Bahai Forums

Go Back   Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Teachings

Baha'i Teachings Baha'i Teachings and Doctrine - Social Principles, Greater Covenant, Lesser Covenant


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-14-2017, 10:51 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Joined: May 2017
From: South Carolina
Posts: 2
Do Bahai still perform required prostrations?

Hello, I am a Catholic background Bahai, I still attend mass and am very involved with the Catholic prayer life, but I have also studied the Quran lately and learned various ablutions and 'Salah' from the muslim faith.

There are nine prostrations recommended in the Aqdas. Is this requirement still in effect today? Do the Bahai still perform prostrations (Rak'aat)?

If so, I am curious if it was originally nine in the morning, nine at lunch time, and nine in the evening. Is it different today? Or was the Aqdas stating nine total prostrations during the course of the day?

Any clarity is appreciated. Thanks much.

peace and all good
 
Join Baha'i Forums


Welcome to Baha'i Forums, an open Baha'i Faith community! We welcome everyone and the community is free to join so register today and become part of the Baha'i Forums family!


Old 05-14-2017, 12:18 PM   #2
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
tonyfish58's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 3,879
A Bahai can Choose from either the Short, Medium or Long Obligitory prayer each day.

Ablutions are required before offering each prayer.

There are no Prostrations for the Short prayer to be said at noon. There are Prostations in the Medium Obligitory Prayer ro be said 3 times a day and Long Obligitory Prayer to be said once in each 24 hour day. There is also Prostations required if one is travelling and misses an Obligitory prayer.

The required actions are noted in the Medium prayer and would be done 3 times a day

The required actions for the Long prayer are also noted in the prayer.

This link to Prayers http://www.bahaiprayers.org/indexlong.htm

Regards Tony

Last edited by tonyfish58; 05-14-2017 at 12:20 PM.
 
Old 05-14-2017, 12:24 PM   #3
Just a member
 
Joined: Oct 2013
From: Glenwood, Queensland, Australia
Posts: 640
Good morning Dakkaeo

The nine prostrations spoken of you mention are in Paragraph 6 of the Kitab-i-Aqdas. For further information, we need to go further through this Volume.

In Question and Answers, Q&A 63, page 125 is written:

QUESTION:In the Kitáb-i-Aqdas obligatory prayer hath been enjoined, consisting of nine rak’áhs, to be performed at noon, in the morning and the evening, but the Tablet of Obligatory Prayers(1) appeareth to differ from this.

ANSWER:That which hath been revealed in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas concerneth a different Obligatory Prayer. Some years ago a number of the ordinances of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas including that Obligatory Prayer were, for reasons of wisdom, recorded separately and sent away together with other sacred writings, for the purposes of preservation and protection. Later these three Obligatory Prayers were revealed.
(1) The Tablet containing the three Obligatory Prayers now in use.

In Note 6:

We have relieved you of a greater number¶6

The requirements for obligatory prayer called for in the Bábí and Islamic Dispensations were more demanding than those for the performance of the Obligatory Prayer consisting of nine rak’áhs that was prescribed in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (see note 4).

In the Bayán, the Báb prescribed an Obligatory Prayer consisting of nineteen rak’áhs which was to be performed once in a twenty-four-hour period—from noon of one day to noon of the next.

The Muslim prayer is recited five times a day, namely, in the early morning, at midday, in the afternoon and evening, and at night. While the number of rak’áhs varies according to the time of recitation, a total of seventeen rak’áhs are offered in the course of a day.

This note refers to note 4:

nine rak’áhs ¶6
A rak’áh is the recitation of specifically revealed verses accompanied by a prescribed set of genuflections and other movements.

The Obligatory Prayer originally enjoined by Bahá’u’lláh upon His followers consisted of nine rak’áhs. The precise nature of this prayer and the specific instructions for its recitation are unknown, as the prayer has been lost. (See note 9.)

In a Tablet commenting on the presently-binding Obligatory Prayers, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá indicates that “in every word and movement of the Obligatory Prayer there are allusions, mysteries and a wisdom that man is unable to comprehend, and letters and scrolls cannot contain”.

Shoghi Effendi explains that the few simple directions given by Bahá’u’lláh for the recital of certain prayers not only have a spiritual significance but that they also help the individual “to fully concentrate when praying and meditating”.

And to Note 9:

We have set forth the details of obligatory prayer in another Tablet. ¶8
The original Obligatory Prayer had “for reasons of wisdom” been revealed by Bahá’u’lláh in a separate Tablet (Q and A 63). It was not released to the believers in His lifetime, having been superseded by the three Obligatory Prayers now in use.

Shortly after the Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh, the text of this prayer, along with a number of other Tablets, was stolen by Muḥammad-‘Alí, the Arch-breaker of His Covenant.


Each of the three Obligatory prayers have their own instructions to be followed, including standing, prostrating, washing the face, standing with hands on knees and so on. The believer has a choice of which one she/he performs, along with its instructions. One refers you to these prayers for specifics:

Long Obligatory Prayer
Medium Obligatory Prayer
Short Obligatory Prayer

Regards instructions for the short Obligatory Prayer, from Q&A 81, p. 130:

QUESTION:Should the third Obligatory Prayer be offered while seated or standing?
ANSWER:It is preferable and more fitting to stand in an attitude of humble reverence.

If one goes through the Paragraphs, Questions and Answers and the notes, there is also information on the Qiblih. For a summary, see the Synopsis and Codification.

With warmest greetings

Romane

Romane
 
Old 05-14-2017, 01:54 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Joined: May 2013
From: forest falls california
Posts: 1,768
Long Obligatory Prayer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakkaeo View Post
Hello, I am a Catholic background Bahai, I still attend mass and am very involved with the Catholic prayer life, but I have also studied the Quran lately and learned various ablutions and 'Salah' from the muslim faith.

There are nine prostrations recommended in the Aqdas. Is this requirement still in effect today? Do the Bahai still perform prostrations (Rak'aat)?

If so, I am curious if it was originally nine in the morning, nine at lunch time, and nine in the evening. Is it different today? Or was the Aqdas stating nine total prostrations during the course of the day?

Any clarity is appreciated. Thanks much.

peace and all good

For me, as a Baha'i since 1980, it took some years before I felt truly comfortable saying the Long Obligatory Prayer with its prostrations. This was due, I think, to my resistance to change and the foreigness of it.

Eventually, however, it began to feel like the most perfect expression of Yoga, like an "asana", or posture, which I would liken to a plant responding to the sun, yielding its leaves and responding to the warmth and light until the flower petals bloom from that which is latent within the soul.

So the various movements, from the upraised hands, to the hands resting upon the knees, to prostrating oneself before the Lord, all have significance.

The confirmations follow when one responds in obedience to the commands of God to "read from the Writings every morn and eve..." recites the Obligatory Prayers, observes the fast, etc...
 
Old 05-14-2017, 06:12 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Joined: May 2017
From: South Carolina
Posts: 2
Thank you so much for the information, I greatly appreciate your response. So, from what I see, in the Obligatory prayers, there are no required prostrations. I have read through each of the obligatory prayers several times and performed them all.. but from what I can tell, a person never performs a "rak'ah" in the traditional form in any one of the obligatory prayers.

There are times where a person may kneel, and other times where the hands are on the knees (very much like the Muslim prayer), but .. like I said, I dont see any actual prostrations. Prostration means face down, on the ground, like a muslim would pray.

I was asking If there was any modern interpretation of how a Bahai should pray if he desires to use "rak'ah"s, and if there were any obligatory rak'ahs per day. From what I can tell, and from what you are telling me... obligatory rak'ahs have been done away with completely now? Or are they simply a part of the believer's "personal devotion" rather than obligatory?

And If they are a personal option, how many rak'ahs per day do modern Bahais do? Or do Bahai's not do this at all?

//
edit: I'm just gonna ask as well for clarification that "kneeling with forehead to the ground" actually means 'prostration'? Unless it simply means to kneel with your forhead slanted towards the ground.

Thanks again.

peace and all good

Last edited by Dakkaeo; 05-14-2017 at 06:52 PM.
 
Old 05-15-2017, 12:57 AM   #6
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
tonyfish58's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
From: Normanton Far North Queensland
Posts: 3,879
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakkaeo View Post
Thank you so much for the information, I greatly appreciate your response. So, from what I see, in the Obligatory prayers, there are no required prostrations. I have read through each of the obligatory prayers several times and performed them all.. but from what I can tell, a person never performs a "rak'ah" in the traditional form in any one of the obligatory prayers.

There are times where a person may kneel, and other times where the hands are on the knees (very much like the Muslim prayer), but .. like I said, I dont see any actual prostrations. Prostration means face down, on the ground, like a muslim would pray.

I was asking If there was any modern interpretation of how a Bahai should pray if he desires to use "rak'ah"s, and if there were any obligatory rak'ahs per day. From what I can tell, and from what you are telling me... obligatory rak'ahs have been done away with completely now? Or are they simply a part of the believer's "personal devotion" rather than obligatory?

And If they are a personal option, how many rak'ahs per day do modern Bahais do? Or do Bahai's not do this at all?

//
edit: I'm just gonna ask as well for clarification that "kneeling with forehead to the ground" actually means 'prostration'? Unless it simply means to kneel with your forhead slanted towards the ground.

Thanks again.

peace and all good
I see these as a prostration, "bowing his forehead to the ground", 3 times in the Long Prayer.

In this prayer "Tablet of Visitation" of Abdul'baha we see the importance of this.

"He is the All-Glorious!

O God, my God! Lowly and tearful, I raise my suppliant hands to Thee and cover my face in the dust of that Threshold of Thine, exalted above the knowledge of the learned, and the praise of all that glorify Thee. Graciously look upon Thy servant, humble and lowly at Thy door, with the glances of the eye of Thy mercy, and immerse him in the Ocean of Thine eternal grace...."

Tablet of Visitation of 'Abdu'l-Bahá

Regards Tony
 
Reply

  Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Forums > Baha'i Teachings

Tags
bahai, perform, prostrations, required



Thread Tools
Display Modes



Facebook @bahaiforums RSS


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2006 - 2017 Bahai Forums. All rights reserved.