What is the Bahá’í Faith?

Bahá’u’lláh is the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, the youngest independent world religion. There are over 6 million followers spread in over 235 countries and territories.“The Bahá’í Faith upholds the unity of God, recognizes the unity of His Prophets, and inculcates the principle of the oneness and wholeness of the entire human race. It proclaims the necessity and the inevitability of the unification of mankind.”

Who is Bahá’u’lláh?

Bahá’u’lláh is the Messenger of God for this age and the Promised One of all religions. He suffered 40 years of imprisonment and was exiled from
Tihrán in Iran over Constantinople/Istanbul in Turkey and Adrianople/Edirne in Turkey to ‘Akká in the Holy Land, where He passed away in 1892.
Bahá’u’lláh means “The Glory of God”. “This is the Day in which mankind can behold the Face, and hear the Voice, of the Promised One … Great indeed is this Day! The allusion made to it in all the sacred Scriptures as the Day of God attest its greatness. The soul of every Prophet of God, of every Divine Messenger, hath thirsted for this wondrous Day.” The Báb is the Forerunner of Bahá’u’lláh. He is the Messenger of God Who prepared the people for the coming of Bahá’u’lláh. He declared His Mission in 1844 in Shíráz in Iran. After six years of suffering and imprisonment, He was martyred. His followers were persecuted and over 20,000 were executed. The Báb means “The Gate”. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the eldest son of Bahá’u’lláh, was the Exemplar of the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh and was appointed as the sole Interpreter of His Writings. He
also suffered with Bahá’u’lláh in prison. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá means “Servant of God”.

What are the teachings of the Bahá’í Faith?

Oneness of God

“There can be no doubt whatever that the peoples of the world, of whatever race or religion, derive their inspiration from one heavenly Source,
and are the subjects of one God.”

Oneness of Religion

“The purpose of religion as revealed from the heaven of God’s holy Will is to establish unity and concord amongst the peoples of the world.”
“Every Divine Revelation hath been sent down in a manner that befitted the circumstances of the age in which it hath appeared.”
“Know of a certainty that in every Dispensation the light of Divine Revelation hath been vouchsafed unto men in direct proportion to their spiritual capacity.” “Know thou assuredly that the essence of all the Prophets of God is one and the same. Their unity is absolute. God, the Creator, saith: There is no distinction whatsoever among the Bearers of My Message.”

Oneness of Mankind

“O Children Of Men! Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other … Since We have
created you all from one same substance it is incumbent on you to be even as one soul … that from your inmost being, by your deeds and actions, the signs of oneness and the essence of detachment may be made manifest.” “Ye are all the leaves of one tree and the drops of one ocean.”
“Be ye as the fingers of one hand, the members of one body.”

Religion should be the Cause of Love and Affection

“Religion should unite all hearts and cause wars and disputes to vanish from the face of the earth, give birth to spirituality, and bring life and light to each heart. If religion becomes a cause of dislike, hatred and division, it were better to be without it, and to withdraw from such a religion would be a truly religious act.”

Elimination of Prejudices

“… religious, racial, national, and political prejudices, all are subversive of the foundation of human society, all lead to bloodshed, all heap ruin upon mankind. So long as these remain, the dread of war will continue.”

The Purpose of Life

“All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization… To act like the beasts of the field is unworthy of man. Those virtues that befit his dignity are forbearance, mercy, compassion and loving-kindness towards all the peoples and kindreds of the earth.”
The Potential of Man and the Importance of Education “Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can,
alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom.”

Self-Education

“How couldst thou forget thine own faults and busy thyself with the faults of others? … magnify not the faults of others that thine own faults may
not appear great.” “The holy Manifestations of God were sent to make visible the oneness of humanity. For this did They endure unnumbered ills and tribulations, that a community from amongst mankind’s divergent peoples could gather within the shadow of the Word of God and live as
one, and could, with delight and grace, demonstrate on earth the unity of humankind.” Bahá’u’lláh has revealed spiritual and social teachings
and laws that mankind needs to solve the problems of this age. In the Bahá’í community there is no clergy or priesthood. Instead, there are
institutions at the local, national and international levels, each consisting of nine elected Bahá’ís. If in your heart you agree with what you have read, then you can consider yourself a Bahá’í and can be linked with the world-embracing Bahá’í family (Contacts).

Some selected Quotations

“I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify, at this moment, to my powerlessness and to
Thy might, to my poverty and to Thy wealth. There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.”

“Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths. Take heed that ye do not vacillate in your determination to embrace the truth of this Cause.”

“Recite ye the verses of God every morning and evening.”

“Whoso reciteth, in the privacy of his chamber, the verses revealed by God, the scattering angels of the Almighty shall scatter abroad the fragrance of the words uttered by his mouth, and shall cause the heart of every righteous man to throb. Though he may, at first, remain unaware of its effect, yet the virtue of the grace vouchsafed unto him must needs sooner or later exercise its influence upon his soul.”

Useful Links

»» www.bahai-faith.org
»» The Bristol Baha’i Centre. 8 Church Road, Lawrence Hill, Bristol, BS5 9JA, tel. 0845 873 6014