Baha’i House of Worship

The place of worship for the Bahá’ís is known as Bahá’í House of Worship. So far, there are seven Bahá’í Houses of Worship in the world, at least one in each continent. There is no Bahá’í House of Worship in Singapore. The followers gather for prayers and activities at the Bahá’í Centre, which is also the administrative centre of the Bahá’í Faith in Singapore.

Worship

Bahá’ís believe that the core of religious faith is the mystic feeling that unites humankind with God. This spiritual communion is renewed daily through prayer and meditation. The focus is on the development of spirituality or the spiritual life. The founder, Bahá’u’lláh has revealed hundreds of prayers and followers are urged to spend time in meditation each day. Bahá’ís are required to recite in private one of the three specifically revealed Obligatory Prayers once a day. They should pray in the morning and in the evening and spend time reading and reflecting on the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh. Each person is to choose his or her own form of meditation. There are no sermons, ritual or clergy. Devotional meetings are held periodically in the Bahá’í Centre or the homes of believers. Bahá’ís gather as a community every 19 days to celebrate their Nineteen Day Feast – combining devotional, consultative and social elements.

Festivals

Ridván is the Most Great Festival of the Bahá’í Faith. This twelve day period (April 21st to May 2nd) with festivities on the first, ninth and twelfth days marks the episode prior to the departure of Bahá’u’lláh from Baghdad when He made His public declaration to be the Manifestation of God for today. During the Ridván Festival, Bahá’ís all over the world elect their local and national governing councils for the coming year. Naw~Rúz (New Year) is celebrated on March 21st each year. Prior to this day, there is a nineteen day fasting period from March 2nd. This is a time of purification when the faithful abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset.

The Birthday of the founder Bahá’u’lláh is observed on November 12. The Hold Days of the Bahá’í Faith were gazette in 1972 and Bahá’ís are required to abstain from work or school. People of other Faiths are often invited by their Bahá’í friends to participate in their holy day celebrations.

Diet

Bahá’ís are forbidden to consume alcohol and hallucinogenic drugs. The only exception is when the physician prescribes it as a form of medical treatment.