‘Abdu’l-Bahá encourages the use of the sacred phrase Alláh-u-Bahá as a focus for invocation. “The Greatest Name should be found upon the lips in the first awakening moment of early dawn. It should be fed upon by consistent use in daily invocation, in trouble, under opposition, and should be the last word breathed when the head rests upon the pillow at night. It is the name of comfort, protection, happiness, illumination, love and unity.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Wisdom of the Master, p. 58)
‘Bid them recite: “Is there any Remover of difficulties save God? Say: Praised be God! He is God! All are His servants, and all abide by His bidding!” Tell them to repeat it five hundred times, nay, a thousand times, by day and by night, sleeping and waking, that haply the Countenance of Glory may be unveiled to their eyes, and tiers of light descend upon them.’
(Shoghi Effendi citing Nabíl citing Bahá’u’lláh in God Passes By, p. 119)
Concerning the Healing Prayer, the Guardian wishes me to inform you that there is no special ruling for its recital. The believer is free to recite it as many times and in the way he wishes.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 461)
Concerning the prayer for difficulty revealed by the Bab; he wishes me to inform you that it is not accompanied by the instructions for its recital. [Written in response to a question as to how often this prayer should repeated to produce the greatest results] (Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 463)
I remember a prayer, which you wrote, has been asked by a certain friend to be read daily. I believe sometimes the friends through their zeal and ardour do things that are not asked in the Cause. We have only one prayer that we have to say daily. No one in the world has the power, given to him by Bahá’u’lláh to add another to that daily prayer. If we should admit this the life of the friends will soon be spent in mere prayer, which is not the aim of the Cause. The healing prayer and such ones are only for occasional use when the need arises.
(Shoghi Effendi, Arohanui - Letters to New Zealand, p. 20)
It hath been ordained that every believer in God, the Lord of Judgement, shall, each day, having washed his hands and then his face, seat himself and, turning unto God, repeat “Allah-u-Abhá” ninety-five times.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 25)
It is seemly that the servant should, after each prayer, supplicate God to bestow mercy and forgiveness upon his parents. Thereupon God’s call will be raised: ‘Thousand upon thousand of what thou hast asked for thy parents shall be thy recompense!’ Blessed is he who remembereth his parents when communing with God. There is, verily, no God but Him, the Mighty, the Well-Beloved.
(The Báb: Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 94)
On page 1 of your October Newsletter you have quoted the Bab’s prayer for the removal of difficulties and have added: ‘Bahá’u’lláh has said to repeat this prayer 500 times by day and by night that it may aid us to recognize Him and our souls will be illumined.’ The above statement gives the impression that the repetition of the said prayer 500 times is one of the prescribed devotionals of the Faith, and has a specified effect on the believer who observes this form of prayer. We do not feel it is justified to infer such conclusions from the reference in ‘God Passes By‘, page 119, which you mention. The passage in question obviously refers to a specific circumstance in the life of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdad before the declaration of His Mission, and should not be presented to the believers as one of the prescribed observances of the faith.
(Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly, November 24, 1971)
The Guardian feels it is not necessary to repeat the Báb’s prayer so many times. [Written in response to a question about the repetition 114 times in the morning for 19 days of the prayer of the Báb,‘Say! God sufficeth all things above all things‘] (Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 463)
There is no obligation for a believer to recite always any prayer nine times. Ritualism is certainly to be avoided in all matters affecting Bahá’í worship.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 461)
… in the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, there are numerous examples of Their recommending to the friends that certain prayers and verses be recited at a certain time of day or a certain number of times. It is the view of the Research Department that, unless specified, such recommendations do not necessarily represent injunctions binding on all the friends.
(Universal House of Justice, Aspects of Bahá’í Teachings, 6 August 1997)