Baha’i Faith

Shrine of the Bab

Shrine of the Báb (Photo by Marco Abrar)

    Principles of the Baha’i Faith

  • Oneness of Humanity
  • High moral principles, including trustworthiness, chastity and honesty
  • Oneness of Religion
  • Religion Must be the Cause of Unity
  • Religion Must be Harmonious with Science and Reason
  • Independent Investigation of Truth
  • Equality Between Men and Women
  • Abolition of all Forms of Prejudice
  • Universal Peace
  • Universal Education
  • A Universal Auxiliary Language
  • Spiritual Solutions for Economic Problems
Baha'i House of Worship Wilmette

Baha’i House of Worship Wilmette

The Baha’i Faith is the youngest of the world’s independent monotheistic religions. Founded in Iran in 1844, it now has more than five million adherents in 236 countries and territories. Baha’is come from nearly every national, ethnic and religious background, making the Baha’i Faith the second-most-
widespread religion in the world.

Baha’is view the world’s major religions as part of a single, progressive process through which God reveals His will to humanity. Baha’u’llah (1817-1892), the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, is recognized as the most recent in a line of Divine Messengers that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad.

The central theme of Baha’u’llah’s message is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for humanity’s unification into one global society. While reaffirming the core ethical principles common to all religions, Baha’u’llah also revealed new laws and teachings to lay the foundations of a global civilization. “A new life,” Baha’u’llah declared, “is, in this age, stirring within all the peoples of the earth.”

The worldwide Baha’i community, composed of people from virtually every racial, ethnic and religious background, is working to give practical expression to Baha’u’llah’s vision of world unity. We invite you to learn more about the Baha’i Faith and benefit from the spiritual and practical insights found in the Revelation of Baha’u’llah, God’s message for humanity in this day.

What do Baha’is believe?

Bahá’ís believe that there is one God, that all humanity is one family, and that there is a fundamental unity underlying religion. They recognize that the coming of Bahá’u’lláh has opened the age for the establishment of world peace, when, as anticipated in the sacred scriptures of the past, all humanity will achieve its spiritual and social maturity, and live as one united family in a just, global society.

Baha’is practice:

  • Daily prayer and communion with God
  • High moral principles, including trustworthiness, chastity and honesty
  • Independent investigation of truth
  • A life dedicated to the service of humanity
  • Fellowship with the followers of all religions
  • Avoidance of excessive materialism, partisan politics, backbiting, alcohol, drugs and gambling

Bahá’í World Community

The Bahá’í community today numbers some five million members resident in 189 independent countries and 46 territories. Its rich diversity embraces people from most of the planet’s races, creeds and cultures, including over 2,100 different ethnic groupings.

There is no clergy in the Bahá’í Faith. Because the human race has entered upon the age of its maturity, each individual is able to explore the revelation of God and to decide on the issues of life through prayer, reflection, and consultation with others. To make this possible, the Bahá’í scriptures have so far been translated into some 800 different languages.

The same principle applies to the community’s collective life. Elected councils, designated as Spiritual Assemblies, administer the affairs of the Faith at both local and national levels. All adult believers are equally eligible and election is by secret ballot and plurality vote.

The work of the Faith is entirely supported by voluntary contributions from the members. Giving to the Bahá’í fund is regarded as one of the privileges of membership; the Faith does not accept outside contributions.

Bahá’ís and Other Religions

Bahá’u’lláh called upon the Bahá’ís to associate with the followers of all religions in a spirit of love and friendship. Bahá’ís see no intrinsic conflict with other religious communities, as they believe all the revealed faiths originate from the same Source, God, and are essentially one.

Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh

Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh in Bahji (Photo by Marco Abrar)

Women

The emancipation of women, the achievement of full equality between the sexes, is essential to human progress and the persistent denial of equality to one-half of the world’s population emancipation of women, the achievement of full equality betweenthe sexes, is essential to human progress and the between the sexes, is essential to human progress and the transformation of The emancipation of women, the achievement of full equality society. Inequality retards not only the transformation of society. Inequality retards not only the advancement of women but the Inequality retards not only the advancement of women but the progress of civilization itself. The advancement of women but the progress of civilization itself. The advancement of women but the progress of civilization itself. The persistent denial of equality to one-half of the world’s population is an affront to human dignity. It promotes destructive attitudes and habits in men and women thatpass from the family to the work place, to political life, and, ultimately, to international relations. On no grounds, moral, biological, or traditional, can inequality be justified. The moral and psychological climate necessary to enable our nation to establish social justice and to contribute to global peace will be created only when women attain full partnership with men in all fields of endeavor.

How Do I Become a Bahá’í?

A person becomes a Bahá’í by recognizing Bahá’u’lláh as the Messenger of God for this age and accepting to follow His laws and teachings and the administrative institutions He established for the unification of humankind. People enroll in a Bahá’í community by signifying such belief and commitment, orally or in writing , to the responsible Bahá’í institution.