Baha’u’llah, Founder of the Baha’i Faith, is the most recent Messenger from God. His teachings of unity and peace are expansive, profound and powerfully address the global challenges humanity faces today.
Baha’u’llah teaches that there is only one God, the ultimate reality, the unknowable essence of essences, the Creator of all existence. We may call this Essence by many names—God, Yahweh, Allah, Brahma, or the Great Spirit—but we are talking about the same loving Provider that has guided and supported humanity throughout history.
One Unfolding Religion
All of the world’s religions are like chapters in a book, an unfolding story of humanity’s development. In each age, God sent a Messenger to guide and teach humanity to develop spiritually and socially. These religions have been the inspiration and stimulus for the rise of civilizations.
One Human Family
The principle of the oneness of humanity is at the heart of Baha’u’llah’s teachings. Created by one loving Creator, we human beings constitute a human family on a global scale. Baha’u’llah compares humanity to the human body, where billions of diverse cells live in harmony with one another. Each cell both receives its nourishment from the whole and contributes to the health of the body.
The Human Soul
As human beings, our true identity is our rational soul, which allows us to continually better ourselves and improve our society. Baha’u’llah affirms the nobility of the human soul. Our purpose is to know God and to draw ever closer to this Divine Reality. When this earthly life ends, our immortal soul continues on its journey towards its Maker.
The earth is an organic whole that operates by certain laws and principles. Everything in nature is a reflection of the attributes of God. While these material resources sustain civilization, they are also a window to spiritual insights. The wealth of the earth is the common heritage of all people; which means just and equitable access to these resources. Baha’u’llah has laid the groundwork for a unified civilization where justice and wisdom are the foundation for a sustainable relationship with the earth.
Baha’u’llah describes humanity’s progress through the ages. We have passed through the stage of childhood and are now transitioning through the turbulence of our collective adolescence. As we look to the future, we stand at the threshold of our maturity as a human race. We have successfully achieved unity at the levels of family, tribe, city-state and nation. Our challenge now is to bring about unity on a global scale. The work before us is to build a global civilization that is both prosperous and peaceful, material and spiritual, richly diverse and blessedly unified.
The supreme goal of all humankind is to achieve the Most Great Peace toward which we have been striving for millennia. Baha’u’llah outlines the social teachings that will bring this peace about:
- Independent search for truth: Each individual must seek out the truth for himself.
- Elimination of prejudice of all kinds, whether racial, religious, national or gender-based.
- Harmony of science and religion: These two powerful ways of knowing are complementary, not contradictory.
- Equality of women and men: Humanity is like a bird with two wings; both must be strong for the bird to soar.
- Universal Education: so that every human being has the means by which each he or she can contribute to the building of civilization.
- Universal Auxiliary Language: so that all the world’s peoples can communicate with one another.
- Abolition of the Extremes of Wealth and Poverty: the cause of much discord and strife.
- World Tribunal: for arbitrating disputes between nations.
- Justice: the ruling principle in human affairs.
The Divine Springtime is come…