The Baha'i Faith
Website of the Bahá’í Community of North Gwinnett, Georgia
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, Muhammad, and in in more recent times, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. 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.
God, the Creator of the universe, is all-knowing, all-loving and all-merciful. Just as the physical sun shines on the world, so the light of God is shed upon all Creation. It is impossible for any mortal mind to truly understand the reality of God. However broad or imaginative our concept of God may be, it will always be circumscribed by the limitations of the human mind. Throughout the ages, Manifestations of God cultivate humanity’s spiritual, intellectual and moral capacities. Following the coming of a Manifestation of God extraordinary progress occurs in the world. Reaching to the roots of human motivation, His teachings awaken in whole populations capacities to contribute to the advancement of civilization to an extent never before possible.
Today, we find ourselves at the threshold of the coming of age of the human race. Passing through different stages, we have collectively traversed our infancy and childhood. Around the world, human society is being reshaped, and the ultimate trend is clear: we are witnessing nothing less than the organization of human society as a planetary civilization.
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.
“Witness the wondrous evidences of God’s handiwork, and reflect upon its range and character.” — Bahá’u’lláh
Bahá’u’lláh – The Divine Educator
Throughout history, the great religions have provided the primary driving force behind the civilizing of human character, eliciting self-discipline, devotion and heroism from their followers. Many of religion’s moral principles have been translated into structures and patterns of conduct which have served to elevate human relationships and advance humanity’s collective life.
Every time a Manifestation of God appears, a fuller measure of inspiration for the next stage in the awakening and progress of humanity is released into the world. A human being ordinary in every outward respect is called to be a mouthpiece for God. One may call to mind Moses standing before the Burning Bush, the Buddha receiving enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus in the form of a dove, or the archangel Gabriel appearing to Muhammad.
In the middle of the 19th century, God summoned Bahá’u’lláh the “Glory of God” to deliver a new Revelation to humanity. For four decades thousands of verses, letters and books flowed from His pen. In His Writings, He outlined a framework for the development of a global civilization which takes into account both the spiritual and material dimensions of human life. Bahá’u’lláh suffered imprisonment, torture and exile for bringing God’s latest message to humanity. Today, His life and mission are becoming increasingly well-known across the planet. Millions of people are learning to apply His teachings to their individual and collective lives for the betterment of the world.
“These holy Manifestations have been as the coming of springtime in the world…For each spring is the time of a new creation…” — ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
What Bahá’ís Believe
“He Who is your Lord, the All-Merciful, cherisheth in His heart the desire of beholding the entire human race as one soul and one body.” — Bahá’u’lláh
In thousands of locations around the world, the teachings of the Bahá’í Faith inspire individuals and communities as they work to improve their own lives and contribute to the advancement of civilization. Bahá’í beliefs address such essential themes as the oneness of God and religion, the oneness of humanity and freedom from prejudice, the inherent nobility of the human being, the progressive revelation of religious truth, the development of spiritual qualities, the integration of worship and service, the fundamental equality of the sexes, the harmony between religion and science, the centrality of justice to all human endeavours, the importance of education, and the dynamics of the relationships that are to bind together individuals, communities, and institutions as humanity advances towards its collective maturity.
To gain a fuller appreciation of Bahá’í beliefs you may wish to read the Writings of the Báb, Bahá’u’lláh, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as well as volumes written by Shoghi Effendi and a selection of statements and communications of the Universal House of Justice.
O ye children of men! The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race, and to foster the spirit of love and fellowship amongst men…Whatsoever is raised on this foundation, the changes and chances of the world can never impair its strength, nor will the revolution of countless centuries undermine its structure. — Bahá’u’lláh