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Daily Reflection – 3 Alá (Loftiness) Fast
March 3 - March 4
Before one reads this passage of the “sun” and “moon”, I am reminded of the following:
“The spiritual world is like unto the phenomenal world. They are the exact counterpart of each other. Whatever objects appear in this world of existence are the outer pictures of the world of heaven.” – — Abdu’l-Baha Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Morten
141 East Twenty-first Street, New York (Notes by Esther Foster)
To think of what I read and understand in a deeper more big picture view is how I approach the Writings. That for everything in this world there is a spiritual counterpart, that everything has been bestowed a sign of an Name or Attribute of God boggles my mind and fills it with great wonder. And furthermore, in man, all God’s Names and Attributes have been bestowed…amazing to ponder. In the Tablet of the Universe, Abdu’l-Baha states:
“These are spiritual truths relating to the spiritual world. In like manner, from these spiritual realities infer truths about the material world. For physical things are signs and imprints of spiritual things;”…
So much to think about, to share, to explore. Of course, the Manifestations have been likened to the sun as well and to springtime, and the imagery goes on and on. I pray that you will reflect on such marvelous mysteries in the Writings and share your thoughts and feelings as well. Enough of my rambling, now for today’s passage.
“Moreover, in the traditions the terms “sun” and “moon” have been applied to prayer and fasting, even as it is said: “Fasting is illumination, prayer is light.”One day, a well-known divine came to visit Us. While We were conversing with him, he referred to the above-quoted tradition. He said: “Inasmuch as fasting causeth the heat of the body to increase, it hath therefore been likened unto the light of the sun; and as the prayer of the night-season refresheth man, it hath been compared unto the radiance of the moon.” Thereupon We realized that that poor man had not been favoured with a single drop of the ocean of true understanding, and had strayed far from the burning Bush of divine wisdom. We then politely observed to him saying: “The interpretation your honour hath given to this tradition is the one current amongst the people. Could it not be interpreted differently?” He asked Us: “What could it be?” We made reply: “Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets, and the most distinguished of God’s chosen Ones, hath likened the Dispensation of the Qur’an unto heaven, by reason of its loftiness, its paramount influence, its majesty, and the fact that it comprehendeth all religions. And as the sun and moon constitute the brightest and most prominent luminaries in the heavens, similarly in the heaven of the religion of God two shining orbs have been ordained — fasting and prayer. ‘Islam is heaven; fasting is its sun, prayer, its moon.'”
— Baha’u’llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, pp. 39 – 41