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bullet.gif (837 bytes) The Bahá'ís
bullet.gif (837 bytes) Unity in Diversity
bullet.gif (837 bytes) Bahá'u'lláh
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) Social and Moral
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) Spiritual Beliefs of
the Bahá'í Faith
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) A System for
Global Governance
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) A Century of 
Growth and
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) New Approaches
to Old Problems
bullet1.gif (837 bytes) Towards the New
World Order

The Fast

Virtually all of the world's religions emphasize fasting as a means of spiritual purification. Each year, for example, Muslims abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset for twenty-eight days in a row. Christ's reference to the importance of fasting is recorded in Chapters six and nine of the Gospel of Matthew.

Bahá'u'lláh called on Bahá'ís to refrain from eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset for nineteen consecutive days each year from 2 March to 20 March. This period, known simply as "the Fast," is considered a time for deep reflection on one's own spiritual progress. Efforts are made to detach oneself from material desires. Bahá'ís rise before dawn to eat breakfast and to pray. Those who are ill are exempt from fasting, as are pregnant and nursing women, people under 15 or over 70 years old, travelers, and those engaged in arduous physical labor.

"Whatever duty Thou hast prescribed unto Thy servants... is but a token of Thy grace unto them, that they may be enabled to ascend unto the station conferred upon their own inmost being, the station of the knowledge of their own selves." -- Bahá'u'lláh

"Excerpted from The Bahá'ís, a publication of the Bahá'í International Community."

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