Bahá’ís in Arlington will join their coreligionists around the world for the Bahá’í month of fasting, March 2 through 20, 2018. Bahá’u’lláh, founder of the Bahá’í Faith, called for an annual period of fasting from sunrise to sunset for individuals between 15 and 70 years of age, including those who are healthy enough to do so, those who are not pregnant or nursing, or not traveling from their homes.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, son of Bahá’u’lláh, said, “…prayer and fasting is the cause of awakening and mindfulness and conducive to protection and preservation from tests.” He also stated, “For 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.”
Shoghi Effendi, the great grandson of Bahá’u’lláh, stated, “It (the fasting period) is essentially a period of meditation and prayer, of spiritual recuperation, during which the believer must strive to make the necessary readjustments in his inner life, and to refresh and reinvigorate the spiritual forces latent in his soul. Its significance and purpose are, therefore, fundamentally spiritual in character. Fasting is symbolic, and a reminder of abstinence from selfish and carnal desires.”
Following the Fast Bahá’ís celebrate the Bahá’í New Year, or Naw-Rúz, on March 21, 2018, the vernal equinox.