Is the Obligatory Prayer a daily ritual? Let's talk about it

Jan 2011
Detroit, MI USA
Is the Obligatory Prayer a daily ritual? We say there's no ritual in this faith but I was wondering because we do have to do the daily physical ablutions.

What are your thoughts?
Jul 2018
There's nothing I know why anyone would say the Bahais have no rituals. Building shrines and temples were a ritual. Going to them are rituals. Saying a prayer is a ritual.
Jul 2018
Tarshish, bound for Nineveh

It seems to me that it depends on the meaning of ritual. I know there are some Baha'is who are in the fashion of saying there are no rituals in the faith and I have heard others say we have no "man made rituals" as ours are specifically and divinely revealed. We do have few rituals in the faith, and here is a passage found in Lights of Guidance on the topic that may be useful to you. It quotes a Letter from the Universal House of Justice which contains quotations from a letter written on behalf of the Guardian.

There is a Minimum of Rituals in the Bahá’í Faith and no Man-Made Dogmas

"In response to your letter of 3rd September 1979 asking if there are dogmas and rites in the Bahá’í Faith, the Universal House of Justice has instructed us to convey its reply.

"A dogma is a principle, tenet or teaching, especially an authoritative teaching, and in these senses it is apparent that the Faith has 'dogmas'. The word is also used, however, to describe that body of rigid doctrines that have accumulated in a religion after the passing of its Founder; such man-made dogmas are entirely absent from the Bahá’í Faith, nor can it ever acquire them.

"Concerning rituals, the beloved Guardian's secretary wrote on his behalf to an individual believer on 24th June 1949:

'Bahá’u’lláh has reduced all ritual and form to an absolute minimum in His Faith. The few forms that there are—like those associated with the two longer obligatory daily prayers—are only symbols of the inner attitude. There is a wisdom in them and a great blessing, but we cannot force ourselves to understand or feel these things; that is why He gave us also the very short and simple prayer, for those who did not feel the desire to perform the acts associated with the other two.'

"Thus it can be seen that the Faith has certain simple rites prescribed by Bahá’u’lláh, such as the obligatory prayers, the marriage ceremony and the laws for the burial of the dead, but its teachings warn against developing them into a system of uniform and rigid rituals incorporating man-made forms and practices, such as exist in other religions where rituals usually consist of elaborate ceremonial practices performed by a member of the clergy. In another letter written on behalf of the Guardian his secretary stated:

'In these days the friends should, as much as possible, demonstrate through their deeds the independence of the Holy Faith of God, and its freedom from the customs, rituals and practices of a discredited and abrogated past.'

(Translated from the Persian).
"In freeing the believers from the religious rituals of the past and from those customs which are contrary to Bahá’í principles, the institutions of the Faith should be careful not to press the friends to arbitrarily discard those local traditions which are harmless and often colourful characteristics of particular peoples and tribes. In 'The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh', on page 41, we read:

'Let there be no misgivings as to the animating purpose of the world-wide Law of Bahá’u’lláh. Far from aiming at the subversion of the existing foundations of society, it seeks to broaden its basis, to remold its institutions in a manner consonant with the needs of an ever-changing world. It can conflict with no legitimate allegiances, nor can it undermine essential loyalties. Its purpose is neither to stifle the flame of a sane and intelligent patriotism in men's hearts, nor to abolish the system of national autonomy so essential if the evils of excessive centralization are to be avoided. It does not ignore, nor does it attempt to suppress, the diversity of ethnical origins, of climate, of history, of language and tradition, of thought and habit, that differentiate the peoples and nations of the world….'"

(From a letter written of behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Bolivia, October 16, 1979)

I hope this helps!
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Jan 2018
I think that is to mean: "No man made rituals." I say the greatest name 95 times a day since joining the Baha'i faith and the short obligatory prayer everyday. For me it's a daily devotion that the founder of our religion told us to do.:yes: