Obligatory Prayer instructions

Oct 2010
1,893
Phoenix, AZ
Here it appears that there are different obligations depending on the prayer you choose?

For the Short and Long Obligatory Prayer, it is prescribed only once per day, while it is only the Medium Obligatory Prayer that is prescribed three times. I am confused, I thought we were obligated to say whichever we desired 3 times a day, no matter what? Should the site stating these differences be asked to change this, or are they correct?

Also, further questions pertaining to Obligatory Prayer:

How does one decipher the location of the Qiblih? I do not own a compass, and even if I did, I am not sure the precise location of it in relation to my current dwelling either way.

Also, with regards to the Short Obligatory Prayer, it does not say anything about ablution, is it still required? How about prostrations? What is the exact procedure here? Is the prayer to be said once you are sat cross legged, in the position of prostration, or other place in the procedure? If it is said prior to the posture of unity, how long are you supposed to remain seated?
 
Oct 2010
1,893
Phoenix, AZ
Well, I have already answered part of my own question:

Step one: Ablution (not required for Short Obligatory Prayer)
Step two: face Qiblih and recite (Short) Obligatory Prayer
Step three: Prostration
Step four: Posture of unity while repeating Allah-u-Abha 95 times

So now I only need clarity as pertains to number of times per day for the Short Obligatory prayer, and how to decipher where exactly the Qiblih is in relation to me.

Also, as pertains to the repetition of Allah-u-Abha, is it acceptable to repeat for a specific amount of time - say 2 mins - as I am bound to lose track of how many I've done otherwise, lol
 
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Nov 2010
282
India
Do not ask any thing from God which is either related to present or future

Here it appears that there are different obligations depending on the prayer you choose?

For the Short and Long Obligatory Prayer, it is prescribed only once per day, while it is only the Medium Obligatory Prayer that is prescribed three times. I am confused, I thought we were obligated to say whichever we desired 3 times a day, no matter what? Should the site stating these differences be asked to change this, or are they correct?

Also, further questions pertaining to Obligatory Prayer:

How does one decipher the location of the Qiblih? I do not own a compass, and even if I did, I am not sure the precise location of it in relation to my current dwelling either way.

Also, with regards to the Short Obligatory Prayer, it does not say anything about ablution, is it still required? How about prostrations? What is the exact procedure here? Is the prayer to be said once you are sat cross legged, in the position of prostration, or other place in the procedure? If it is said prior to the posture of unity, how long are you supposed to remain seated?

Do not ask any thing from God which is either related to present or future. When you ask some thing in present or some thing in the future, it clearly means that you are reminding Him about the corresponding reaction that is to be immediately implemented in the need. This indirectly means that God is not alert as you are. This is insulting God. Due to such sin the requirement is not answered. If you are asking to protect yourself or somebody else, it indirectly means that He is not aware of the things to be done due to the irresponsibility and this also indicates that He is not as kind as yourself.

It means that God has potency to help but not kind enough to render the help. On contrary, it also means that you lack unfortunately the potency. It means if you fortunately have the potency you could have immediately responded and helped. Therefore, when ever you ask for anything it clearly means indirectly that God has some type of defect, which does not exist in your case. When you ask Him to fulfill the desire it looks as if that your desire is constitutionally justified. But God is not positively reacting due to either lack of positive response immediately or due to lack of knowledge of the constitution or due to lack of kindness to help the needy. All these points are very very subtle. But God is the most subtle and therefore, the knowledge of this analysis will certainly restrict you from asking any fulfillment of your desire.

Never bring present and future before God. Confine to the past always before God. Look back at your past life. Hundreds of incidents are there where you were helped by God. Even if you dispose some incidents through the incidental probability of success or through the efficiency of your efforts, certainly there are plenty of instances in which the help from God is clearly evident. At least remember those few incidents and express your gratefulness along praise to God for His kind help that was already done. The word Krutajnata means remembering the past help. Kruta means the past help done. Jna means identifying it by analysis. If you confine to praying the Lord and thanking Him always about the past helps from Him, the Lord will be immensely pleased. Then the present and future are spontaneously taken care of by the God. But do not adopt this technique with a mind that you will be helped by God in the present and in the future by following this procedure!

You should really follow this path and you should really forget the present and the future. When large number of people came to hear the message from Jesus, they were hungry by the noon. This point was brought to the notice of Jesus. He never asked God to provide food for those hungry people who came to hear God’s word. Had He asked for that, He would have insulted God. God knows His responsibility very well towards the devotees who came there to hear about Him. God has the power to fulfill His responsibility even in the last fraction of second. Had Jesus told God to bless the devotees with food, it clearly means that God is not as kind as Jesus. Jesus never asked for any thing. He came to know that there were four breads. He took them and showed to sky. He thanked God for providing those four pieces of bread.

Immediately the present was responded and the four breads became four thousand breads. This application of analysis is limited to Nivrutti only. You should not extend this to Pravrutti. When you are hungry you have to beg the other souls because they are not omniscient to know that you are hungry. Pravrutti and Nivrutti should never be mixed.
 
Oct 2010
1,893
Phoenix, AZ
dattaswami, I am requesting information as pertains to a specific requirement of Baha'is, I am not sure what you are talking about but it is unrelated.
 
Oct 2010
1,893
Phoenix, AZ
It appears to be confirmed in various sources, however, that in the case of the Short Obligatory Prayer, the requirement is indeed only once per day... that seems easy :cool:

So now, my questions only pertain to figuring out where the Qiblih is in relation to me - is a rough estimate acceptable? And also, is it acceptable to simply repeat Allah-u-abha for a set amount of time I am sure will go over the allotted requirement?
 
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Oct 2010
1,893
Phoenix, AZ
I will most likely lean towards the Medium Obligatory Prayer as my Faith grows, but for now I think the Short one along with ablution and prostration will be enough... baby steps :rolleyes:
 
Oct 2010
1,893
Phoenix, AZ
I believe I have answered all my own questions in this thread, there is much written about the effects of the act of prayer being most important, and thus concentrating on specific obligations is petty.

Even if I do it slightly wrong, it is surely better than not at all - provided I mean my actions, and the words are correct :D
 
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Sep 2010
378
Canada
I will most likely lean towards the Medium Obligatory Prayer as my Faith grows, but for now I think the Short one along with ablution and prostration will be enough... baby steps :rolleyes:
I've been a Baha'i 15 years and have never said anything but the Short Obligatory prayer. There are just so many beautiful prayers to choose from I've never felt the need to observe more than the Short prayer. It requires no ablutions and no prostrations and should be said between noon and sunset facing the Qiblih.

I believe the 'details' are all meant to be outward expressions of an 'inner reality' we should be striving to achieve. That being, 'cleansing' our mind and heart of everything else and 'turning' our entire being toward that most Holy Spot at least once a day, even if only but for a moment, in order to make that 'connection' with our Creator. I feel it is a sign of obedience, respect, and most of all love. If I still had them with me, I wouldn't go an entire day without kissing my mother and father and letting them know I loved them at least once.

BTW, a nice set of Baha'i prayer beads can solve that whole keeping track of those daily 95 Allah'u'Abhas issue. ;)
 
Oct 2010
1,893
Phoenix, AZ
I've been a Baha'i 15 years and have never said anything but the Short Obligatory prayer. There are just so many beautiful prayers to choose from I've never felt the need to observe more than the Short prayer. It requires no ablutions and no prostrations and should be said between noon and sunset facing the Qiblih.

I believe the 'details' are all meant to be outward expressions of an 'inner reality' we should be striving to achieve. That being, 'cleansing' our mind and heart of everything else and 'turning' our entire being toward that most Holy Spot at least once a day, even if only but for a moment, in order to make that 'connection' with our Creator. I feel it is a sign of obedience, respect, and most of all love. If I still had them with me, I wouldn't go an entire day without kissing my mother and father and letting them know I loved them at least once.

BTW, a nice set of Baha'i prayer beads can solve that whole keeping track of those daily 95 Allah'u'Abhas issue. ;)
Thank you for your clarification here!

I gotta say, I just did the repetition for the first time, that didn't seem very spiritual at all, I clearly did something wrong :(

Also, if you do not do the prostration, do you still sit in the posture of unity when you do this repetition?
 
Sep 2010
378
Canada
I gotta say, I just did the repetition for the first time, that didn't seem very spiritual at all, I clearly did something wrong :(

Also, if you do not do the prostration, do you still sit in the posture of unity when you do this repetition?
I'm not even sure what 'the posture of unity' even is Luni but I don't think there is any obligatory requirement about this.

The use of prayer beads should free you from the distraction of counting or watching the clock. Again, I believe the 95 recitations of Allah'u'Abha are intended to help us focus on making that connection with the divine, much like a mantra works in Transcendental Meditation. Its benefits are rarely noticeable without a certain amount of practice and dedication.

It's quite natural you didn't feel very spiritual the first time around because it has not become truly meaningful to you yet - a part of your personal relationship with God. In the Hidden Words Baha'u'llah says: "Prefer not your will to Mine, never desire that which I have not desired for you, and approach Me not with lifeless hearts, defiled with worldly desires and cravings."

At the end of the day however, it's really the effort we put into 'living the life' as best we can in every aspect of the teachings, especially in our interactions with others that has the greatest effect on our spiritual growth and development.