[112] Baháʼu'lláh highly praised marriage, discouraged divorce, and required chastity outside of marriage; Baháʼu'lláh taught that a husband and wife should strive to improve the spiritual life of each other. [91] The World Christian Encyclopedia estimated 7.1 million Baháʼís in the world in 2000, representing 218 countries,[92] and 7.3 million in 2010[93] with the same source. It was initiated and established by the Báb and various works were written in calligraphy shaped into a five-pointed star. While God's essence is inaccessible, a subordinate form of knowledge is available by way of mediation by divine messengers, known as Manifestations of God. The House of Justice then launched a nine-year plan in 1964, and a series of subsequent multi-year plans of varying length and goals followed, guiding the direction of the international Baháʼí community. [83][84] The years from 2001 until 2021 represent four successive five-year plans, culminating in the centennial anniversary of the passing of ʻAbdu'l-Bahá. First, Baha’is believe that Bahá’u’lláh is a greater manifestation of God than Moses, Muhammad, or the Christian Messiah. Bahá is the root word of the following names and phrases: the greeting Alláh-u-Abhá (God is the All-Glorious), the invocation Yá Baháʼu'l-Abhá (O Thou Glory of the Most Glorious), Baháʼu'lláh (The Glory of God), and Baháʼí (Follower of the All-Glorious). Following his release he led a life of travelling, speaking, teaching, and maintaining correspondence with communities of believers and individuals, expounding the principles of the Baháʼí Faith.[24]. [24] He unexpectedly died after a brief illness on 4 November 1957, in London, England, under conditions that did not allow for a successor to be appointed. Religion is thus seen as orderly, unified, and progressive from age to age. [23] Three principles are central to these teachings: the unity of God, the unity of religion, and the unity of humanity. The observance of personal laws, such as prayer or fasting, is the sole responsibility of the individual. [148] In March 2018, two more Baháʼí students were expelled from universities in the cities of Zanjan and Gilan because of their religion. [57] The Seven Valleys is considered Baháʼu'lláh's "greatest mystical composition. His father left a will that appointed ʻAbdu'l-Bahá as the leader of the Baháʼí community, and designated him as the "Centre of the Covenant", "Head of the Faith", and the sole authoritative interpreter of Baháʼu'lláh's writings. [76] In 1953, he launched the first international plan, the Ten Year World Crusade. [c], The older term "Bahaʼism" (or "Bahaism") is still used,[15][16][17][18][19] for example as a variant of "Bahai Faith" by the US Library of Congress,[20] but it is now less common[21] and the Baháʼí community prefers "Baháʼí Faith". The Hidden Words is another book written by Baháʼu'lláh during the same period, containing 153 short passages in which Baháʼu'lláh claims to have taken the basic essence of certain spiritual truths and written them in brief form. Ba… [129] Educational projects include schools, which range from village tutorial schools to large secondary schools, and some universities. It is one of the fastest-growing religion with over 116,000 localities across the globe (as of 2018). The Baha’i Faith is one of the major religions of the world with a following of over 7 million people. Humanity is seen as essentially one, though highly varied; its diversity of race and culture are seen as worthy of appreciation and acceptance. This knowledge of the attributes is also proportioned. [44][45] The list is not authoritative and a variety of such lists circulate. The laws, when not in direct conflict with the civil laws of the country of residence, are binding on every Baháʼí. According to the Baháʼí teachings, God is single and all-powerful. Sources summarize the Baháʼí Faith as teaching, "the essential worth of all religions, the unity of all peoples, and the equality of the sexes". [10] The House of the Báb in Shiraz, one of three sites to which Baháʼís perform pilgrimage, has been destroyed twice. Baháʼu'lláh taught that the knowledge of God is limited to those attributes and qualities which are perceptible to us, and thus direct knowledge of God is not possible. [30][31] In the Baháʼí Faith, God is often referred to by titles and attributes (for example, the All-Powerful, or the All-Loving), and there is a substantial emphasis on monotheism. [130] By 2017 there were an estimated 40,000 small scale projects, 1,400 sustained projects, and 135 Baháʼí inspired organizations. These are expressed in Arabic regardless of the language in use (see Baháʼí symbols). For the establishment of a lasting peace (The Most Great Peace) and the purging of the "overwhelming Corruptions" it is necessary that all the people of the world universally unite under a universal Faith. [153] Other observers were not allowed in the court. [173], This article is about the global religious community. 'Note on transliteration, dates and names', in Brookshaw & Fazel, eds. [25], The Baháʼí writings describe a single, personal, inaccessible, omniscient, omnipresent, imperishable, and almighty God who is the creator of all things in the universe. The second sign instructs the Diné to look for a “great chief with twelve feathers” or “twelve great principles.” There are twelve basic principles in the Baha’i Faith. [27] The conflicts escalated in several places to military sieges by the Shah's army. [27][35] The religion was initially seen as a sect of Islam because of its belief in the prophethood of Muhammad and in the authenticity and veracity of the Qur’an. [15][16], The Baháʼí teachings state that one can develop a closer relationship with God through prayer, meditation, study of the holy writings, and service to humanity. [78], Current initiatives of social action include activities in areas like health, sanitation, education, gender equality, arts and media, agriculture, and the environment. Obedience to government and non-involvement in partisan politics. [69] During the period in Adrianople, he began declaring his mission as a Messenger of God in letters to the world's religious and secular rulers, including Pope Pius IX, Napoleon III, and Queen Victoria. [73][74][75], In 1937, Shoghi Effendi launched a seven-year plan for the Baháʼís of North America, followed by another in 1946. [167] In fact it was the Iranian leader Naser al-Din Shah Qajar who banished Baháʼu'lláh from Iran to the Ottoman Empire and Baháʼu'lláh was later exiled by the Ottoman Sultan, at the behest of the Iranian Shah, to territories further away from Iran and finally to Acre in Syria, which only a century later was incorporated into the state of Israel. The Baha’i Faith was founded by two Divine Educators, the Bab and Baha’u’llah. Independent investigation of truth. [24] The Baháʼí New Year corresponds to the traditional Iranian New Year, called Naw Rúz, and occurs on the vernal equinox, near 21 March, at the end of the month of fasting. By 1987, the number of officially recognized development projects had increased to 1482. In the current plan, the House of Justice encourages the Baháʼís around the world to focus on capacity building through children's classes, junior youth groups, devotional gatherings, and study circles. The Baháʼí Faith is described in reliable sources as a 'religion', 'sect'. The nine-pointed star, one of three Baha’i religious symbols, is significant because the numerical value of [the word] Baha is nine. [116] Baháʼí writings refer to an institution called a "Mas͟hriqu'l-Ad͟hkár" (Dawning-place of the Mention of God), which is to form the center of a complex of institutions including a hospital, university, and so on. Last update: December 26, 2017 Additionally notes taken of a number of his talks were published in various volumes like Paris Talks during his journeys to the West. Such expulsions are administered by the National Spiritual Assembly and do not involve shunning. [30][31] According to the Baháʼí teachings the human purpose is to learn to know and love God through such methods as prayer, reflection, and being of service to others. God is the imperishable, uncreated being who is the source of all existence. [140] During that campaign, initiated by Mulla Muhammad Taghi Falsafi, the Baha'i center in Tehran was demolished at the orders of Tehran military governor, General Timor Bakhtiar. Its founder, Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892), is regarded by Bahá’ís as the most recent in the line of Messengers of God that stretches back beyond recorded time and that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad. [129], Baháʼu'lláh wrote of the need for world government in this age of humanity's collective life. The latter do not serve as clergy, which the Baháʼí Faith does not have. [21] Examples of divine attributes described in Baháʼí scripture include Almighty, All-Powerful, All-loving, All-Merciful, Most-Compassionate, All-Glorious. [78], The marginalization of the Iranian Baháʼís by current governments is rooted in historical efforts by Muslim clergy to persecute the religious minority. Baha’i Faith, religion founded in Iraq in the mid-19th century by Mirza Hosayn ‘Ali Nuri, who is known as Baha’ Allah. These clerical directives led to mob attacks and public executions. Heaven and Hell are taught to be spiritual states of nearness or distance from God that describe relationships in this world and the next, and not physical places of reward and punishment achieved after death. After initially strict and harsh confinement, he was allowed to live in a home near ʻAkká, while still officially a prisoner of that city. [140] In one case in Yazd in 1903 more than 100 Baháʼís were killed. [30], Baháʼí notions of progressive religious revelation result in their accepting the validity of the well known religions of the world, whose founders and central figures are seen as Manifestations of God. They are derived from transcripts of speeches given by ʻAbdu'l-Bahá during his tour of Europe and North America in 1912. Leyla Melikova (2013) "How Bahaʼism Travelled from the East to the West (Ideological Evolution of the Neo-Universalist Religious Doctrine). The Baháʼí Faith stresses the unity of all people, explicitly rejecting racism and nationalism. [130] The Baháʼí International Community is an agency under the direction of the Universal House of Justice in Haifa, and has consultative status with the following organizations:[131][132], The Baháʼí International Community has offices at the United Nations in New York and Geneva and representations to United Nations regional commissions and other offices in Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Nairobi, Rome, Santiago, and Vienna. "[151], On 14 May 2008, members of an informal body known as the "Friends" that oversaw the needs of the Baháʼí community in Iran were arrested and taken to Evin prison. Shoghi Effendi served for 36 years as the head of the religion until his death. [144] Baháʼís were portrayed as economic threats, and as supporters of Israel and the West, and societal hostility against the Baháʼís increased.[140][145]. They believe God is not so much without gender as beyond gender. The Bab, whose name means the Gate, encouraged all to seek spiritual truth with independent hearts, by removing attachment to superstition and reliance on clergy. [113] Interracial marriage is also highly praised throughout Baháʼí scripture. The essential unity of religion. Baháʼu'lláh first announces his claim to divine revelation in Baghdad, Iraq. Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, (2008) "Anti-Bahaiʼism and Islamism in Iran". [23][24] Baha'is believe the greatest of all the names of God is "All-Glorious" or Bahá in Arabic. [25] Baháʼís believe Baháʼu'lláh, the founder of the Baháʼí Faith, is the "complete incarnation of the names and attributes of God". Letters written by Baháʼu'lláh to various people, including some heads of state, have been collected and assembled into a canon of Baháʼí scripture. [108] There are, however, occasions when a Baháʼí might be administratively expelled from the community for a public disregard of the laws, or gross immorality. Baháʼís observe 11 Holy Days throughout the year, with work suspended on 9 of these. For this reason, Baha'is are very accepting of all religions. Knowledge of God's will for humanity in the modern age was revealed just over 100 years ago by Bahá'u'lláh, who is the latest of these divine Messengers. [109], While some of the laws from the Kitáb-i-Aqdas are applicable at the present time, others are dependent upon the existence of a predominantly Baháʼí society, such as the punishments for arson or murder. [28][29], Baháʼí teachings state that God is too great for humans to fully comprehend, or to create a complete and accurate image of by themselves. [89], A Baháʼí-published document reported 4.74 million Baháʼís in 1986 growing at a rate of 4.4%. All prejudice should be eliminated 6. Throughout the rest of his life Baháʼu'lláh gained the allegiance of most of the Bábís, who came to be known as Baháʼís. Some of the fundamental teachings of the Baha'i Faith: The oneness of God. Some measure of divine guidance is assumed for all of these texts. The Báb himself was imprisoned and eventually executed in 1850. Baha’i believes their prophet is a manifestation of God who is greater than Jesus Christ. After receiving chastising letters from Baháʼu'lláh, Ottoman authorities turned against him and put him under house arrest in Adrianople (now Edirne), where he remained for four years, until a royal decree of 1868 banished all Bábís to either Cyprus or ʻAkká. As the Báb's teachings spread, which the Islamic clergy saw as blasphemous, his followers came under increased persecution and torture. At the same time the Tribunal condemned "in most unequivocal and emphatic language the followers of Baha'u'llah as the believers in heresy, offensive and injurious to Islam, and wholly incompatible with the accepted doctrines and practice of its orthodox adherents. [143] In the late 1970s the Shah's regime consistently lost legitimacy due to criticism that it was pro-Western. While the Baháʼí writings teach of a personal god who is a being with a personality (including the capacity to reason and to feel love), they clearly state that this does not imply a human or physical form. To say that God is a personal Reality does not mean that He has a physical form, or does in any way resemble a human being. The Bahá'í Faith is an Abrahamic religion started in the 1800s by an Iranian person called Bahá'u'lláh who was born in Tehran, Iran.Followers of this religion call themselves Bahá'ís.The name Bahá'u'lláh is Arabic for "The Glory of God". 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