The Universal House of Justice

Department of the Secretariat

17 March 1986

[To an individual]

Dear Bahá’í Friend,

The Universal House of Justice has received your letter of 4 March 1986 seeking clarification of a statement concerning certain obligations of women found in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. We are directed to convey the following.

There is nothing in the teachings of the Faith to state that women in their courses are exempt from fasting and from offering the obligatory prayers because they are unclean.

The concept of uncleanness as understood and practiced in the religious communities of the past has been abolished by Bahá’u’lláh. As you are aware, He says that through His revelation “all created things were immersed in the sea of purification” (God Passes By, page 154). This should, of course, be understood in the context of His clear instructions about the necessity for all to exemplify immaculate cleanliness, especially when engaged in acts of worship.

We are to confirm that you are quite right in pointing out that the term used in this regard in the Synopsis and Codification of the Laws and Ordinances of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas is “exemption,” not prohibition.

With loving Bahá’í greetings,

Department of the Secretariat