20 God Hath Exempted Women Who Are In Their Courses From Obligatory Prayer And Fasting #13
Exemption from obligatory prayer and fasting is granted to women who are
menstruating; they should, instead, perform their ablutions (see note 34)
and repeat 95 times a day between one noon and the next, the verse
Glorified be God, the Lord of Splendour and Beauty. This provision has
its antecedent in the Arabic Bayan, where a similar dispensation was
In some earlier religious Dispensations, women in their courses were
considered ritually unclean and were forbidden to observe the duties of
prayer and fasting. The concept of ritual uncleanness has been abolished
by Baha'u'llah (see note 106).
The Universal House of Justice has clarified that the provisions in the
Kitab-i-Aqdas granting exemptions from certain duties and responsibilities
are, as the word indicates, exemptions and not prohibitions. Any believer
is, therefore, free to avail himself or herself of an applicable exemption
if he or she so wishes. However, the House of Justice counsels that, in
deciding whether to do so or not, the believer should use wisdom and
realize that Baha'u'llah has granted these exemptions for good reason.
The prescribed exemption from obligatory prayer, originally related to the
Obligatory Prayer consisting of nine rak'ahs, is now applicable to the
three Obligatory Prayers which superseded it.
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