Water

Avoid ye likewise the malodorous pools in the courtyards of Persian homes # 106

Most houses in Persia used to have a pool in their courtyard which served as a reservoir for water used for cleaning, washing and other domestic purposes. Since the water in the pool was stagnant and was not usually changed for weeks at a time, it tended to develop a very unpleasant odour.

Bahá’u’lláh, Kitab-i-Aqdas, Notes 132, p. 222

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

QUESTION: Concerning pure water, and the point at which it is considered used.

ANSWER: Small quantities of water, such as one cupful, or even two or three, must be considered used after a single washing of the face and hands. But a kurr [This refers to a volume of approximately one half of a cubic metre] or more of water remaineth unchanged after one or two washings of the face, and there is no objection to its use unless it is altered in one of the three ways [Colour, taste and smell], for example its colour is changed, in which case it should be looked upon as used.

Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p.133

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. Be ye the very essence of cleanliness amongst mankind.  (Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 46-47) The "three respects" referred to in this verse are changes in the colour, taste or smell of the water. Bahá’u’lláh provides additional guidance concerning pure water and the point at which it is considered unsuitable for use (Q and A 91).

Bahá’u’lláh, Kitab-i-Aqdas,   Notes 105, p. 212

First in a human being's way of life must be purity, then freshness, cleanliness, and independence of spirit. First must the stream bed be cleansed, then may the sweet river waters be led into it. Chaste eyes enjoy the beatific vision of the Lord and know what this encounter meaneth; a pure sense inhaleth the fragrances that blow from the rose gardens of His grace; a burnished heart will mirror forth the comely face of truth.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 146-147

My meaning is this, that in every aspect of life, purity and holiness, cleanliness and refinement, exalt the human condition and further the development of man's inner reality. 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. It is even as a voice wondrously sweet, or a melody played: although sounds are but vibrations in the air which affect the ear's auditory nerve, and these vibrations are but chance phenomena carried along through the air, even so, see how they move the heart. A wondrous melody is wings for the spirit, and maketh the soul to tremble for joy. 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. 146-147