Bahá'í laws are laws and ordinances used in the Bahá'í Faith and are a fundamental part of Bahá'í practice. The laws are based on authenticated texts from Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, subsequent interpretations from `Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi and legislation by the Universal House of Justice. Bahá'í law is presented as a set of general principles and guidelines and individuals must apply them as they best seem fit. While some of the social laws are enforced by Bahá'í institutions, the emphasis is placed on individuals following the laws based on their conscience, understanding and reasoning, and Bahá'ís are expected to follow the laws for the love of Bahá'u'lláh. The laws are seen as the method of the maintenance of order and security in the world.
A few examples of laws and basic religious observances of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas which are considered obligatory for Bahá'ís include:
- Recite an obligatory prayer each day. There are three such prayers among which one can be chosen each day.
- Observe a Nineteen Day Fast from sunrise to sunset from March 2 through March 20. During this time Bahá'ís in good health between the ages of 15 and 70 abstain from eating and drinking.
- Gossip and backbiting are prohibited and viewed as particularly damaging to the individual and their relationships.
Read more about this topic: Religious Law
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