The Kitáb-i-Aqdas - The Most Holy Book
Index term: Travel
k14.
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, and while prostrating say "Glorified be God, the Lord of Might and Majesty, of Grace and Bounty". Whoso is unable to do this, let him say only "Glorified be God"; this shall assuredly suffice him. He is, of a truth, the all-sufficing, the ever-abiding, the forgiving, compassionate God. Upon completing your prostrations, seat yourselves cross-legged -- men and women alike -- and eighteen times repeat "Glorified be God, the Lord of the kingdoms of earth and heaven". Thus doth the Lord make plain the ways of truth and guidance, ways that lead to one way, which is this Straight Path. Render thanks unto God for this most gracious favour; offer praise unto Him for this bounty that hath encompassed the heavens and the earth; extol Him for this mercy that hath pervaded all creation.
k16.
O Pen of the Most High! Say: O people of the world! We have enjoined upon you fasting during a brief period, and at its close have designated for you Naw-Rúz as a feast. Thus hath the Day-Star of Utterance shone forth above the horizon of the Book as decreed by Him Who is the Lord of the beginning and the end. Let the days in excess of the months be placed before the month of fasting. We have ordained that these, amid all nights and days, shall be the manifestations of the letter Há, and thus they have not been bounded by the limits of the year and its months. It behoveth the people of Bahá, throughout these days, to provide good cheer for themselves, their kindred and, beyond them, the poor and needy, and with joy and exultation to hail and glorify their Lord, to sing His praise and magnify His Name; and when they end -- these days of giving that precede the season of restraint -- let them enter upon the Fast. Thus hath it been ordained by Him Who is the Lord of all mankind. 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. He, verily, is the Almighty, the Most Generous.
k67.
It hath been decreed by God that, should any one of His servants intend to travel, he must fix for his wife a time when he will return home. If he return by the promised time, he will have obeyed the bidding of his Lord and shall be numbered by the Pen of His behest among the righteous; otherwise, if there be good reason for delay, he must inform his wife and make the utmost endeavour to return to her. Should neither of these eventualities occur, it behoveth her to wait for a period of nine months, after which there is no impediment to her taking another husband; but should she wait longer, God, verily, loveth those women and men who show forth patience. Obey ye My commandments, and follow not the ungodly, they who have been reckoned as sinners in God's Holy Tablet. If, during the period of her waiting, word should reach her from her husband, she should choose the course that is praiseworthy. He, of a truth, desireth that His servants and His handmaids should be at peace with one another; take heed lest ye do aught that may provoke intransigence amongst you. Thus hath the decree been fixed and the promise come to pass. If, however, news should reach her of her husband's death or murder, and be confirmed by general report, or by the testimony of two just witnesses, it behoveth her to remain single; then, upon completion of the fixed number of months, she is free to adopt the course of her choosing. Such is the bidding of Him Who is mighty and powerful in His command.
k69.
If the wife accompany her husband on a journey, and differences arise between them on the way, he is required to provide her with her expenses for one whole year, and either to return her whence she came or to entrust her, together with the necessaries for her journey, to a dependable person who is to escort her home. Thy Lord, verily, ordaineth as He pleaseth, by virtue of a sovereignty that overshadoweth the peoples of the earth.
k131.
God hath removed the restrictions on travel that had been imposed in the Bayán. He, verily, is the Unconstrained; He doeth as He pleaseth and ordaineth whatsoever He willeth.
n21.
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
Exemption from obligatory prayer is granted to those who find themselves in such a condition of insecurity that the saying of the Obligatory Prayers is not possible. The exemption applies whether one is travelling or at home, and it provides a means whereby Obligatory Prayers which have remained unsaid on account of these insecure circumstances may be compensated for.
Bahá'u'lláh has made it clear that obligatory prayer "is not suspended during travel" so long as one can find a "safe spot" in which to perform it (Q&A 58).
Numbers 21, 58, 59, 60, and 61 in Questions and Answers amplify this provision.
n22.
Upon completing your prostrations, seat yourselves cross-legged
The Arabic expression "haykalu't-tawhíd", translated here as "cross-legged", means the "posture of unity". It has traditionally signified a cross-legged position.
n30.
The traveller . . . not bound by the Fast
The minimum duration of a journey which exempts the believer from fasting is defined by Bahá'u'lláh (Q&A 22 and 75). The details of this provision are summarized in the Synopsis and Codification, section IV.B.5.a.i.-v.
Shoghi Effendi has clarified that while travellers are exempt from fasting, they are free to fast if they so wish. He also indicated that the exemption applies during the whole period of one's travel, not just the hours one is in a train or car, etc.
n55.
and from this He hath exempted women as a mercy on His part
In the Bayán, the Báb 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 women in order to spare them the rigours of travel.
Bahá'u'lláh likewise exempts women from His pilgrimage requirements. The Universal House of Justice has clarified that this exemption is not a prohibition, and that women are free to perform the pilgrimage.
n96.
should any one of His servants intend to travel, he must fix for his wife a time when he will return home
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, Bahá'u'lláh has stated that, should the husband have been aware of the law prescribed in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the wife may remarry after waiting a full year. If, however, the husband was unaware of the law, the wife must wait until news of her husband reaches her (Q&A 4).
n97.
it behoveth her to wait for a period of nine months, after which there is no impediment to her taking another husband
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 preferable for her to wait longer (see note 147 for the Bahá'í calendar).
Bahá'u'lláh states that, in such circumstances, should news reach the wife of "her husband's death or murder", she must also wait nine months, prior to remarrying (Q&A 27). 'Abdu'l-Bahá, in a Tablet, has further clarified that the nine months' waiting period following news of the husband's death applies only if the husband had been away at the time of his death, and not if he dies while at home.
n98.
she should choose the course that is praiseworthy
Bahá'u'lláh defines "the course that is praiseworthy" as "the exercise of patience" (Q&A 4).
n99.
two just witnesses
Bahá'u'lláh 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 Bahá'ís since "The testimony of all God's servants, of whatever faith or creed, is acceptable before His Throne" (Q&A 79).
n153.
God hath removed the restrictions on travel that had been imposed in the Bayán.
The Báb decreed certain restrictions on travel which were to remain in force until the advent of the Promised One of the Bayán, at which time the believers were instructed to set out, even if on foot, to meet Him, since the attainment of His presence was the fruit and purpose of their very existence.
q4.
 
Question: Should a man go on a journey without specifying a time for his return -- without indicating, in other words, the expected period of his absence -- and should no word be heard of him thereafter, and all trace of him be lost, what course should be followed by his wife?
Answer: Should he have omitted to fix a time for his return despite being aware of the stipulation of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas in this regard, his wife should wait for one full year, after which she shall be free either to adopt the course that is praiseworthy, or to choose for herself another husband. If, however, he be unaware of this stipulation, she should abide in patience until such time as God shall please to disclose to her his fate. By the course that is praiseworthy in this connection is meant the exercise of patience.
q21.
 
Question: Concerning the holy verse: "When travelling, if ye should stop and rest in some safe spot, perform ye . . . a single prostration in place of each unsaid Obligatory Prayer . . ."
Answer: This prostration is to compensate for obligatory prayer omitted in the course of travel, and by reason of insecure circumstances. If, at the time of prayer, the traveller should find himself at rest in a secure place, he should perform that prayer. This provision regarding the compensating prostration applieth both at home and on a journey.
q22.
 
Question: Concerning the definition of a journey. [This relates to the minimum duration of a journey which exempts the traveller from fasting]
Answer: The definition of a journey is nine hours by the clock. Should the traveller stop in a place, anticipating that he will stay there for no less than one month by the Bayán reckoning, it is incumbent on him to keep the Fast; but if for less than one month, he is exempt from fasting. If he arriveth during the Fast at a place where he is to stay one month according to the Bayán, he should not observe the Fast till three days have elapsed, thereafter keeping it throughout the remainder of its course; but if he come to his home, where he hath heretofore been permanently resident, he must commence his fast upon the first day after his arrival.
q27.
 
Question: Concerning the sacred verse: "If, however, news should reach her of her husband's death", etc.
Answer: With reference to waiting a "fixed number of months" a period of nine months is intended.
q58.
 
Question: Concerning the blessed verse, "When travelling, if ye should stop and rest in some safe spot, perform ye . . . a single prostration in place of each unsaid Obligatory Prayer": is this compensation for the Obligatory Prayer missed by reason of insecure circumstances, or is obligatory prayer completely suspended during travel, and doth the prostration take its place?
Answer: If, when the hour of obligatory prayer arriveth, there be no security, one should, upon arrival in safe surroundings, perform a prostration in place of each Obligatory Prayer that was missed, and after the final prostration, sit cross-legged and read the designated verse. If there be a safe place, obligatory prayer is not suspended during travel.
q59.
 
Question: If, after a traveller hath stopped and rested it is the time for obligatory prayer, should he perform the prayer, or make the prostration in its stead?
Answer: Except in insecure circumstances omission of the Obligatory Prayer is not permissible.
q60.
 
Question: If, due to missed Obligatory Prayers, a number of prostrations are required, must the verse be repeated after each compensating prostration or not?
Answer: It is sufficient to recite the designated verse after the last prostration. The several prostrations do not require separate repetitions of the verse.
q61.
 
Question: If an Obligatory Prayer be omitted at home, is it to be compensated for by a prostration or not?
Answer: In answer to previous questions it was written: "This provision regarding the compensating prostration applieth both at home and on a journey."
q75.
 
Question: Concerning the limit of fasting for someone travelling on foot.
Answer: The limit is set at two hours. If this is exceeded, it is permissible to break the Fast.