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Kitab-i-aqdas
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Synopsis And Codification Of The Laws And Ordinances Of The Kitab-i-aqdas


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38 We Have Divided Inheritance Into Seven Categories #20
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Prayer For The Dead






O my God! This is Thy servant and the son of Thy servant who hath believed
in Thee and in Thy signs, and set his face towards Thee, wholly detached
from all except Thee. Thou art, verily, of those who show mercy the most
merciful.

Deal with him, O Thou Who forgivest the sins of men and concealest their
faults, as beseemeth the heaven of Thy bounty and the ocean of Thy grace.
Grant him admission within the precincts of Thy transcendent mercy that
was before the foundation of earth and heaven. There is no God but Thee,
the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Generous.


_Let him, then, repeat six times the greeting Allah-u-Abha, and
then repeat nineteen times each of the following verses:_

We all, verily, worship God.

We all, verily, bow down before God.

We all, verily, are devoted unto God.

We all, verily, give praise unto God.

We all, verily, yield thanks unto God.

We all, verily, are patient in God.

_(If the dead be a woman, let him say: This is Thy handmaiden and
the daughter of Thy handmaiden, etc...)_


_(Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, CLXVII)_




{~COMBINING MACRON BELOW~}Questions And Answers


1. QUESTION: Concerning the Most Great Festival.

ANSWER: The Most Great Festival commenceth late in the afternoon of the
thirteenth day of the second month of the year according to the Bayan. On
the first, ninth and twelfth days of this Festival, work is forbidden.

2. QUESTION: Concerning the Festival of the Twin Birthdays.

ANSWER: The Birth of the Abha Beauty(12) was at the hour of dawn on the
second day of the month of Muharram,(13) the first day of which marketh
the Birth of His Herald. These two days are accounted as one in the sight
of God.

3. QUESTION: Concerning the Marriage Verses.(14)

ANSWER: For men: We will all, verily, abide by the Will of God. For
women: We will all, verily, abide by the Will of God.

4. QUESTION: Should a man go on a journey without specifying a time for
his return--without indicating, in other words, the expected period of his
absence--and should no word be heard of him thereafter, and all trace of
him be lost, what course should be followed by his wife?

ANSWER: Should he have omitted to fix a time for his return despite being
aware of the stipulation of the Kitab-i-Aqdas in this regard, his wife
should wait for one full year, after which she shall be free either to
adopt the course that is praiseworthy, or to choose for herself another
husband. If, however, he be unaware of this stipulation, she should abide
in patience until such time as God shall please to disclose to her his
fate. By the course that is praiseworthy in this connection is meant the
exercise of patience.

5. QUESTION: Concerning the holy verse: When We heard the clamour of the
children as yet unborn, We doubled their share and decreased those of the
rest.

ANSWER: According to the Book of God, the estate of the deceased is
divided into 2,520 shares, which number is the lowest common multiple of
all integers up to nine, and these shares are then distributed into seven
portions, each of which is allocated, as mentioned in the Book, to a
particular category of heirs. The children, for example, are allotted nine
blocks of 60 shares, comprising 540 shares in all. The meaning of the
statement We doubled their share is thus that the children receive a
further nine blocks of 60 shares, entitling them to a total of 18 blocks
all told. The extra shares that they receive are deducted from the
portions of the other categories of heirs, so that, although it is
revealed, for instance, that the spouse is entitled to eight parts
comprising four hundred and eighty shares, which is the equivalent of
eight blocks of 60 shares, now, by virtue of this rearrangement, one and a
half blocks of shares, comprising 90 shares in all, have been subtracted
from the spouse's portion and reallocated to the children, and similarly
in the case of the others. The result is that the total amount subtracted
is equivalent to the nine extra blocks of shares allotted to the children.

6. QUESTION: Is it necessary that the brother, in order to qualify for his
portion of the inheritance, be descended from both the father and the
mother of the deceased, or is it sufficient merely that there be one
parent in common?

ANSWER: If the brother be descended from the father he shall receive his
share of the inheritance in the prescribed measure recorded in the Book;
but if he be descended from the mother, he shall receive only two thirds
of his entitlement, the remaining third reverting to the House of Justice.
This ruling is also applicable to the sister.

7. QUESTION: Amongst the provisions concerning inheritance it hath been
laid down that, should the deceased leave no offspring, their share of the
estate is to revert to the House of Justice. In the event of other
categories of heirs, such as the father, mother, brother, sister and
teacher being similarly absent, do their shares of the inheritance also
revert to the House of Justice, or are they dealt with in some other
fashion?

ANSWER: The sacred verse sufficeth. He saith, exalted be His Word: Should
the deceased leave no offspring, their share shall revert to the House of
Justice etc. and Should the deceased leave offspring, but none of the
other categories of heirs that have been specified in the Book, they shall
receive two thirds of the inheritance and the remaining third shall revert
to the House of Justice etc. In other words, where there are no
offspring, their allotted portion of the inheritance reverteth to the
House of Justice; and where there are offspring but the other categories
of heirs are lacking, two thirds of the inheritance pass to the offspring,
the remaining third reverting to the House of Justice. This ruling hath
both general and specific application, which is to say that whenever any
category of this latter class of heirs is absent, two thirds of their
inheritance pass to the offspring and the remaining third to the House of
Justice.

8. QUESTION: Concerning the basic sum on which Huququ'llah is payable.

ANSWER: The basic sum on which Huququ'llah is payable is nineteen
mithqals of gold. In other words, when money to the value of this sum
hath been acquired, a payment of Huquq falleth due. Likewise Huquq is
payable when the value, not the number, of other forms of property
reacheth the prescribed amount. Huququ'llah is payable no more than once.
A person, for instance, who acquireth a thousand mithqals of gold, and
payeth the Huquq, is not liable to make a further such payment on this
sum, but only on what accrueth to it through commerce, business and the
like. When this increase, namely the profit realized, reacheth the
prescribed sum, one must carry out what God hath decreed. Only when the
principal changeth hands is it once more subject to payment of Huquq, as
it was the first time. The Primal Point hath directed that Huququ'llah
must be paid on the value of whatsoever one possesseth; yet, in this Most
Mighty Dispensation, We have exempted the household furnishings, that is
such furnishings as are needed, and the residence itself.

9. QUESTION: Which is to take precedence: the Huququ'llah, the debts of
the deceased or the cost of the funeral and burial?

ANSWER: The funeral and burial take precedence, then settlement of debts,
then payment of Huququ'llah. Should the property of the deceased prove
insufficient to cover his debts, the remainder of his estate should be
distributed among these debts in proportion to their size.

10. QUESTION: Shaving the head hath been forbidden in the Kitab-i-Aqdas
but enjoined in the Suriy-i-Hajj.

ANSWER: All are charged with obedience to the Kitab-i-Aqdas; whatsoever is
revealed therein is the Law of God amid His servants. The injunction on
pilgrims to the sacred House to shave the head hath been lifted.

11. QUESTION: If intercourse take place between a couple during their year
of patience, and they become estranged again thereafter, must they
recommence their year of patience, or may the days preceding the
intercourse be included in the reckoning of the year? And once divorce
hath taken place, is it necessary that a further period of waiting be
observed?

ANSWER: Should affection be renewed between the couple during their year
of patience, the marriage tie is valid, and what is commanded in the Book
of God must be observed; but once the year of patience hath been completed
and that which is decreed by God taketh place, a further period of waiting
is not required. Sexual intercourse between husband and wife is forbidden
during their year of patience, and whoso committeth this act must seek
God's forgiveness, and, as a punishment, render to the House of Justice a
fine of nineteen mithqals of gold.

12. QUESTION: Should antipathy develop between a couple after the Marriage
Verses have been read and the dowry paid, may divorce take place without
observance of the year of patience?

ANSWER: Divorce may legitimately be sought after the reading of the
Marriage Verses and payment of the dowry, but before the consummation of
the marriage. In such circumstances there is no need for observance of a
year of patience, but recovery of the dowry payment is not permissible.

13. QUESTION: Is the consent of the parents on both sides prerequisite to
marriage, or is that of the parents on one side sufficient? Is this law
applicable only to virgins or to others as well?

ANSWER: Marriage is conditional upon the consent of the parents of both
parties to the marriage, and in this respect it maketh no difference
whether the bride be a virgin or otherwise.

14. QUESTION: The believers have been enjoined to face in the direction of
the Qiblih when reciting their Obligatory Prayers; in what direction
should they turn when offering other prayers and devotions?

ANSWER: Facing in the direction of the Qiblih is a fixed requirement for
the recitation of obligatory prayer, but for other prayers and devotions
one may follow what the merciful Lord hath revealed in the Qur'an:
Whichever way ye turn, there is the face of God.

15. QUESTION: Concerning the remembrance of God in the
Mashriqu'l-Adhkar at the hour of dawn.

ANSWER: Although the words at the hour of dawn are used in the Book of
God, it is acceptable to God at the earliest dawn of day, between dawn and
sunrise, or even up to two hours after sunrise.

16. QUESTION: Is the ordinance that the body of the deceased should be
carried no greater distance than one hour's journey applicable to
transport by both land and sea?

ANSWER: This command applieth to distances by sea as well as by land,
whether it is an hour by steamship or by rail; the intention is the hour's
time, whatever the means of transport. The sooner the burial taketh place,
however, the more fitting and acceptable will it be.

17. QUESTION: What procedure should be followed on the discovery of lost
property?

ANSWER: If such property be found in the town, its discovery is to be
announced once by the town crier. If the owner of the property is then
found, it should be delivered up to him. Otherwise, the finder of the
property should wait one year, and if, during this period, the owner
cometh to light, the finder should receive from him the crier's fee and
restore to him his property; only if the year should pass without the
owner's being identified may the finder take possession of the property
himself. If the value of the property is less than or equal to the crier's
fee, the finder should wait a single day from the time of its discovery,
at the end of which, if the owner hath not come to light, he may himself
appropriate it; and in the case of property discovered in an uninhabited
area, the finder should observe a three days' wait, on the passing of
which period, if the identity of the owner remain unknown, he is free to
take possession of his find.

18. QUESTION: With reference to the ablutions: if, for example, a person
hath just bathed his entire body, must he still perform his ablutions?

ANSWER: The commandment regarding ablutions must, in any case, be
observed.

19. QUESTION: Should a person plan to migrate from his country, and his
wife be opposed and the disagreement culminate in divorce, and should his
preparations for the journey extend until a year hath passed, may this
period be counted as the year of patience, or should the day the couple
part be regarded as the starting-point of that year?

ANSWER: The starting-point for computation is the day the couple part, and
if, therefore, they have separated a year before the husband's departure,
and if the fragrance of affection hath not been renewed between the
couple, divorce may take place. Otherwise the year must be counted from
the day of his departure, and the conditions set forth in the
Kitab-i-Aqdas observed.

20. QUESTION: Concerning the age of maturity with respect to religious
duties.

ANSWER: The age of maturity is fifteen for both men and women.

21. QUESTION: Concerning the holy verse: When travelling, if ye should
stop and rest in some safe spot, perform ye ... a single prostration in
place of each unsaid Obligatory Prayer...

ANSWER: This prostration is to compensate for obligatory prayer omitted in
the course of travel, and by reason of insecure circumstances. If, at the
time of prayer, the traveller should find himself at rest in a secure
place, he should perform that prayer. This provision regarding the
compensating prostration applieth both at home and on a journey.

22. QUESTION: Concerning the definition of a journey.(15)

ANSWER: The definition of a journey is nine hours by the clock. Should the
traveller stop in a place, anticipating that he will stay there for no
less than one month by the Bayan reckoning, it is incumbent on him to keep
the Fast; but if for less than one month, he is exempt from fasting. If he
arriveth during the Fast at a place where he is to stay one month
according to the Bayan, he should not observe the Fast till three days
have elapsed, thereafter keeping it throughout the remainder of its
course; but if he come to his home, where he hath heretofore been
permanently resident, he must commence his fast upon the first day after
his arrival.

23. QUESTION: Concerning the punishment of the adulterer and adulteress.

Nine Mithqals are payable for the first offence, eighteen for the
second, thirty-six for the third, and so on, each succeeding fine being
double the preceding. The weight of one mithqal is equivalent to
nineteen nakhuds in accordance with the specification of the Bayan.

24. QUESTION: Concerning hunting.

ANSWER: He saith, exalted be He: If ye should hunt with beasts or birds
of prey and so forth. Other means, such as bows and arrows, guns, and
similar equipment employed in hunting, are also included. If, however,
traps or snares are used, and the game dieth before it can be reached, it
is unlawful for consumption.

25. QUESTION: Concerning the pilgrimage.

ANSWER: It is an obligation to make pilgrimage to one of the two sacred
Houses; but as to which, it is for the pilgrim to decide.

26. QUESTION: Concerning the dowry.

ANSWER: Regarding dowry, the intention of contenting oneself with the
lowest level is nineteen mithqals of silver.

27. QUESTION: Concerning the sacred verse: If, however, news should reach
her of her husband's death, etc.

ANSWER: With reference to waiting a fixed number of months a period of
nine months is intended.

28. QUESTION: Again inquiry hath been made about the teacher's share of
the inheritance.

ANSWER: Should the teacher have passed away, one third of his share of the
inheritance reverteth to the House of Justice, and the remaining two
thirds pass to the deceased's, and not the teacher's, offspring.

29. QUESTION: Again inquiry hath been made about the pilgrimage.

ANSWER: By pilgrimage to the sacred House, which is enjoined upon men, is
intended both the Most Great House in Baghdad and the House of the
Primal Point in Shiraz; pilgrimage to either of these Houses sufficeth.
They may thus make pilgrimage to whichever lieth nearer to the place where
they reside.

30. QUESTION: Concerning the verse: he who would take into his service a
maid may do so with propriety.

ANSWER: This is solely for service such as is performed by any other class
of servants, be they young or old, in exchange for wages; such a maiden is
free to choose a husband at whatever time she pleaseth, for it is
forbidden either that women should be purchased, or that a man should have
more wives than two.

31. QUESTION: Concerning the sacred verse: The Lord hath prohibited ...
the practice to which ye formerly had recourse when thrice ye had divorced
a woman.

ANSWER: The reference is to the law which previously made it necessary for
another man to marry such a woman before she could again be wedded to her
former husband; this practice hath been prohibited in the Kitab-i-Aqdas.

32. QUESTION: Concerning the restoration and preservation of the two
Houses in the Twin Spots, and the other sites wherein the throne hath been
established.

ANSWER: By the two Houses is intended the Most Great House and the House
of the Primal Point. As for other sites, the people of the areas where
these are situated may choose to preserve either each house wherein the
throne hath been established, or one of them.

33. QUESTION: Again inquiry hath been made about the inheritance of the
teacher.

ANSWER: If the teacher is not of the people of Baha, he doth not inherit.
Should there be several teachers, the share is to be divided equally
amongst them. If the teacher is deceased, his offspring do not inherit his
share, but rather two thirds of it revert to the children of the owner of
the estate, and the remaining one third to the House of Justice.

34. QUESTION: Concerning the residence which hath been assigned
exclusively to the male offspring.

ANSWER: If there are several residences, the finest and noblest of these
dwellings is the one intended, the remainder being distributed amongst the
whole body of the heirs like any other form of property. Any heir, from
whichever category of inheritors, who is outside the Faith of God is
accounted as non-existent and doth not inherit.

35. QUESTION: Concerning Naw-Ruz.

ANSWER: The Festival of Naw-Ruz falleth on the day that the sun entereth
the sign of Aries,(16) even should this occur no more than one minute
before sunset.

36. QUESTION: If the anniversary either of the Twin Birthdays or of the
Declaration of the Bab occurreth during the Fast, what is to be done?

ANSWER: Should the feasts celebrating the Twin Birthdays or the
Declaration of the Bab fall within the month of fasting, the command to
fast shall not apply on that day.

37. QUESTION: In the holy ordinances governing inheritance, the residence
and personal clothing of the deceased have been allotted to the male
offspring. Doth this provision refer only to the father's property, or
doth it apply to the mother's as well?

ANSWER: The used clothing of the mother should be divided in equal shares
among the daughters, but the remainder of her estate, including property,
jewellery, and unused clothing, is to be distributed, in the manner
revealed in the Kitab-i-Aqdas, to all her heirs. If, however, the deceased
hath left no daughters, her estate in its entirety must be divided in the
manner designated for men in the holy Text.

38. QUESTION: Concerning divorce, which must be preceded by a year of
patience: if only one of the parties is inclined toward conciliation, what
is to be done?

ANSWER: According to the commandment revealed in the Kitab-i-Aqdas, both
parties must be content; unless both are willing, reunion cannot take
place.

39. QUESTION: In connection with the dowry, what if the bridegroom cannot
pay this sum in full, but instead were to formally deliver a promissory
note to his bride at the time of the wedding ceremony, on the
understanding that he will honour it when he is able to do so?

ANSWER: Permission to adopt this practice hath been granted by the Source
of Authority.

40. QUESTION: If during the year of patience the fragrance of affection be
renewed, only to be succeeded by antipathy, and the couple waver between
affection and aversion throughout the year, and the year endeth in
antipathy, can divorce take place or not?

ANSWER: In each case at any time antipathy occurreth, the year of patience
beginneth on that day, and the year must run its full course.

41. QUESTION: The residence and personal clothing of the deceased have
been assigned to the male, not female, offspring, nor to the other heirs;
should the deceased have left no male offspring, what is to be done?

ANSWER: He saith, exalted be He: Should the deceased leave no offspring,
their share shall revert to the House of Justice... In conformity with
this sacred verse, the residence and personal clothing of the deceased
revert to the House of Justice.

42. QUESTION: The ordinance of Huququ'llah is revealed in the
Kitab-i-Aqdas. Is the residence, with the accompanying fixtures and
necessary furnishings, included in the property on which Huquq is payable,
or is it otherwise?

ANSWER: In the laws revealed in Persian We have ordained that in this Most
Mighty Dispensation the residence and the household furnishings are
exempt--that is, such furnishings as are necessary.

43. QUESTION: Concerning the betrothal of a girl before maturity.

ANSWER: This practice hath been pronounced unlawful by the Source of
Authority, and it is unlawful to announce a marriage earlier than
ninety-five days before the wedding.

44. QUESTION: If a person hath, for example, a hundred tumans, payeth the
Huquq on this sum, loseth half the sum in unsuccessful transactions and
then, through trading, the amount in hand is raised again to the sum on
which Huquq is due--must such a person pay Huquq or not?

ANSWER: In such an event the Huquq is not payable.

45. QUESTION: If, after payment of Huquq, this same sum of one hundred
tumans is lost in its entirety, but subsequently regained through trade
and business dealings, must Huquq be paid a second time or not?

ANSWER: In this event as well, payment of Huquq is not required.

46. QUESTION: With reference to the sacred verse, God hath prescribed
matrimony unto you, is this prescription obligatory or not?

ANSWER: It is not obligatory.

47. QUESTION: Supposing that a man hath wed a certain woman believing her
to be a virgin and he hath paid her the dowry, but at the time of
consummation it becometh evident that she is not a virgin, are the
expenses and the dowry to be repaid or not? And if the marriage had been
made conditional upon virginity, doth the unfulfilled condition invalidate
that which was conditioned upon it?

ANSWER: In such a case the expenses and the dowry may be refunded. The
unfulfilled condition invalidateth that which is conditioned upon it.
However, to conceal and forgive the matter will, in the sight of God,
merit a bounteous reward.

48. QUESTION: A feast hath been enjoined upon you... Is this obligatory
or not?

ANSWER: It is not obligatory.

49. QUESTION: Concerning the penalties for adultery, sodomy, and theft,
and the degrees thereof.

ANSWER: The determination of the degrees of these penalties rests with the
House of Justice.

50. QUESTION: Concerning the legitimacy or otherwise of marrying one's
relatives.

ANSWER: These matters likewise rest with the Trustees of the House of
Justice.

51. QUESTION: With reference to ablutions, it hath been revealed, Let him
that findeth no water for ablution repeat five times the words 'In the
Name of God, the Most Pure, the Most Pure': is it permissible to recite
this verse in times of bitter cold, or if the hands or face be wounded?

ANSWER: Warm water may be used in times of bitter cold. If there are
wounds on the face or hands, or there be other reasons such as aches and
pains for which the use of water would be harmful, one may recite the
appointed verse in place of the ablution.

52. QUESTION: Is the recitation of the verse revealed to replace the
Prayer of the Signs obligatory?

ANSWER: It is not obligatory.

53. QUESTION: With reference to inheritance, when there are full brothers
and full sisters, would half-brothers and half-sisters on the mother's
side also receive a share?

ANSWER: They receive no share.

54. QUESTION: He saith, exalted be He: Should the son of the deceased
have passed away in the days of his father and have left children, they
will inherit their father's share... What is to be done if the daughter
hath died during the lifetime of her father?

ANSWER: Her share of the inheritance should be distributed among the seven
categories of heirs according to the ordinance of the Book.

55. QUESTION: If the deceased be a woman, to whom is the wife's share of
the inheritance allotted?

ANSWER: The wife's share of the inheritance is allotted to the husband.

56. QUESTION: Concerning the shrouding of the body of the deceased which
is decreed to comprise five sheets: does the five refer to five cloths
which were hitherto customarily used or to five full-length shrouds
wrapped one around the other?

ANSWER: The use of five cloths is intended.

57. QUESTION: Concerning disparities between certain revealed verses.

ANSWER: Many Tablets were revealed and dispatched in their original form
without being checked and reviewed. Consequently, as bidden, they were
again read out in the Holy Presence, and brought into conformity with the
grammatical conventions of the people in order to forestall the cavils of
opponents of the Cause. Another reason for this practice is that the new
style inaugurated by the Herald, may the souls of all else but Him be
offered up for His sake, was seen to be marked by substantial latitude in
adherence to the rules of grammar; sacred verses therefore were then
revealed in a style which is for the most part in conformity with current
usage for ease of understanding and concision of expression.

58. QUESTION: Concerning the blessed verse, When travelling, if ye should
stop and rest in some safe spot, perform ye ... a single prostration in
place of each unsaid Obligatory Prayer: is this compensation for the
Obligatory Prayer missed by reason of insecure circumstances, or is
obligatory prayer completely suspended during travel, and doth the
prostration take its place?

ANSWER: If, when the hour of obligatory prayer arriveth, there be no
security, one should, upon arrival in safe surroundings, perform a
prostration in place of each Obligatory Prayer that was missed, and after
the final prostration, sit cross-legged and read the designated verse. If
there be a safe place, obligatory prayer is not suspended during travel.

59. QUESTION: If, after a traveller hath stopped and rested it is the time
for obligatory prayer, should he perform the prayer, or make the
prostration in its stead?

ANSWER: Except in insecure circumstances omission of the Obligatory Prayer
is not permissible.

60. QUESTION: If, due to missed Obligatory Prayers, a number of
prostrations are required, must the verse be repeated after each
compensating prostration or not?

ANSWER: It is sufficient to recite the designated verse after the last
prostration. The several prostrations do not require separate repetitions
of the verse.

61. QUESTION: If an Obligatory Prayer be omitted at home, is it to be
compensated for by a prostration or not?

ANSWER: In answer to previous questions it was written: This provision
regarding the compensating prostration applieth both at home and on a
journey.

62. QUESTION: If, for another purpose, one hath performed ablutions, and
the time of obligatory prayer arriveth, are these ablutions sufficient or
must they be renewed?

ANSWER: These same ablutions are sufficient, and there is no need for them
to be renewed.

63. QUESTION: In the Kitab-i-Aqdas obligatory prayer hath been enjoined,
consisting of nine rak'ahs, to be performed at noon, in the morning and
the evening, but the Tablet of Obligatory Prayers(17) appeareth to differ
from this.

ANSWER: That which hath been revealed in the Kitab-i-Aqdas concerneth a
different Obligatory Prayer. Some years ago a number of the ordinances of
the Kitab-i-Aqdas including that Obligatory Prayer were, for reasons of
wisdom, recorded separately and sent away together with other sacred
writings, for the purposes of preservation and protection. Later these
three Obligatory Prayers were revealed.

64. QUESTION: In determining time, is it permissible to rely on clocks and
watches?

ANSWER: It is permissible to rely on clocks and watches.

65. QUESTION: In the Tablet of Obligatory Prayers, three prayers are
revealed; is the performance of all three required or not?

ANSWER: It is enjoined to offer one of these three prayers; whichever is
performed sufficeth.

66. QUESTION: Are ablutions for the morning prayer still valid for the
noonday prayer? And similarly, are ablutions carried out at noon still
valid in the evening?

ANSWER: Ablutions are connected with the Obligatory Prayer for which they
are performed, and must be renewed for each prayer.

67. QUESTION: Concerning the long Obligatory Prayer, it is required to
stand up and turn unto God. This seemeth to indicate that it is not
necessary to face the Qiblih; is this so or not?

ANSWER: The Qiblih is intended.

68. QUESTION: Concerning the sacred verse: Recite ye the verses of God
every morn and eventide.

ANSWER: The intention is all that hath been sent down from the Heaven of
Divine Utterance. The prime requisite is the eagerness and love of
sanctified souls to read the Word of God. To read one verse, or even one
word, in a spirit of joy and radiance, is preferable to the perusal of
many Books.

69. QUESTION: May a person, in drawing up his will, assign some portion of
his property--beyond that which is devoted to payment of Huququ'llah and
the settlement of debts--to works of charity, or is he entitled to do no
more than allocate a certain sum to cover funeral and burial expenses, so
that the rest of his estate will be distributed in the manner fixed by God
among the designated categories of heirs?

ANSWER: A person hath full jurisdiction over his property. If he is able
to discharge the Huququ'llah, and is free of debt, then all that is
recorded in his will, and any declaration or avowal it containeth, shall
be acceptable. God, verily, hath permitted him to deal with that which He
hath bestowed upon him in whatever manner he may desire.

70. QUESTION: Is the use of the burial ring enjoined exclusively for
adults, or is it for minors as well?

ANSWER: It is for adults only. The Prayer for the Dead is likewise for
adults.

71. QUESTION: Should a person wish to fast at a time other than in the
month of 'Ala, is this permissible or not; and if he hath vowed or pledged
himself to such a fast, is this valid and acceptable?

ANSWER: The ordinance of fasting is such as hath already been revealed.
Should someone pledge himself, however, to offer up a fast to God, seeking
in this way the fulfilment of a wish, or to realize some other aim, this
is permissible, now as heretofore. Howbeit, it is God's wish, exalted be
His glory, that vows and pledges be directed to such objectives as will
profit mankind.

72. QUESTION: Again a question hath been asked concerning the residence
and personal clothing: are these to revert, in the absence of male
offspring, to the House of Justice, or are they to be distributed like the
rest of the estate?

ANSWER: Two thirds of the residence and personal clothing pass to the
female offspring, and one third to the House of Justice, which God hath
made to be the treasury of the people.

73. QUESTION: If, upon completion of the year of patience, the husband
refuseth to allow divorce, what course should be adopted by the wife?

ANSWER: When the period is ended divorce is effected. However, it is
necessary that there be witnesses to the beginning and end of this period,
so that they can be called upon to give testimony should the need arise.

74. QUESTION: Concerning the definition of old age.

ANSWER: To the Arabs it denoteth the furthest extremity of old age, but
for the people of Baha it is from the age of seventy.

75. QUESTION: Concerning the limit of fasting for someone travelling on
foot.

ANSWER: The limit is set at two hours. If this is exceeded, it is
permissible to break the Fast.

76. QUESTION: Concerning observance of the Fast by people engaged in hard
labour during the month of fasting.

ANSWER: Such people are excused from fasting; however, in order to show
respect to the law of God and for the exalted station of the Fast, it is
most commendable and fitting to eat with frugality and in private.

77. QUESTION: Do ablutions performed for the Obligatory Prayer suffice for
the ninety-five repetitions of the Greatest Name?

ANSWER: It is unnecessary to renew the ablutions.

78. QUESTION: Concerning clothes and jewellery which a husband may have
purchased for his wife: are these to be distributed, after his death,
amongst his heirs, or are they specially for the wife?

ANSWER: Aside from used clothing, whatever there may be, jewellery or
otherwise, belongeth to the husband, except what is proven to have been
gifts to the wife.

79. QUESTION: Concerning the criterion of justness when proving some
matter dependent on the testimony of two just witnesses.

ANSWER: The criterion of justness is a good reputation among the people.
The testimony of all God's servants, of whatever faith or creed, is
acceptable before His Throne.

80. QUESTION: If the deceased hath not settled his obligation to
Huququ'llah, nor paid his other debts, are these to be discharged by
proportionate deductions from the residence, personal clothing and the
rest of the estate, or are the residence and personal clothing set aside
for the male offspring, and consequently the debts must be settled from
the rest of the estate? And if the rest of the estate is insufficient for
this purpose, how should the debts be settled?

ANSWER: Outstanding debts and payments of Huquq should be settled from the
remainder of the estate, but if this is insufficient for the purpose, the
shortfall should be met from his residence and personal clothing.

81. QUESTION: Should the third Obligatory Prayer be offered while seated
or standing?

ANSWER: It is preferable and more fitting to stand in an attitude of
humble reverence.

82. QUESTION: Concerning the first Obligatory Prayer it hath been
ordained, one should perform it at whatever time one findeth oneself in a
state of humbleness and longing adoration: is it to be performed once in
twenty-four hours, or more frequently?

ANSWER: Once in twenty-four hours is sufficient; this is that which hath
been uttered by the Tongue of Divine Command.

83. QUESTION: Concerning the definition of morning, noon and
evening.

ANSWER: These are sunrise, noon and sunset. The allowable times for
Obligatory Prayers are from morning till noon, from noon till sunset, and
from sunset till two hours thereafter. Authority is in the hand of God,
the Bearer of the Two Names.

84. QUESTION: Is it permissible for a believer to marry an unbeliever?

ANSWER: Both taking and giving in marriage are permissible; thus did the
Lord decree when He ascended the throne of bounteousness and grace.

85. QUESTION: Concerning the Prayer for the Dead: should it precede or
follow the interment? And is facing the Qiblih required?

ANSWER: Recital of this prayer should precede interment; and as regards
the Qiblih: Whichever way ye turn, there is the face of God.(18)

86. QUESTION: At noon, which is the time for two of the Obligatory
Prayers--the short midday prayer, and the prayer to be offered in the
morning, noon, and evening--is it necessary in this case to perform two
ablutions or would one suffice?

ANSWER: The renewal of ablutions is unnecessary.

87. QUESTION: Concerning the dowry for village-dwellers which is to be of
silver: is it the bride or bridegroom who is intended or both of them? And
what is to be done if one is a city-dweller and the other a
village-dweller?

ANSWER: The dowry is determined by the dwelling-place of the bridegroom;
if he be a city-dweller, the dowry is of gold, and if he be a
village-dweller, it is of silver.

88. QUESTION: What is the criterion for determining if one is a
city-dweller or a village-dweller? If a city-dweller taketh up residence
in a village, or a village-dweller in a city, intending to settle
permanently, what ruling is applicable? Is the place of birth the deciding
factor?

ANSWER: The criterion is permanent residence and, depending on where this
is, the injunction in the Book must be observed accordingly.

89. QUESTION: In the holy Tablets it hath been revealed that when someone
acquireth the equivalent of nineteen mithqals of gold, he should pay the
Right of God on that sum. Might it be explained how much of this nineteen
should be paid?

ANSWER: Nineteen out of one hundred is established by the ordinance of
God. Computation should be made on this basis. It may then be ascertained
what amount is due on nineteen.

90. QUESTION: When one's wealth exceeds nineteen, is it necessary for it
to increase by a further nineteen before Huquq is due again, or would it
be due on any increase?

ANSWER: Any amount added to nineteen is exempt from Huquq until it
reacheth a further nineteen.

91. QUESTION: Concerning pure water, and the point at which it is
considered used.

ANSWER: Small quantities of water, such as one cupful, or even two or
three, must be considered used after a single washing of the face and
hands. But a kurr(19) or more of water remaineth unchanged after one or
two washings of the face, and there is no objection to its use unless it
is altered in one of the three ways,(20) for example its colour is
changed, in which case it should be looked upon as used.

92. QUESTION: In a treatise in Persian on various questions, the age of
maturity hath been set at fifteen; is marriage likewise conditional upon
the reaching of maturity, or is it permissible before that time?

ANSWER: Since the consent of both parties is required in the Book of God,
and since, before maturity, their consent or lack of it cannot be
ascertained, marriage is therefore conditional upon reaching the age of
maturity, and is not permissible before that time.

93. QUESTION: Concerning fasting and obligatory prayer by the sick.

ANSWER: In truth, I say that obligatory prayer and fasting occupy an
exalted station in the sight of God. It is, however, in a state of health
that their virtue can be realized. In time of ill-health it is not
permissible to observe these obligations; such hath been the bidding of
the Lord, exalted be His glory, at all times. Blessed be such men and
women as pay heed, and observe His precepts. All praise be unto God, He
who hath sent down the verses and is the Revealer of undoubted proofs!

94. QUESTION: Concerning mosques, chapels and temples.

ANSWER: Whatever hath been constructed for the worship of the one true
God, such as mosques, chapels and temples, must not be used for any
purpose other than the commemoration of His Name. This is an ordinance of
God, and he who violateth it is verily of those who have transgressed. No
harm attacheth to the builder, for he hath performed his deed for the sake
of God, and hath received and will continue to receive his just reward.

95. QUESTION: Regarding the appointments of a place of business, which are
needed for carrying on one's work or profession: are they subject to the
payment of Huququ'llah, or are they covered by the same ruling as the
household furnishings?

ANSWER: They are covered by the same ruling as the household furnishings.

96. QUESTION: Concerning the exchange of property held in trust for cash
or other forms of property, to guard against depreciation or loss.

ANSWER: Regarding the written question on the exchange of property held in
trust to guard against depreciation and loss, such exchange is permissible
on condition that the substitute will be equivalent in value. Thy Lord,
verily, is the Expounder, the Omniscient, and He, truly, is the Ordainer,
the Ancient of Days.

97. QUESTION: Concerning the washing of the feet in winter and summer.

ANSWER: It is the same in both cases; warm water is preferable, but there
can be no objection to cold.

98. QUESTION: A further question on divorce.

ANSWER: Since God, exalted be His glory, doth not favour divorce, nothing
was revealed on this issue. However, from the beginning of the separation
until the end of one year, two people or more must remain informed as
witnesses; if, by the end, there is no reconciliation, divorce taketh
place. This must be recorded in the registry by the religious judicial
officer of the city appointed by the Trustees of the House of Justice.
Observance of this procedure is essential lest those that are possessed of
an understanding heart be saddened.

99. QUESTION: Concerning consultation.

ANSWER: If consultation among the first group of people assembled endeth
in disagreement, new people should be added, after which persons to the
number of the Greatest Name, or fewer or more, shall be chosen by lot.
Whereupon the consultation shall be renewed, and the outcome, whatever it
is, shall be obeyed. If, however, there is still disagreement, the same
procedure should be repeated once more, and the decision of the majority
shall prevail. He, verily, guideth whomsoever He pleaseth to the right
way.

100. QUESTION: Concerning inheritance.

ANSWER: Regarding inheritance, that which the Primal Point hath
ordained--may the souls of all else but Him be offered up for His sake--is
well pleasing. The existing heirs should receive their allotted shares of
the inheritance, while a statement of the remainder must be submitted to
the Court of the Most High. In His hand is the source of authority; He
ordaineth as He pleaseth. In this regard, a law was revealed in the Land
of Mystery,(21) temporarily awarding the missing heirs' inheritance to the
existing heirs until such time as the House of Justice shall be
established, when the decree concerning this will be promulgated. The
inheritance, however, of those who emigrated in the same year as the
Ancient Beauty, hath been awarded to their heirs, and this is a bounty of
God bestowed upon them.

101. QUESTION: Concerning the law on treasure trove.

ANSWER: Should a treasure be found, one third thereof is the right of the
discoverer, and the other two thirds should be expended by the men of the
House of Justice for the welfare of all people. This shall be done after
the establishment of the House of Justice, and until that time it shall be
committed to the keeping of trustworthy persons in each locality and
territory. He, in truth, is the Ruler, the Ordainer, the Omniscient, the
All-Informed.

102. QUESTION: Concerning Huquq on real estate which yieldeth no profit.

ANSWER: The ordinance of God is that real estate which hath ceased to
yield income, that is, from which no profit accrueth, is not liable to
payment of Huquq. He, verily, is the Ruler, the Munificent.

103. QUESTION: Concerning the holy verse: In regions where the days and
nights grow long, let times of prayer be gauged by clocks...

ANSWER: The intention is those territories that are remote. In these
climes, however, the difference in length is but a few hours, and
therefore this ruling doth not apply.

104. In the Tablet to 'Aba Badi, this holy verse hath been revealed:
Verily, We have enjoined on every son to serve his father. Such is the
decree which We have set forth in the Book.

105. And in another Tablet, these exalted words have been revealed: O
Muhammad! The Ancient of Days hath turned His countenance towards thee,
making mention of thee, and exhorting the people of God to educate their
children. Should a father neglect this most weighty commandment laid down
in the Kitab-i-Aqdas by the Pen of the Eternal King, he shall forfeit
rights of fatherhood, and be accounted guilty before God. Well is it with
him who imprinteth on his heart the admonitions of the Lord, and
steadfastly cleaveth unto them. God, in truth, enjoineth on His servants
what shall assist and profit them, and enable them to draw nigh unto Him.
He is the Ordainer, the Everlasting.

106. He is God, exalted be He, the Lord of majesty and power! The Prophets
and Chosen Ones have all been commissioned by the One True God, magnified
be His glory, to nurture the trees of human existence with the living
waters of uprightness and understanding, that there may appear from them
that which God hath deposited within their inmost selves. As may be
readily observed, each tree yieldeth a certain fruit, and a barren tree is
but fit for fire. The purpose of these Educators, in all they said and
taught, was to preserve man's exalted station. Well is it with him who in
the Day of God hath laid fast hold upon His precepts and hath not deviated
from His true and fundamental Law. The fruits that best befit the tree of
human life are trustworthiness and godliness, truthfulness and sincerity;
but greater than all, after recognition of the unity of God, praised and
glorified be He, is regard for the rights that are due to one's parents.
This teaching hath been mentioned in all the Books of God, and reaffirmed
by the Most Exalted Pen. Consider that which the Merciful Lord hath
revealed in the Qur'an, exalted are His words: Worship ye God, join with
Him no peer or likeness; and show forth kindliness and charity towards
your parents... Observe how loving-kindness to one's parents hath been
linked to recognition of the one true God! Happy they who are endued with
true wisdom and understanding, who see and perceive, who read and
understand, and who observe that which God hath revealed in the Holy Books
of old, and in this incomparable and wondrous Tablet.

107. In one of the Tablets He, exalted be His words, hath revealed: And in
the matter of Zakat, We have likewise decreed that you should follow what
hath been revealed in the Qur'an.





Next: Synopsis And Codification

Previous: Short Obligatory Prayer



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