times a day.

g. Those who are engaged in heavy labour,

who are advised to show respect for the

law by using discretion and restraint

when availing themselves of the exemption.


6. Vowing to fast (in a month other than the one

prescribed for fasting) is permissible. Vows

which profit mankind are however preferable in

the sight of God.


C. Laws of Personal Status


1. Marriage:


a. Marriage is highly recommended but not


b. Plurality of wives is forbidden.

c. Marriage is conditioned upon both parties

having attained the age of maturity which

is fixed at 15. <p150>


d. Marriage is conditioned on the consent of

both parties and their parents, whether

the woman be a maiden or not.

e. It is incumbent upon both parties to

recite a specifically revealed verse indicating

their being content with the will of


f. Marriage with one's stepmother is forbidden.

g. All matters related to marriage with one's

kindred are to be referred to the House of


h. Marriage with unbelievers is permitted.

i. Betrothal:

i. The period of engagement must

not exceed 95 days.

ii. It is unlawful to become engaged

to a girl before she reaches the

age of maturity.

j. The Dowry:

i. Marriage is conditioned on payment

of a dowry.

ii. The dowry is fixed at 19 mithqals

of pure gold for city-dwellers,

and 19 mithqals of silver for

village-dwellers, depending on

the permanent residence of the

husband, and not of the wife.

iii. It is forbidden to pay more than

95 mithqals.

iv. It is preferable that a man content

himself with the payment of

19 mithqals of silver.

v. If the full payment of dowry is <p151>


not possible the issue of a promissory

note is permissible.

k. Should either party, following the recital

of the specifically revealed verse and the

payment of the dowry, take a dislike to

the other before the marriage is consummated,

the period of waiting is not

necessary prior to a divorce. The taking

back of the dowry, however, is not


l. The husband must fix for his wife the

time of his return when intending to

travel. If, for a legitimate reason, he is prevented

from returning at the appointed

time, he must inform her and strive to

return to her. If he fails to fulfil either

condition, she must wait 9 months, after

which she may remarry, though it is

preferable for her to wait longer. If news

of his death or murder reaches her, and

the news is confirmed by general report or

by 2 reliable witnesses, she may remarry

after the lapse of 9 months.

m. If the husband departs without informing

his wife of the date of his return, and is

aware of the law prescribed in the Kitab-i-Aqdas,

the wife may remarry after

waiting a full year. If the husband is

unaware of this law, the wife must wait

until news of her husband reaches her.

n. Should the husband, after the payment of

the dowry, discover that the wife is not a

virgin, the refund of the dowry and of the

expenses incurred may be demanded. <p152>


o. If the marriage has been conditioned on

virginity the refund of the dowry and of

the expenses incurred may be demanded

and the marriage invalidated. To conceal

the matter, however, is highly meritorious

in the sight of God.


2. Divorce:

a. Divorce is strongly condemned.

b. If antipathy or resentment develop on the

part of either the husband or the wife,

divorce is permissible, only after the lapse

of one full year. The beginning and end of

the year of waiting must be testified by

two or more witnesses. The act of divorce

should be registered by the judicial officer

representing the House of Justice. Intercourse

during this period of waiting is

forbidden, and whoever breaks this law

must repent and pay the House of Justice

19 mithqals of gold.

c. A further period of waiting after divorce

has taken place is not required.

d. The wife who is to be divorced as a result

of her unfaithfulness forfeits the payment

of the expenses during the waiting period.

e. Remarrying the wife whom one has

divorced is permissible, provided she has

not married another person. If she has,

she must be divorced before her former

husband can remarry her.

f. If at any time during the waiting period

affection should recur, the marriage tie

is valid. If this reconciliation is followed <p153>


by estrangement and divorce is again

desired, a new year of waiting will have

to be commenced.

g. Should differences arise between husband

and wife while travelling, he is required

to send her home, or entrust her to a

dependable person, who will escort her

there, paying her journey and her full

year's expenses.

h. Should a wife insist on divorcing her

husband rather than migrate to another

country, the year of waiting is to be

counted from the time they separate,

either while he is preparing to leave, or

upon his departure.

i. The Islamic law regarding remarriage

with the wife whom one has previously

divorced is abrogated.

3. Inheritance:+F1

a. Inheritance falls into the following categories:

1. children 1,080 out of 2,520 shares

2. husband

or wife 390 " 2,520 "

3. father 330 " 2,520 "

4. mother 270 " 2,520 "

5. brother 210 " 2,520 "

6. sister 150 " 2,520 "

7. teacher 90 " 2,520 "

b. The share of the children, as allotted

by the Bab, is doubled by Baha'u'llah,


+F1 The method of dividing the estate is to be applied in cases of

+F1 intestacy. See item o. in this section <p154>


and an equal portion correspondingly

reduced from each of the remaining


c. i. In cases where there is no issue

the share of the children reverts

to the House of Justice to be expended

on orphans and widows

and for whatever will profit


ii. If the son of the deceased be dead

and leave issue, these will inherit

the share of their father. If the

daughter of the deceased be dead

and leave issue, her share will

have to be divided into the seven

categories specified in the Most

Holy Book.

d. Should one leave offspring but either part

or all of the other categories of inheritors

be nonexistent, two thirds of their shares

reverts to the offspring and one third to

the House of Justice.

e. Should none of the specified beneficiaries

exist, two thirds of the inheritance reverts

to the nephews and nieces of the

deceased. If these do not exist, the same

share reverts to the aunts and uncles;

lacking these, to their sons and daughters.

In any case the remaining third reverts to

the House of Justice.

f. Should one leave none of the aforementioned

heirs, the entire inheritance reverts

to the House of Justice.

g. The residence and the personal clothing <p155>


of the deceased father pass to the male

not to the female offspring. If there be

several residences the principal and most

important one passes to the male offspring.

The remaining residences will

together with the other possessions of the

deceased have to be divided among the

heirs. If there be no male offspring two

thirds of the principal residence and the

personal clothing of the deceased father

will revert to the female issue and one

third to the House of Justice. In the case

of the deceased mother all her used

clothing is to be equally divided amongst

her daughters. Her unworn clothing,

jewels and property must be divided

among her heirs, as well as her used

clothing if she leaves no daughter.

h. Should the children of the deceased be

minors their share should either be

entrusted to a reliable person or to a

company for purposes of investment,

until they attain the age of maturity. A

share of the interest accrued should be

assigned to the trustee.

i. The inheritance should not be divided

until after the payment of the Huququ'llah

(The Right of God), of any debts

contracted by the deceased and of any

expenses incurred for a befitting funeral

and burial.

j. If the brother of the deceased is from the

same father he will inherit his full allotted

share. If he is from another father he

will inherit only two thirds of his <p156>


share, the remaining one third reverting

to the House of Justice. The same law is

applicable to the sister of the deceased.

k. In case there are full brothers or full

sisters, brothers and sisters from the

mother's side do not inherit.

l. A non-Baha'i teacher does not inherit. If

there should be more than one teacher,

the share allotted to the teacher is to be

equally divided among them.

m. Non-Baha'i heirs do not inherit.

n. Aside from the wife's used clothing and

gifts of jewellery or otherwise which have

been proven to have been given her by her

husband, whatever the husband has purchased

for his wife are to be considered as

the husband's possessions to be divided

among his heirs.

o. Any person is at liberty to will his

possessions as he sees fit provided he

makes provisions for the payment of

Huququ'llah and the discharge of his



D. Miscellaneous Laws, Ordinances and



1. Miscellaneous Laws and Ordinances:

a. Pilgrimage

b. Huququ'llah

c. Endowments

d. The Mashriqu'l-Adhkar

e. Duration of the Baha'i Dispensation

f. Baha'i Festivals <p157>


g. The Nineteen Day Feast

h. The Baha'i Year

i. The Intercalary Days

j. The age of maturity

k. Burial of the dead

l. Engaging in a trade or profession is made

obligatory and is exalted to the rank of


m. Obedience to government

n. Education of children

o. The writing of a testament

p. Tithes (Zakat)

q. Repetition of the Greatest Name 95

times a day

r. The hunting of animals

s. Treatment of female servants

t. The finding of lost property

u. Disposition of treasure trove

v. Disposal of objects held in trust

w. Manslaughter

x. Definition of just witnesses

y. Prohibitions:

i. Interpretation of the Holy Writ

ii. Slave trading

iii. Asceticism

iv. Monasticism

v. Mendicancy

vi. Priesthood

vii. Use of pulpits

viii. The kissing of hands <p158>


ix. Confession of sins

x. Plurality of wives

xi. Intoxicating drinks

xii. Opium

xiii. Gambling

xiv. Arson

xv. Adultery

xvi. Murder

xvii. Theft

xviii. Homosexuality

xix. Congregational prayer, except

for the dead

xx. Cruelty to animals

xxi. Idleness and sloth

xxii. Backbiting

xxiii. Calumny

xxiv. Carrying arms unless essential

xxv. Use of public pools in Persian


xxvi. Entering a house without the

owner's permission

xxvii. Striking or wounding a person

xxviii. Contention and conflict

xxix. Muttering sacred verses in the


xxx. Plunging one's hand in food

xxxi. Shaving one's head

xxxii. Growth of men's hair beyond the

lobe of the ear <p159>


2. Abrogation of specific laws and ordinances of

previous Dispensations, which prescribed:

a. Destruction of books

b. Prohibition of the wearing of silk

c. Prohibition of the use of gold and silver


d. Limitation of travel

e. Offering priceless gifts to the Founder of

the Faith

f. Prohibition on questioning the Founder

of the Faith

g. Prohibition against remarrying one's

divorced wife

h. Penalizing whoever causes sadness to his


i. Prohibition of music

j. Limitations upon one's apparel and beard

k. Uncleanliness of divers objects and peoples

l. Uncleanliness of semen

m. Uncleanliness of certain objects for

purposes of prostration


3. Miscellaneous Exhortations:

a. To associate with the followers of all

religions with fellowship

b. To honour one's parents

c. Not to wish for others what one does not

wish for one's self

d. To teach and propagate the Faith after the

ascension of its Founder <p160>


e. To assist those who arise to promote the


f. Not to depart from the Writings or to be

misled by those who do

g. To refer to the Holy Writ when differences


h. To immerse one's self in the study of the


i. Not to follow one's idle fancies and vain


j. To recite the holy verses at morn and at


k. To recite the holy verses melodiously

l. To teach one's children to chant the holy

verses in the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar

m. To study such arts and sciences as benefit


n. To take counsel together

o. Not to be indulgent in carrying out the

statutes of God

p. To repent to God of one's sins

q. To distinguish one's self through good


i. To be truthful

ii. To be trustworthy

iii. To be faithful

iv. To be righteous and fear God

v. To be just and fair

vi. To be tactful and wise

vii. To be courteous

viii. To be hospitable <p161>


ix. To be persevering

x. To be detached

xi. To be absolutely submissive to

the Will of God

xii. Not to stir up mischief

xiii. Not to be hypocritical

xiv. Not to be proud

xv. Not to be fanatical

xvi. Not to prefer one's self to one's


xvii. Not to contend with one's neighbour

xviii. Not to indulge one's passions

xix. Not to lament in adversity

xx. Not to contend with those in


xxi. Not to lose one's temper

xxii. Not to anger one's neighbour


r. To be closely united

s. To consult competent physicians when


t. To respond to invitations

u. To show kindness to the kindred of the

Founder of the Faith

v. To study languages for the furtherance of

the Faith

w. To further the development of cities and

countries for the glorification of the


x. To restore and preserve the sites associated

with the Founders of the Faith <p162>


y. To be the essence of cleanliness:

i. To wash one's feet

ii. To perfume one's self

iii. To bathe in clean water

iv. To cut one's nails

v. To wash soiled things in clean


vi. To be stainless in one's dress

vii. To renew the furnishings of one's




Addressed to:


1. The entire human race

2. Crowned heads of the world

3. The concourse of ecclesiastics

4. The Rulers of America and Presidents of the

Republics therein

5. William I, King of Prussia

6. Francis Joseph, Emperor of Austria

7. The people of the Bayan

8. Members of parliaments throughout the world




1. The transcendent character of the Baha'i


2. The exalted station of the Author of the Faith

3. The supreme importance of the Kitab-i-Aqdas,

"The Most Holy Book"

4. The doctrine of the "Most Great Infallibility" <p163>


5. The twin duties of recognition of the Manifestation

and observance of His Laws, and their


6. The end of all learning is the recognition of

Him Who is the Object of all knowledge

7. The blessedness of those who have recognized

the fundamental verity "He shall not be asked of

His doings"

8. The revolutionizing effect of the "Most Great


9. The selection of a single language and the

adoption of a common script for all on earth

to use: one of two signs of the maturity of the

human race

10. Prophecies of the Bab regarding "He Whom

God will make manifest"

11. Prediction relating to opposition to the Faith

12. Eulogy of the king who will profess the Faith

and arise to serve it

13. The instability of human affairs

14. The meaning of true liberty

15. The merit of all deeds is dependent upon

God's acceptance

16. The importance of love for God as the motive

of obedience to His Laws

17. The importance of utilizing material means

18. Eulogy of the learned among the people of


19. Assurance of forgiveness to Mirza Yahya

should he repent

20. Apostrophe addressed to Tihran <p164>


21. Apostrophe addressed to Constantinople and

its people

22. Apostrophe addressed to the "banks of the


23. Condemnation of those who lay false claim to

esoteric knowledge

24. Condemnation of those who allow pride in

their learning to debar them from God

25. Prophecies relating to Khurasan

26. Prophecies relating to Kirman

27. Allusion to Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i

28. Allusion to the Sifter of Wheat

29. Condemnation of Haji Muhammad-Karim Khan

30. Condemnation of Shaykh Muhammad-Hasan

31. Allusion to Napoleon III

32. Allusion to Siyyid Muhammad-i-Isfahani

33. Assurance of aid to all those who arise to serve

the Faith <p165>



1. the sweet-smelling savour of My garment # 4


This is an allusion to the story of Joseph in the Qur'an and

the Old Testament, in which Joseph's garment, brought by

his brothers to Jacob, their father, enabled Jacob to identify

his beloved long-lost son. The metaphor of the fragrant

"garment" is frequently used in the Baha'i Writings to refer

to the recognition of the Manifestation of God and His


Baha'u'llah, in one of His Tablets, describes Himself

as the "Divine Joseph" Who has been "bartered away" by the

heedless "for the most paltry of prices". The Bab, in the

Qayyumu'l-Asma', identifies Baha'u'llah as the "true Joseph"

and forecasts the ordeals that He would endure at the hands

of His treacherous brother (see note 190). Likewise, Shoghi

Effendi draws a parallel between the intense jealousy

which the preeminence of Abdu'l-Baha had aroused in His

half-brother, Mirza Muhammad-'Ali, and the deadly envy

"which the superior excellence of Joseph had kindled in the

hearts of his brothers".


2. We have unsealed the choice Wine with the fingers

of might and power. # 5


The consumption of wine and other intoxicants is prohibited

in the Kitab-i-Aqdas (see notes 144 and 170).

Reference to the use of "wine" in an allegorical

sense--such as being the cause of spiritual ecstasy--is

found, not only in the Revelation of Baha'u'llah, but in the

Bible, in the Qur'an, and in ancient Hindu traditions. <p166>


For example, in the Qur'an the righteous are promised

that they will be given to drink of the "choice sealed wine". In

His Tablets, Baha'u'llah identifies the "choice Wine" with

His Revelation whose "musk-laden fragrance" has been

wafted "upon all created things". He states that He has

"unsealed" this "Wine", thereby disclosing spiritual truths

that were hitherto unknown, and enabling those who quaff

thereof to "discern the splendours of the light of divine unity" and

to "grasp the essential purpose underlying the Scriptures of God".

In one of His meditations, Baha'u'llah entreats God to

supply the believers with "the choice Wine of Thy mercy, that it

may cause them to be forgetful of any one except Thee, and to arise

to serve Thy Cause, and to be steadfast in their love for Thee".


3. We have enjoined obligatory prayer upon you # 6


In Arabic, there are several words for prayer. The word

"salat", which appears here in the original, refers to a particular

category of prayers, the recitation of which at specific

times of the day is enjoined on the believers. To differentiate

this category of prayers from other kinds, the word

has been translated as "obligatory prayer".

Baha'u'llah states that "obligatory prayer and fasting

occupy an exalted station in the sight of God" (Q and A 93).

Abdu'l-Baha affirms that such prayers are "conducive to

humility and submissiveness, to setting one's face towards God and

expressing devotion to Him", and that through these prayers

"man holdeth communion with God, seeketh to draw near unto

Him, converseth with the true Beloved of his heart, and attaineth

spiritual stations".

The Obligatory Prayer (see note 9) referred to in this

verse has been superseded by the three Obligatory Prayers

later revealed by Baha'u'llah (Q and A 63). The texts of the

three prayers currently in use, together with instructions

regarding their recital, are to be found in this volume in

Some Texts Supplementary to the Kitab-i-Aqdas.

A number of the items in Questions and Answers deal <p167>

with aspects of the three new Obligatory Prayers. Baha'u'llah

clarifies that the individual is permitted to choose any

one of the three Obligatory Prayers (Q and A 65). Other

provisions are elucidated in Questions and Answers,

numbers 66, 67, 81, and 82.

The details of the law concerning obligatory prayer are

summarized in section IV.A.1.-17. of the Synopsis and



4. nine rak'ahs # 6


A rak'ah is the recitation of specifically revealed verses

accompanied by a prescribed set of genuflections and other


The Obligatory Prayer originally enjoined by Baha'u'llah

upon His followers consisted of nine rak'ahs. 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-Baha 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 Baha'u'llah 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".


5. at noon and in the morning and the evening # 6


Regarding the definition of the words "morning", "noon" and

"evening", at which times the currently binding medium

Obligatory Prayer is to be recited, Baha'u'llah has stated

that these coincide with "sunrise, noon and sunset" (Q and A 83).

He specifies that the "allowable times for Obligatory Prayers are

from morning till noon, from noon till sunset, and from sunset till <p168>

two hours thereafter". Further, Abdu'l-Baha has stated that

the morning Obligatory Prayer may be said as early as



The definition of "noon" as the period "from noon till

sunset" applies to the recitation of the short Obligatory

Prayer as well as the medium one.


6. We have relieved you of a greater number # 6


The requirements for obligatory prayer called for in the Babi

and Islamic Dispensations were more demanding than those

for the performance of the Obligatory Prayer consisting of

nine rak'ahs that was prescribed in the Kitab-i-Aqdas (see

note 4).

In the Bayan, the Bab prescribed an Obligatory Prayer

consisting of nineteen rak'ahs which was to be performed

once in a twenty-four-hour period--from noon of one day to

noon of the next.

The Muslim prayer is recited five times a day, namely,

in the early morning, at midday, in the afternoon and

evening, and at night. While the number of rak'ahs varies

according to the time of recitation, a total of seventeen

rak'ahs are offered in the course of a day.


7. When ye desire to perform this prayer, turn ye

towards the Court of My Most Holy Presence, this

Hallowed Spot that God hath ... decreed to be the

Point of Adoration for the denizens of the Cities of

Eternity # 6


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 Bab's instructions in the Arabic Bayan 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 Baha'u'llah in the Kitab-i-Aqdas <p169>

(# 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.


8. and when the Sun of Truth and Utterance shall set,

turn your faces towards the Spot that We have

ordained for you # 6


Baha'u'llah ordains His resting-place as the Qiblih after His

passing. The Most Holy Tomb is at Bahji, Akka. Abdu'l-Baha

describes that Spot as the "luminous Shrine", "the place

around which circumambulate the Concourse on High".

In a letter written on his behalf, Shoghi Effendi uses

the analogy of the plant turning in the direction of the sun

to explain the spiritual significance of turning towards the


...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;

... we turn our faces ... to where His dust lies on this

earth as a symbol of the inner act.


9. We have set forth the details of obligatory prayer in

another Tablet. # 8


The original Obligatory Prayer had "for reasons of wisdom"

been revealed by Baha'u'llah 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 Baha'u'llah, the text of

this prayer, along with a number of other Tablets, was

stolen by Muhammad-'Ali, the Arch-breaker of His



10. the Prayer for the Dead # 8


The Prayer for the Dead (see Some Texts Supplementary to

the Kitab-i-Aqdas) is the only Baha'i obligatory prayer <p170>

which is to be recited in congregation; it is to be recited by

one believer while all present stand in silence (see note 19).

Baha'u'llah has clarified that the Prayer for the Dead is

required only when the deceased is an adult (Q and A 70), that

the recital should precede the interment of the deceased,

and that there is no requirement to face the Qiblih when

saying this prayer (Q and A 85).

Further details concerning the Prayer for the Dead are

summarized in the Synopsis and Codification, section IV.A.



11. six specific passages have been sent down by God,

the Revealer of Verses # 8


The passages that form part of the Prayer for the Dead

comprise the repetition of the greeting "Allah-u-Abha"

(God is the All-Glorious) six times, each followed by

nineteen repetitions of one of six specifically revealed verses.

These verses are identical with those in the Prayer for the

Dead revealed by the Bab in the Bayan. Baha'u'llah added a

supplication to precede these passages.


12. Hair doth not invalidate your prayer, nor aught

from which the spirit hath departed, such as bones and

the like. Ye are free to wear the fur of the sable as ye

would that of the beaver, the squirrel, and other

animals # 9


In some earlier religious Dispensations, the wearing of the

hair of certain animals or having certain other objects on

one's person was held to invalidate one's prayer. Baha'u'llah

here confirms the Bab's pronouncement in the Arabic Bayan

that such things do not invalidate one's prayer.


13. We have commanded you to pray and fast from the

beginning of maturity # 10


Baha'u'llah defines the "age of maturity with respect to

religious duties" as "fifteen for both men and women" (Q and A

20). For details of the period of fasting, see note 25. <p171>


14. He hath exempted from this those who are weak

from illness or age # 10


The exemption of those who are weak due to illness or

advanced age from offering the Obligatory Prayers and from

fasting is explained in Questions and Answers. Baha'u'llah

indicates that in "time of ill-health it is not permissible to observe

these obligations" (Q and A 93). He defines old age, in this

context, as being from seventy (Q and A 74). In answer to a

question, Shoghi Effendi has clarified that people who attain

the age of seventy are exempt, whether or not they are weak.

Exemption from fasting is also granted to the other

specific categories of people listed in the Synopsis and

Codification, section IV.B.5. See notes 20, 30 and 31 for

additional discussion.


15. God hath granted you leave to prostrate yourselves

on any surface that is clean, for We have removed in

this regard the limitation that had been laid down in

the Book # 10


The requirements of prayer in previous Dispensations have

often included prostration. In the Arabic Bayan the Bab

called upon the believers to lay their foreheads on surfaces of

crystal when prostrating. Similarly, in Islam, certain

restrictions are imposed with regard to the surface on which

Muslims are permitted to prostrate. Baha'u'llah abrogates

such restrictions and simply specifies "any surface that is



16. Let him that findeth no water for ablution repeat

five times the words "In the Name of God, the Most

Pure, the Most Pure", and then proceed to his

devotions. # 10


Ablutions are to be performed by the believer in preparation

for the offering of obligatory prayer. They consist of

washing the hands and face. If water is unavailable, the <p172>

repetition five times of the specifically revealed verse is

prescribed. See note 34 for a general discussion of ablutions.

Antecedents in earlier Dispensations for the provision

of substitute procedures to be followed when no water is

available are found in the Qur'an and in the Arabic Bayan.


17. In regions where the days and nights grow long,

let times of prayer be gauged by clocks and other

instruments that mark the passage of the hours. # 10


This refers to territories situated in the extreme north or

south, where the duration of days and nights varies

markedly (Q and A 64 and 103). This provision applies also to



18. We have absolved you from the requirement of

performing the Prayer of the Signs. # 11


The Prayer of the Signs is a special form of Muslim

obligatory prayer that was ordained to be said in times of

natural events, like earthquakes, eclipses, and other such

phenomena, which may cause fear and are taken to be signs

or acts of God. The requirement of performing this prayer

has been annulled. In its place a Baha'i may say, "Dominion

is God's, the Lord of the seen and the unseen, the Lord of creation,"

but this is not obligatory (Q and A 52).


19. Save in the Prayer for the Dead, the practice of

congregational prayer hath been annulled. # 12


Congregational prayer, in the sense of formal obligatory

prayer which is to be recited in accordance with a prescribed

ritual as, for example, is the custom in Islam where Friday

prayer in the mosque is led by an imam, has been annulled

in the Baha'i Dispensation. The Prayer for the Dead (see

note 10) is the only congregational prayer prescribed by

Baha'i law. It is to be recited by one of those present while

the remainder of the party stands in silence; the reader has <p173>

no special status. The congregation is not required to face

the Qiblih (Q and A 85).

The three daily Obligatory Prayers are to be recited

individually, not in congregation.

There is no prescribed way for the recital of the many

other Baha'i prayers, and all are free to use such non-obligatory

prayers in gatherings or individually as they

please. In this regard, Shoghi Effendi states that

...although the friends are thus left to follow their own

inclination, ... they should take the utmost care that

any manner they practise should not acquire too rigid a

character, and thus develop into an institution. This is a

point which the friends should always bear in mind, lest

they deviate from the clear path indicated in the



20. God hath exempted women who are in their

courses from obligatory prayer and fasting. # 13


Exemption from obligatory prayer and fasting is granted to

women who are menstruating; they should, instead,

perform their ablutions (see note 34) and repeat 95 times a

day between one noon and the next, the verse "Glorified be

God, the Lord of Splendour and Beauty". This provision has its

antecedent in the Arabic Bayan, where a similar dispensation

was granted.

In some earlier religious Dispensations, women in

their courses were considered ritually unclean and were

forbidden to observe the duties of prayer and fasting. The

concept of ritual uncleanness has been abolished by

Baha'u'llah (see note 106).

The Universal House of Justice has clarified that the

provisions in the Kitab-i-Aqdas granting exemptions from

certain duties and responsibilities are, as the word indicates,

exemptions and not prohibitions. Any believer is, therefore,

free to avail himself or herself of an applicable exemption if

he or she so wishes. However, the House of Justice counsels <p174>

that, in deciding whether to do so or not, the believer

should use wisdom and realize that Baha'u'llah has granted

these exemptions for good reason.

The prescribed exemption from obligatory prayer,

originally related to the Obligatory Prayer consisting of

nine rak'ahs, is now applicable to the three Obligatory

Prayers which superseded it.


21. When travelling, if ye should stop and rest in some

safe spot, perform ye--men and women alike--a single

prostration in place of each unsaid Obligatory

Prayer # 14


Exemption from obligatory prayer is granted to those who

find themselves in such a condition of insecurity that the

saying of the Obligatory Prayers is not possible. The

exemption applies whether one is travelling or at home, and

it provides a means whereby Obligatory Prayers which have

remained unsaid on account of these insecure circumstances

may be compensated for.

Baha'u'llah has made it clear that obligatory prayer "is

not suspended during travel" so long as one can find a "safe

spot" in which to perform it (Q and A 58).

Numbers 21, 58, 59, 60, and 61 in Questions and

Answers amplify this provision.


22. Upon completing your prostrations, seat yourselves

cross-legged # 14


The Arabic expression "haykalu't-tawhid", translated here

as "cross-legged", means the "posture of unity". It has

traditionally signified a cross-legged position.


23. Say: God hath made My hidden love the key to the

Treasure # 15


There is a well-known Islamic tradition concerning God and

His creation: <p175>


I was a Hidden Treasure. I wished to be made known,

and thus I called creation into being in order that I might

be known.


References and allusions to this tradition are found

throughout the Baha'i Writings. For example, in one of His

prayers, Baha'u'llah reveals:


Lauded be Thy name, O Lord my God! I testify that

Thou wast a hidden Treasure wrapped within Thine

immemorial Being and an impenetrable Mystery enshrined in

Thine own Essence. Wishing to reveal Thyself, Thou didst call

into being the Greater and the Lesser Worlds, and didst choose

Man above all Thy creatures, and didst make Him a sign of

both of these worlds, O Thou Who art our Lord, the Most


Thou didst raise Him up to occupy Thy throne before all

the people of Thy creation. Thou didst enable Him to unravel

Thy mysteries, and to shine with the lights of Thine inspiration

and Thy Revelation, and to manifest Thy names and

Thine attributes. Through Him Thou didst adorn the preamble

of the book of Thy creation, O Thou Who art the Ruler of the

universe Thou hast fashioned! (Prayers and Meditations by

Baha'u'llah, XXXVIII)


Likewise, in the Hidden Words, He states:


O Son of Man! I loved thy creation, hence I created thee.

Wherefore, do thou love Me, that I may name thy name and fill

thy soul with the spirit of life.


Abdu'l-Baha, in His commentary on the above-cited

tradition, wrote:


O wayfarer in the path of the Beloved! Know thou that the main

purpose of this holy tradition is to make mention of the stages of

God's concealment and manifestation within the Embodiments of

Truth, They who are the Dawning-places of His All-Glorious

Being. For example, before the flame of the undying Fire is lit

and manifest, it existeth by itself within itself in the hidden <p176>


identity of the universal Manifestations, and this is the stage of

the "Hidden Treasure". And when the blessed Tree is kindled

by itself within itself, and that Divine Fire burneth by its

essence within its essence, this is the stage of "I wished to be made

known". And when it shineth forth from the Horizon of the

universe with infinite Divine Names and Attributes upon the

contingent and placeless worlds, this constituteth the emergence of

a new and wondrous creation which correspondeth to the stage of

"Thus I called creation into being". And when the sanctified

souls rend asunder the veils of all earthly attachments and

worldly conditions, and hasten to the stage of gazing on the

beauty of the Divine Presence and are honoured by recognizing

the Manifestation and are able to witness the splendour of God's

Most Great Sign in their hearts, then will the purpose of

creation, which is the knowledge of Him Who is the Eternal

Truth, become manifest.


24. O Pen of the Most High! # 16


"Pen of the Most High", "the Supreme Pen" and "the Most

Exalted Pen" are references to Baha'u'llah, illustrating His

function as Revealer of the Word of God.


25. We have enjoined upon you fasting during a brief

period # 16


Fasting and obligatory prayer constitute the two pillars that

sustain the revealed Law of God. Baha'u'llah in one of His

Tablets affirms that He has revealed the laws of obligatory

prayer and fasting so that through them the believers may

draw nigh unto God.

Shoghi Effendi indicates that the fasting period, which

involves complete abstention from food and drink from

sunrise till sunset, is

...essentially a period of meditation and prayer, of

spiritual recuperation, during which the believer must

strive to make the necessary readjustments in his inner

life, and to refresh and reinvigorate the spiritual forces <p177>


latent in his soul. Its significance and purpose are,

therefore, fundamentally spiritual in character. Fasting is

symbolic, and a reminder of abstinence from selfish and

carnal desires.


Fasting is enjoined on all the believers once they attain

the age of 15 and until they reach the age of 70 years.

A summary of the detailed provisions concerning the

law of fasting and of the exemptions granted to certain

categories of people is contained in the Synopsis and

Codification, section IV.B.1.-6. For a discussion of the

exemptions from fasting see notes 14, 20, 30 and 31.

The nineteen-day period of fasting coincides with the

Baha'i month of Ala', usually 2-20 March, immediately

after the termination of the Intercalary Days (see notes 27

and 147), and is followed by the feast of Naw-Ruz (see note



26. and at its close have designated for you Naw-Ruz

as a feast # 16


The Bab introduced a new calendar, known now as the Badi'

or Baha'i calendar (see notes 27 and 147). According to this

calendar, a day is the period from sunset to sunset. In the

Bayan, the Bab ordained the month of Ala' to be the month

of fasting, decreed that the day of Naw-Ruz should mark

the termination of that period, and designated Naw-Ruz as

the Day of God. Baha'u'llah confirms the Badi' calendar

wherein Naw-Ruz is designated as a feast.

Naw-Ruz is the first day of the new year. It coincides

with the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, which

usually occurs on 21 March. Baha'u'llah explains that this

feast day is to be celebrated on whatever day the sun passes

into the constellation of Aries (i.e. the vernal equinox), even

should this occur one minute before sunset (Q and A 35).

Hence Naw-Ruz could fall on 20, 21, or 22 March,

depending on the time of the equinox.

Baha'u'llah has left the details of many laws to be filled <p178>

in by the Universal House of Justice. Among these are a

number of matters affecting the Baha'i calendar. The

Guardian has stated that the implementation, worldwide,

of the law concerning the timing of Naw-Ruz will require

the choice of a particular spot on earth which will serve as

the standard for the fixing of the time of the spring equinox.

He also indicated that the choice of this spot has been left to

the decision of the Universal House of Justice.


27. Let the days in excess of the months be placed

before the month of fasting. # 16


The Badi' calendar is based on the solar year of 365 days, 5

hours, and 50 odd minutes. The year consists of 19 months

of 19 days each (i.e. 361 days), with the addition of four

extra days (five in a leap year). The Bab did not specifically

define the place for the intercalary days in the new calendar.

The Kitab-i-Aqdas resolves this question by assigning the

"excess" days a fixed position in the calendar immediately

preceding the month of Ala', the period of fasting. For

further details see the section on the Baha'i calendar in The

Baha'i World, volume XVIII.


28. We have ordained that these ... shall be the

manifestations of the letter Ha # 16


Known as the Ayyam-i-Ha (the Days of Ha), the Intercalary

Days have the distinction of being associated with "the letter

Ha". The abjad numerical value of this Arabic letter is five,

which corresponds to the potential number of intercalary


The letter "Ha" has been given several spiritual

meanings in the Holy Writings, among which is as a

symbol of the Essence of God.


29. these days of giving that precede the season of

restraint # 16


Baha'u'llah enjoined upon His followers to devote these days

to feasting, rejoicing and charity. In a letter written on <p179>

Shoghi Effendi's behalf it is explained that "the intercalary

days are specially set aside for hospitality, the giving of

gifts, etc.".


30. The traveller ... not bound by the Fast # 16


The minimum duration of a journey which exempts the

believer from fasting is defined by Baha'u'llah (Q and A 22 and

75). The details of this provision are summarized in the

Synopsis and Codification, section IV.B.5.a.i.-v.

Shoghi Effendi has clarified that while travellers are

exempt from fasting, they are free to fast if they so wish. He

also indicated that the exemption applies during the whole

period of one's travel, not just the hours one is in a train or

car, etc.


31. The traveller, the ailing, those who are with child

or giving suck, are not bound by the Fast; they have

been exempted by God as a token of His grace. # 16


Exemption from fasting is granted to those who are ill or of

advanced age (see note 14), women in their courses (see note

20), travellers (see note 30) and to women who are pregnant

and those who are nursing. This exemption is also extended

to people who are engaged in heavy labour, who, at the

same time, are advised "to show respect to the law of God and for

the exalted station of the Fast" by eating "with frugality and in

private" (Q and A 76). Shoghi Effendi has indicated that the

types of work which would exempt people from the Fast

will be defined by the Universal House of Justice.


32. Abstain from food and drink from sunrise to

sundown # 17


This relates to the period of fasting. In one of His Tablets,

Abdu'l-Baha, after stating that fasting consists of abstinence

from food and drink, further indicates that smoking

is a form of "drink". In Arabic the verb "drink" applies

equally to smoking. <p180>


33. It hath been ordained that every believer in God

... shall, each day ... repeat "Allah-u-Abha" ninety-five

times. # 18


"Allah-u-Abha" is an Arabic phrase meaning "God the All-Glorious".

It is a form of the Greatest Name of God (see

note 137). In Islam there is a tradition that among the many

names of God, one was the greatest; however, the identity

of this Greatest Name was hidden. Baha'u'llah has

confirmed that the Greatest Name is "Baha".

The various derivatives of the word "Baha" are also

regarded as the Greatest Name. Shoghi Effendi's secretary

writing on his behalf explains that


The Greatest Name is the Name of Baha'u'llah. "Ya

Baha'u'l-Abha" is an invocation meaning: "O Thou Glory

of Glories!". "Allah-u-Abha" is a greeting which means:

"God the All-Glorious". Both refer to Baha'u'llah. By

Greatest Name is meant that Baha'u'llah has appeared in

God's Greatest Name, in other words, that He is the

supreme Manifestation of God.


The greeting "Allah-u-Abha" was adopted during the

period of Baha'u'llah's exile in Adrianople.

The repetition of "Allah-u-Abha" ninety-five times is

to be preceded by the performance of ablutions (see note



34. Perform ye ... ablutions for the Obligatory

Prayer # 18


Ablutions are specifically associated with certain prayers.

They must precede the offering of the three Obligatory

Prayers, the daily 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 (see note 20).

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 <p181>

recitation of certain verses (see Some Texts Revealed by

Baha'u'llah Supplementary to the Kitab-i-Aqdas).

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).

When no water is available for ablutions, a prescribed

verse is to be repeated five times (see note 16), and this

provision is extended to those for whom the use of water

would be physically harmful (Q and A 51).

The detailed provisions of the law concerning ablutions

are set out in the Synopsis and Codification, section

IV.A.10.a.-g., as well as in Questions and Answers numbers

51, 62, 66, 77 and 86.