I don’t know what to do.

May 2017
26
Earth
#11
I think the cohabitation principle only applies when 2 people of the opposite gender live together alone. That is, throwing in an extra person or another couple will result in it not being considered cohabiting?

Tbh my present perspective is that cohabitation can be a beneficial step before marriage, as one can come to an understanding of the other person's character that cannot be gained from just going out or even serving together. I understand that's not exactly in line with the Baha'i view, but I've seen a few marriages breakdown in the community when the couple realized they don't work together, and I couldn't help but thinking if they had lived together for even like 6 months prior to marrying they would have realized earlier. But idk.

I think a 2 bedroom apartment could work, or perhaps even sharing a larger residence with another couple.

Also, given the medical situation you mentioned, maybe that would exempt the usual response to cohabitation?

As far as nudity, as Yousefy2 pointed out the House of Justice has stated that works of art containing nudity can be acceptable, its more when its just gratuitous nudity, which probably does include toplessness.
 
Sep 2012
306
Panama
#12
...gratuitous nudity, which probably does include toplessness...
Maybe not, there are some cultures where topless men & women are the norm (one indigenous society here in Panama comes to mind) and there are other cultures where exposing any hair on women's heads is considered unexceptionable.

imho the sanctity of the family unit is of critical importance but clothing styles (or lack thereof) is not.
 
Jul 2017
339
Olympia, WA, USA
#13
From the Book of Laws which is the Most Holy Book of the Baha’i Faith:

“The Bahá’í teachings on sexual morality centre on marriage and the family as the bedrock of the whole structure of human society and are designed to protect and strengthen that divine institution. Bahá’í law thus restricts permissible sexual intercourse to that between a man and the woman to whom he is married.” The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 223

'The Bahá'í Faith recognizes the value of the sex impulse, but condemns its illegitimate and improper expressions such as free love, companionate marriage and others, all of which it considers positively harmful to man and to the society in which he lives. The proper use of the sex instinct is the natural right of every individual, and it is precisely for this very purpose that the institution of marriage has been established. The Bahá'ís do not believe in the suppression of the sex impulse but in its regulation and control.'

"In response to another letter enquiring if there were any legitimate way in which a person could express the sex instinct if, for some reason, he were unable to marry or if outer circumstances such as economic factors were to cause him to delay marriage, the Guardian's secretary wrote on his behalf:

'Concerning your question whether there are any legitimate forms of expression of the sex instinct outside of marriage: According to the Bahá'í Teachings no sexual act can be considered lawful unless performed between lawfully married persons. Outside of marital life there can be no lawful or healthy use of the sex impulse. The Bahá'í youth should, on the one hand, be taught the lesson of self-control which, when exercised, undoubtedly has a salutary effect on the development of character and of personality in general, and on the other should be advised, nay even encouraged, to contract marriage while still young and in full possession of their physical vigour. Economic factors, no doubt, are often a serious hindrance to early marriage but in most cases are only an excuse, and as such should not be over stressed.'

"In another letter on the Guardian's behalf, also to an individual believer, the secretary writes:

'Amongst the many other evils afflicting society in this spiritual low water mark in history is the question of immorality, and over-emphasis of sex...'

"This indicates how the whole matter of sex and the problems related to it have assumed far too great an importance in the thinking of present-day society.
Lights of Guidance (second part): A Bahá'í Reference File, pp. 364-365

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Say: Commit not, O people, that which will bring shame upon you or dishonor the Cause of God in the eyes of men, and be not of the mischief-makers. Approach not the things which your minds condemn. Eschew all manner of wickedness, for such things are forbidden unto you in the Book which none touch except such as God hath cleansed from every taint of guilt, and numbered among the purified.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 277-278

“My captivity can bring on Me no shame. Nay, by My life, it conferreth on Me glory. That which can make Me ashamed is the conduct of such of My followers as profess to love Me, yet in fact follow the Evil One. They, indeed, are of the lost.

When the time set for this Revelation was fulfilled, and He Who is the Day Star of the world appeared in ‘Iráq, He bade His followers observe that which would sanctify them from all earthly defilements. Some preferred to follow the desires of a corrupt inclination, while others walked in the way of righteousness and truth, and were rightly guided.

Say: He is not to be numbered with the people of Bahá who followeth his mundane desires, or fixeth his heart on things of the earth. He is My true follower who, if he come to a valley of pure gold, will pass straight through it aloof as a cloud, and will neither turn back, nor pause. Such a man is, assuredly, of Me. From his garment the Concourse on high can inhale the fragrance of sanctity…. And if he met the fairest and most comely of women, he would not feel his heart seduced by the least shadow of desire for her beauty. Such an one, indeed, is the creation of spotless chastity. Thus instructeth you the Pen of the Ancient of Days, as bidden by your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Bountiful.”
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 117-118

“I sorrow not for the burden of My imprisonment. Neither do I grieve over My abasement, or the tribulation I suffer at the hands of Mine enemies. By My life! They are My glory, a glory wherewith God hath adorned His own Self. Would that ye know it!

The shame I was made to bear hath uncovered the glory with which the whole of creation had been invested, and through the cruelties I have endured, the Day Star of Justice hath manifested itself, and shed its splendor upon men.

My sorrows are for those who have involved themselves in their corrupt passions, and claim to be associated with the Faith of God, the Gracious, the All-Praised.

It behoveth the people of Bahá to die to the world and all that is therein, to be so detached from all earthly things that the inmates of Paradise may inhale from their garment the sweet smelling savor of sanctity, that all the peoples of the earth may recognize in their faces the brightness of the All-Merciful, and that through them may be spread abroad the signs and tokens of God, the Almighty, the All-Wise. They that have tarnished the fair name of the Cause of God, by following the things of the flesh—these are in palpable error!”
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 100-101
 
Jun 2014
1,043
Wisconsin
#14
I believe in Baha’u’llah. I know he was of God. However, I’m having some issues. Before I became Baha’i, I had plans to move in with my boyfriend. Then I became Baha’i. Nobody told me about the cohabitation “rule”.
Ich.

It really kinda disgusts me that so many people, even Baha'is on this forum, are of the cultural mindset that automatically assumes living together means sex before marriage. :(

Anyways, according to the UHJ itself, you are in the clear Allyb!!:

"With respect to Baha'is living in the same residence with a person of the opposite sex, such an arrangement would by no means be automatically considered unacceptable. It is not uncommon, for example, for a person to let out bed-sitting rooms in his or her house to students, vacationers, or others. Similarly, a man or woman may employ a housekeeper or servant of the other sex. What is considered proper in such arrangements varies from country to country. The laws and principles of our Faith, on the other hand, are meant to apply across all cultures, and what Baha'is would consider immoral is people who are not married living together as husband and wife, and indulging in sexual relations."

In full: Living together is 100% fine/permitted/halal in the Baha'i Faith so long as you are not living together "as husband and wife", IE, "indulging in sexual relations."

But living in the same building, is not inherently sexual, nor should any sane human being assume it is so. :p And I do find it greatly disturbing the amount of people who seem sexualize housing. :I It's gross, guys. Cut it out.

All the links people have posted to sex before marriage are completely inappropriate towards the topic at hand. :I Cohabitation itself is not banned, marital relations before marriage is what is banned. There is no reason to assume by Allyb's posts that she is sexually active in any way, and such speculation is inappropriate.

Allyb, you're in the clear. The UHJ states it is permitted. Don't fret. And if anyone further spreads the misinformation that your living arrangement is forbidden, point them to the wisdom and guidance offered by the UHJ, which explicitly states the opposite.

I’m having other issues too. I don’t drink alcohol or do drugs, but I don’t see the harm in nudity. In photography and art it is so beautiful. I don’t find it sexual. In other countries many women don’t wear tops to the beach.
Yeah... more about the theme of people sexualizing things that shouldn't be sexualized. There's a reason that Baha'u'llah told us to make our eyes chaste. :p In an age when people view the act of living under the same roof as inherently sexual, we are in some dire need of viewing the world with more chaste eyes.
 
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Jul 2017
258
Kettering, Ohio USA
#15
Ich.

It really kinda disgusts me that so many people, even Baha'is on this forum, are of the cultural mindset that automatically assumes living together means sex before marriage. :(

Anyways, according to the UHJ itself, you are in the clear Allyb!!:

"With respect to Baha'is living in the same residence with a person of the opposite sex, such an arrangement would by no means be automatically considered unacceptable. It is not uncommon, for example, for a person to let out bed-sitting rooms in his or her house to students, vacationers, or others. Similarly, a man or woman may employ a housekeeper or servant of the other sex. What is considered proper in such arrangements varies from country to country. The laws and principles of our Faith, on the other hand, are meant to apply across all cultures, and what Baha'is would consider immoral is people who are not married living together as husband and wife, and indulging in sexual relations."
I
In full: Living together is 100% fine/permitted/halal in the Baha'i Faith so long as you are not living together "as husband and wife", IE, "indulging in sexual relations."

But living in the same building, is not inherently sexual, nor should any sane human being assume it is so. :p And I do find it greatly disturbing the amount of people who seem sexualize housing. :I It's gross, guys. Cut it out.

All the links people have posted to sex before marriage are completely inappropriate towards the topic at hand. :I Cohabitation itself is not banned, marital relations before marriage is what is banned. There is no reason to assume by Allyb's posts that she is sexually active in any way, and such speculation is inappropriate.

Allyb, you're in the clear. The UHJ states it is permitted. Don't fret. And if anyone further spreads the misinformation that your living arrangement is forbidden, point them to the wisdom and guidance offered by the UHJ, which explicitly states the opposite.



Yeah... more about the theme of people sexualizing things that shouldn't be sexualized. There's a reason that Baha'u'llah told us to make our eyes chaste. :p In an age when people view the act of living under the same roof as inherently sexual, we are in some dire need of viewing the world with more chaste eyes.
It may be different for those that intend eventually to marry each other and have a sexual attraction for each other. The examples the UHJ gives is not that.
 
Sep 2010
4,436
Normanton Far North Queensland
#16
It may be different for those that intend eventually to marry each other and have a sexual attraction for each other. The examples the UHJ gives is not that.
I would agree and as said, all guidance was posted, but in the end it is Allyb who has to make a decision.

We can only say there is a power in Gods laws, that when we obey, gives us a greater wisdom.

The best Idea is consultation with the LSA if there is one, go through and use the given administrative channels, this will build our Unity.

Regards Tony
 
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Oct 2014
1,786
Stockholm
#17
The best Idea is consultation with the LSA if there is one, go through and use the given administrative channels, this will build our Unity.

Regards Tony
I think that's a very good advice. The other thing I was thinking of, is the paradox of someone who believes in Bahá'u'lláh, but considers leaving the Faith because it's tough to follow one of the laws. There wouldn't be many of us left, if we all had acted like that. :)

Best

from

gnat
 
Feb 2018
4
Miami
#18
Wow

I think that's a very good advice. The other thing I was thinking of, is the paradox of someone who believes in Bahá'u'lláh, but considers leaving the Faith because it's tough to follow one of the laws. There wouldn't be many of us left, if we all had acted like that. :)

Best

from

gnat


Well gnat, that was very rude. Considering I am 19 years old and DID NOT grow up Bahá’í, or any religion for that matter. We already signed the leases before anyone informed us of this “law”. . Are Baha’is not supposed to be loving and supportive of fellow people who are on their own spiritual journey? :(
 
Feb 2018
4
Miami
#19
Well gnat, that was very rude. Considering I am 19 years old and DID NOT grow up Bahá’í, or any religion for that matter. We already signed the leases before anyone informed us of this “law”. . Are Baha’is not supposed to be loving and supportive of fellow people who are on their own spiritual journey? :(



And it’s not “tough” to follow this law. It would be life changing. My boyfriends family isn’t from America and they don’t want him “settling down” until his late thirties. They don’t mind cohabitation because it’s not commitment to a legal marriage. The moment he legally got married, they would cut all of his college funding. Then we are left tens of thousands of dollars in debt, as if it’s not a struggle already. I don’t think God would say it isn’t okay to live in two separate bedrooms if it preventd years of hardship and a broken relationship with his family. Compassion....
 
Feb 2018
37
Arizona-but earth is one homeland ;)
#20
And it’s not “tough” to follow this law. It would be life changing. My boyfriends family isn’t from America and they don’t want him “settling down” until his late thirties. They don’t mind cohabitation because it’s not commitment to a legal marriage. The moment he legally got married, they would cut all of his college funding. Then we are left tens of thousands of dollars in debt, as if it’s not a struggle already. I don’t think God would say it isn’t okay to live in two separate bedrooms if it preventd years of hardship and a broken relationship with his family. Compassion....
Gnat did not mean to appear rude...

Again, if you and your partner want to marry, consider talking about a simple Baha'i ceremony now followed by a civil one after graduation with your partner and his parents if you have not done so.

It is very hard to finish a college degree with children, so the impulse of your partner's parents to ensure securing that education is not entirely wrong headed.

If they were Baha'i they would be encouraged to allow early marriage and support either financially and\or with child support if they were able until your educations and finances were secure ... If the parents were unable to do that those support responsibilities should fall on the institutions of the faith if no other family, ngo or government program or individual came forward to aid, but the faith itself is not yet financially developed for various reasons of its immaturity... It would depend largely on the local conditions of the LSA if there is one and so on.

If talking to the parents leads to an impasse, then a trusted third party advisor would be preferable. If that is not possible, say the parents trust or respect no one that you two do as well, then inform the local LSA of your situation. Should that not be possible, e.g. no LSA, then do what you and your partner feel is right and leave the rest in the hands of God... God is certainly the most understanding and patient ... Be not concerned if you try to convince the parents in all the gentlest ways and do not succeed, God does not ask for undue hardship and is understanding of difficulty.