1 The Sweet-smelling Savour Of My Garment #4
This is an allusion to the story of Joseph in the Qur'an and the Old
Testament, in which Joseph's garment, brought by his brothers to Jacob,
their father, enabled Jacob to identify his beloved long-lost son. The
2 We Have Unsealed The Choice Wine With The Fingers Of Might And Power #5
The consumption of wine and other intoxicants is prohibited in the
Kitab-i-Aqdas (see notes 144 and 170).
Reference to the use of wine in an allegorical sense--such as being the
cause of spiritual ecstasy--is f...
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 th...
4 Nine Rak'ahs #6
A rak'ah is the recitation of specifically revealed verses accompanied by
a prescribed set of genuflections and other movements.
The Obligatory Prayer originally enjoined by Baha'u'llah upon His
5 At Noon And In The Morning And The Evening #6
Regarding the definition of the words morning, noon and evening, at
which times the currently binding medium Obligatory Prayer is to be
recited, Baha'u'llah has stated that these coincide with sunrise, noon
6 We Have Relieved You Of A Greater Number #6
The requirements for obligatory prayer called for in the Babi and Islamic
Dispensations were more demanding than those for the performance of the
Obligatory Prayer consisting of nine rak'ahs that was prescribed in...
7 When Ye Desire To Perform This Prayer
turn ye towards the Court of My
Most Holy Presence, this Hallowed Spot that God hath ... decreed to be the
Point of Adoration for the denizens of the Cities of Eternity 6
The Point of Adoration, that is, the po...
8 And When The Sun Of Truth And Utterance Shall Set
turn your faces
towards the Spot that We have ordained for you 6
Baha'u'llah ordains His resting-place as the Qiblih after His passing. The
Most Holy Tomb is at Bahji, Akka. 'Abdu'l-Baha describes that Spot a...
9 We Have Set Forth The Details Of Obligatory Prayer In Another Tablet#8
The original Obligatory Prayer had for reasons of wisdom been revealed
by Baha'u'llah in a separate Tablet (Q and A 63). It was not released to
the believers in His lifetime, having been superseded by the three
10 The Prayer For The Dead #8
The Prayer for the Dead (see Some Texts Supplementary to the
Kitab-i-Aqdas) is the only Baha'i obligatory prayer which is to be recited
in congregation; it is to be recited by one believer while all present...
11 Six Specific Passages Have Been Sent Down By God The Revealer Of Verses #8
The passages that form part of the Prayer for the Dead comprise the
repetition of the greeting Allah-u-Abha (God is the All-Glorious) six
times, each followed by nineteen repetitions of one of six specifically
12 Hair Doth Not Invalidate Your Prayer
nor aught from which the spirit
hath departed, such as bones and the like. Ye are free to wear the fur of
the sable as ye would that of the beaver, the squirrel, and other animals
In some earlier religious D...
13 We Have Commanded You To Pray And Fast From The Beginning Of Maturity #10
Baha'u'llah defines the age of maturity with respect to religious duties
as fifteen for both men and women (Q and A 20). For details of the
period of fasting, see note 25.
14 He Hath Exempted From This Those Who Are Weak From Illness Or Age #10
The exemption of those who are weak due to illness or advanced age from
offering the Obligatory Prayers and from fasting is explained in Questions
and Answers. Baha'u'llah indicates that in time of ill-health it i...
15 God Hath Granted You Leave To Prostrate Yourselves On Any Surface That Is Clean
for We have removed in this regard the limitation that had been
laid down in the Book 10
The requirements of prayer in previous Dispensations have often included
prostration. In the Arabic Bayan the Bab called...
16 Let Him That Findeth No Water For Ablution
repeat five times the words
In the Name of God, the Most Pure, the Most Pure, and then proceed to
his devotions. 10
Ablutions are to be performed by the believer in preparation for the
offering of obligatory p...
17 In Regions Where The Days And Nights Grow Long
let times of prayer be
gauged by clocks and other instruments that mark the passage of the hours.
This refers to territories situated in the extreme north or south, where
the duration of days and nights var...
18 We Have Absolved You From The Requirement Of Performing The Prayer Of The Signs #11
The Prayer of the Signs is a special form of Muslim obligatory prayer that
was ordained to be said in times of natural events, like earthquakes,
eclipses, and other such phenomena, which may cause fear and are tak...
19 Save In The Prayer For The Dead The Practice Of Congregational Prayer Hath Been Annulled #12
Congregational prayer, in the sense of formal obligatory prayer which is
to be recited in accordance with a prescribed ritual as, for example, is
the custom in Islam where Friday prayer in the mosque is led by an ...
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...
21 When Travelling If Ye Should Stop And Rest In Some Safe Spot Perform Ye
men and women alike
a single prostration in place of each unsaid
Obligatory Prayer 14
Exemption from obligatory prayer is granted to those who find themselves
in such a condition of insecurity that the saying ...
22 Upon Completing Your Prostrations Seat Yourselves Cross-legged #14
The Arabic expression haykalu't-tawhid, translated here as
cross-legged, means the posture of unity. It has traditionally
signified a cross-legged position.
23 Say: God Hath Made My Hidden Love The Key To The Treasure #15
There is a well-known Islamic tradition concerning God and His creation:
I was a Hidden Treasure. I wished to be made known, and thus I
called creation into being in order that I might be known.
24 O Pen Of The Most High! #16
Pen of the Most High, the Supreme Pen and the Most Exalted Pen are
references to Baha'u'llah, illustrating His function as Revealer of the
Word of God.
25 We Have Enjoined Upon You Fasting During A Brief Period #16
Fasting and obligatory prayer constitute the two pillars that sustain the
revealed Law of God. Baha'u'llah in one of His Tablets affirms that He has
revealed the laws of obligatory prayer and fasting so that throu...
26 And At Its Close Have Designated For You Naw-ruz As A Feast #16
The Bab introduced a new calendar, known now as the Badi or Baha'i
calendar (see notes 27 and 147). According to this calendar, a day is the
period from sunset to sunset. In the Bayan, the Bab ordained the month o...
27 Let The Days In Excess Of The Months Be Placed Before The Month Of Fasting #16
The Badi calendar is based on the solar year of 365 days, 5 hours, and 50
odd minutes. The year consists of 19 months of 19 days each (i.e. 361
days), with the addition of four extra days (five in a leap year). Th...
28 We Have Ordained That These Shall Be The Manifestations Of The Letter Ha #16
Known as the Ayyam-i-Ha (the Days of Ha), the Intercalary Days have the
distinction of being associated with the letter Ha. The abjad numerical
value of this Arabic letter is five, which corresponds to the potenti...
29 These Days Of Giving That Precede The Season Of Restraint #16
Baha'u'llah enjoined upon His followers to devote these days to feasting,
rejoicing and charity. In a letter written on Shoghi Effendi's behalf it
is explained that the intercalary days are specially set aside for...
30 The Traveller Not Bound By The Fast #16
The minimum duration of a journey which exempts the believer from fasting
is defined by Baha'u'llah (Q and A 22 and 75). The details of this
provision are summarized in the Synopsis and Codification, section
31 The Traveller The Ailing Those Who Are With Child Or Giving Suck Are Not Bound By The Fast
they have been exempted by God as a token of
His grace. 16
Exemption from fasting is granted to those who are ill or of advanced age
(see note 14), women in their courses (see note 20), travellers (see note
32 Abstain From Food And Drink From Sunrise To Sundown #17
This relates to the period of fasting. In one of His Tablets,
'Abdu'l-Baha, after stating that fasting consists of abstinence from food
and drink, further indicates that smoking is a form of drink. In Arabic
33 It Hath Been Ordained That Every Believer In God
... shall, each day
... repeat Allah-u-Abha ninety-five times. 18
Allah-u-Abha is an Arabic phrase meaning God the All-Glorious. It is a
form of the Greatest Name of God (see note 137). In Islam there is a
34 Perform Ye Ablutions For The Obligatory Prayer #18
Ablutions are specifically associated with certain prayers. They must
precede the offering of the three Obligatory Prayers, the daily recitation
of Allah-u-Abha ninety-five times, and the recital of the verse
35 Ye Have Been Forbidden To Commit Murder #19
The prohibition against taking another's life is repeated by Baha'u'llah
in paragraph 73 of the Kitab-i-Aqdas. Penalties are prescribed for
premeditated murder (see note 86). In the case of manslaughter, it is
36 Or Adultery #19
The Arabic word zina, here translated as adultery, signifies both
fornication and adultery. It applies not only to sexual relations between
a married person and someone who is not his or her spouse, but als...
37 Backbiting Or Calumny #19
Backbiting, slander and dwelling on the faults of others have been
repeatedly condemned by Baha'u'llah. In the Hidden Words, He clearly
states: O Son of Being! How couldst thou forget thine own faults and b...
38 We Have Divided Inheritance Into Seven Categories #20
The Baha'i laws of inheritance apply only in case of intestacy, that is,
when the individual dies without leaving a will. In the Kitab-i-Aqdas (
109), Baha'u'llah instructs every believer to write a will. He elsew...
39 To The Brothers Five Parts To The Sisters Four Parts #20
Questions and Answers amplifies the provisions of the law as it relates to
the shares of the inheritance allocated to the brothers and sisters of the
deceased. If the brother or sister is from the same father as t...
40 The Teachers #20
In a Tablet, 'Abdu'l-Baha compares teachers who are involved with the
spiritual education of the child to the spiritual father who endoweth
his child with everlasting life. He explains that this is the reas...
41 When We Heard The Clamour Of The Children As Yet Unborn We Doubled
their share and decreased those of the rest. 20
In the Bab's laws of inheritance the children of the deceased were
allotted nine parts consisting of 540 shares. This allocation constituted
less than a quarter of ...
42 The House Of Justice #21
In referring to the House of Justice in the Kitab-i-Aqdas, Baha'u'llah
does not always explicitly distinguish between the Universal House of
Justice and the Local House of Justice, both of which institution...
43 Should The Deceased Leave Offspring But None Of The Other Categories Of Heirs #22
Baha'u'llah clarifies that 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
44 We Have Assigned The Residence And Personal Clothing Of The Deceased
to the male, not female, offspring, nor to the other heirs. 25
In a Tablet, 'Abdu'l-Baha indicates that the residence and personal
clothing of a deceased man remain in the male line. They pass to the
eldest son a...
45 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 26
This aspect of the law applies only in the case of the son who predeceases
his father or mother. If the daughter of the deceased be dead a...
46 If The Deceased Should Leave Children Who Are Under Age
of the inheritance must be entrusted to a reliable individual 27
The word amin, translated in this paragraph as reliable individual and
trustee, conveys in Arabic a wide range of meanings connected
47 Division Of The Estate Should Take Place Only After The Huququ'llah Hath Been Paid
any debts have been settled, the expenses of the funeral
and burial defrayed 28
Baha'u'llah specifies that the order of precedence for payment of these
expenses is first the funeral and burial expenses, then th...
48 This Is That Hidden Knowledge Which Shall Never Change Since Its Beginning Is With Nine #29
In the Arabic Bayan the Bab described His inheritance law as being in
accordance with a hidden knowledge in the Book of God--a knowledge that
shall never change or be replaced. He also stated that the numbers by
49 The Lord Hath Ordained That In Every City A House Of Justice Be Established #30
The institution of the House of Justice consists of elected councils which
operate at the local, national and international levels of society.
Baha'u'llah ordains both the Universal House of Justice and the Local
50 The Number Of Baha #30
The abjad numerical equivalent of Baha is nine. The Universal House of
Justice and the National and Local Spiritual Assemblies currently have
nine members each, the minimum number prescribed by Baha'u'llah....
51 It Behoveth Them To Be The Trusted Ones Of The Merciful Among Men #30
The general powers and duties of the Universal House of Justice, the
National Spiritual Assemblies and the Local Spiritual Assemblies and the
qualifications for membership are set forth in the Writings of Baha'u'l...
52 Take Counsel Together #30
Baha'u'llah has established consultation as one of the fundamental
principles of His Faith and has exhorted the believers to take counsel
together in all matters. He describes consultation as the lamp of
53 Build Ye Houses Of Worship Throughout The Lands #31
The Baha'i House of Worship is dedicated to the praise of God. The House
of Worship forms the central edifice of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar (the
Dawning-place of the Praise of God), a complex which, as it unfolds in th...
54 The Lord Hath Ordained That Those Of You Who Are Able Shall Make Pilgrimage To The Sacred House #32
Two sacred Houses are covered by this ordinance, the House of the Bab in
Shiraz and the House of Baha'u'llah in Baghdad. Baha'u'llah has
specified that pilgrimage to either of these two Houses fulfils the
55 And From This He Hath Exempted Women As A Mercy On His Part #32
In the Bayan, the Bab enjoined the ordinance of pilgrimage once in a
lifetime upon those of His followers who were financially able to
undertake the journey. He stated that the obligation was not binding on
56 To Engage In Some Occupation #33
It is obligatory for men and women to engage in a trade or profession.
Baha'u'llah exalts engagement in such work to the rank of worship of
God. The spiritual and practical significance of this law, and the mutual...
57 The Kissing Of Hands Hath Been Forbidden In The Book #34
In a number of earlier religious Dispensations and in certain cultures the
kissing of the hand of a religious figure or of a prominent person was
expected as a mark of reverence and deference to such persons and a...
58 To None Is It Permitted To Seek Absolution From Another Soul #34
Baha'u'llah prohibits confession to, and seeking absolution of one's sins
from, a human being. Instead one should beg forgiveness from God. In the
Tablet of Bisharat, He states that such confession before people
59 Amongst The People Is He Who Seateth Himself Amid The Sandals
by the door whilst coveting in his heart the seat of honour. 36
Traditionally in the East it has been the practice to remove sandals and
shoes before entering a gathering. The part of a room farthest from the
60 And Among The People Is He Who Layeth Claim To Inner Knowledge #36
This is a reference to people who claim access to esoteric knowledge and
whose attachment to such knowledge veils them from the Revelation of the
Manifestation of God. Elsewhere Baha'u'llah affirms: They that are ...
61 How Many A Man Hath Secluded Himself In The Climes Of India
himself the things that God hath decreed as lawful, imposed upon himself
austerities and mortifications 36
These verses constitute the prohibition of monasticism and asceticism. See
the Synopsis and Cod...
62 Whoso Layeth Claim To A Revelation Direct From God
ere the expiration
of a full thousand years 37
The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah will last until the coming of the next
Manifestation of God, Whose advent will not take place before at least a
full thousand year...
63 This Is That Of Which We Gave You Forewarning When
We were dwelling in
'Iraq, then later while in the Land of Mystery, and now from this
Resplendent Spot. 37
The Land of Mystery refers to Adrianople, and this Resplendent Spot is
a reference to Akka.
64 Amongst The People Is He Whose Learning Hath Made Him Proud
when he heareth the tread of sandals following behind him, waxeth greater
in his own esteem 41
In the East, the practice has been for followers of a religious leader,
out of deference, to walk a pace or t...
65 Nimrod #41
The Nimrod referred to in this verse is, in both Jewish and Islamic
traditions, a King who persecuted Abraham and whose name became symbolic
of great pride.
66 Aghsan #42
Aghsan (plural of Ghusn) is the Arabic word for Branches. This
term is used by Baha'u'llah to designate His male descendants. It has
particular implications not only for the disposition of endowments but
67 Revert To The People Of Baha #42
Baha'u'llah provides for the possibility that the line of Aghsan would
terminate prior to the establishment of the Universal House of Justice. He
designated that in such a situation endowments shall revert to the ...
68 Shave Not Your Heads #44
In some religious traditions it is considered desirable to shave one's
head. The shaving of the head is forbidden by Baha'u'llah, and He makes it
clear that the provision contained in His Suriy-i-Hajj requi...
69 It Is Not Seemly To Let The Hair Pass Beyond The Limit Of The Ears #44
Shoghi Effendi has made clear that, unlike the prohibition on shaving the
head, this law forbidding the growing of the hair beyond the lobe of the
ear pertains only to men. The application of this law will require...
70 Exile And Imprisonment Are Decreed For The Thief #45
Baha'u'llah states that the determination of the degree of penalty, in
accordance with the seriousness of the offence, rests with the House of
Justice (Q and A 49). The punishments for theft are intended for a fut...
71 On The Third Offence
place ye a mark upon his brow so that, thus
identified, he may not be accepted in the cities of God and His countries
The mark to be placed on the thief's forehead serves the purpose of
warning people of hi...
72 Whoso Wisheth To Make Use Of Vessels Of Silver And Gold Is At Liberty To Do So #46
In the Bayan the Bab allowed the use of gold and silver utensils, thus
abrogating the Islamic condemnation of their use which stems not from an
explicit injunction of the Qur'an but from Muslim traditions. Baha'u'...
73 Take Heed Lest When Partaking Of Food Ye Plunge Your Hands Into The Contents Of Bowls And Platters #46
This prohibition was defined by Shoghi Effendi as plunging one's hand in
food. In many parts of the world it has been customary to eat with the
hands from a communal bowl.
74 Adopt Ye Such Usages As Are Most In Keeping With Refinement #46
This is the first of several passages referring to the importance of
refinement and cleanliness. The original Arabic word latafah, rendered
here as refinement, has a wide range of meanings with both spiritual and
75 He Who Is The Dawning-place Of God's Cause Hath No Partner In The Most Great Infallibility #47
In the Tablet of Ishraqat, Baha'u'llah affirms that the Most Great
Infallibility is confined to the Manifestations of God.
Chapter 45 in Some Answered Questions is devoted to an explanation by
'Abdu'l-Baha of t...
76 Unto Every Father Hath Been Enjoined The Instruction Of His Son And Daughter In The Art Of Reading And Writing #48
'Abdu'l-Baha, in His Tablets, not only calls attention to the
responsibility of parents to educate all their children, but He also
clearly specifies that the training and culture of daughters is more
77 God Hath Imposed A Fine On Every Adulterer And Adulteress To Be Paid To The House Of Justice #49
Although the term translated here as adultery refers, in its broadest
sense, to unlawful sexual intercourse between either married or unmarried
individuals (see note 36 for a definition of the term), 'Abdu'l-Baha ...
78 Nine Mithqals Of Gold To Be Doubled If They Should Repeat The Offence #49
A mithqal is a unit of weight. The weight of the traditional mithqal
used in the Middle East is equivalent to 24 nakhuds. However, the
mithqal used by the Baha'is consists of 19 nakhuds, in accordance
with the sp...
79 We Have Made It Lawful For You To Listen To Music And Singing #51
'Abdu'l-Baha has written that Among certain nations of the East, music
was considered reprehensible. Though the Qur'an contains no specific
guidance on the subject, some Muslims consider listening to music as
80 O Ye Men Of Justice! #52
It has been elucidated in the writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi
that, while the membership of the Universal House of Justice is confined
to men, both women and men are eligible for election to Sec...
81 The Penalties For Wounding Or Striking A Person Depend Upon The
severity of the injury; for each degree the Lord of Judgement hath
prescribed a certain indemnity. 56
While Baha'u'llah specified that the extent of the penalty depends upon
the severity of the injury, there is ...
82 Verily It Is Enjoined Upon You To Offer A Feast Once In Every Month #57
This injunction has become the basis for the holding of monthly Baha'i
festivities and as such constitutes the ordination of the Nineteen Day
Feast. In the Arabic Bayan the Bab called upon His followers to gather
83 If Ye Should Hunt With Beasts Or Birds Of Prey
invoke ye the Name of
God when ye send them to pursue their quarry; for then whatever they catch
shall be lawful unto you, even should ye find it to have died. 60
By this law, Baha'u'llah greatly simplifies pra...
84 Hunt Not To Excess #60
While hunting is not forbidden by Baha'u'llah, He warns against excessive
hunting. The Universal House of Justice will, in due course, have to
consider what constitutes an excess in hunting.
85 He Hath Granted Them No Right To The Property Of Others #61
The injunction to show kindness to Baha'u'llah's kindred does not give
them a share in the property of others. This is in contrast to Shi'ih
Muslim practice, in which lineal descendants of Muhammad are entitled to...
86 Should Anyone Intentionally Destroy A House By Fire
him also shall ye
burn; should anyone deliberately take another's life, him also shall ye
put to death. 62
The law of Baha'u'llah prescribes the death penalty for murder and arson,
with the alternative of life...
87 Should Ye Condemn The Arsonist And The Murderer To Life Imprisonment
it would be permissible according to the provisions of the Book. 62
Shoghi Effendi, in response to a question about this verse of the Aqdas,
affirmed that while capital punishment is permitted, an alternative, l...
88 God Hath Prescribed Matrimony Unto You #63
Baha'u'llah, in one of His Tablets, states that God, in establishing this
law, has made marriage a fortress for well-being and salvation.
The Synopsis and Codification, section IV.C.1.a.-o., summarizes and
89 Beware That Ye Take Not Unto Yourselves More Wives Than Two
contenteth himself with a single partner from among the maidservants of
God, both he and she shall live in tranquillity. 63
While the text of the Kitab-i-Aqdas appears to permit bigamy, Baha'u'llah
90 He Who Would Take Into His Service A Maid May Do So With Propriety #63
Baha'u'llah states that a man may employ a maiden for domestic service.
This was not permissible under Shi'ih Muslim practice unless the
employer entered into a marriage contract with her. Baha'u'llah emphasizes
91 This Is My Bidding Unto You; Hold Fast To It As An Assistance To Yourselves #63
While marriage is enjoined in the Kitab-i-Aqdas, Baha'u'llah clarifies
that it is not obligatory (Q and A 46). Shoghi Effendi, in a letter
written on his behalf, also declared that marriage is by no means an
92 We Have Conditioned It Upon The Permission Of Their Parents #65
In a letter written on his behalf, Shoghi Effendi has commented on this
provision of the law:
Baha'u'llah has clearly stated the consent of all living parents
is required for a Baha'i marriage. This a...
93 No Marriage May Be Contracted Without Payment Of A Dowry #66
The Synopsis and Codification, section IV.C.1.j.i.-v., summarizes the main
provisions concerning the dowry. These provisions have their antecedents
in the Bayan.
The dowry is to be paid by the bridegroom to the...
94 For City-dwellers At Nineteen Mithqals Of Pure Gold And For
village-dwellers at the same amount in silver 66
Baha'u'llah specifies that the criterion for determining the dowry payment
is the location of the permanent residence of the bridegroom, not of the
bride (Q and ...
95 Whoso Wisheth To Increase This Sum
it is forbidden him to exceed the
limit of ninety-five mithqals... If he content himself, however, with a
payment of the lowest level, it shall be better for him according to the
In answer to a questi...
96 Should Any One Of His Servants Intend To Travel He Must Fix For His Wife A Time When He Will Return Home #67
If the husband leaves without informing his wife of the date of his
return, and no news of him reaches her and all trace of him is lost,
Baha'u'llah has stated that, should the husband have been aware of the law
97 It Behoveth Her To Wait For A Period Of Nine Months After Which There Is No Impediment To Her Taking Another Husband #67
In the event of the husband's failure, either to return at the end of the
specified period of time or to notify his wife of a delay, the wife must
wait nine months, after which she is free to remarry, though it is...
98 She Should Choose The Course That Is Praiseworthy #67
Baha'u'llah defines the course that is praiseworthy as the exercise of
patience (Q and A 4).
99 Two Just Witnesses #67
Baha'u'llah sets out the criterion of justness in relation to witnesses
as a good reputation among the people. He states that it is not
necessary that the witnesses should be Baha'is since The testimony of ...
100 Should Resentment Or Antipathy Arise Between Husband And Wife
not to divorce her but to bide in patience throughout the course of one
whole year 68
Divorce is strongly condemned in the Baha'i Teachings. If, however,
antipathy or resentment develop between the marri...
101 The Lord Hath Prohibited
the practice to which ye formerly had
recourse when thrice ye had divorced a woman. 68
This relates to a law of Islam set out in the Qur'an which decreed that
under certain conditions a man could not remarry hi...
102 He Who Hath Divorced His Wife May Choose Upon The Passing Of Each Month
to remarry her when there is mutual affection and consent, so long
as she hath not taken another husband ... unless, clearly, her
circumstances change. 68
Shoghi Effendi states, in a letter written on his behal...
103 Semen Is Not Unclean # 74
In a number of religious traditions and in Shi'ih Muslim practice semen
has been declared ritually unclean. Baha'u'llah has here dispelled this
concept. See also note 106 below.
104 Cleave Ye Unto The Cord Of Refinement #74
'Abdu'l-Baha refers to the effect of purity and holiness, cleanliness and
refinement on the exaltation of the human condition and the
development of man's inner reality. He states: The fact of having a pure
105 Wash Ye Every Soiled Thing With Water That Hath Undergone No Alteration In Any One Of The Three Respects #74
The three respects referred to in this verse are changes in the colour,
taste or smell of the water. Baha'u'llah provides additional guidance
concerning pure water and the point at which it is considered unsuitabl...
106 God Hath Abolished The Concept Of Uncleanness Whereby Divers Things And Peoples Have Been Held To Be Impure #75
The concept of ritual uncleanness, as understood and practised in some
tribal societies and in the religious communities of certain earlier
Dispensations, has been abolished by Baha'u'llah. He states that through
107 First Day Of Ridvan #75
This is a reference to the arrival of Baha'u'llah and His companions in
the Najibiyyih Garden outside the city of Baghdad, subsequently referred
to by the Baha'is as the Garden of Ridvan. This event, which ...
108 The Bayan #77
The Bayan, the Mother Book of the Babi Dispensation, is the title given by
the Bab to His Book of Laws, and it is also applied to the entire body of
His Writings. The Persian Bayan is the major doctrinal wo...
109 The Destruction Of Books #77
In the Tablet of Ishraqat Baha'u'llah, referring to the fact that the
Bab had made the laws of the Bayan subject to His sanction, states that He
put some of the Bab's laws into effect by embodying them in t...
110 We Have Permitted You To Read Such Sciences As Are Profitable Unto You Not Such As End In Idle Disputation #77
The Baha'i Writings enjoin the acquisition of knowledge and the study of
the arts and sciences. Baha'is are admonished to respect people of
learning and accomplishment, and are warned against the pursuit of studie...
111 He Who Held Converse With God #80
This is a traditional Jewish and Islamic title of Moses. Baha'u'llah
states that with the coming of His Revelation human ears have been
privileged to hear what He Who conversed with God heard upon Sinai.
112 Sinai #80
The mountain where the Law was revealed by God to Moses.
113 The Spirit Of God #80
This is one of the titles used in the Islamic and Baha'i Writings to
designate Jesus Christ.
114 Carmel Zion #80
Carmel, the Vineyard of God, is the mountain in the Holy Land where the
Shrine of the Bab and the seat of the world administrative centre of the
Faith are situated.
Zion is a hill in Jerusalem, the t...
115 The Crimson Ark #84
The Crimson Ark refers to the Cause of Baha'u'llah. His followers are
designated as the companions of the Crimson Ark, lauded by the Bab in
116 O Emperor Of Austria!
He Who is the Dayspring of God's Light dwelt in
the prison of Akka at the time when thou didst set forth to visit the Aqsa
Francis Joseph (Franz Josef, 1830-1916), Emperor of Austria and King of
117 O King Of Berlin! #86
Kaiser William I (Wilhelm Friedrich Ludwig, 1797-1888), the seventh king
of Prussia, was acclaimed first Emperor of Germany in January 1871 at
Versailles in France, following the victory of Germany over Fra...
118 The One Whose Power Transcended Thy Power And Whose Station Excelled Thy Station #86
This is a reference to Napoleon III (1808-1873), the Emperor of the
French, who was regarded by many historians as the most outstanding
monarch of his day in the West.
Baha'u'llah addressed two Tablets to Napol...
119 O People Of Constantinople! #89
The word here translated as Constantinople is, in the original, Ar-Rum
or Rome. This term has generally been used in the Middle East to
designate Constantinople and the Eastern Roman Empire, then the city of
120 O Spot That Art Situate On The Shores Of The Two Seas! #89
This is a reference to Constantinople, now called Istanbul. Located on the
Bosphorus, a strait about 31 kilometres long which links the Black Sea and
the Sea of Marmara, it is the largest city and seaport of Turke...
121 O Banks Of The Rhine! #90
In one of His Tablets written before the First World War (1914-1918),
'Abdu'l-Baha explained that Baha'u'llah's reference to having seen the
banks of the Rhine covered with gore related to the Franco-Prussi...
122 O Land Of Ta #91
Ta is the initial letter of Tihran, the capital of Iran. Baha'u'llah has
often chosen to represent certain place names by reference to their
initial letter. According to the abjad system of reckoning, the n...
124 O Land Of Kha! #94
A reference to the Iranian province of Khurasan and neighbouring areas,
which include the city of Ishqabad (Ashkhabad).
125 Should Anyone Acquire One Hundred Mithqals Of Gold Nineteen Mithqals Thereof Are God's And To Be Rendered Unto Him #97
This verse establishes Huququ'llah, the Right of God, the offering of a
fixed portion of the value of the believer's possessions. This offering
was made to Baha'u'llah as the Manifestation of God and then, followi...
126 Various Petitions Have Come Before Our Throne From The Believers
concerning laws from God... We have, in consequence, revealed this Holy
Tablet and arrayed it with the mantle of His Law that haply the people may
keep the commandments of their Lord. 98
For a number of years, Ba...
127 Crimson Spot #100
This is a reference to the prison-city of Akka. In the Baha'i Writings the
word crimson is used in several allegorical and symbolic senses. (See
also note 115.)
128 The Sadratu'l-muntaha #100
Literally the furthermost Lote-Tree, translated by Shoghi Effendi as
the Tree beyond which there is no passing. This is used as a symbol in
Islam, for example in the accounts of Muhammad's Night Journey, to...
129 The Mother Book #103
The term Mother Book is generally used to designate the central Book of
a religious Dispensation. In the Qur'an and Islamic Hadith, the term is
used to describe the Qur'an itself. In the Babi Dispensation, ...
130 Whoso Interpreteth What Hath Been Sent Down From The Heaven Of
Revelation, and altereth its evident meaning 105
In several of His Tablets, Baha'u'llah affirms the distinction between
allegorical verses, which are susceptible to interpretation, and those
verses that relate to...
131 Approach Not The Public Pools Of Persian Baths #106
Baha'u'llah prohibits the use of the pools found in the traditional public
bath-houses of Persia. In these baths it was the custom for many people to
wash themselves in the same pool and for the water to be change...
133 It Is Forbidden You To Wed Your Fathers' Wives #107
Marriage with one's stepmother is here explicitly prohibited. This
prohibition also applies to marrying one's stepfather. Where Baha'u'llah
has expressed a law between a man and a woman it applies mutatis mutandis...
134 The Subject Of Boys #107
The word translated here as boys has, in this context, in the Arabic
original, the implication of paederasty. Shoghi Effendi has interpreted
this reference as a prohibition on all homosexual relations.
135 To None Is It Permitted To Mutter Sacred Verses Before The Public Gaze As He Walketh In The Street Or Marketplace #108
This is an allusion to the practice of certain clerics and religious
leaders of earlier Dispensations who, out of hypocrisy and affectation,
and in order to win the praise of their followers, would ostentatiously
136 Unto Everyone Hath Been Enjoined The Writing Of A Will #109
According to the Teachings of Baha'u'llah, the individual has a duty to
write a will and testament, and is free to dispose of his estate in
whatever manner he chooses (see note 38).
Baha'u'llah affirms that in ...
137 The Most Great Name #109
As explained in note 33, the Greatest Name of God can take various forms,
all based on the word Baha. The Baha'is in the East have implemented
this injunction of the Aqdas by heading their wills with such p...
138 All Feasts Have Attained Their Consummation In The Two Most Great
and in the two other Festivals that fall on the twin days 110
This passage establishes four great festivals of the Baha'i year. The two
designated by Baha'u'llah as the two Most Great Festivals are, f...
139 The First Day Of The Month Of Baha #111
In the Baha'i calendar the first month of the year and the first day of
each month are given the name Baha. The day of Baha of the month of Baha
is thus the Baha'i New Year, Naw-Ruz, which was ordained by the Bab ...
140 The Most Great Festival Is Indeed The King Of Festivals #112
A reference to the Ridvan Festival (see notes 107 and 138).
141. God had formerly laid upon each one of the believers the duty of
offering before Our throne priceless gifts from among his possessions. Now
142 The Hour Of Dawn #115
With reference to attending dawn prayers in the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, the
Baha'i House of Worship, Baha'u'llah has explained that, although the
actual time specified in the Book of God is the hour of dawn, it ...
143 These Tablets Are Embellished With The Seal Of Him
Who causeth the
dawn to appear, Who lifteth up His voice between the heavens and the
Baha'u'llah repeatedly affirms the absolute integrity of His Writings as
the Word of God. Some of His Tablets als...
144 It Is Inadmissible That Man Who Hath Been Endowed With Reason Should Consume That Which Stealeth It Away #119
There are many references in the Baha'i Writings which prohibit the use of
wine and other intoxicating drinks and which describe the deleterious
effect of such intoxicants on the individual. In one of His Tablets,...
145 Turn Your Faces Toward Him Whom God Hath Purposed Who Hath Branched From This Ancient Root #121
Baha'u'llah here alludes to 'Abdu'l-Baha as His Successor and calls upon
the believers to turn towards Him. In the Book of the Covenant, His Will
and Testament, Baha'u'llah discloses the intention of this verse. H...
146 In The Bayan It Had Been Forbidden You To Ask Us Questions #126
The Bab forbade His followers to ask questions of Him Whom God will make
manifest (Baha'u'llah), unless their questions were submitted in writing
and pertained to subjects worthy of His lofty station. See Selectio...
147 The Number Of Months In A Year Appointed In The Book Of God Is Nineteen #127
The Baha'i year, in accordance with the Badi calendar, consists of
nineteen months of nineteen days each, with the addition of certain
intercalary days (four in an ordinary year and five in a leap year)
148 The First Hath Been Adorned With This Name Which Overshadoweth The Whole Of Creation #127
In the Persian Bayan, the Bab bestowed the name Baha on the first month
of the year (see note 139).
149 The Lord Hath Decreed That The Dead Should Be Interred In Coffins #128
In the Bayan, the Bab prescribed that the deceased should be interred in a
coffin made of crystal or polished stone. Shoghi Effendi, in a letter
written on his behalf, explained that the significance of this provi...
150 The Point Of The Bayan #129
The Point of the Bayan is one of the titles by which the Bab referred to
151 The Deceased Should Be Enfolded In Five Sheets Of Silk Or Cotton #130
In the Bayan, the Bab specified that the body of the deceased should be
wrapped in five sheets of silk or cotton. Baha'u'llah confirmed this
provision and added the stipulation that for those whose means are
152 It Is Forbidden You To Transport The Body Of The Deceased A Greater Distance Than One Hour's Journey From The City #130
The intention of this command is to limit the duration of the journey to
one hour's time, irrespective of the means of transport that are chosen to
carry the body to the burial site. Baha'u'llah affirms that the s...
153 God Hath Removed The Restrictions On Travel That Had Been Imposed In
the Bayan. 131
The Bab decreed certain restrictions on travel which were to remain in
force until the advent of the Promised One of the Bayan, at which time the
believers were instructed to set out, even if on fo...
154 Raise Up And Exalt The Two Houses In The Twin Hallowed Spots
other sites wherein the throne of your Lord ... hath been established.
Baha'u'llah identifies the two Houses as His House in Baghdad,
designated by Him as the Most Great House, and the House of the...
155 Take Heed Lest Ye Be Prevented By Aught That Hath Been Recorded In The Book From Hearkening Unto This The Living Book #134
The Book is the record of the revealed Word of the Manifestations of
God. The Living Book is a reference to the Person of the Manifestation.
These words contain an allusion to a statement of the Bab in the Persi...
156 Tribute To This Revelation From The Pen Of Him Who Was My Herald #135
The tribute that Baha'u'llah quotes in this passage is from the Arabic
157 The Qiblih Is Indeed He Whom God Will Make Manifest; Whenever He Moveth It Moveth Until He Shall Come To Rest #137
For a discussion of this verse see notes 7 and 8.
158. It is unlawful to enter into marriage save with a believer in the Bayan.
Should only one party to a marriage embrace this Cause, his or her
159 The Point Of The Bayan #140
One of the titles of the Bab.
160 Verily There Is None Other God Besides Me #143
The Baha'i Writings contain many passages that elucidate the nature of the
Manifestation and His relationship to God. Baha'u'llah underlines the
unique and transcendent nature of the Godhead. He explains that sinc...
161 Payment Of Zakat #146
Zakat is referred to in the Qur'an as a regular charity binding upon
Muslims. In due course the concept evolved into a form of alms-tax which
imposed the obligation to give a fixed portion of certain catego...
162 It Is Unlawful To Beg And It Is Forbidden To Give To Him Who Beggeth #147
In a Tablet 'Abdu'l-Baha expounds the meaning of this verse. He states
that mendicancy is forbidden and that giving charity to people who take
up begging as their profession is also prohibited. He further points o...
163 A Fine Had Formerly Been Prescribed For Anyone Who Was The Cause Of Sadness To Another #148
Baha'u'llah abrogates the law of the Persian Bayan concerning the payment
of a fine in reparation for causing sadness to one's neighbour.
164 The Sacred Lote-tree # 148
The sacred Lote-Tree is a reference to the Sadratu'l-Muntaha, the Tree
beyond which there is no passing (see note 128). It is used here
symbolically to designate Baha'u'llah.
165 Recite Ye The Verses Of God Every Morn And Eventide #149
Baha'u'llah states that the essential requisite for reciting the verses
of God is the eagerness and love of the believers to read the Word of
God (Q and A 68).
With regard to the definition of verses of God, Ba...
166 Ye Have Been Enjoined To Renew The Furnishings Of Your Homes After The Passing Of Each Nineteen Years #151
Baha'u'llah confirms the injunction in the Arabic Bayan regarding the
renewal, every nineteen years, of the furnishings of one's home, provided
one is able to do so. 'Abdu'l-Baha relates this ordinance to the prom...
167 Wash Your Feet #152
The believers are exhorted in the Kitab-i-Aqdas to bathe regularly, to
wear clean clothes and generally to be the essence of cleanliness and
refinement. The Synopsis and Codification, section IV.D.3.y.i.-vi...
168 Ye Have Been Prohibited From Making Use Of Pulpits
Whoso wisheth to
recite unto you the verses of his Lord, let him sit on a chair placed upon
a dais 154
These provisions have their antecedent in the Persian Bayan. The Bab
forbade the use of pulpits for the de...
169 Gambling #155
The activities that are included in this prohibition have not been
outlined in the Writings of Baha'u'llah. As both 'Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi
Effendi have indicated, it is left to the Universal House of Justi...
170 The Use Of Opium Any Substance That Induceth Sluggishness And Torpor #155
This prohibition of the use of opium is reiterated by Baha'u'llah in the
final paragraph of the Kitab-i-Aqdas. In this connection, Shoghi Effendi
stated that one of the requirements for a chaste and holy life is t...
171 The Mystery Of The Great Reversal In The Sign Of The Sovereign #157
Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i (1753-1831), who was the founder of the
Shaykhi School and the first of the twin luminaries that heralded the
advent of the Faith of the Bab, prophesied that at the appearance of the
172 The Six Raised Up By Virtue Of This Upright Alif #157
In his writings, Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i placed great emphasis on the
Arabic letter Vav. In The Dawn-Breakers, Nabil states that this letter
symbolized for the Bab the advent of a new cycle of Divine Revelation,
173 It Hath Been Forbidden You To Carry Arms Unless Essential #159
Baha'u'llah confirms an injunction contained in the Bayan which makes it
unlawful to carry arms, unless it is necessary to do so. With regard to
circumstances under which the bearing of arms might be essential for...
174 And Permitted You To Attire Yourselves In Silk #159
According to Islamic practice, the wearing of silk by men was generally
forbidden, except in times of holy war. This prohibition, which was not
based on the verses of the Qur'an, was abrogated by the Bab.
176 O Land Of Kaf And Ra! #164
Kaf and Ra are the first two consonants of Kirman, the name of a city and
province of Iran.
177 We Perceive That Which Secretly And Stealthily Diffuseth From Thee #164
This passage is a reference to the intrigues of a group of Azalis,
followers of Mirza Yahya (see note 190), associated with the city of
Kirman. They include Mulla Ja'far, his son Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ruhi and
178 Call Ye To Mind The Shaykh Whose Name Was Muhammad-hasan #166
Shaykh Muhammad-Hasan, one of the leading exponents of Shi'ih Islam,
rejected the Bab. The author of voluminous writings on Shi'ih
jurisprudence, he is reported to have died around 1850.
Nabil, in The Dawn-Brea...
179 A Sifter Of Wheat And Barley # 166
This is an allusion to Mulla Muhammad Ja'far Gandum-Pak-Kun, the first
person in Isfahan to accept the Faith of the Bab. He is mentioned in the
Persian Bayan and praised as one who donned the robe of discipleship....
180 Take Heed Lest The Word Prophet Withhold You From This Most Great
Baha'u'llah cautions people of insight not to allow their
interpretations of the Holy Scriptures to prevent them from recognizing
the Manifestation of God. Followers of each religion have tended ...
181 Any Reference To Vicegerency Debar You From The Sovereignty Of Him Who Is The Vicegerent Of God #167
The word here translated Vicegerency is, in the original Arabic,
vilayat, which has a range of meanings including vicegerency,
guardianship, protectorship and successorship. It is used in
relation to God Himself,...
182 Call Ye To Mind Karim #170
Haji Mirza Muhammad Karim Khan-i-Kirmani (1810- circa 1873) was the
self-appointed leader of the Shaykhi community after the death of
Siyyid Kazim, who was the appointed successor to Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i
183 O Ye The Learned Ones In Baha #173
Baha'u'llah eulogizes the learned among His followers. In the Book of His
Covenant, He wrote: Blessed are the rulers and learned among the people
of Baha. Referring to this statement, Shoghi Effendi has written:
184 Refer Ye Whatsoever Ye Understand Not In The Book To Him Who Hath Branched From This Mighty Stock #174
Baha'u'llah invests 'Abdu'l-Baha with the right of interpreting His holy
Writ (see also note 145).
185 The School Of Transcendent Oneness #175
In this verse and the ones which immediately follow it, Baha'u'llah
confronts one of the reasons some of the Babis rejected His claim to be
the Promised One of the Bayan. Their rejection was based on a Tablet
186 We Accepted The Verses Of God Which He Presented Unto Us #175
In His Tablet addressed to Him Who will be made manifest, the Bab
characterizes the Bayan as an offering from Him to Baha'u'llah. See
Selections from the Writings of the Bab.
187 O People Of The Bayan! #176
Reference to the followers of the Bab.
188 The Letters B And E Were Joined And Knit Together #177
Shoghi Effendi, in letters written on his behalf, has explained the
significance of the letters B and E. They constitute the word Be,
which, he states, means the creative Power of God Who through His command
189 This New World Order #181
In the Persian Bayan, the Bab stated: Well is it with him who fixeth his
gaze upon the Order of Baha'u'llah, and rendereth thanks unto his Lord.
For He will assuredly be made manifest. God hath indeed irrev...
190 O Source Of Perversion! #184
This is a reference to Mirza Yahya, known as Subh-i-Azal (Morning of
Eternity), a younger half-brother of Baha'u'llah, who arose against Him
and opposed His Cause. Mirza Yahya was nominated by the Bab to se...
191 Remember How We Nurtured Thee By Day And By Night For Service To The Cause #184
In _God Passes By_, Shoghi Effendi refers to the fact that Baha'u'llah,
Who was thirteen years older than Mirza Yahya, had counselled him and
watched over his early youth and manhood.
192 God Hath Laid Hold On Him Who Led Thee Astray #184
A reference to Siyyid Muhammad-i-Isfahani, who is described by Shoghi
Effendi as the Antichrist of the Baha'i Revelation. He was a man of
corrupt character and great personal ambition who induced Mirza Yahya to
193 Select Ye A Single Language Adopt Ye A Common Script #189
Baha'u'llah enjoins the adoption of a universal language and script. His
Writings envisage two stages in this process. The first stage is to
consist of the selection of an existing language or an invented one whic...
194 We Have Appointed Two Signs For The Coming Of Age Of The Human Race #189
The first sign of the coming of age of humanity referred to in the
Writings of Baha'u'llah is the emergence of a science which is described
as that divine philosophy which will include the discovery of a radical