[111] The Baháʼí teachings on marriage call it a fortress for well-being and salvation and place marriage and the family as the foundation of the structure of human society. Bahá’u’lláh, the most recent of God’s Manifestations, teaches us that the signs of the existence of God are everywhere: “Every created thing in the whole universe is but a door leading into His knowledge, a sign of His sovereignty, a revelation of His names, a symbol of His majesty, a token of His power, a means of admittance into His straight Path…” 5 The beauty, richness, and diversity of the natural world are thus … The Manifestations of God are analogous to divine mirrors which reflect God's created attributes and thus reveal aspects of God without being incarnations of God's essence. [116] Baháʼí writings refer to an institution called a "Mas͟hriqu'l-Ad͟hkár" (Dawning-place of the Mention of God), which is to form the center of a complex of institutions including a hospital, university, and so on. [22], The teachings of Baháʼu'lláh form the foundation of Baháʼí belief. Every five years the members of all National Spiritual Assemblies elect the Universal House of Justice, the nine-member supreme governing institution of the worldwide Baháʼí community that is located in Haifa, Israel, near the Shrine of the Báb. Baháʼu'lláh first announces his claim to divine revelation in Baghdad, Iraq. In addition to the daily obligatory prayer, Baháʼís should offer daily devotional prayer and to meditate and study sacred scripture. Humanity is seen as essentially one, though highly varied; its diversity of race and culture are seen as worthy of appreciation and acceptance. Humanity is a single race and one family 4. 1. [153] Other observers were not allowed in the court. This one God has absolute control over His creation (omnipotence) as well as complete knowledge of it (omniscience). In the current plan, the House of Justice encourages the Baháʼís around the world to focus on capacity building through children's classes, junior youth groups, devotional gatherings, and study circles. Baháʼís thus regard the world's religions as chapters in the history of one single faith, revealed by God's Manifestations progressively and in stages. Baha’i believes their prophet is a manifestation of God who is greater than Jesus Christ. [7] Shoghi Effendi, the head of the Baháʼí Faith in the first half of the 20th century, described God as inaccessible, omniscient, almighty, personal, and rational, and rejected pantheistic, anthropomorphic and incarnationist beliefs.[2]. Because of this emphasis the international Baháʼí community has chosen to support efforts of improving international relations through organizations such as the League of Nations and the United Nations, with some reservations about the present structure and constitution of the UN. Baháʼu'lláh taught that the knowledge of God is limited to those attributes and qualities which are perceptible to us, and thus direct knowledge of God is not possible. While its teachings are many, its core principles are three; one God, one religion, and one people: 1. The symbols of the religion are derived from the Arabic word Baháʼ (بهاء "splendor" or "glory"), with a numerical value of 9, which is why the most common symbol is the nine-pointed star. [27] The importance of self-exertion and service to humanity in one's spiritual life is emphasised further in Baháʼu'lláh's writings, where he states that work done in the spirit of service to humanity enjoys a rank equal to that of prayer and worship in the sight of God. Bábís faced a period of persecution that peaked in 1852–53 after a few individual Bábis made a failed attempt to assassinate the Shah. According to Baháʼí belief when a human dies the soul is permanently separated from the body and carries on in the next world where it is judged based on the person's actions in the physical world. [88] Any male Baháʼí, 21 years or older, is eligible to be elected to the Universal House of Justice; all other positions are open to male and female Baháʼís. [27] Though inaccessible directly, God is nevertheless seen as conscious of creation, with a will and purpose expressed through messengers called Manifestations of God. Worldwide in 1979 there were 129 officially recognized Baháʼí socio-economic development projects. "[151], On 14 May 2008, members of an informal body known as the "Friends" that oversaw the needs of the Baháʼí community in Iran were arrested and taken to Evin prison. Baháʼí communities gather at the beginning of each month at a meeting called a Feast for worship, consultation and socializing. [95], The Baháʼí Faith is currently the largest religious minority in Iran,[96] Panama[97] and Belize,[98] the second largest international religion in Bolivia,[99] Zambia,[100] and Papua New Guinea;[101] and the third largest international religion in Chad[102][103] and Kenya.[104]. [14] It is derived from the Arabic Baháʼ (بهاء), meaning "glory" or "splendor". Since the Baháʼí teachings state that God is too great for humans to ever comprehend or to create more than a limited conception of, the Baháʼí scripture instead focuses on the created divine virtues and attributes which are described in the teachings of the Manifestations. The Hidden Words is another book written by Baháʼu'lláh during the same period, containing 153 short passages in which Baháʼu'lláh claims to have taken the basic essence of certain spiritual truths and written them in brief form. ʻAbbás Effendi was Baháʼu'lláh's eldest son, known by the title of ʻAbdu'l-Bahá (Servant of Bahá). [61], The Baháʼí community was mostly confined to the Iranian and Ottoman empires until after the death of Baháʼu'lláh in 1892, at which time he had followers in 13 countries of Asia and Africa. [36] Most religious specialists now see it as an independent religion, with its religious background in Shiʻa Islam being seen as analogous to the Jewish context in which Christianity was established. The Baha’i Faith was founded by two Divine Educators, the Bab and Baha’u’llah. The presentations are on Zoom on Saturday at 12noon EST. The unity of mankind. [129], Baháʼu'lláh wrote of the need for world government in this age of humanity's collective life. Such expulsions are administered by the National Spiritual Assembly and do not involve shunning. World Religion Day has been observed annually for the past 50 years by the Bermudian Baha’i community. Three principles are central to these teachings: the unity of God, the unity of religion, and the unity of humanity. With unity as an essential teaching of the religion, Baháʼís follow an administration they believe is divinely ordained, and therefore see attempts to create schisms and divisions as efforts that are contrary to the teachings of Baháʼu'lláh. At the same time the Tribunal condemned "in most unequivocal and emphatic language the followers of Baha'u'llah as the believers in heresy, offensive and injurious to Islam, and wholly incompatible with the accepted doctrines and practice of its orthodox adherents. [15][16], The Baháʼí teachings state that one can develop a closer relationship with God through prayer, meditation, study of the holy writings, and service to humanity. – Baha’u’llah. At this time Baháʼís view Baháʼu'lláh's revelation as a binding lesser covenant for his followers; in the Baháʼí writings being firm in the covenant is considered a virtue to work toward. In Brookshaw & Fazel, eds. It is one of the fastest-growing religion with over 116,000 localities across the globe (as of 2018). Additionally notes taken of a number of his talks were published in various volumes like Paris Talks during his journeys to the West. The year consists of 19 months, each having 19 days, with four or five intercalary days, to make a full solar year. [38][39] Baháʼís describe their faith as an independent world religion, differing from the other traditions in its relative age and in the appropriateness of Baháʼu'lláh's teachings to the modern context. Government should be international with a single language 5. It is through these divine educators that humans can approach God, and through them God brings divine revelation and law. [78], Current initiatives of social action include activities in areas like health, sanitation, education, gender equality, arts and media, agriculture, and the environment. "[94] This source's only systematic flaw was to consistently have a higher estimate of Christians than other cross-national data sets. Baháʼís observe 11 Holy Days throughout the year, with work suspended on 9 of these. [37] Muslim institutions and clergy, both Sunni and Shi'a, consider Baháʼís to be deserters or apostates from Islam, which has led to Baháʼís being persecuted. [18][19], Baháʼís believe that God expresses his will at all times and in many ways, and specifically through a series of divine messengers referred to as Manifestations of God or sometimes divine educators. [2][3] Though transcendent and inaccessible directly, his image is reflected in his creation. According to the Baháʼí teachings, God is single and all-powerful. The essential unity of religion. [e], At local, regional, and national levels, Baháʼís elect members to nine-person Spiritual Assemblies, which run the affairs of the religion. The Baha'i Faith: A Guide for the Perplexed. [164] These accusations against the Baháʼís have no basis in historical fact,[165][145][166] and the accusations are used by the Iranian government to use the Baháʼís as "scapegoats". [24] From the time of the initial exile from Iran, tensions grew between him and Subh-i-Azal, the appointed leader of the Bábís, who did not recognize Baháʼu'lláh's claim. [127], The religion entered a new phase of activity when a message of the Universal House of Justice dated 20 October 1983 was released. Following the coming of a Manifestation of God extraordinary progress occurs in the world. [11] Additionally, Baháʼís have self-organized in most of the nations of the world. By 1987, the number of officially recognized development projects had increased to 1482. [149][150] The United Nations Commission on Human Rights revealed an October 2005 confidential letter from Command Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Iran ordering its members to identify Baháʼís and to monitor their activities. [10] The religion is estimated to have over five million adherents, known as Baháʼís, spread throughout most of the world's countries and territories.[11]. [10][146][147] [44][45] The list is not authoritative and a variety of such lists circulate. All Baháʼí community properties, including Baháʼí centers, libraries, and cemeteries, have been confiscated by the government and fatwas have been issued charging Baháʼís with apostasy. [30][31] In the Baháʼí Faith, God is often referred to by titles and attributes (for example, the All-Powerful, or the All-Loving), and there is a substantial emphasis on monotheism. ANSWER: Followers of the Baha’i religion have an exalted view of God, so much so they deem God unknowable. [27], The following principles are frequently listed as a quick summary of the Baháʼí teachings. Elimination of extremes of wealth and poverty, Baháʼís over the age of 15 should individually recite an. Some measure of divine guidance is assumed for all of these texts. [10] ʻAbdu'l-Bahá's death in 1921 marks the end of what Baháʼís call the "heroic age" of the religion. Oneness of humankind. [112] The vows are "We will all, verily, abide by the Will of God. The Baháʼí Faith stresses the unity of all people, explicitly rejecting racism and nationalism. There are also appointed individuals working at various levels, including locally and internationally, which perform the function of propagating the teachings and protecting the community. Shortly thereafter he was expelled from Iran and traveled to Baghdad, in the Ottoman Empire. He produced over 18,000 works in his lifetime, in both Arabic and Persian, of which only 8% have been translated into English. The differences, instead of being regarded as irreconcilable constructs of mutually exclusive cultures, are seen as purposefully reflective of the varying needs of the societies in which the divine messages were revealed. He spent less than four months in Constantinople. Heaven and Hell are taught to be spiritual states of nearness or distance from God that describe relationships in this world and the next, and not physical places of reward and punishment achieved after death. [141] Baháʼí schools, such as the Tarbiyat boys' and girls' schools in Tehran, were closed in the 1930s and 1940s, Baháʼí marriages were not recognized and Baháʼí texts were censored. The Bab, whose name means the Gate, encouraged all to seek spiritual truth with independent hearts, by removing attachment to superstition and reliance on clergy. With that being said, please explore this site - and we'd love to hear from you! This plan included extremely ambitious goals for the expansion of Baháʼí communities and institutions, the translation of Baháʼí texts into several new languages, and the sending of Baháʼí pioneers into previously unreached nations. While God's essence is inaccessible, a subordinate form of knowledge is available by way of mediation by divine messengers, known as Manifestations of God. [108] There are, however, occasions when a Baháʼí might be administratively expelled from the community for a public disregard of the laws, or gross immorality. Baháʼís regard the major religions as fundamentally unified in purpose, though varied in social practices and interpretations. Religion is thus seen as orderly, unified, and progressive from age to age. [160] On 3 January 2010, Iranian authorities detained ten more members of the Baha'i minority, reportedly including Leva Khanjani, granddaughter of Jamaloddin Khanjani, one of seven Baha'i leaders jailed since 2008 and in February, they arrested his son, Niki Khanjani. According to some estimates, the largest Baháʼí community in the world is in India, with 2.2 million Baháʼís, next is Iran, with 350,000, the US, with 150,000, and Brazil, with 60,000. Shoghi Effendi served for 36 years as the head of the religion until his death. Educ… [9] Baháʼu'lláh writes on this subject: All-praise to the unity of God, and all-honour to Him, the sovereign Lord, the incomparable and all-glorious Ruler of the universe, Who, out of utter nothingness, hath created the reality of all things, Who, from naught, hath brought into being the most refined and subtle elements of His creation, and Who, rescuing His creatures from the abasement of remoteness and the perils of ultimate extinction, hath received them into His kingdom of incorruptible glory. [27] The Báb's tomb, located in Haifa, Israel, is an important place of pilgrimage for Baháʼís. [161], The Iranian government claims that the Baháʼí Faith is not a religion, but is instead a political organization, and hence refuses to recognize it as a minority religion. Letters written by Baháʼu'lláh to various people, including some heads of state, have been collected and assembled into a canon of Baháʼí scripture. [22], The Baháʼí scriptures often refer to God by various titles and attributes, such as Almighty, All-Powerful, All-Wise, Incomparable, Gracious, Helper, All-Glorious, Omniscient and All-Loving. [173], This article is about the global religious community. [26] The existence of God and the universe is thought to be eternal, without a beginning or end. Obedience to government is not applicable when submission to law amounts to a denial of Faith. In 1863, at the time of his removal from Baghdad, Baháʼu'lláh first announced his claim of prophethood to his family and followers, which he said came to him years earlier while in a dungeon of Tehran. [20] In revealing God's will, these Manifestations establish religion in the world. Bahá'í see themselves as World Citizens. This knowledge of the attributes is also proportioned. [85] Annually, on 21 April, the Universal House of Justice sends a 'Ridván' message to the worldwide Baháʼí community,[86] that updates Baháʼís on current developments and provides further guidance for the year to come. He taught there is one God and one human family, and that the great religions of the world represent successive stages in the spiritual evolution of human society. In the 2000 Millennium Forum of the United Nations a Baháʼí was invited as the only non-governmental speaker during the summit. They believe God is not so much without gender as beyond gender. Baháʼís should make a 19% voluntary payment on any wealth in excess of what is necessary to live comfortably, after the remittance of any outstanding debt. [42] Through recognition and obedience, service to humanity and regular prayer and spiritual practice, the Baháʼí writings state that the soul becomes closer to God, the spiritual ideal in Baháʼí belief. Throughout the rest of his life Baháʼu'lláh gained the allegiance of most of the Bábís, who came to be known as Baháʼís. Throughout the ages, God has sent Divine Messengers known as Manifestations of God—among them Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, and, in more recent times, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh—to cultivate humanity’s spiritual, intellectual and moral capacities. [23] Three principles are central to these teachings: the unity of God, the unity of religion, and the unity of humanity. These are expressed in Arabic regardless of the language in use (see Baháʼí symbols). Thus the Baha’i thrust toward the unification of all religio… The Manifestations of God reflect divine attributes, which are creations of God made for the purpose of spiritual enlightenment, onto the physical plane of existence. [168], During the 1920s Egypt's religious Tribunal recognized the Baha'i Faith as a new, independent religion, totally separate from Islam, due to the nature of the 'laws, principles and beliefs' of the Baha'is. Prayer and fasting is required by all, they strongly encourage marriage, and don't believe in drinking alcohol. That is the essence of Bahá'u'lláh's teachings about God, religion and humanity. [171] Following a protracted legal process culminating in a court ruling favorable to the Baháʼís, the interior minister of Egypt released a decree on 14 April 2009, amending the law to allow Egyptians who are not Muslim, Christian, or Jewish to obtain identification documents that list a dash in place of one of the three recognized religions. [60] Although they are distinct movements, the Báb is so interwoven into Baháʼí theology and history that Baháʼís celebrate his birth, death, and declaration as holy days, consider him one of their three central figures (along with Baháʼu'lláh and ʻAbdu'l-Bahá), and a historical account of the Bábí movement (The Dawn-Breakers) is considered one of three books that every Baháʼí should "master" and read "over and over again". [c], The older term "Bahaʼism" (or "Bahaism") is still used,[15][16][17][18][19] for example as a variant of "Bahai Faith" by the US Library of Congress,[20] but it is now less common[21] and the Baháʼí community prefers "Baháʼí Faith". These functions include teaching and education, implementing Baháʼí laws, addressing social issues, and caring for the weak and the poor. [40] Baháʼu'lláh is believed to have fulfilled the messianic expectations of these precursor faiths. pp. Due to these actions, the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights stated on 20 March 2006, that she "also expresses concern that the information gained as a result of such monitoring will be used as a basis for the increased persecution of, and discrimination against, members of the Baháʼí faith, in violation of international standards. The Baháʼí Faith (/bəˈhɑːiː, bəˈhaɪ/; Persian: بهائی‎ Bahāʼi) is a new religion[a] teaching the essential worth of all religions and the unity of all people. [73][74][75], In 1937, Shoghi Effendi launched a seven-year plan for the Baháʼís of North America, followed by another in 1946. ... Knowing God, therefore, means the comprehension and the knowledge of His attributes, and not of His Reality. This includes works by his son ʻAbdu'l-Bahá, and the Báb, who is regarded as Baháʼu'lláh's forerunner. Bahá'í believe that all religions are divine and that the great prophets were servants of the same God and preached the same message. Bahá'ís see their religion as the latest, but not final, in a series of prophetic dispensations, which include various world religions as previous cycles. [149][152] The Friends court case has been postponed several times, but was finally underway on 12 January 2010. The following are a few examples from Baháʼu'lláh's teachings on personal conduct that are required or encouraged of his followers: The following are a few examples from Baháʼu'lláh's teachings on personal conduct that are prohibited or discouraged. Summary of Bahá'í beliefs God is transcendent and can't be known directly. You can join them live … Baháʼís do not expect a new manifestation of God to appear within 1000 years of Baháʼu'lláh's revelation. [17] ʻAbdu'l-Bahá writes, Therefore, we learn that nearness to God is possible through devotion to Him, through entrance into the Kingdom and service to humanity; it is attained by unity with mankind and through loving-kindness to all; it is dependent upon investigation of truth, acquisition of praiseworthy virtues, service in the cause of universal peace and personal sanctification. [59], The Baháʼí Faith formed from the Iranian religion of the Báb, a merchant who began preaching a new interpretation of Shia Islam in 1844. [8] No single faith, and associated conception of God, is thus considered essentially superior to another from the viewpoint of its original social context; however, more recent religions may teach a more advanced conception of God as called for by the changing needs of local, regional or global civilization. The Bahá’í Faith is a world religion based on the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. [27] These include the Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys. [140] During that campaign, initiated by Mulla Muhammad Taghi Falsafi, the Baha'i center in Tehran was demolished at the orders of Tehran military governor, General Timor Bakhtiar. [6] All physical beings reflect at least one of these attributes, and the human soul can potentially reflect all of them. Baha’is believe that Baha’ Allah and his forerunner, the Bab, were manifestations of God. Therefore, human understanding of God is achieved through his revelations via his Manifestations. [172] The first identification cards were issued to two Baháʼís under the new decree on 8 August 2009. Baháʼí teachings state that the attributes applied to God are used to translate Godliness into human terms and to help people concentrate on their own attributes in worshipping God to develop their potentialities on their spiritual path. Its founder, Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892), is regarded by Bahá’ís as the most recent in the line of Messengers of God that stretches back beyond recorded time and that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad. [10] The House of the Báb in Shiraz, one of three sites to which Baháʼís perform pilgrimage, has been destroyed twice. [27] Specific religious social teachings (for example, the direction of prayer, or dietary restrictions) may be revoked by a subsequent manifestation so that a more appropriate requirement for the time and place may be established. From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer dated 9 June 1932, Stockman, R. H. (2012). Leyla Melikova (2013) "How Bahaʼism Travelled from the East to the West (Ideological Evolution of the Neo-Universalist Religious Doctrine). 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