Arising at Dawn

Baha’u’llah revealed, “know thou that religion is as heaven; and fasting and obligatory prayer are its sun and its moon. We entreat God, exalted and glorified be He, to graciously aid everyone who acteth according to His will and good-pleasure.”

`Abdu’l-Baha stated, “this material fast is an outer token of the spiritual fast; it is a symbol of self-restraint, the withholding of oneself from all appetites of the self, taking on the characteristics of the spirit, being carried away by the breathings of heaven and catching fire from the love of God.” 

The material fasting asks Baha’is over the age of fifteen abstain from food and drink each day from sunrise to sunset. Many awaken before sunrise –eat, drink and pray in preparation each day.

‘Abdu’l-Baha instructed one believer, “let every awakened soul obtain, to the extent of its capacity, a portion of this spiritual grace. This can be achieved by fervently offering unto God prayers and supplications at every dawn and observing the law of obligatory prayer.”

Children under the age of fifteen sound not abstain from food and drink yet spiritually they can participate. ‘Abdu’l-Baha counseled another believer:

“Every day at first light, ye gather the Bahá’í children together and teach them the communes and prayers. This is a most praiseworthy act, and bringeth joy to the children’s hearts: that they should, at every morn, turn their faces toward the Kingdom and make mention of the Lord and praise His Name, and in the sweetest of voices, chant and recite.

These children are even as young plants, and teaching them the prayers is as letting the rain pour down upon them, that they may wax tender and fresh, and the soft breezes of the love of God may blow over them, making them to tremble with joy.”