Called by different names throughout the ages, the eternal God, the Creator of the universe, is limitless, all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving. God is one. The reality of God is beyond human understanding, though we may find expressions of God’s attributes in every created thing. “The peoples of the world, of whatever race or religion, derive their inspiration from one heavenly Source, and are the subjects of one God.” –Bahá’u’lláh
One Human Family
Beyond all differences of culture, class or ethnicity, regardless of differences in customs, opinions or temperaments, every individual is a member of one gloriously diverse human family. Each unique soul has a role to play in carrying forward an ever-advancing material and spiritual civilization. “Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship…” –Bahá’u’lláh
One Unfolding Religion
Humanity’s spiritual, intellectual and moral capacities have been cultivated by the successive Founders of the world’s religions–the Manifestations of God—among them Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, and most recently, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. Each religion originates from God and is suited to the age and place in which it is revealed. In essence, the religion of God is one and is progressively unfolding. “This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future.”–Bahá’u’lláh
The Bahá’í Faith originated in Iran in the mid-19th century. In less than 200 years it has become a universal faith present in every country in the world with adherents from virtually every national, ethnic, religious and tribal background.
A Movement of Personal and Social Transformation
The international Bahá’í community, numbering more than five million, is quite possibly the most diverse organized body of people on the planet. United by their belief in Bahá’u’lláh, and inspired by His teachings, members strive to live out the twofold moral purpose of transforming their own characters while simultaneously contributing to the advancement of society. Bahá’u’lláh taught that religion is a cohesive force in society and a system of knowledge that has, together with science, propelled the advancement of civilizations
The writings of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh are considered by Bahá’ís to have been revealed by God. As the creative Word of God, these sacred writings have the power to touch the deepest recesses of our hearts and transform us and the world around us. The Bahá’í writings address the needs of the age and offer inspiration for individuals working to better themselves and their communities. Bahá’u’lláh enjoined His followers to read daily from the Sacred Texts, “Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths.”
Bahá’ís consider work done in the spirit of service to humanity as the highest form of worship. Prayer, offered both in private and in the company of others, is regarded as essential spiritual nourishment, providing inspiration for positive personal and social change. Individuals pray daily and observe an annual period of fasting. The Bahá’í Faith has no clergy or sacraments, and has very simple practices for life transitions such as marriage and funerals.