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


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Synopsis And Codification


A. The faithful are enjoined to turn their faces towards the
One Whom God hath purposed, Who hath branched from this
Ancient Root.
B. The faithful are bidden to refer whatsoever they do not
understand in the Baha'i writings to Him Who hath branched
from this mighty Stock.


A. The House of Justice is formally ordained.
B. Its functions are defined.
C. Its revenues are fixed.


A. Prayer

1. The sublime station occupied by the Obligatory
Prayers in the Baha'i Revelation.
2. The Qiblih:

a. Identified by the Bab with the One Whom God
will make manifest.
b. The appointment made by the Bab is confirmed by
c. Baha'u'llah ordains His resting-place as the
Qiblih after His passing.
d. Turning to the Qiblih is mandatory while
reciting the Obligatory Prayers.

3. The Obligatory Prayers are binding on men and women
on attaining the age of maturity, which is fixed at 15.
4. Exemption from offering the Obligatory Prayers is
granted to:

a. Those who are ill.
b. Those who are over 70.
c. Women in their courses provided they perform
their ablutions and repeat a specifically revealed
verse 95 times a day.

5. The Obligatory Prayers should be offered
6. The choice of one of the three Obligatory Prayers is
7. By morning, noon and evening, mentioned in
connection with the Obligatory Prayers, is meant
respectively the intervals between sunrise and noon,
between noon and sunset, and from sunset till two hours
after sunset.
8. The recital of the first (long) Obligatory Prayer,
once in twenty-four hours is sufficient.
9. It is preferable to offer the third (short)
Obligatory Prayer while standing.
10. Ablutions:

a. Ablutions must precede the recital of the
Obligatory Prayers.
b. For every Obligatory Prayer fresh ablutions
must be performed.
c. Should two Obligatory Prayers be offered at
noon one ablution for both prayers is sufficient.
d. If water is unavailable or its use harmful to
the face or hands, the repetition, five times, of
a specifically revealed verse is prescribed.
e. Should the weather be too cold the use of warm
water is recommended.
f. If ablutions have been performed for other
purposes, their renewal prior to the recital of
the Obligatory Prayer is not required.
g. Ablutions are essential whether a bath has been
taken previously or not.

11. Determining the times fixed for Prayer:

a. Reliance on clocks is permissible in
determining the times for offering the Obligatory
b. In countries situated in the extreme north or
south, where the duration of days and nights
varies considerably, clocks and timepieces should
be relied upon, without reference to sunrise or

12. In case of danger, whether when travelling or not,
for every Obligatory Prayer not offered a prostration
and the recital of a specific verse is enjoined, to be
followed by the repetition, eighteen times, of another
specific verse.
13. Congregational prayer is forbidden except the Prayer
for the Dead.
14. The recital, in its entirety, of the Prayer for the
Dead is prescribed except for those unable to read, who
are commanded to repeat the six specific passages in
that Prayer.
15. The Obligatory Prayer to be thrice repeated, three
times a day, at morn, noon and evening, has been
superseded by three Obligatory Prayers subsequently
16. The Prayer of the Signs has been annulled, and a
specifically revealed verse substituted for it. The
recital of this verse is not however obligatory.
17. Hair, sable, bones and the like do not nullify one's

B. Fasting

1. The sublime station occupied by fasting in the Baha'i
2. The period of fasting commences with the termination
of the Intercalary Days, and ends with the Naw-Ruz
3. Abstinence from food and drink, from sunrise to
sunset, is obligatory.
4. Fasting is binding on men and women on attaining the
age of maturity, which is fixed at 15.
5. Exemption from fasting is granted to:

a. Travellers

i. Provided the journey exceeds 9 hours.
ii. Those travelling on foot, provided the
journey exceeds 2 hours.
iii. Those who break their journey for less
than 19 days.
iv. Those who break their journey during the
Fast at a place where they are to stay 19
days are exempt from fasting only for the
first three days from their arrival.
v. Those who reach home during the Fast must
commence fasting from the day of their

b. Those who are ill.
c. Those who are over 70.
d. Women who are with child.
e. Women who are nursing.
f. Women in their courses, provided they perform
their ablutions and repeat a specifically revealed
verse 95 times a day.
g. Those who are engaged in heavy labour, who are
advised to show respect for the law by using
discretion and restraint when availing themselves
of the exemption.

6. Vowing to fast (in a month other than the one
prescribed for fasting) is permissible. Vows which
profit mankind are however preferable in the sight of

C. Laws of Personal Status

1. Marriage:

a. Marriage is highly recommended but not
b. Plurality of wives is forbidden.
c. Marriage is conditioned upon both parties
having attained the age of maturity which is fixed
at 15.
d. Marriage is conditioned on the consent of both
parties and their parents, whether the woman be a
maiden or not.
e. It is incumbent upon both parties to recite a
specifically revealed verse indicating their being
content with the will of God.
f. Marriage with one's stepmother is forbidden.
g. All matters related to marriage with one's
kindred are to be referred to the House of
h. Marriage with unbelievers is permitted.
i. Betrothal:

i. The period of engagement must not exceed
95 days.
ii. It is unlawful to become engaged to a
girl before she reaches the age of maturity.

j. The Dowry:

i. Marriage is conditioned on payment of a
ii. The dowry is fixed at 19 mithqals of
pure gold for city-dwellers, and 19
mithqals of silver for village-dwellers,
depending on the permanent residence of the
husband, and not of the wife.
iii. It is forbidden to pay more than 95
iv. It is preferable that a man content
himself with the payment of 19 mithqals of
v. If the full payment of dowry is not
possible the issue of a promissory note is

k. Should either party, following the recital of
the specifically revealed verse and the payment of
the dowry, take a dislike to the other before the
marriage is consummated, the period of waiting is
not necessary prior to a divorce. The taking back
of the dowry, however, is not permitted.
l. The husband must fix for his wife the time of
his return when intending to travel. If, for a
legitimate reason, he is prevented from returning
at the appointed time, he must inform her and
strive to return to her. If he fails to fulfil
either condition, she must wait 9 months, after
which she may remarry, though it is preferable for
her to wait longer. If news of his death or murder
reaches her, and the news is confirmed by general
report or by 2 reliable witnesses, she may remarry
after the lapse of 9 months.
m. If the husband departs without informing his
wife of the date of his return, and is aware of
the law prescribed in the Kitab-i-Aqdas, the wife
may remarry after waiting a full year. If the
husband is unaware of this law, the wife must wait
until news of her husband reaches her.
n. Should the husband, after the payment of the
dowry, discover that the wife is not a virgin, the
refund of the dowry and of the expenses incurred
may be demanded.
o. If the marriage has been conditioned on
virginity the refund of the dowry and of the
expenses incurred may be demanded and the marriage
invalidated. To conceal the matter, however, is
highly meritorious in the sight of God.

2. Divorce:

a. Divorce is strongly condemned.
b. If antipathy or resentment develop on the part
of either the husband or the wife, divorce is
permissible, only after the lapse of one full
year. The beginning and end of the year of waiting
must be testified by two or more witnesses. The
act of divorce should be registered by the
judicial officer representing the House of
Justice. Intercourse during this period of waiting
is forbidden, and whoever breaks this law must
repent and pay the House of Justice 19 mithqals
of gold.
c. A further period of waiting after divorce has
taken place is not required.
d. The wife who is to be divorced as a result of
her unfaithfulness forfeits the payment of the
expenses during the waiting period.
e. Remarrying the wife whom one has divorced is
permissible, provided she has not married another
person. If she has, she must be divorced before
her former husband can remarry her.
f. If at any time during the waiting period
affection should recur, the marriage tie is valid.
If this reconciliation is followed by estrangement
and divorce is again desired, a new year of
waiting will have to be commenced.
g. Should differences arise between husband and
wife while travelling, he is required to send her
home, or entrust her to a dependable person, who
will escort her there, paying her journey and her
full year's expenses.
h. Should a wife insist on divorcing her husband
rather than migrate to another country, the year
of waiting is to be counted from the time they
separate, either while he is preparing to leave,
or upon his departure.
i. The Islamic law regarding remarriage with the
wife whom one has previously divorced is

3. Inheritance:(22)

a. Inheritance falls into the following

1. children 1,080 out of 2,520 shares
2. husband or wife 390 out of 2,520 shares
3. father 330 out of 2,520 shares
4. mother 270 out of 2,520 shares
5. brother 210 out of 2,520 shares
6. sister 150 out of 2,520 shares
7. teacher 90 out of 2,520 shares

b. The share of the children, as allotted by the
Bab, is doubled by Baha'u'llah, and an equal
portion correspondingly reduced from each of the
remaining beneficiaries.

i. In cases where there is no issue the
share of the children reverts to the House
of Justice to be expended on orphans and
widows and for whatever will profit mankind.
ii. If the son of the deceased be dead and
leave issue, these will inherit the share of
their father. If the daughter of the
deceased be dead and leave issue, her share
will have to be divided into the seven
categories specified in the Most Holy Book.

d. Should one leave offspring but either part or
all of the other categories of inheritors be
nonexistent, two thirds of their shares reverts to
the offspring and one third to the House of
e. Should none of the specified beneficiaries
exist, two thirds of the inheritance reverts to
the nephews and nieces of the deceased. If these
do not exist, the same share reverts to the aunts
and uncles; lacking these, to their sons and
daughters. In any case the remaining third reverts
to the House of Justice.
f. Should one leave none of the aforementioned
heirs, the entire inheritance reverts to the House
of Justice.
g. The residence and the personal clothing of the
deceased father pass to the male not to the female
offspring. If there be several residences the
principal and most important one passes to the
male offspring. The remaining residences will
together with the other possessions of the
deceased have to be divided among the heirs. If
there be no male offspring two thirds of the
principal residence and the personal clothing of
the deceased father will revert to the female
issue and one third to the House of Justice. In
the case of the deceased mother all her used
clothing is to be equally divided amongst her
daughters. Her unworn clothing, jewels and
property must be divided among her heirs, as well
as her used clothing if she leaves no daughter.
h. Should the children of the deceased be minors
their share should either be entrusted to a
reliable person or to a company for purposes of
investment, until they attain the age of maturity.
A share of the interest accrued should be assigned
to the trustee.
i. The inheritance should not be divided until
after the payment of the Huququ'llah (The Right of
God), of any debts contracted by the deceased and
of any expenses incurred for a befitting funeral
and burial.
j. If the brother of the deceased is from the same
father he will inherit his full allotted share. If
he is from another father he will inherit only two
thirds of his share, the remaining one third
reverting to the House of Justice. The same law is
applicable to the sister of the deceased.
k. In case there are full brothers or full
sisters, brothers and sisters from the mother's
side do not inherit.
l. A non-Baha'i teacher does not inherit. If there
should be more than one teacher, the share
allotted to the teacher is to be equally divided
among them.
m. Non-Baha'i heirs do not inherit.
n. Aside from the wife's used clothing and gifts
of jewellery or otherwise which have been proven
to have been given her by her husband, whatever
the husband has purchased for his wife are to be
considered as the husband's possessions to be
divided among his heirs.
o. Any person is at liberty to will his
possessions as he sees fit provided he makes
provisions for the payment of Huququ'llah and the
discharge of his debts.

D. Miscellaneous Laws, Ordinances and Exhortations

1. Miscellaneous Laws and Ordinances:

a. Pilgrimage
b. Huququ'llah
c. Endowments
d. The Mashriqu'l-Adhkar
e. Duration of the Baha'i Dispensation
f. Baha'i Festivals
g. The Nineteen Day Feast
h. The Baha'i Year
i. The Intercalary Days
j. The age of maturity
k. Burial of the dead
l. Engaging in a trade or profession is made
obligatory and is exalted to the rank of
m. Obedience to government
n. Education of children
o. The writing of a testament
p. Tithes (Zakat)
q. Repetition of the Greatest Name 95 times
a day
r. The hunting of animals
s. Treatment of female servants
t. The finding of lost property
u. Disposition of treasure trove
v. Disposal of objects held in trust
w. Manslaughter
x. Definition of just witnesses
y. Prohibitions:

i. Interpretation of the Holy Writ
ii. Slave trading
iii. Asceticism
iv. Monasticism
v. Mendicancy
vi. Priesthood
vii. Use of pulpits
viii. The kissing of hands
ix. Confession of sins
x. Plurality of wives
xi. Intoxicating drinks
xii. Opium
xiii. Gambling
xiv. Arson
xv. Adultery
xvi. Murder
xvii. Theft
xviii. Homosexuality
xix. Congregational prayer, except for
the dead
xx. Cruelty to animals
xxi. Idleness and sloth
xxii. Backbiting
xxiii. Calumny
xxiv. Carrying arms unless essential
xxv. Use of public pools in Persian
xxvi. Entering a house without the
owner's permission
xxvii. Striking or wounding a person
xxviii. Contention and conflict
xxix. Muttering sacred verses in the
xxx. Plunging one's hand in food
xxxi. Shaving one's head
xxxii. Growth of men's hair beyond the
lobe of the ear

2. Abrogation of specific laws and
ordinances of previous Dispensations, which

a. Destruction of books
b. Prohibition of the wearing of silk
c. Prohibition of the use of gold and
silver utensils
d. Limitation of travel
e. Offering priceless gifts to the
Founder of the Faith
f. Prohibition on questioning the
Founder of the Faith
g. Prohibition against remarrying
one's divorced wife
h. Penalizing whoever causes sadness
to his neighbour
i. Prohibition of music
j. Limitations upon one's apparel and
k. Uncleanliness of divers objects and
l. Uncleanliness of semen
m. Uncleanliness of certain objects
for purposes of prostration

3. Miscellaneous Exhortations:

a. To associate with the followers of
all religions with fellowship
b. To honour one's parents
c. Not to wish for others what one
does not wish for one's self
d. To teach and propagate the Faith
after the ascension of its Founder
e. To assist those who arise to
promote the Faith
f. Not to depart from the Writings or
to be misled by those who do
g. To refer to the Holy Writ when
differences arise
h. To immerse one's self in the study
of the Teachings
i. Not to follow one's idle fancies
and vain imaginations
j. To recite the holy verses at morn
and at eventide
k. To recite the holy verses
l. To teach one's children to chant
the holy verses in the
m. To study such arts and sciences as
benefit mankind
n. To take counsel together
o. Not to be indulgent in carrying out
the statutes of God
p. To repent to God of one's sins
q. To distinguish one's self through
good deeds

i. To be truthful
ii. To be trustworthy
iii. To be faithful
iv. To be righteous and fear God
v. To be just and fair
vi. To be tactful and wise
vii. To be courteous
viii. To be hospitable
ix. To be persevering
x. To be detached
xi. To be absolutely submissive
to the Will of God
xii. Not to stir up mischief
xiii. Not to be hypocritical
xiv. Not to be proud
xv. Not to be fanatical
xvi. Not to prefer one's self to
one's neighbour
xvii. Not to contend with one's
xviii. Not to indulge one's
xix. Not to lament in adversity
xx. Not to contend with those in
xxi. Not to lose one's temper
xxii. Not to anger one's

r. To be closely united
s. To consult competent physicians
when ill
t. To respond to invitations
u. To show kindness to the kindred of
the Founder of the Faith
v. To study languages for the
furtherance of the Faith
w. To further the development of
cities and countries for the
glorification of the Faith
x. To restore and preserve the sites
associated with the Founders of the
y. To be the essence of cleanliness:

i. To wash one's feet
ii. To perfume one's self
iii. To bathe in clean water
iv. To cut one's nails
v. To wash soiled things in
clean water
vi. To be stainless in one's
vii. To renew the furnishings of
one's house

WARNINGS Addressed to:

1. The entire human race
2. Crowned heads of the world
3. The concourse of
4. The Rulers of America and
Presidents of the Republics
5. William I, King of Prussia
6. Francis Joseph, Emperor of
7. The people of the Bayan
8. Members of parliaments
throughout the world


1. The transcendent character of
the Baha'i Revelation
2. The exalted station of the
Author of the Faith
3. The supreme importance of the
Kitab-i-Aqdas, The Most Holy
4. The doctrine of the Most
Great Infallibility
5. The twin duties of
recognition of the Manifestation
and observance of His Laws, and
their inseparability
6. The end of all learning is
the recognition of Him Who is
the Object of all knowledge
7. The blessedness of those who
have recognized the fundamental
verity He shall not be asked of
His doings
8. The revolutionizing effect of
the Most Great Order
9. The selection of a single
language and the adoption of a
common script for all on earth
to use: one of two signs of the
maturity of the human race
10. Prophecies of the Bab
regarding He Whom God will make
11. Prediction relating to
opposition to the Faith
12. Eulogy of the king who will
profess the Faith and arise to
serve it
13. The instability of human
14. The meaning of true liberty
15. The merit of all deeds is
dependent upon God's acceptance
16. The importance of love for
God as the motive of obedience
to His Laws
17. The importance of utilizing
material means
18. Eulogy of the learned among
the people of Baha
19. Assurance of forgiveness to
Mirza Yahya should he repent
20. Apostrophe addressed to
21. Apostrophe addressed to
Constantinople and its people
22. Apostrophe addressed to the
banks of the Rhine
23. Condemnation of those who
lay false claim to esoteric
24. Condemnation of those who
allow pride in their learning to
debar them from God
25. Prophecies relating to
26. Prophecies relating to
27. Allusion to Shaykh
28. Allusion to the Sifter of
29. Condemnation of Haji
Muhammad-Karim Khan
30. Condemnation of Shaykh
31. Allusion to Napoleon III
32. Allusion to Siyyid
33. Assurance of aid to all
those who arise to serve the

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