Daily Reflection – 5 Jalál (Glory)

“IT is seemly that the servant should, after each prayer, supplicate God to bestow mercy and forgiveness upon his parents. Thereupon God’s call will be raised:

‘Thousand upon thousand of what thou hast asked for thy parents shall be thy recompense!’ Blessed is he who remembereth his parents when communing with God. There is, verily, no God but Him, the Mighty, the Well-Beloved.” VIII, 16. (The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab)

Daily Reflection – 13 Alá (Loftiness) Fast

“O thou spiritual friend! Thou hast asked the wisdom of prayer. Know thou that prayer is indispensable and obligatory, and man under no pretext whatsoever is excused from performing the prayer unless he be mentally unsound, or an insurmountable obstacle prevent him.

“The wisdom of prayer is this: That it causeth a connection between the servant and the True One, because in that state man with all heart and soul turneth his face towards His Highness the Almighty, seeking His association and desiring His love and compassion. The greatest happiness for a lover is to converse with his beloved, and the greatest gift for a seeker is to become familiar with the object of his longing; that is why with every soul who is attracted to the Kingdom of God, his greatest hope is to find an opportunity to entreat and supplicate before his Beloved, appeal for His mercy and grace and be immersed in the ocean of His utterance, goodness and generosity.

“Besides all this, prayer and fasting is the cause of awakening and mindfulness and conducive to protection and preservation from tests….”

–‘Baha’i World Faith’, (Wilmette:  Baha’i Publishing Trust, 1956), p. 368 (TAB p. 683)

Daily Reflection – 9 Alá (Loftiness) Fast

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“Consider thou and call to mind the time when Muhammad appeared.  He said, and His word is the truth:  ‘Pilgrimage to the House (Mecca) is a service due to God.'(Qur’an 3:91)  And likewise are the daily prayer, fasting, and the laws which shone forth above the horizon of the Book of God, the Lord of the World and the true Educator of the peoples and kindreds of the earth.  It is incumbent upon everyone to obey Him in whatsoever God hath ordained; and whosoever denieth Him hath disbelieved in God, in His verses, in His Messengers and in His Books.”

–Baha’u’llah, ‘Tablets of Baha’u’llah revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas’, (Haifa: Baha’i World Centre, 1978), pp. 108-9.

Daily Reflection – 3 Alá (Loftiness) Fast

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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 

19 Sultan (Sovereignty)

97 Cadogan Gardens, London,
December 26th, 1912

Q: ‘Should Prayer take the form of action?’

A: ‘Abdu’l-Baha:

‘Yes: In the Baha’i Cause arts, sciences and all crafts are (counted as) worship.The man who makes a piece of notepaper to the best of his ability, conscientiously, concentrating all his forces on perfecting it, is giving praise to God.
Briefly, all effort and exertion put forth by man from the fullness of his heart is worship, if it is prompted by the highest motives and the will to do service to humanity. This is worship: to serve mankind and to minister to the needs of the people. Service is prayer. A physician ministering to the sick, gently, tenderly, free from prejudice and believing in the solidarity of the human race, he is giving praise’.

— ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 189

Dorothy Baker: How to Pray

Photograph of Hand of the Cause of God, Dorothy Baker

The following recollection of Javidukt Khadem, wife of the Hand of the Cause Zikrullah Khadem, describes part of a road trip she took with Hand of the Cause Dorothy Baker. The story leads to a description of how Dorothy Baker prepared for obligatory prayer. Read more

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