Bahá’ís Believe In
The Bahá’í Faith teachings emphasize that each person is in charge of his or her own spiritual development. While institutions exist to guide and release energies, and Bahá’í community life is to be characterized by an atmosphere of cordial consultation and encouragement, the responsibility for spiritual growth ultimately rests with each individual.
The Bahá’í Faith began in Persia in 1844 when a few people recognized The Báb’s message and Bahá’u’lláh. There are more than 100,000 localities throughout the world with millions of members.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the son of Bahá’u’lláh has written the following and it best sums up the purpose of being a Bahá’í:
“See ye no strangers; rather see all men as friends, for love and unity come hard when ye fix your gaze on otherness. … For each of the creatures is a sign of God, and it was by the grace of the Lord and His power that each did step into the world; therefore they are not strangers, but in the family; not aliens, but friends, and to be treated as such.”
To investigate more about the Bahá’í Faith and to learn about Community life, Walking a Spiritual Path, What Bahá’ís Believe and the Training Institute please visit www.bahai.org.
The Life of the Spirit
Baha’u’llah’s Revelation affirms that the purpose of our lives is to know God and to attain His presence. Our true identity is our rational soul, whose free will and powers of understanding enable us to continually better ourselves and our society. Walking a path of service to God and to humanity gives life meaning and prepares us for the moment the soul separates from the body and continues on its eternal journey towards its Maker.
God and His Creation
The Bahá’í Writings explain that the reality of God is beyond the understanding of any mortal mind, though we may find expressions of His attributes in every created thing. Throughout the ages, He has sent a succession of Divine Messengers, known as Manifestations of God, to educate and guide humanity, awakening in whole populations capacities to contribute to the advancement of civilization to an extent never before possible.
The teachings of Baha’u’llah are vast in their scope, exploring as they do such themes as the nature and purpose of Revelation, the inherent nobility of the human being, the cultivation of spiritual qualities, and humanity’s interactions with the natural world. The Bahá’í Writings are also replete with references to universal peace—“the supreme goal of all mankind”—as well as explanations of the social principles with which this peace is associated.
Among these principles are the independent search after truth; the oneness of the entire human race, which is the pivotal principle of the Bahá’í Faith; the abolition of all forms of prejudice; the harmony which must exist between religion and science; the equality of men and women, the two wings on which the bird of humankind is able to soar; the introduction of compulsory education; the adoption of a universal auxiliary language; the abolition of the extremes of wealth and poverty; the institution of a world tribunal for the adjudication of disputes between nations; and the confirmation of justice as the ruling principle in human affairs. Bahá’ís do not view these principles as mere statements of vague aspiration—they are understood as matters of immediate and practical concern for individuals, communities, and institutions alike.
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