Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Baha’i Fast -- How To, Part III

Photo © Baha’i International Community

“Since Thou hast adorned them, O my Lord, with the ornament of the fast prescribed by Thee, do Thou adorn them also with the ornament of Thine acceptance, through Thy grace and bountiful favor. For the doings of men are all dependent upon Thy good-pleasure, and are conditioned by Thy behest. Shouldst Thou regard him who hath broken the fast as one who hath observed it, such a man would be reckoned among them who from eternity had been keeping the fast. And shouldst Thou decree that he who hath observed the fast hath broken it, that person would be numbered with such as have caused the Robe of Thy Revelation to be stained with dust, and been far removed from the crystal waters of this living Fountain.” – Baha’u’llah

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.

How To Fast

1. “…those who have observed the fast for love of Thee…”

2. “I have fasted for love of Thee…”

3. “…and in pursuance of Thine injunction…”

4. “…Thy servants who have turned towards the precincts of Thy court and the sanctuary of Thy presence, and have observed the fast for love of Thee.”

5. “For Thine ardent lovers Thou hast, according to Thy decree, reserved, at each daybreak, the cup of Thy remembrance…”

6. “…they forsake their couches in their longing to celebrate Thy praise and extol Thy virtues…”

7. “…and flee from sleep in their eagerness to approach Thy presence and partake of Thy bounty.”

8. “Abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sundown…”

9. “…beware lest desire deprive you of this grace…”

10. “…have broken my fast with Thy praise on my tongue and in conformity with Thy pleasure.

11. “…give me to drink of the wine of Thy mercy…”

12. “…and of the pure beverage of Thy favor…”

13. “…that I may so fix my gaze upon Thee and be so detached from all else but Thee, that the world and all that hath been created therein may appear before me as a fleeting day which Thou hast not deigned to create.”

14. “…Cause me to taste, O my Lord, the divine sweetness of Thy remembrance and praise.”

15. “I beseech Thee to grant that I may be assisted to observe the fast wholly for Thy sake, O Thou Who art full of majesty and glory!”

16. “Empower me, then, O my God, to be reckoned among them that have clung to Thy laws and precepts for the sake of Thee alone, their eyes fixed on Thy face.”

17. “…whose wine is all that hath proceeded out of the mouth of Thy primal will, whose pure beverage is Thine enthralling call…”

18. “Observe ye the commandments of God for love of His beauty…”

19. “…and be not of those who follow in the ways of the abject and foolish.”

20. “Cling firmly to obligatory prayer and fasting.”

21. “Blessed be the one who soareth with their aid in the heaven of the love of God, the Lord of all worlds.”

22. “Be not neglectful of obligatory prayer and fasting.”

23. “…observe the most great and exalted Fast, which is to protect one's eye from beholding whatever is forbidden…”

24. “…and to withhold one's self from food, drink…

25. “…and whatever is not of Him.”

26. “Fast ye for the sake of your Lord, the Mighty, the Most High.”

27. “…for the love of My Beauty…”

28. “Restrain yourselves from sunrise to sunset.”

29. “Cling ye to the cord of God's laws…”

30. “…him who hath fasted out of love for Thee and for Thy good-pleasure – and not out of self and desire, nor out of fear of Thy wrath…”

31. “I beg of Thee by Thy Name, the All-Glorious, to accept the fast of those who have fasted for love of Thee and for the sake of Thy good-pleasure and have carried out what Thou hast bidden them in Thy Books and Tablets.”

32. “We have observed the Fast in conformity with Thy bidding and break it now through Thy love and Thy good-pleasure.”

33. “We have fasted this day, O my Lord, by Thy command and Thy bidding in accordance with what Thou hast revealed in Thy perspicuous Book. We have withheld our souls from passion and from whatsoever Thou abhorrest until the day drew to an end and the time arrived to break the fast.”

34. [How not to fast:] “How many those who keep the fast in the daytime, only to protest against the One by Whose very command the ordinance of the fast was first established!”

“Do not bring our fasts to an end with this fast,
O my Lord,
nor the covenants Thou hast made
with this covenant.”


Key to the Sources (Alphabetically)

IOPF – The Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting
KA – Kitab-i-Aqdas
PM – Prayers and Meditations By Baha'u'llah
SLH – Summons of the Lord of Hosts

Quote: “Since Thou hast adorned them…” (PM, pp. 67-68)
1. PM, p.67; 2. PM, p.80; 3. PM, p.80; 4. PM, p.81; 5. PM, p.143; 6. PM, p.143; 7. PM, p.143; 8. KA, p.25; 9. KA, p.25; 10. PM, p.80; 11. PM, p.81; 12. PM, p.81; 13. PM, pp. 81-82; 14. PM, pp. 82-83; 15. PM, p.299; 16. PM, p.299; 17. PM, p.299; 18. IOPF, Part 1, I; 19. IOPF, Part 1, I; 20. IOPF, Part 1, IV; 21. IOPF, Part 1, III; 22. IOPF, Part 1, VI; 23. IOPF, Part 1, XII; 24. IOPF, Part 1, XII; 25. IOPF, Part 1, XII; 26. IOPF, Part 1, XIII; 27. IOPF, Part 1, XIII; 28. IOPF, Part 1, XIII; 29. IOPF, Part 1, XIV; 30. IOPF, Part 3, I; 31. IOPF, Part 3, II; 32. IOPF, Part 3, III; 33. IOPF, Part 3, VI ; 34. SLH, p.45
“Do not bring our fasts to an end…” (PM, p.84)