Throughout history, God has sent to humanity a series of divine Educators—known as Manifestations of God—whose teachings have provided the basis for the advancement of civilization. These Manifestations have included Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad. Bahá’u’lláh, the latest of these Messengers, explained that the religions of the world come from the same Source and are in essence successive chapters of one religion from God.
Bahá’ís believe the crucial need facing humanity is to find a unifying vision of the future of society and of the nature and purpose of life. Such a vision unfolds in the writings of Bahá’u’lláh.
Principles of the Baha’i Faith:
The Oneness of God
God is the “Unknowable Essence”. He is our Creator and the Bahá’í teachings state that “…He is and hath ever been immensely exalted beyond all that can either be recounted or perceived”. Once in about a thousand years He sends his “Manifestation” who is like a perfect mirror reflecting the attributes of God.
The Oneness of Religion
The founders of the great religions of the world are like teachers in the same school. Their social teachings are adapted to the condition of man at the time of their appearance but the spiritual foundation is one and unchanged from age to age. Baha’u’llah teaches that “All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization…” and the founders of the great religions of the world bring teachings spurring humanity to successively higher levels of unity.
The Oneness of Mankind
Mankind has reached a level of maturity that did not exist in previous dispensations. Formerly much of the world had not even been “discovered” but today worldwide communication is instantaneous. Baha’u’llah teaches that the only way forward is for man to recognize this new level of connection, put away the assumptions of past ages, and reform the relationships between the peoples and nations of the world.
Independent investigation of truth
Each person must investigate truth or reality for himself rather than following in the footsteps of our forebears or relying on others.
Elimination of all forms of Prejudice
The Baha’i Writings state: “Concerning the prejudice of race; it is an illusion pure and simple for God created us all of one race”. Similarly political or patriotic prejudice must be eliminated.
Equality of men and women
Baha’u’llah attaches great importance to the principle that women should be regarded as the equals of men and should enjoy equal rights and privileges and equal education and opportunities with men. The Baha’i Scriptures state that “The world of humanity is possessed of two wings: the male and the female. So long as these two wings are not equivalent in strength, the bird will not fly.”
Harmony of Religion and Science
The Baha’i writings state that “Religion must stand the analysis of reason. It must agree with scientific fact and proof so that science will sanction religion and religion fortify science. Both are indissolubly welded and joined in reality.”
“The day is approaching when all the peoples of the world will have adopted one universal language and one common script. When this is achieved, to whatsoever city a man may journey, it shall be as if he were entering his own home. These things are obligatory and absolutely essential.” –Baha’u’llah
Elimination of extremes of wealth and poverty
Although there can be social and economic differences among men, extremes of wealth and poverty must be eliminated.
Universal compulsory Education
A sound education must be available to every boy and girl in the world and it must be compulsory.
A uniform and universal system of currency
A uniform system of currency must be adopted throughout the world so that the many hardships, injustices and inequalities resulting from the differences in currencies will be eliminated.