These Messengers of the Lord of creation, one and all, directed their peoples to turn unto the same direction.
The Bahá’í Faith is the youngest of the world’s independent religions and is based on the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892). He explained that there is only one God and one human family, and that all religions are spiritually united. Bahá’u’lláh’s writings offer spiritual guidance as well as directives for personal and social conduct. A worldwide community of some five million Bahá’í, representative of most of the nations, races and cultures on earth, are engaged in the process of learning how to translate that guidance into realities of individual and community life. Though they come from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, they are united by their belief in Bahá’u’lláh and by their desire for a united, prosperous, and peaceful future for all of humanity.
Principles of Bahá’í Belief
The Bahá’í Faith recognizes the unity of God and of His Prophets, upholds the principle of an unfettered search after truth, condemns all forms of superstition and prejudice, teaches that the fundamental purpose of religion is to promote concord and harmony, that it must go hand-in-hand with science, and that it constitutes the sole and ultimate basis of a peaceful, an ordered and progressive society. “It inculcates the principle of equal opportunity, rights and privileges for both sexes, advocates compulsory education, abolishes extremes of poverty and wealth, exalts work performed in the spirit of service to the rank of worship, recommends the adoption of an auxiliary international language, and provides the necessary agencies for the establishment and safeguarding of a permanent and universal peace.
– Shoghi Effendi, Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith
Basic Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh
Bahá’u’lláh taught that there is one God whose successive revelations of His will to humanity have been the chief civilizing force in history. Bahá’u’lláh is regarded by Bahá’ís as the most recent in the line of Divine Messengers of God that stretches back beyond recorded time and that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad. These agents of this divine process have been seen chiefly as the founders of separate religious systems, but whose common purpose has been to bring the human race to spiritual and moral maturity.
The central theme of Bahá’u’lláh’s message is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for its unification in one global society. God, Bahá’u’lláh said, has set in motion historical forces that are breaking down traditional barriers of race, class, creed, and nation and that will, in time, give birth to a universal civilization. The principal challenge facing the peoples of the earth is to accept the fact of their oneness and to assist the processes of unification.
Humanity is now coming of age. It is this that makes possible the unification of the human family and the building of a peaceful, global society. Among the principles which the Bahá’í Faith promotes as vital to the achievement of this goal are:
- The abandonment of all forms of prejudice
- Assurance to women of full equality of opportunity with men
- Recognition of the unity and relativity of religious truth
- The elimination of extremes of poverty and wealth
- The realization of universal education
- The responsibility of each person to independently search for truth
- The establishment of a global commonwealth of nations
- Recognition that true religion is in harmony with reason and the pursuit of scientific knowledge
– Used by permission of the International Bahá’í Website, Copyright © Bahá’í International Community