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Encyclopedia > Bahá'í Faith
This article forms part of the series
Bahá'í Faith
Central figrues

The Báb · Bahá'u'lláh ·
`Abdu'l-Bahá · Shoghi Effendi Shrine of the Báb at night from above in Haifa Israel Siyyid Mírzá Alí-Muhammad (میرزا علی‌محمد in Persian) ( October 20, 1819 - July 9, 1850), later to become known as the Báb (باب meaning Gate in Persian and Arabic;) was seen by Bábís (and is seen by modern Bahá... Baháulláh (1817–1892) (Persian: Mírzá Husayn-Alí (میرزا حسینعلی)) was the founder and prophet of the Baháí Faith. ... Abdul Baha `Abdul-Bahá Abbas (May 23, 1844 - November 28, 1921) also known as Abbas Effendi, was the son of Baháulláh, the Prophet and Founder of the Baháí Faith. ... Shoghi Effendi (1897-1957) The Guardians Resting Place in London Shoghi Effendi Rabbani was the Guardian of the Baháí Faith. ...

Selected scripture

Kitáb-i-Íqán · Kitáb-i-Aqdas ·
The Hidden Words The Kitáb-i-Íqán (Lit. ... The Kitáb-i-Aqdas is the central book of the Baháí Faith, written by Baháulláh, the founder of the religion. ... The Hidden Words were written around 1857 by Baháulláh, the founder of the Baháí Faith. ...

Bahá'í Institutions
Administrative Order
Elected bodies

Universal House of Justice
National Spiritual Assembly
Local Spiritual Assembly The Baháí administration refers to the administrative circle of the Baháí Faith. ... Seat of The Universal House of Justice The Universal House of Justice is the name used by Baháulláh for the elected supreme institution of the Baháí Faith, The nine-member institution administers the affairs of the Baháí community. ... Spiritual Assembly is a term given by `Abdul-Bahá to refer to elected leadership councils that govern the Baháí Faith. ... Spiritual Assembly is a term given by `Abdul-Bahá to refer to elected leadership councils that govern the Baháí Faith. ...

Appointed bodies

International Teaching Centre
Continental Counselors
Auxiliary Board members The International Teaching Centre (sometimes refered to as the ITC) is a Baháí institution based in the Baháí World Centre in Haifa, Israel. ...

Other institutions

Bahá'í House of Worship ·
Bahá'í school There are currently seven Baháí Houses of Worship around the world, although Baháí communities own many properties where they plan for Houses of Worship to be constructed as the Baháí community grows and develops. ... A Baháí School is a class, normally run weekly that Bahai and non-Bahai children get together to study about different religious topics such as God, religion, the prophets, and the soul. ...

Holy cities
Shiraz · Baghdad ·
Haifa · Akká
History
Bahá'í timeline
Origins Related faiths

Bábís · Islam ·
Judaism ·
Christianity Shiraz can refer to: Shiraz, Iran Shiraz grape/wine This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... A street map of Baghdad Average temperature (red) and precipitations (blue) in Baghdad Baghdad (Arabic: ) is the capital of Iraq and the Baghdad Province. ... For the Lebanese singer, see Haifa Wahbe Haifa (Hebrew חיפה; Arabic حيفا Ḥayfā) is the third-largest city in Israel, with a population close to 300,000. ... The Old City of Akko in the 19th or early 20th century, looking south-west from atop the Land Wall Promenade, the open space now a parking lot. ... This page is dedicated to providing a basic timeline of the Bábí movement and Baháí Faith. ... The room where The Báb declared His mission on May 23, 1844 in His house in Shiraz. ... Islam  listen (Arabic: al-islām) the submission to God is a monotheistic faith, one of the Abrahamic religions, and the worlds second largest religion. ... For a discussion of Jews as an ethnicity or ethnic group see the article on Jew. ... Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life, teachings, death by crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth as described in the New Testament. ...

Bábís ·
Azalis ·
Bayanis The room where The Báb declared His mission on May 23, 1844 in His house in Shiraz. ... Mirza Yahya Nuri ( 1831 - 29 April 1912) or often called Subh-i Azal (Morn of Eternity) was a Persian religious leader. ... Bayani, meaning people of the Bayan and more commonly but largely incorrectly named the Azalis are followers of the Báb after the release of the Bayan book (and his public claim to be the Mahdi in 1848). ...

Related Bahá'í shisms

Orthodox Bahá'í Faith ·
Bahá'í divisions The Orthodox Baháí Faith is a movement which started within the Baháí Faith, though now independent of it. ... At almost every change in leadership of the Baháí and Bábí religions, there has been a debate ending with a split among the followers, and mutual excommunications in which each side condemns the other as Covenant-breakers. Baháí divisions deals with the various divisions in the history of these...

Key individuals

Táhirih · Quddús · Badí' ·
Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khanum Táhirih is the religious title of Fatima Baraghani ( 1814- 1820, died 1852 - birth date uncertain, as birth records were destroyed at her execution), an influential poet and theologian of the Bábí faith and a revered example of courage in the struggle for womens rights. ... Quddús was the name given to Mullá Muhammad Alí-i-Bárfurúsh by the Báb meaning The Most Holy. ... Mirzá Áqá Buzurg-i-Nishapuri (born 1853-1870) often known better as Badí (literally wonderful), or by his title, the Pride of Martyrs was the son of Abdul-Majid-i-Nishapuri, a highly praised follower of the Báb and Baháulláh. ... Amatul-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khanum (1910-2000) Born Mary Maxwell in New York City in 1910, Amatul-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khanum was raised in Montreal, Québec. ...

Index

Index of Bahá'í Articles

Known in India as the "Lotus Temple", the Bahá'í House of Worship attracts an average of four million visitors a year (around 13,000 each day).
This article refers to the generally-recognized, global Bahá'í community whose supreme body is the Universal House of Justice in Haifa, Israel. See Bahá'í (disambiguation) for other Bahá'í groups.

The Bahá'í Faith is an emerging global religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh, a nineteenth-century Iranian exile. "Bahá'í" is either an adjective referring to this religion, or the term for a follower of Bahá'u'lláh. Download high resolution version (1853x1417, 549 KB)Source: http://news. ... Download high resolution version (1853x1417, 549 KB)Source: http://news. ... For the Lebanese singer, see Haifa Wahbe Haifa (Hebrew חיפה; Arabic حيفا Ḥayfā) is the third-largest city in Israel, with a population close to 300,000. ... The term Baháí can refer to several different groupings of the followers of Baháulláh: The Baháí Faith, the largest Baháí group, which follows the Universal House of Justice in Haifa, Israel The Orthodox Baháí Faith, the largest of several Baháí groups which believe... Baháulláh (1817–1892) (Persian: Mírzá Husayn-Alí (میرزا حسینعلی)) was the founder and prophet of the Baháí Faith. ...


Bahá'í theology speaks of three interlocking unities: the oneness of God (monotheism); the oneness of his prophets or messengers (religious perennialism); and the oneness of humanity (equality, globalism). These three principles have a profound impact on the theological and social teachings of this religion. The Three Onenesses are three simple core assertions central to the theology of the Baháí Faith. ... Monotheism (in Greek monon = single and Theos = God) is the belief in a single, universal, all-encompassing deity. ... Perennialists believe that one should teach the things of everlasting importance to all people everywhere. ... Democratic globalization is a movement towards an institutional system that expands globalization by giving world citizens a say in world organizations. ...


Religion is seen as a progressively unfolding process of education, by God, through his messengers, to a constantly evolving human family. Bahá'u'lláh is seen as the most recent, pivotal, but not final of God's messengers. His major purpose was to lay the spiritual foundations for a new global civilization of peace and harmony, which Bahá'ís expect to gradually arise. Baháulláh (1817–1892) (Persian: Mírzá Husayn-Alí (میرزا حسینعلی)) was the founder and prophet of the Baháí Faith. ...

Contents

Relation to other religions

Bahá'ís believe in a process of progressive revelation recognising most of the major religions' founders including Zoroaster (Zarathustra), Krishna, Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad. Like Muslims, Bahá'ís interpret religious history in terms of a series of prophetic dispensations. Each prophet or messenger brings a somewhat broader and more advanced revelation. Unlike Muslims, Bahá'ís hold that prophets have appeared after Muhammad (namely the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh), and indeed will continue to appear into the indefinite future. Muslims would also balk at recognizing such figures as Buddha or Krishna as prophets, as the Bahá'ís do. Progressive Revelation is a core teaching of the Baháí Faith that flows from the Three Onenesses, namely: the Oneness of God, the Oneness of Religion, and the Oneness of Humanity Overview The basic concept relates closely to Baháí views of the nature of prophets, termed Manifestations of the Cause of... Zartosht, as popularly depicted by Iranian artists. ... Lord Krishna Krishna (कृष्ण, Sanskrit for black), is, according to common Hindu tradition, the eighth avatar of Vishnu. ... Abraham (אַבְרָהָם Father/Leader of many, Standard Hebrew Avraham, Tiberian Hebrew ʾAḇrāhām; Arabic ابراهيم Ibrāhīm) is the patriarch of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. ... Moses or Móshe (מֹשֶׁה, Standard Hebrew Móše, Tiberian Hebrew Mōšeh, Arabic موسى), son of Amram and his wife, Jochebed, a Levite. ... A stone image of the Buddha. ... Jesus, also known as Jesus Christ*, Jesus of Nazareth, and Jesus the Nazarene, is the central figure in Christianity. ... Muhammad is a common male name for Muslims. ... In numerous religions, including Abrahamic religions, Jah religions, Sikhism, and many forms of Paganism, a prophet is an intermediary with a deity, particularly someone who speaks for the deity or interprets the deitys will or mind. ... Shrine of the Báb at night from above in Haifa Israel Siyyid Mírzá Alí-Muhammad (میرزا علی‌محمد in Persian) ( October 20, 1819 - July 9, 1850), later to become known as the Báb (باب meaning Gate in Persian and Arabic;) was seen by Bábís (and is seen by modern Bahá... Baháulláh (1817–1892) (Persian: Mírzá Husayn-Alí (میرزا حسینعلی)) was the founder and prophet of the Baháí Faith. ...


Use of the English word "prophet" obscures the fact that Bahá'ís view not only the prophetic messages as divine, but also the messengers themselves, who are said to possess both human and divine stations. This differs from the teachings of Judaism and Sunni Islam, but resembles the Shi'i(especially ghulat) understanding of the prophets and imams, as well as the Christian view of Christ. To avoid confusion, Baha'is normally refer to the major prophets as divine "Manifestations" (mazhar). For a discussion of Jews as an ethnicity or ethnic group see the article on Jew. ... Sunni Islam (Arabic سنّة) is the largest denomination of Islam. ... Islam  listen (Arabic: al-islām) the submission to God is a monotheistic faith, one of the Abrahamic religions, and the worlds second largest religion. ... Shia Islam (Arabic شيعى follower; English has traditionally used Shiite or Shiite) is the second largest Islamic denomination; some 10-15% of all Muslims are said to follow a Shia tradition. ... Ghulat (Arabic: extremist, exaggerating) is the adjectival form of Ghulaww (extremism, exaggeration). ... Imam is an Arabic word meaning Leader. The ruler of a country might be called the Imam, for example. ...


The fact that Bahá'ís recognize the divine character of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Zoroastrianism as well as the major Abrahamic religions has led many to assume that it is syncretic or syncretistic in character. This view probably requires an overly broad interpretation of "syncretism". At bottom the Bahá'í Faith is not a combination of religions, but a distinct religious tradition which sees Bahá'u'lláh as fulfilling the messianic promises of various predecessor faiths. This article is about the Hindu religion; for other meanings of the word, see Hindu (disambiguation). ... Statues of Buddha such as this, the Tian Tan Buddha statue in Hong Kong, remind followers to practice right living. ... Faravahar, The depiction of the human soul before birth and after death. ... An Abrahamic religion (also referred to as desert monotheism) is any religion derived from an ancient Semitic tradition attributed to Abraham, a great patriarch described in the Torah, the Bible and the Quran. ... Syncretism is the attempt to reconcile disparate, even opposing, beliefs and to meld practices of various schools of thought. ... This article is about religious concept of Messiah. ...


Bahá'ís see theirs as an independent world religion, differing from the other great religious traditions only in its newness. They consider that their religion has emerged from Islam in much the same way that Christianity emerged from Judaism, or Buddhism from Hinduism.


Many Muslims reject this, and consider the Bahá'í Faith heresy on the grounds that it accepts the Prophet Muhammad but recognizes other prophets after him (cf. "Seal of the Prophets"), and considers Islamic law to have been abrogated. Heresy, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a theological or religious opinion or doctrine maintained in opposition, or held to be contrary, to the ‘catholic’ or orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church, or, by extension, to that of any church, creed, or religious system, considered as orthodox. ... Seal of the Prophets is a title given to Muhammad by a verse in the Quran (33:40). ...


Bahá'ís continue to be persecuted in Islamic countries--especially in Iran, where over 200 believers have been executed between 1978 and 1998. Bahá'ís have been banned from attending university and holding government jobs since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, and many Bahá'ís were imprisoned during the early 1980's. Bahá'í cemeteries have been desecrated and property seized and occasionally demolished including the House of Mírzá Burzurg, Bahá'u'lláh's father. The House of the Báb in Shiraz, one of three sites to which Bahá'ís perform pilgrimage, has been destroyed twice. As of June, 2005, arrests and persecutions of Baha'is by the Iranian government have continued to the present day. Protestors take to the street in support of Ayatollah Khomeini. ...


Bahá'ís believe that Bahá'u'lláh has guaranteed the continuing unity of their faith by ordaining certain authorities and institutions, which are described at length below. This divine guarantee of the integrity of Bahá'í institutions is known as the "The Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh." In the Baháí Faith, Covenant refers to the Gods promise to send prophets to be his mouth-piece, as well as to the succession of authority from Baháulláh to `Abdul-Bahá, and from `Abdul-Bahá to the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice. ...


Demographics

Estimates of the worldwide Bahá'í population vary between three and eight million.


From its origins in the Persian and Ottoman Empires, the Bahá'í Faith had acquired a number of Western converts by World War I. Fifty years later its population shifted again, this time to the "Third World", as a deliberate result of Bahá'í "pioneering" activity. (Bahá'ís distinguish between pioneering and "missionary" work or "proselytism," which their religion does not allow). Most sources agree that India boasts the largest Bahá'í population, followed by Iran; and that Africa, South America, and the South Pacific have overtaken the Middle East and Western countries in terms of Bahá'í representation. For the Jamaican reggae band, see Third World (band). ...


Bahá'ís are generally quite proud of their multi-ethnic character, and believe that their faith is uniquely destined to grow in numbers and influence. Bahá'ís for example cite The Britannica Book of the Year (1992–present) as the basis for claims such as the following:

  • The Bahá'í Faith is the second most widespread of the world's independent religions in terms of the number of countries where adherents live
  • It is established in 247 countries and territories throughout the world
  • Its members hail from over 2,100 ethnic, racial, and tribal groups
  • It boasts approximately seven million adherents[1] (http://www.britannica.com/eb/table?tocId=9394911) worldwide [2005].
  • Bahá'í scriptures have been translated into over 800 languages.

Such calculations are not unimpeachable (What is an "independent religion"? What counts as being "established"? Who conducted the census, and how?) but do illuminate the breadth and diversity of the Bahá'í world.


History

The Báb

Shrine of the Bab in Haifa, Israel
Please see biographic article for full details

In 1844 Siyyid `Alí-Muhammad of Shiraz proclaimed that he was "the Báb" ("the Gate" in Arabic), after a Shi'i religious concept. His followers were therefore known as Bábís. The nature and timing of the Báb's claims have received extensive debate. Bahá'ís regard the Bábí movement as a new independent religion which was a predecessor and herald of their own; and the Báb as a Manifestation with a station equal to that of Bahá'u'lláh. Shrine of the Bab in Haifa Israel at night viewed from above looking down Ben Gurion Avenue Photo distributed for public use by the Bahai World Center, re-sized from a photo on the press materials page at http://www. ... Shrine of the Bab in Haifa Israel at night viewed from above looking down Ben Gurion Avenue Photo distributed for public use by the Bahai World Center, re-sized from a photo on the press materials page at http://www. ... For the Lebanese singer, see Haifa Wahbe Haifa (Hebrew חיפה; Arabic حيفا Ḥayfā) is the third-largest city in Israel, with a population close to 300,000. ... Shrine of the B b at night from above in Haifa Israel Siyyid M Al -Muhammad (میرزا علی‌محمد in Persian) (October 20, 1819 - July 9, 1850), later to become known as the B b (باب meaning Gate in Persian and Arabic;) was seen by B s (and is seen... 1844 was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Shiraz can refer to: Shiraz, Iran Shiraz grape/wine This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Arabic can mean: From or related to Arabia From or related to the Arabs The Arabic language; see also Arabic grammar The Arabic alphabet, used for expressing the languages of Arabic, Persian, Malay ( Jawi), Kurdish, Panjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Urdu, among others. ... Shia Islam (Arabic شيعى follower; English has traditionally used Shiite or Shiite) is the second largest Islamic denomination; some 10-15% of all Muslims are said to follow a Shia tradition. ...


As the Báb's teachings spread, the Islamic government saw it as a threat to state religion, and began a systematic extermination of the Bábís. In areas where military units were sent to destroy entire Bábí communities, the followers defended themselves, and often won against amazing odds. Bahá'ís emphasize the persecution of the Faith and the torture and execution of large numbers of Bábís, in cases where a simple recanting of faith would save their lives. The Báb was imprisoned and eventually executed by a firing squad in Tabriz, Persia (present-day Iran) on July 9, 1850. His mission lasted six years. Tabriz City Hall, built in 1895, by Arfaol molk, with the aid of German engineers. ... July 9 is the 190th day of the year (191st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 175 days remaining. ... 1850 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...


His tomb, the 'Shrine of the Báb', located on the slope of Mount Carmel in Haifa is an important place of pilgrimage for Bahá'ís. The remains of the Báb were brought secretly from Persia to the Holy Land and were eventually interred in the Shrine built for them in a spot specifically designated by Bahá'u'lláh. Mount Carmel is a coastal mountain in Israel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. ... For the Lebanese singer, see Haifa Wahbe Haifa (Hebrew חיפה; Arabic حيفا Ḥayfā) is the third-largest city in Israel, with a population close to 300,000. ...


Although the Bábí Faith has its own scriptures and religious teachings, Bahá'ís believe its duration was intended to be very short. The Báb's writings introduced the concept of "He whom God shall make manifest", the one promised in the scriptures of all of the world's great religions. The Bahá'ís believe that the Báb's purpose was fulfilled in Baha'u'llah, when he made his claim to be this messianic figure in 1863.


Perhaps several thousand non-Bahá'í followers of the Báb exist in today's Iran. Bahá'ís often call them Azalis, after Subh-i Azal; but they prefer to be known as Bayanis, after the Báb's holy book, the Bayan (or Commentary). They claim that the Báb's true successor was not Bahá'u'lláh but his older half-brother Subh-i-Azal ("Morning of Eternity"), whom Bahá'ís refer to as "Mirza Yahya". Mirza Yahya Nuri (1831 - 29 April 1912) or often called Subh-i Azal (Morn of Eternity) was a Persian religious leader of the Bayani people (sometimes refered to as Bábís or Azalis). ... Bayani, meaning people of the Bayan and more commonly but largely incorrectly named the Azalis are followers of the Báb after the release of the Bayan book (and his public claim to be the Mahdi in 1848). ...


Bahá'u'lláh

Please see biographical article for full details

Mírzá Husayn-`Alí, known as Bahá'u'lláh, was the son of a Persian nobleman who became one of the early followers of the Báb. He was arrested and imprisoned during a period of severe persecution in 1852. He claimed that while incarcerated in the dungeon of the Síyáh-Chál in Tehran, he received the first intimations that he was the One anticipated by the Báb. Ten years later, in 1863, while exiled in Baghdad, he formally announced his mission to his family and a small number of followers. Baháulláh (1817–1892) (Persian: Mírzá Husayn-Alí (میرزا حسینعلی)) was the founder and prophet of the Baháí Faith. ... 1852 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Síyáh-Chál (سیاه چال in Persian, literally black pit) is the common word in Persian language for dungeon. Historically, siyah-chals were used as a harsher form of incarceration. ... Tehran (also transcribed Teheran) (تهران in Persian), population 9,000,000 (metropolitan: 14,000,000), and a land area of 254 square miles, is the capital of Iran (Persia) and the center of Tehran Province. ... 1863 is a common year starting on Thursday. ... A street map of Baghdad Average temperature (red) and precipitations (blue) in Baghdad Baghdad (Arabic: ) is the capital of Iraq and the Baghdad Province. ...


The Islamic empires of the time, the Persian and Ottoman, collaborated to suppress the religion by moving Bahá'u'lláh farther and farther into exile, from Baghdad to Constantinople (present-day Istanbul), then to Adrianople (present-day Edirne), and finally, in 1868, to imprisonment in the penal colony of Acre (in present-day Israel), on the very edge of the Ottoman Empire. Bahá'u'lláh remained there until his death on May 29, 1892, after forty years of exile and imprisonment. Towards the end of his life, the strict and harsh confinement was gradually relaxed, and he was allowed to live in a home near Acre, while still officially a prisoner of that city. Bahá'ís regard his resting place as the Qiblih to which they turn in prayer each day. Persia or Persian most often refer to: Persia The Persians, an ethnic group, also called Tajiks Persian language Persian (Pokémon) See also Iranian, Iranian peoples, Iranian languages and Aryan. ... The Ottoman Empire at the height of its power Imperial motto El Muzaffer Daima The Ever Victorious (as written in tugra) Official language Ottoman Turkish Capital İstanbul ( Constantinople/Asitane/Konstantiniyye ) Sovereigns Sultans of the Osmanli Dynasty Population ca 40 million Area 12+ million km² Establishment 1299 Dissolution October 29, 1923... Map of Constantinople. ... This article is about the city. ... Edirne is a city in (Thrace), the westernmost part of Turkey, close to the borders with Greece and Bulgaria. ... 1868 was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... The Old City of Akko in the 19th or early 20th century, looking south-west from atop the Land Wall Promenade, the open space now a parking lot. ... May 29 is the 149th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (150th in leap years). ... 1892 was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... In the Baháí Faith Baháulláh, in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, prescribes the obligatory prayers; designates the time and period of fasting; prohibits congregational prayer except for the dead; and fixes the Qiblih as his tomb, Bahjí, in Akká. The concept has existed in other religions. ...


During his lifetime, Bahá'u'lláh wrote an enormous volume of writings with principles, laws, warnings, prophecies, prayers and meditations, commentaries and interpretations, some taking the form of addresses to kings and emperors. The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, also referred to as "The Most Holy Book," is the main repository of Bahá'í teaching, written in 1873, and "The Book of Certitude" (Kitáb-i-Íqán) is a primary Bahá'í theological work. The Baha'i scriptures also include the works of the Bab and `Abdu'l-Baha (see below), and total about 200 volumes. The Kitáb-i-Aqdas is the central book of the Baháí Faith, written by Baháulláh, the founder of the religion. ... The Kitáb-i-Íqán (Lit. ...


Bahá'u'lláh had three wives and a total of fourteen children (seven from his first wife Ásiyih later surnamed Navvab, six from his second wife Fatimih known as Mahd-i-'Ulya and one from his last wife Gowhar) of which a total of seven lived into adulthood. See Bahá'u'lláh's family for full details. Though Bahá'u'lláh was raised in an Islamic society, in which the Qur'an allows up to four wives, Baha'is believe the social laws of the Qur'an were abrogated with the coming of the new revelation. Polygamy is clearly forbidden and not practiced in the Bahá'í Faith. Bahaullah Baháulláh was born to a Persian nobleman in 1817 and went on to be a leader in the Bábí movement, then established the Baháí Faith in 1863. ...


`Abdu'l-Bahá

Please see biographical article for full details

Bahá'u'lláh was succeeded by his eldest son, `Abdu'l-Bahá. Designated as the "Center of the Covenant" and Head of the Faith, Bahá'u'lláh designated him in His Will and Testament as the sole authoritative interpreter of Baha'u'llah's writings. [2] (http://www.bahai-library.com/writings/bahaullah/tb/13.html) Abdul Baha `Abdul-Bahá Abbas (May 23, 1844 - November 28, 1921) also known as Abbas Effendi, was the son of Baháulláh, the Prophet and Founder of the Baháí Faith. ...


`Abdu'l-Bahá had shared his father's long exile and imprisonment. This imprisonment continued until `Abdu'l-Bahá's own release as a result of the "Young Turk" revolution in 1908. The Young Turks were a Turkish nationalist reform party, officially known as the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) — in Turkish the Ittihad ve Terakki Cemiyeti — whose leaders led a rebellion against Sultan Abdul Hamid II (who was officially deposed and exiled in 1909). ... 1908 is a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ...


Following his release he led a life of travelling, speaking, and maintaining correspondence with communities of believers and individuals, expounding the principles of the Bahai Faith.


Bahá'u'lláh left clear instructions that Bahá'ís should turn to `Abdu'l-Bahá for leadership after His own death. One of Bahá'u'lláh's other sons, Muhammad 'Ali, claimed that the document stating this was falsified, and that the Bahá'ís should turn to him instead. Muhammad 'Ali's actions caused him and anyone who followed him to be expelled from the Faith as Covenant-Breakers. Eventually the efforts of Muhammad 'Ali, which mostly consisted of hateful attacks on `Abdu'l-Bahá, brought him no success. Bahá'ís believe this period of time exhibited the strength within the Bahá'í Community to resist division. A Covenant-breaker or the act of Covenant-breaking is a term used by Baháís to refer to heresy. ...


`Abdu'l-Bahá died in Haifa on November 28, 1921 and is now buried in one of the front rooms in the Shrine of the Báb. For the Lebanese singer, see Haifa Wahbe Haifa (Hebrew חיפה; Arabic حيفا Ḥayfā) is the third-largest city in Israel, with a population close to 300,000. ... November 28 is the 332nd day (333rd on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1921 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ...


The Formative Age of the Bahá'í Faith

Bahá'ís regard the period from the Bab's declaration in Shiraz, to the passing of `Abdu'l-Bahá (1844-1921), as the Heroic, or the Apostolic Age of the Faith. This was the age when its founders lived, its 20,000 martyrs died, and its foundations were established on every continent. After `Abdu'l-Bahá's passing, the Faith entered the Formative, or the Iron Age, which would be characterized by its rising administrative institutions, worldwide expansion, and a transition into the future Golden Age, the consummation of the Bahá'í dispensation.


`Abdu'l-Bahá's Will and Testament [3] (http://bahai-library.com/?file=abdulbaha_will_testament.html) is the charter of the Bahá'í administrative order. In this document `Abdu'l-Bahá established the twin institutions of the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice, and he appointed his eldest grandson, Shoghi Effendi, as the first Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith. Its provisions were disputed by an apparently defunct group known as Unitarian Baha'is, on the basis that Baha'u'llah's own will specified that leadership should pass first to Abdul-Baha, and then to his younger brother Muhammad 'Ali (whom `Abdu'l-Bahá excommunicated). The Baháí administration refers to the administrative circle of the Baháí Faith. ... Shoghi Effendi (1897-1957) The Guardians Resting Place in London Shoghi Effendi Rabbani was the Guardian of the Baháí Faith. ...


Shoghi Effendi, who was a student at Oxford University at the time of his grandfather's passing, served as the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith until his passing in 1957. For thirty-six years he developed the worldwide Bahá'í community and its administrative structure. Because the Bahá'í community was relatively small and undeveloped when the Guardian assumed the leadership of the Faith, he strengthened and developed it over many years to the point where it was capable of supporting the administrative structure envisioned by `Abdu'l-Bahá. Under Shoghi Effendi's direction, National Spiritual Assemblies were formed, and many thousands of Local Spiritual Assemblies sprang up as the Bahá'í Faith spread around the globe. In 1953 Shoghi Effendi launched a 10 year World Crusade, with the primary goals of a) the development of institutions at the World Centre; b) consolidation of the twelve countries where the Faith was well established; c) consolidation of all other territories already open; and d) the opening of the remaining "chief virgin territories" around the globe. The University of Oxford, situated in the city of Oxford in England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... 1957 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Spiritual Assembly is a term given by `Abdul-Bahá to refer to elected leadership councils that govern the Baháí Faith. ...


As outlined in the Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá, the roles and functions of the institutions of the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice were clearly complementary: the Guardianship's function was interpretive, while the function of the Universal House of Justice was legislative. Neither should infringe upon the role of the other. Throughout the period of the Guardianship, Shoghi Effendi exercised his interpretive function. He translated the sacred writings of the Faith; he developed global plans for the expansion of the Bahá'í community; he developed the World Center of the Bahá'í Faith in Haifa, Israel; he carried on a voluminous correspondence with communities and individuals around the world; and he built the administrative structure of the Faith, preparing the community for the election of the Universal House of Justice. Abdul Bahá Abbas A seminal document, written in three stages by `Abdul-Bahá. Several sections were written under iminent threat of harm. ... Seat of The Universal House of Justice The Universal House of Justice is the name used by Baháulláh for the elected supreme institution of the Baháí Faith, The nine-member institution administers the affairs of the Baháí community. ... The Baháí Arc from the International Archives building Baháí World Centre The name given to the administrative center of the Baháí Faith. ... For the Lebanese singer, see Haifa Wahbe Haifa (Hebrew חיפה; Arabic حيفا Ḥayfā) is the third-largest city in Israel, with a population close to 300,000. ...


The Passing of Shoghi Effendi

The Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá allows provisions for a succession of hereditary Guardians, but this was not to be. `Abdu'l-Bahá had indicated that the first born of the Guardian should be his successor, but if that individual did not inherit the Guardian's spiritual qualities, then he should appoint another male descendant of Bahá'u'lláh. Shoghi Effendi did not have children, and through the years all of the members of Bahá'u'lláh's family had rebelled against the authority conferred upon him, becoming "Covenant-Breakers", or in other words expelled themselves from the Faith by their own deeds. According to the framework of the Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá, it was not possible to appoint a successor, and the legislative body "possessing the exclusive right to legislate on matters not explicitly revealed" was not yet established in the world. Furthermore, The Guardian left no will as attested to by the Hands of the Cause, who were required to ratify his selection. All of the 27 living Hands of the Cause jointly issued a document to the Bahá'í world affirming that no possible successor could be named. Abdul Bahá Abbas A seminal document, written in three stages by `Abdul-Bahá. Several sections were written under iminent threat of harm. ... A Covenant-breaker or the act of Covenant-breaking is a term used by Baháís to refer to heresy. ... The Hands of the Cause in the Bahai Faith are a select group of appointed believers whose main function is to help propagate and protect the Bahai Faith on the international level. ...


The Hands determined that this issue would need to be taken up by the Universal House of Justice, which had not yet been elected. The Hands urged the believers to complete the Ten Year Crusade initiated by the Guardian, after which members of the National Spiritual Assemblies, they said, would elect the Universal House of Justice as described in the Will and Testament. Spiritual Assembly is a term given by `Abdul-Bahá to refer to elected leadership councils that govern the Baháí Faith. ... Seat of The Universal House of Justice The Universal House of Justice is the name used by Baháulláh for the elected supreme institution of the Baháí Faith, The nine-member institution administers the affairs of the Baháí community. ... Abdul Bahá Abbas A seminal document, written in three stages by `Abdul-Bahá. Several sections were written under iminent threat of harm. ...


One of the Hands, Charles Mason Remey in 1960 determined that he could not abide by this decision, though he had, himself, signed the aforementioned document three years prior in 1957. He claimed that he had in fact been implicitly appointed Guardian of the Cause by virtue of his appointment to the International Bahá'í Council, and also claimed to have been adopted by `Abdu'l-Bahá. His claims directly contradicted the Baha'i scriptures according to the larger group who followed the Hands. They state that only blood descendants of Baha'u'llah could be eligible to hold such a post, and those who followed the claims of Mason Remey maintain that Shoghi Effendi could chose a spiritual descendant and not a literal one. See Bahá'í divisions and Orthodox Bahá'í Faith for further information about the resulting Remey-ite schisms. Mason Remey, Hand of the Cause of God and Second Guardian of the Orthodox Bahai Faith Charles Mason Remey (May 15, 1874-1974) was the second Guardian a shism of the Baháís called the Orthodox Baháí Faith. ... At almost every change in leadership of the Baháí and Bábí religions, there has been a debate ending with a split among the followers, and mutual excommunications in which each side condemns the other as Covenant-breakers. Baháí divisions deals with the various divisions in the history of these... The Orthodox Baháí Faith is a movement which started within the Baháí Faith, though now independent of it. ...


Upon the successful completion of the Ten Year Crusade in 1963, the Hands of the Cause organized a congress in London occuring directly after the members of existing National Spiritual Assemblies, meeting in Haifa, elected the Universal House of Justice. The Universal House of Justice promptly examined the question of succession, and ruled that no successor to the Guardianship could have been legitimately named giving the provisions of the Will and Testament. Seat of The Universal House of Justice The Universal House of Justice is the name used by Baháulláh for the elected supreme institution of the Baháí Faith, The nine-member institution administers the affairs of the Baháí community. ... Seat of The Universal House of Justice The Universal House of Justice is the name used by Baháulláh for the elected supreme institution of the Baháí Faith, The nine-member institution administers the affairs of the Baháí community. ...


Shoghi Effendi stated in God Passes By (1944), p. 411:

"Whatever may befall this infant Faith of God in future decades or in succeeding centuries, whatever the sorrows, dangers and tribulations which the next stage in its world-wide development may engender, from whatever quarter the assaults to be launched by its present or future adversaries may be unleashed against it, however great the reverses and setbacks it may suffer, we, who have been privileged to apprehend, to the degree our finite minds can fathom, the significance of these marvelous phenomena associated with its rise and establishment, can harbor no doubt that what it has already achieved in the first hundred years of its life provides sufficient guarantee that it will continue to forge ahead, capturing loftier heights, tearing down every obstacle, opening up new horizons and winning still mightier victories until its glorious mission, stretching into the dim ranges of time that lie ahead, is totally fulfilled."

Teachings and laws

Shoghi Effendi wrote this summary of Bahá'u'lláh's teachings in God Passes By, p. 281:

"The independent search after truth, unfettered by superstition or tradition; the oneness of the entire human race, the pivotal principle and fundamental doctrine of the Faith; the basic unity of all religions; the condemnation of all forms of prejudice, whether religious, racial, class or national; the harmony which must exist between religion and science; the equality of men and women, the two wings on which the bird of human kind 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; the exaltation of work, performed in the spirit of service, to the rank of worship; the glorification of justice as the ruling principle in human society, and of religion as a bulwark for the protection of all peoples and nations; and the establishment of a permanent and universal peace as the supreme goal of all mankind—these stand out as the essential elements [which Bahá'u'lláh proclaimed]."
  • There is but one supreme deity. (God) and he is unknowable to man.
Bahá'u'lláh writes on this subject:
"So perfect and comprehensive is His creation that no mind or heart, however keen or pure, can ever grasp the nature of the most insignificant of His creatures; much less fathom the mystery of Him Who is the Day Star of Truth, Who is the invisible and unknowable Essence..." [4] (http://www.bahai-library.com/writings/bahaullah/gwb/026.html)
and further
"All that the sages and mystics have said or written have never exceeded, nor can they ever hope to exceed, the limitations to which man's finite mind hath been strictly subjected. To whatever heights the mind of the most exalted of men may soar, however great the depths which the detached and understanding heart can penetrate, such mind and heart can never transcend that which is the creature of their own thoughts. The meditations of the profoundest thinker, the devotions of the holiest of saints, the highest expressions of praise from either human pen or tongue, are but a reflection of that which hath been created within themselves." [5] (http://www.bahai-library.com/writings/bahaullah/gwb/148.html)
  • There is but one humanity; all people are equal in the sight of God.
At the same time the Bahá'í Writings emphasize the value of cultural and individual differences: "It [the Faith] does not ignore, nor does it attempt to suppress, the diversity of ethnic origins, of climate, of history, of language and tradition, of thought and habit, that differentiate the peoples and nations of the world... Its watchword is unity in diversity..." [6] (http://www.bahai-library.com/writings/shoghieffendi/wob/21.html) This point is often illustrated by the image of different flowers contributing to the beauty of a garden.
  • All the world's great religions receive their inspiration from the same divine source.
`Abdu'l-Bahá wrote:
The differences among the religions of the world are due to the varying types of minds. [7] (http://www.bahai-library.com/writings/abdulbaha/swab/031.html)
Regarding the relationships and station of the various founders of the worlds great religions, which Bahá'ís refer to as "Manifestations of God" Bahá'u'lláh writes:
God hath ordained the knowledge of these sanctified Beings to be identical with the knowledge of His own Self. Whoso recognizeth them hath recognized God. Whoso hearkeneth to their call, hath hearkened to the Voice of God, and whoso testifieth to the truth of their Revelation, hath testified to the truth of God Himself. Whoso turneth away from them, hath turned away from God, and whoso disbelieveth in them, hath disbelieved in God . . . They are the Manifestations of God amidst men, the evidences of His Truth, and the signs of His glory. [8] (http://www.bahai-library.com/writings/bahaullah/gwb/021.html)
Bahá'ís often refer to this concept as "Progressive Revelation", meaning that God's will is revealed to us progressively, as we mature and are better able to comprehend the purpose of God in creating humanity.

The term God is used to designate a Supreme Being; however, there are countless definitions of God. ...

Social principles

The following 12 "principles" are frequently listed as a quick summary of the Bahá'í teachings. They are derived from transcripts of speeches given by `Abdu'l-Bahá during his tour of Europe and North America in 1912. The list is not authoritative and a variety of such lists circulate. 1912 is a leap year starting on Monday. ...

  • The Oneness of God
  • The Oneness of religion
  • The Oneness of mankind
  • Equality of women and men
  • Elimination of all forms of prejudice
  • World peace
  • Harmony of religion and science
  • Independent investigation of truth
  • The need for universal compulsory education
  • The need for a universal auxiliary language
  • Obedience to government and non-involvement in politics
  • A spiritual solution to economic problems (elimination of extremes of wealth and poverty)

Another Bahá'í principle is that of moderation in all things.


Bahá'ís believe that world peace is inevitable, and the next step in the evolution of the world. This bright future is generally seen by Bahá'ís as the fulfillment of prophecies in various older religions (see for example [9] (http://bci.org/prophecy-fulfilled/)). Many Bahá'í beliefs are in harmony with those of the emerging global civilization (such as support for international organisations, universal standards of human rights, and the free movement of people and trade between countries). At the same time, the Bahá'í teachings differ in important ways from many values associated with westernization and its harmful effects (rejecting, for example, cultural uniformity, materialism, economic injustice and "loose" moral standards). Bahá'ís ultimately expect a process, similar to democratic globalization, to continue until "the world is one country," and see their faith as providing the necessary spiritual basis for this new civilization of peace and harmony. Prophecy, in a broad sense, is the prediction of future events. ... The theory of a Global civilization emerged in the late 20th century. ... Westernisation is a process whereby traditional, long-established societies come under the influence of Western (European or American) culture in such matters as industry, technology, economics, lifestyle, food and moral and cultural values. ... Democratic globalization is a movement towards an institutional system that expands globalization by giving world citizens a say in world organizations. ...


Rituals

There are no rituals in the Bahá'í Faith, and rigidity is seen as a quality that must be avoided. However, there are a few basic religious observances that the Kitáb-i-Aqdas holds as obligatory: Written around 1873 by Baháulláh, the founder of the Baháí Faith from Iran, this work is written in Arabic and its Arabic title is al-Kitab al-Aqdas, but it is commonly referred to by its Persian title, Kitáb-i-Aqdas, which was given the work by...

  • There is a specified statement which must be recited as a marriage vow.
  • There are a few specified funerary practices.

Bahá'ís are enjoined to Marriage is a relationship and bond, most commonly between a man and a woman, that plays a key role in the definition of many families. ... Underwater funeral in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea A funeral is a ceremony marking a persons death. ...

  • recite an obligatory prayer each day, facing in the direction of the Qiblih (the Point of Adoration). There are three such prayers among which one can choose each day.
  • read the sacred writings of the faith each morning and evening

Baháís must, according to Baháulláh, say at least one of three revealed Obligatory Prayers (salaat in Arabic). ... In the Baháí Faith Baháulláh, in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, prescribes the obligatory prayers; designates the time and period of fasting; prohibits congregational prayer except for the dead; and fixes the Qiblih as his tomb, Bahjí, in Akká. The concept has existed in other religions. ...

Other laws and ordinances

  • Bahá'ís in good health between the ages of 15 and 70 observe a nineteen-day sunrise-to-sunset fast each year March 2 to March 20, during the Bahá'í month of `Alá.
  • There are no dietary restrictions, but Bahá'ís are forbidden to drink alcohol (except by a doctor's specific order) or to take recreational drugs, as these interfere with an individual's spiritual growth and progress. The (non-medicinal) use of opium is particularly condemned in the Baha'i scriptures. Tobacco is not forbidden but is discouraged.
  • Bahá'ís are generally expected to make a financial contribution to the faith, but soliciting of funds from individuals is prohibited, and contributions from people who are not registered Bahá'ís are neither requested nor accepted. Collection plates are never passed at Bahá'í meetings. Distinct from the general Bahá'í funds is the law of Huqúqu’lláh ("Right of God"), which requires Bahá'ís to pay 19% of their net-worth at least once in their lifetime, or from their estate if it has not yet been paid after the discharge of any debt. All contributions, however, are at the individual's initiative: there is no forced giving, and each person decides individually whether or not there are any surplus funds. In the case of both Huqúqu’lláh and the general funds, contributions are confidential; and the amount paid (if any) is a matter of individual conscience.
    • While debt is not forbidden in the Bahá'í Faith, the speedy and responsible repayment of one's debts is exalted.
    • Regularity of participation is encouraged, rather than fewer high-value donations.
  • Family life is, in the Bahá'í view, the cornerstone of society. Marriage is encouraged. According to Bahá'í law, and sexual relationships are only permitted between a man and the woman to whom he is married. This excludes any marriages that are homosexual or polygamous, as well as any sexual relationship outside of marriage.
    • Couples wishing to marry must choose each other freely, and must then obtain the consent of all living natural parents as the Bahá'í teachings state that marriage is more than a union of individuals; it is the union of families.
    • Interreligious marriages are permitted, and interracial marriages are encouraged.
    • Divorce is permitted, although regarded with the utmost seriousness, and is granted after a year of separation, if the couple is unable to reconcile its differences.
    • Parents are required to provide an education to their children. If resources permit for only one child to be educated, the Bahá'í Faith says that a daughter must receive this education as she is the first educator to her future children.

March 2 is the 61st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (62nd in leap years). ... March 20 is the 79th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (80th in Leap years). ... The Baháí calendar, common to the Baháí Faith, is a solar calendar with regular years 365 days long and leap years 366 days long. ... In general usage, alcohol (from Arabic al-khwl الكحول, or al-ghawl الغول) refers almost always to ethanol, also known as grain alcohol, and often to any beverage that contains ethanol (see alcoholic beverage). ... Recreational drug use is the use of psychoactive drugs for recreational rather than medical or spiritual purposes, although the distinction is not always clear. ... Opium is a narcotic drug which is obtained from the unripe seed pods of the opium poppy . ... Species N. glauca N. longiflora N. rustica N. sylvestris N. tabacum Ref: ITIS 30562 as of 2002-08-28 Tobacco () is a broad-leafed plant of the nightshade family, indigenous to North and South America, whose dried and cured leaves are often smoked (see tobacco smoking) in the form of... Homosexuality is a sexual orientation characterized by esthetic attraction, romantic love, or sexual desire exclusively for another of the same sex. ... Polygamy, literally many marriages in ancient Greek, is a marital practice in which a person has more than one spouse simultaneously (as opposed to monogamy where each person has a maximum of one spouse at any one time). ... Interreligious marriage is marriage (either religious or civil) between partners professing different religions. ...

Calendar

The Bahá'í calendar was established by the Báb. The year consists of 19 months of 19 days, and 4 or 5 intercalary days, to make a full solar year. The New Year (called Naw Rúz) occurs on the vernal equinox, March 21, at the end of the month of fasting. Bahá'í communities gather at the beginning of each month at a meeting called a Feast for worship, consultation and socializing. While the name may seem to suggest that an elaborate meal is served, that is not necessarily the case. Sometimes refreshments are plentiful, but they can be as simple as bread and water. Bahá'ís observe 11 Holy Days throughout the year, with work suspended on 9 of these. These days commemorate important anniversaries in the history of the Faith. The Baháí calendar, common to the Baháí Faith, is a solar calendar with regular years 365 days long and leap years 366 days long. ... Haft Seen Norouz (also spelled Norooz, Noruz, Nauroz, Nav-roze, Navroz, Naw-Rúz or Nowrouz and in Persian نوروز) is the traditional Iranian festival of the New Year in the Persian calendar which starts at the exact moment of the vernal equinox, commencing the start of the spring. ... March 21 is the 80th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (81st in leap years). ... The Nineteen Day Feast regular community gathering, occuring at the first day of each month of the Baháí calendar, consisting of three sections: Devotional, Administrative, and Social. ...

For more information see: Bahá'í calendar

The Baháí calendar, common to the Baháí Faith, is a solar calendar with regular years 365 days long and leap years 366 days long. ...

Symbols

A nine-pointed star is commonly used, though some insist that a five-pointed star is technically more correct.


The ringstone symbol and calligraphy of the Greatest Name are also often encountered. The former consists of two stars (representing the "twin manifestations") interspersed with a stylized Baha (Persian for "Glory") whose shape is meant to recall the three onenesses. The Greatest Name (of God) is Ya Baha'ul 'Abha ("O Glory of the Most Glorious!") The Three Onenesses are three simple core assertions central to the theology of the Baháí Faith. ...


Mashriqu'l-Adhkár

Most Bahá'í meetings occur in individuals' homes, local Bahá'í centers, or rented facilities. Worldwide, there are currently only seven Bahá'í Houses of Worship, with an eighth under construction. Bahá'í writings allude to an institution called a Mashriqu'l-Adhkár (Dawning-place of the Remembrance of God), which is to form the center of a complex of institutions including a hospital, university, and so on. None have yet been built to such a degree. There are currently seven Baháí Houses of Worship around the world, although Baháí communities own many properties where they plan for Houses of Worship to be constructed as the Baháí community grows and develops. ...


Involvement in the life of society

Bahá'ís actively promote issues of social justice and spirituality wherever they are found, holding the concept of the unity of mankind as the standard for their actions. Bahá'ís have also become increasingly involved in projects of social and economic development around the world [10] (http://www.bahai.org/article-1-8-1-1.html).


Bahá'u'lláh wrote of the need for world government in this age of humanity's collective life. Because of this emphasis many Bahá'ís have chosen to support the United Nations since its inception. The Bahá'í International Community, an agency under the direction of the Universal House of Justice in Haifa has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and with the United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF, and it has undertaken joint development programs with United Nations agencies. (See this article (http://www.bahai.org/article-1-6-0-6.html) for further information on the relationship between the Bahá'í International Community and the United Nations.) Seat of The Universal House of Justice The Universal House of Justice is the name used by Baháulláh for the elected supreme institution of the Baháí Faith, The nine-member institution administers the affairs of the Baháí community. ... For the Lebanese singer, see Haifa Wahbe Haifa (Hebrew חיפה; Arabic حيفا Ḥayfā) is the third-largest city in Israel, with a population close to 300,000. ... The United Nations, or UN, is an international organization established in 1945 and now made up of 191 states. ... UNICEF logo The United Nations International Childrens Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1946. ...


Spiritual and mystical dimensions

The purpose of human life, say Bahá'ís, is spiritual growth. This is conceived almost as an organic process, like the development of a fetus, and continues after death. Rather than a heaven and hell strictly speaking (or reincarnation, for that matter), Bahá'ís teach an afterlife in which the soul may progress through ever-more-exalted spiritual realms.


Bahá'ís believe that while God's essence can never be fully fathomed, he can be understood through his "names and attributes." These are likened to gems and include such divine qualities as compassion or wisdom. Education (especially of a spiritual nature) reveals the divine gems which God has placed within our souls.


Bahá'u'lláh's Hidden Words, The Seven Valleys, and The Four Valleys are favorite mystical texts. Bahá'í spirituality tends to consist of textual study, prayer, and recitation. Monasticism is forbidden, and Bahá'ís attempt to ground their spirituality in ordinary daily life. Performing useful work, for example, is not only required but considered a form of worship. The Hidden Words were written around 1857 by Baháulláh, the founder of the Baháí Faith. ... Monasticism (from Greek: monachos—a solitary person) is the religious practice of renouncing all worldly pursuits in order to fully devote ones life to spiritual work. ...


See also

This page is dedicated to providing a basic timeline of the Bábí movement and Baháí Faith. ... The Letters of the Living was a title provided by the Báb to the first eighteen disciples of the Bábí movement. ... Non-Baháí is a common term, not typically intended purjoratively by members of the Baháí Faith to refer to those who are not registered members. ... This Baháí criticisms page is meant to collect various criticisms that have been made of the Baháí Faith. ... At almost every change in leadership of the Baháí and Bábí religions, there has been a debate ending with a split among the followers, and mutual excommunications in which each side condemns the other as Covenant-breakers. Baháí divisions deals with the various divisions in the history of these...

References

  • `Abdu'l-Bahá (1944). The Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá. Bahá'í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, Illinois 60091. . Available online here (http://www.bahai-library.com/writings/abdulbaha/wt/3.html).
  • `Abdu'l-Bahá (1982). The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by `Abdu'l-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Bahá'í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, Illinois 60091. ISBN 0-87743-172-8. Available online here (http://www.bahai-library.com/writings/abdulbaha/pup/27/sec-9.html).
  • `Abdu'l-Bahá, Research Department of the Universal House of Justice (Ed.) (1982). Selections from the Writings of `Abdu'l-Bahá. The Camelot Press Limited, Southampton. ISBN 0-87743-190-6. Available online here (http://www.bahai-library.com/writings/abdulbaha/swab/index.html).
  • Bahá'í International Community (2002). Bahá'í Development Projects: A Global Process of Learning (http://www.bahai.org/article-1-8-1-1.html). Retrieved December 29, 2004.
  • Bahá'í International Community (2002). The Bahá'í International Community and the United Nations (http://www.bahai.org/article-1-6-0-6.html). Retrieved December 29, 2004.
  • Bahá'í International Community (2002). The Bahá'í World (http://www.bahai.org). Retrieved December 29, 2004.
  • Bahá'u'lláh, translated by Shoghi Effendi (1983). Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh. Bahá'í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, Illinois 60091. ISBN 0-87743-187-5. Available online here (http://www.bahai-library.com/writings/bahaullah/gwb/contents.html).
  • British Broadcasting Corporation (2002). BBC Religion and Ethics Special: Bahá'í (http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/bahai/). Retrieved December 29, 2004.
  • Britannica (Eds.) (1992). Britannica Book of the Year. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. Chicago,. .
  • Browne, E.G. (1891). A Traveller’s Narrative. Cambridge.
  • Commisioned by the Universal House of Justice (2001). Century of Light. Nine Pines, Canada. ISBN 0-88867-115-6. Available online here (http://www.bahai-library.com/published.uhj/century.light/).
  • Effendi, Shoghi (1974). God Passes By. Bahá'í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, Illinois 60091. ISBN 0-87743-020-9. Available online here (http://bahai-library.com/writings/shoghieffendi/gpb/).
  • Uzzell, Charles (2001). Some History of the Bahá'í Faith (http://www.mindspring.com/~lmno/vinsa6.html). Retrieved December 29, 2004.

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations by or about:

Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ...

Official websites

  • The Bahá'ís (http://www.bahai.org/), the official presence of the Bahá'í Faith on the Web.
  • Bahá'í World News Service (http://www.bahaiworldnews.org/), news and reports on the activities, projects and events of the worldwide Bahá'í community.
  • Bahá'í Reference Library (http://reference.bahai.org/), official versions of selected writings of the Bahá'í Faith in English, Persian, and Arabic.
  • One Country (http://www.onecountry.org/), the newsletter of the Bahá'í International Community.
  • Bahá'í International Community Statement Library (http://www.bic-un.bahai.org/), statements by the Bahá'í International Community in eleven languages, including submissions to the United Nations (1947-present).
  • BAHAIYOUTH.COM (http://www.bahaiyouth.com/), A site dedicated to Bahá'í Youth.

Unofficial websites

  • Bahá'í Association of the University of Georgia (http://www.uga.edu/bahai/), one of the oldest Bahá'í sites on the internet. Links to information in multiple languages, simple to follow but comprehensive information, and largest archive of media coverage of the Bahá'í Faith. Site maintained by an individual Bahá'í.
  • Bahá'í Library Online (http://bahai-library.com/), an academically-oriented site with a large number of primary and secondary source materials on the Bahá'í Faith.
  • Bahá'í Study Center (http://bahaistudy.org/), varied Baha'i resources, including online videos and talking books.
  • Bahá'í Prayers (http://www.bahaiprayers.org/), Prayers of Bahá'u'lláh, The Báb and `Abdu'l-Bahá in English and many other languages.
  • BBC Religion and Ethics special: Bahá'í  (http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/bahai/), BBC on the Bahá'í Faith.
  • Ocean (http://www.bahai-education.org/ocean/), a privately-developed, free downloadable reference library and research engine, containing the full text of the Bahá'í writings in English, and over 1000 volumes from among the world's religious literature. Smaller selections in six other major languages. (Typographical accuracy of texts varies.)
  • Beliefnet (http://www.beliefnet.com/boards/boards_main.AllCategories.asp?Category=81), unofficial discussion boards on the Bahá'í Faith.
  • Planet Bahá'í (http://www.planetbahai.com), unofficial, but comprehensive Bahá'í site with extensive coverage of all areas of the Bahá'í Faith. Also includes extensive multi-faith discussion areas.
  • [11] (http://www.northill.demon.co.uk/relstud/covenant.htm) An article which scholastically details the concept of Covenant within the Bahá'í Faith.
  • [12] (http://www.northill.demon.co.uk/relstud/index.htm) The following are some articles and papers authored by Moojan Momen, some of them in conjunction with other authors as drafts towards a short encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith.

Usage note: The correct orthographies are "Bahá'í", "Bahá'ís", "Báb", "Bahá'u'lláh", and "`Abdu'l-Bahá": Bahá'ís use a particular and very precise transcription of Arabic in their publications. Because of typographic limitations, the forms "Bahai", "Bahais", "Bab", and "Bahaullah" are often used as a common spelling and are satisfactory for certain electronic uses. Arabic (العربية) is a Semitic language, closely related to Hebrew and Aramaic. ...


 
 

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