Core Principles of The Bahá’í Faith
The principles of the Bahá’í Faith were established by Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Faith, and later reiterated by His Son and appointed successor `Abdu’l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi, and the Universal House of Justice. The primary theme of these teachings is achieving world peace by illuminating one’s soul with spiritual qualities through prayer, meditation and acts of service. The following are some of the core principles of the Bahá’í Faith with quotations from the central figures of the Faith. These quotations are just a mere glimpse of a much deeper concept. Links to further information are located below each quotation.
RELIGION AS A SOURCE OF UNITY
“He (Bahá’u’lláh) sets forth a new principle for this day in the announcement that religion must be the cause of unity, harmony and agreement among mankind. If it be the cause of discord and hostility, if it leads to separation and creates conflict, the absence of religion would be preferable in the world.”
“The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.”
ONENESS OF MANKIND
“It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.”
ONENESS OF GOD
“God…is and hath from everlasting been, one and alone…eternal in the past, eternal in the future.”
Oneness of religion
“The different religions have one truth underlying them; therefore, their reality is one.”
Universal Auxillary Language
“Bahá’u’lláh has proclaimed the adoption of a universal language. A language shall be agreed upon by which unity will be established in the world. Each person will require training in two languages: his native tongue and the universal auxiliary form of speech. This will facilitate intercommunication and dispel the misunderstandings which the barriers of language have occasioned in the world. All people worship the same God and all alike are His servants. When they are able to communicate freely, they will associate in friendship and concord, entertain the greatest love and fellowship for each other, and in reality the Orient and the Occident will embrace in unity and agreement.”
THE PROGRESSIVE REVELATION OF RELIGION
“Their revelation may be likened unto the light of the moon that sheddeth it radiance upon the earth. Though every time it appeareth, it revealeth a fresh measure of its brightness, yet its inherent splendour can never diminish, nor can its light suffer extinction. It is clear and evident, therefore, that any apparent variation in the intensity of their light is not inherent in the light itself, but should rather be attributed to the varying receptivity of an ever-changing world. Every Prophet Whom the Almighty and Peerless Creator hath purposed to send to the peoples of the earth hath been entrusted with a Message, and charged to act in a manner that would best meet the requirements of the age in which He appeared.”
Harmony of Science and Religion
There is no contradiction between true religion and science. When a religion is opposed to science it becomes mere superstition: that which is contrary to knowledge is ignorance.
THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF PREJUDICE
…again, as to religious, racial, national and political bias: all these prejudices strike at the very root of human life; one and all they beget bloodshed, and the ruination of the world. So long as these prejudices survive, there will be continuous and fearsome wars.
Universal Compulsory 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.
INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION OF TRUTH
Furthermore, know ye that God has created in man the power of reason, whereby man is enabled to investigate reality. God has not intended man to imitate blindly his fathers and ancestors. He has endowed him with mind, or the faculty of reasoning, by the exercise of which he is to investigate and discover the truth, and that which he finds real and true he must accept.
Equality of Men and Women
Until the reality of equality between man and woman is fully established and attained, the highest social development of mankind is not possible. Even granted that woman is inferior to man in some degree of capacity or accomplishment, this or any other distinction would continue to be productive of discord and trouble. The only remedy is education, opportunity; for equality means equal qualification…And let it be known once more that until woman and man recognize and realize equality, social and political progress here or anywhere will not be possible.
THE ABOLITION OF THE EXTREMES OF WEALTH AND POVERTY
We see amongst us men who are overburdened with riches on the one hand, and on the other those unfortunate ones who starve with nothing; those who possess several stately palaces, and those who have not where to lay their head. Some we find with numerous courses of costly and dainty food; whilst others can scarce find sufficient crusts to keep them alive. Whilst some are clothed in velvets, furs and fine linen, others have insufficient, poor and thin garments with which to protect them from the cold. This condition of affairs is wrong and must be remedied. Now the remedy must be carefully undertaken. It cannot be done by bringing to pass absolute equality between men.