The Bahá’í Fast, March 2nd Through 20th

The Fast is a time period between March 2nd and 20th during which Bahá’ís abstain from food or drink from sunrise to sunset of the same day. On the Bahá’í Calendar the fast falls on the 19th month of `Ala’. The fast usually ends with the celebration of Naw-Rúz (New Year).

“Praised be Thou, O my God, that Thou hast ordained Naw-Rúz as a festival unto those who have observed the fast for love of Thee and abstained from all that is abhorrent unto Thee.”

Purpose

‘Abdu’l-Bahá explains:

Fasting is a symbol. Fasting signifies abstinence from lust. Physical fasting is a symbol of that abstinence, and is a reminder; that is, just as a person abstains from physical appetites, he is to abstain from self-appetites and self-desires. But mere abstention from food has no effect on the spirit. It is only a symbol, a reminder. Otherwise it is of no importance. Fasting for this purpose does not mean entire abstinence from food. The golden rule as to food is, do not take too much or too little. Moderation is necessary. There is a sect in India who practice extreme abstinence, and gradually reduce their food until they exist on almost nothing. But their intelligence suffers. A man is not fit to do service for God with brain or body if he is weakened by lack of food. He cannot see clearly.

Featured Video:  “Fast in a Day”

‘Fast in a Day’ (2012) is a global attempt to crowd source the feelings and emotions that surround the Bahá’í fast, 2nd-20th March.

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