Be ye the very essence of cleanliness amongst mankind. This, truly, is what your Lord, the Incomparable, the All-Wise, desireth for you.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 47)
Cleave ye unto the cord of refinement with such tenacity as to allow no trace of dirt to be seen upon your garments.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 46)
Even in the physical realm, cleanliness will conduce to spirituality, as the Holy Writings clearly state. And although bodily cleanliness is a physical thing, it hath, nevertheless, a powerful influence on the life of the spirit … The purport is that physical cleanliness doth also exert its effect upon the human soul.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 147)
For material water does not purify the heart of man; no, it cleanses his body. But the heavenly water and spirit, which are knowledge and life, make the human heart good and pure; the heart which receives a portion of the bounty of the Spirit becomes sanctified, good and pure—that is to say, the reality of man becomes purified and sanctified from the impurities of the world of nature. These natural impurities are evil qualities: anger, lust, worldliness, pride, lying, hypocrisy, fraud, self-love, etc. Man cannot free himself from the rage of the carnal passions except by the help of the Holy Spirit. That is why He says baptism with the spirit, with water and with fire is necessary, and that it is essential—that is to say, the spirit of divine bounty, the water of knowledge and life, and the fire of the love of God. Man must be baptized with this spirit, this water and this fire so as to become filled with the eternal bounty. Otherwise, what is the use of baptizing with material water? No, this baptism with water was a symbol of repentance, and of seeking forgiveness of sins. But in the cycle of Bahá’u’lláh there is no longer need of this symbol; for its reality, which is to be baptized with the spirit and love of God, is understood and established.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 91)
God hath enjoined upon you to observe the utmost cleanliness, to the extent of washing what is soiled with dust, let alone with hardened dirt and similar defilement. Fear Him, and be of those who are pure.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 47)
God loveth those who are pure. Naught in the Bayan and in the sight of God is more loved than purity and immaculate cleanliness.
(The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 80)
It hath been enjoined upon you to pare your nails, to bathe yourselves each week in water that covereth your bodies, and to clean yourselves with whatsoever ye have formerly employed. Take heed lest through negligence ye fail to observe that which hath been prescribed unto you by Him Who is the Incomparable, the Gracious. Immerse yourselves in clean water; it is not permissible to bathe yourselves in water that hath already been used. See that ye approach not the public pools of Persian baths; whoso maketh his way toward such baths will smell their fetid odour ere he entereth therein. Shun them, O people, and be not of those who ignominiously accept such vileness. In truth, they are as sinks of foulness and contamination, if ye be of them that apprehend. Avoid ye likewise the malodorous pools in the courtyards of Persian homes, and be ye of the pure and sanctified. Truly, We desire to behold you as manifestations of paradise on earth, that there may be diffused from you such fragrance as shall rejoice the hearts of the favoured of God. If the bather, instead of entering the water, wash himself by pouring it upon his body, it shall be better for him and shall absolve him of the need for bodily immersion. The Lord, verily, hath willed, as a bounty from His presence, to make life easier for you that ye may be of those who are truly thankful.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p.57-58)
Should the garb of anyone be visibly sullied, his prayers shall not ascend to God, and the celestial Concourse will turn away from him.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 47)
Strive, O people of God, that haply the hearts of the divers kindreds of the earth may, through the waters of your forbearance and loving-kindness, be cleansed and sanctified from animosity and hatred, and be made worthy and befitting recipients of the splendors of the Sun of Truth.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 26)
Therefore strive that the greatest cleanliness and sanctity, which is the great desire of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, should be resplendent among the Bahá’ís, and that the companions of God should surpass the rest of mankind in all conditions and perfections; that they may be physically and morally superior to others; that through cleanliness and purity, refinement and health, they may be the chief of wise men, and that by their affranchisement, their prudence, and the control of their desires, they may be the princes of the pure, the free and the wise.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 336)
This Fast leadeth to the cleansing of the soul from all selfish desires.
(Compilations, The Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting)
To be the essence of cleanliness:
i. To wash one’s feet
ii. To perfume one’s self
iii. To bathe in clean water
iv. To cut one’s nails
v. To wash soiled things in clean water
vi. To be stainless in one’s dress (Bahá’u’lláh, Synopsis and Codification of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 50)
Wash ye every soiled thing with water that hath undergone no alteration in any one of the three respects; take heed not to use water that hath been altered through exposure to the air or to some other agent.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 46-47)
Whoso wisheth to make use of vessels of silver and gold is at liberty to do so. Take heed lest, when partaking of food, ye plunge your hands into the contents of bowls and platters. Adopt ye such usages as are most in keeping with refinement. He, verily, desireth to see in you the manners of the inmates of Paradise in His mighty and most sublime Kingdom. Hold ye fast unto refinement under all conditions, that your eyes may be preserved from beholding what is repugnant both to your own selves and to the dwellers of Paradise. Should anyone depart therefrom, his deed shall at that moment be rendered vain; yet should he have good reason, God will excuse him. He, in truth, is the Gracious, the Most Bountiful.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 36)