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`ABDU’L-KARIM EWING-BOYD: The rules for the fast are laid out in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, which is the most holy book. From sunrise to sunset Baha’is above the age of 15 are to refrain from eating and drinking. It’s a time for prayer. It’s a time for meditation. It’s a time for refocusing and concentrating on the spiritual life.

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Family singing: My light is in thee. Get thou from it thy radiance and seek none other than Me.

EWING-BOYD: Most people think about the fast in terms of what you don’t do, but for me what the fast is is a time for me to reassert my rational spiritual self over my base and physical self. If I’m hungry I should eat. If I’m thirsty I should drink, but because of a recognition of a greater and higher need, I choose not to.

ANGELA EWING-BOYD: Do we have everything on the table?

`ABDU’L-KARIM EWING-BOYD: It’s just another way to remind me of my relationship to God and my relationship to my spiritual reality. I’m a spiritual being having a physical experience and not the other way around. There are some things that we do simply because God tells us to do it. That there are some things that are articles of faith. If I can find the ways to make my life a tool for the betterment of mankind as I’m intended by my creator, then that is a movement towards perfection for me.

Baha’i Nineteen-Day Fast

The Baha’i faith began in Persia, now Iran, in the 19th century. There are up to 5 million Baha’is around the world, preaching the unity of all people. Baha’is prepare spiritually for their New Year with a nineteen-day fast. We visit a school administrator in Washington, DC, Abdu’l Karim Ewing-Boyd, as he and his family prepare to break their fast.