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Bahá’í Way of Life - For the Individual

Bahá’í Way of Life - For the Individual

As with any religion, there are practices that are common to Bahá’ís throughout the world. This section consists of questions relating to personal practice and behaviour, including prayer and fasting. More on the life of the soul can be found in the topic entitled The Soul and Life after Death.

When saying a daily obligatory prayer, a Bahá’í should turn towards which holy place?
The House of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdad, Iraq
The Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh near Akka, Israel
The Shrine of the Báb in Haifa, Israel
The House of Bahá’u’lláh in Edirne, Turkey
Bahá’u’lláh spent the last 24 years of his life in or near the town of Akka. He died and is buried at his home at Bahji, just outside Akka. This spot is considered by Bahá’ís to be the holiest place on earth.
Bahá’u’lláh revealed a number of prayers to be said on a daily basis. These are known as obligatory prayers – the obligation is to choose one of them each day. How many of these prayers are there to choose from?
Before the obligatory prayer, Bahá’ís should wash the hands and face.
Bahá’u’lláh said that the most important thing is that we should be united. What should a Bahá’í do if he or she doesn’t really like a particular person?
Avoid meeting that person
Avoid talking to that person
Try to tolerate that person
Concentrate on the person’s good points
`Abdu’l-Bahá said that if we love people for the sake of God, we will never become impatient with them. Their good points are a reflection of God.
What is the age of spiritual maturity (when a person becomes responsible for prayer and fasting)?
Obligatory prayer and fasting are no longer binding after the age of 70.
Bahá’ís should visit the Bahá’í Holy Shrines in the Haifa / Akka area as a pilgrimage. This can be done at any time of year, but must be arranged as part of an organised group so as to manage the numbers. For how many days does the pilgrimage last?
During this time the pilgrims visit the Shrines of the Báb, Bahá’u’lláh and `Abdu’l-Bahá. They also visit other sites in the area connected with Bahá’í history, as well as the other buildings at the Bahá’í World Centre.
Which of the following should Bahá’ís avoid?
Alcohol and other habit-forming drugs
Smoking tobacco is also very strongly condemned.
Bahá’ís should read something from the Bahá’í scriptures every day. How often?
Every morning
Every evening
Every morning and evening
Every morning, noon and evening
A Bahá’í should then meditate on what has been read and take it to heart.
Which of the following are exempt from fasting?
Those over 70 years old
Pregnant and nursing mothers
Those doing heavy manual labour
All of the above
Those who are ill or ailing and those travelling long distances are also exempt.
Bahá’u’lláh forbids backbiting. What does this mean?
Arguing back
Taking revenge
Talking about people behind their backs
Being rude to your parents
This is a very destructive habit. It destroys the unity of a group of people.
The last month of the Bahá’í year is the month of fasting. This month ends at the March equinox so the hours of daylight are of similar length throughout much of the world. In the northern and southern extremes, clocks are used. For what part of the day do Bahá’ís fast?
Noon to sunset
Overnight, sunset to sunrise
Sunrise to sunset each day
Dawn to noon
No food or drink may be taken during this time. `Abdu’l-Bahá said “This material fast is an outer token of the spiritual fast; it is a symbol of self-restraint, the withholding of oneself from all appetites of the self, taking on the characteristics of the spirit, being carried away by the breathings of heaven and catching fire from the love of God.”


Author:  National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United Kingdom

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