3 We Have Enjoined Obligatory Prayer Upon You #6
In Arabic, there are several words for prayer. The word salat, which
appears here in the original, refers to a particular category of prayers,
the recitation of which at specific times of the day is enjoined on the
believers. To differentiate this category of prayers from other kinds, the
word has been translated as obligatory prayer.
Baha'u'llah states that obligatory prayer and fasting occupy an exalted
station in the sight of God (Q and A 93). 'Abdu'l-Baha affirms that such
prayers are conducive to humility and submissiveness, to setting one's
face towards God and expressing devotion to Him, and that through these
prayers man holdeth communion with God, seeketh to draw near unto Him,
converseth with the true Beloved of his heart, and attaineth spiritual
The Obligatory Prayer (see note 9) referred to in this verse has been
superseded by the three Obligatory Prayers later revealed by Baha'u'llah
(Q and A 63). The texts of the three prayers currently in use, together
with instructions regarding their recital, are to be found in this volume
in Some Texts Supplementary to the Kitab-i-Aqdas.
A number of the items in Questions and Answers deal with aspects of the
three new Obligatory Prayers. Baha'u'llah clarifies that the individual is
permitted to choose any one of the three Obligatory Prayers (Q and A 65).
Other provisions are elucidated in Questions and Answers, numbers 66, 67,
81, and 82.
The details of the law concerning obligatory prayer are summarized in
section IV.A.1.-17. of the Synopsis and Codification.
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