Friday, February 27, 2009

The Baha'i Fast -- Purposes, Part II

Brief excerpts from the
Writings of Baha’u’llah
wherein He is speaking explicitly of the Fast

The heading in bold print below is an arbitrary and subjective designation; the numbering is also arbitrary and has no significance other than for referencing within this site.

Purposes of the Fast

1. “…that the fire of Thy love and the heat produced by the fast enjoined by Thee may inflame them in Thy Cause…”

2. “…and make them to be occupied with Thy praise and with remembrance of Thee.”

3. “…the ornament of Thine acceptance…”

4. “…that through it they may purify their souls…”

5. “…and rid themselves of all attachment to any one but Thee…”

6. “…and that out of their hearts may ascend that which will be worthy of the court of Thy majesty and may well beseem the seat of the revelation of Thy oneness.”

7. “Cleanse Thou by its means the hearts of Thy servants…”

8. “…attaining unto that which Thou didst ordain…”

9. “…cleanse us from the noisome savors of our transgressions.”

10. [We get to ask God such as this:] “Do Thou accept all that we have done for love of Thee, and for the sake of Thy pleasure, and all that we have left undone as a result of our subjection to our evil and corrupt desires.”

11. “…We have ordained obligatory prayer and fasting so that all may by these means draw nigh unto God, the Most Powerful, the Well-Beloved.”

12. “…observe that which will draw them nearer unto Him Who is the Almighty, the All-Loving.”

13. “All praise be unto God, Who hath… enjoined on them the Fast that those possessed of means may become apprised of the woes and sufferings of the destitute.”

14. “…be acceptable in the sight of God.”

15. “…that which hath been and will be of profit to them.”

16. “Well is it with the one who fulfilleth My decrees…”

17. “Verily, He hath no purpose therein save to benefit the souls of His servants…”

18. “Blessed is the one who through the heat generated by the Fast increaseth his love…”

19. “…and who, with joy and radiance, ariseth to perform worthy deeds.”

20. “Purification and training are conditioned and dependent only on such rigorous exercises as are in accord with the Book of God and sanctioned by Divine law, not those which the deluded have inflicted upon the people.”

21. “Verily, I say, fasting is the supreme remedy and the most great healing for the disease of self and passion.”

22. “…to fulfill that which hath been decreed in the Book.”

23. “…serveth solely to benefit His friends and loved ones.”

24. “…Thou hast bidden to observe the Fast for the sake of Thy love and good pleasure…”

25. “There are various stages and stations for the Fast and innumerable effects and benefits are concealed therein. Well is it with those who have attained unto them.”

26. “I beg of Thee, O my God, by those who have fasted for love of Thee and have quaffed the living waters of submission from the hands of Thy bounty, to ordain for Thy loved ones, who under the blaze of the orb of Thy trials have clung to the cord of patience, all the good Thou hast reckoned in Thy Books and Thy Tablets.”

27. “I beg of Thee, O my God, by these mighty pillars, [fasting and obligatory prayer] to keep Thy religion safe from the mischief of the ungodly and the plotting of every wicked doer.”

28. “All glory be to Thee, O my God, for Thou hast graciously enabled me to fast during this month which Thou hast related to Thy Name, the Most Exalted, and called Ala (Loftiness). Thou hast commanded that Thy servants and Thy people should fast therein and seek thereby to draw nearer unto Thee.”

29. “The days and the months of the year have culminated with the Fast, even as the first month began with Thy Name, Baha, that all might testify that Thou art the First and the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden…”

30. “…and be well assured that the glory of all names is conferred only through the glory of Thy Cause and the word expounded only by Thy will and revealed through Thy purpose.”

31. “Thou hast ordained that this month be a remembrance and honor from Thee…”

32. “…and a sign of Thy presence among them…”

33. “…that they may not forget Thy grandeur and Thy majesty, Thy sovereignty and Thy glory…”

34. “…and may be well assured that from time immemorial Thou hast ever been and wilt ever be Ruler over the entire creation.”

More: The Baha'i Fast, Part Three, How To Fast

Key to the Sources

PM – Prayers and Meditations By Baha'u'llah
IOPF – The Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting

1. PM, p.67; 2. PM, p.67; 3. PM, p.67; 4. PM, p.79; 5. PM, p.79; 6. PM, p.79; 7. PM, p.79; 8. PM, p.80; 9. PM, p.82; 10. PM, p.84; 11. IOPF, Part 1, I; 12. IOPF, Part 1, I; 13. IOPF, Part 1, II; 14. IOPF, Part 1, VI; 15. IOPF, Part 1, VI; 16. IOPF, Part 1, XIII; 17. IOPF, Part 1, XIV; 18. IOPF, Part 1, XV; 19. IOPF, Part 1, XV; 20. IOPF, Part 1, XVI; 21. IOPF, Part 1, XVII; 22. IOPF, Part 1, XVIII; 23. IOPF, Part 1, XVIII; 24. IOPF, Part 3, VI; 25. IOPF, Part 1, XIX; 26. IOPF, Part 3, IV; 27. IOPF, Part 3, V; 28. IOPF, Part 3, VI; 29. IOPF, Part 3, VI; 30. IOPF, Part 3, VI; 31. IOPF, Part 3, VI; 32. IOPF, Part 3, VI; 33. IOPF, Part 3, VI; 34. IOPF, Part 3, VI 10