Bahá’í Principles

Search for Truth

“The first principle of Bahá’u’lláh is:spring sunset

The Search for Truth.

Man must cut himself free from all prejudice and from the result of his own imagination, so that he may be able to search for truth unhindered. Truth is one in all religions, and by means of it the unity of the world can be realized.

All the peoples have a fundamental belief in common. Being one, truth cannot be divided, and the differences that appear to exist among the nations only result from their attachment to prejudice. If only men would search out truth, they would find themselves united.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks 1911-12, p. 131

 

Unity of Mankind

A group of Bahá’í youth, from a diverse range of countries, serving as volunteer staff at the Bahá’í World Centre in Haifa, Israel, 2004. © Bahá’í International Community

“The second principle of Bahá’u’lláh is:

The Unity of Mankind.

The one all-loving God bestows His divine Grace and Favour on all mankind; one and all are servants of the Most High, and His Goodness, Mercy and loving Kindness are showered upon all His creatures. The glory of humanity is the heritage of each one.

All men are the leaves and fruit of one same tree, they are all branches of the tree of Adam, they all have the same origin. The same rain has fallen upon them all, the same warm sun makes them grow, they are all refreshed by the same breeze. The only differences that exist and that keep them apart are these: there are the children who need guidance, the ignorant to be instructed, the sick to be tended and healed; thus, I say that the whole of humanity is enveloped by the Mercy and Grace of God. As the Holy Writings tell us: All men are equal before God.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks 1911-12, pp. 131 – 132

 

Unity of Religion

“The third principle of Bahá’u’lláh is:The sky. Sunrise

Religion should be the Cause of Love and Affection.

Religion should unite all hearts and cause wars and disputes to vanish from the face of the earth, give birth to spirituality, and bring life and light to each heart. If religion becomes a cause of dislike, hatred and division, it were better to be without it, and to withdraw from such a religion would be a truly religious act. For it is clear that the purpose of a remedy is to cure; but if the remedy should only aggravate the complaint it had better be left alone. Any religion which is not a cause of love and unity is no religion. All the holy prophets were as doctors to the soul; they gave prescriptions for the healing of mankind; thus any remedy that causes disease does not come from the great and supreme Physician.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks 1911-12, pp. 132 – 133

The full text of a letter of The Universal House of Justice, addressed To The World’s Religious Leaders may be read here.

 

Unity of Science and Religion

“The fourth principle of Bahá’u’lláh is:iStock_000010062436XSmall

The Unity of Religion and Science.

We may think of science as one wing and religion as the other; a bird needs two wings for flight, one alone would be useless. Any religion that contradicts science or that is opposed to it, is only ignorance — for ignorance is the opposite of knowledge.

Religion which consists only of rites and ceremonies of prejudice is not the truth. Let us earnestly endeavour to be the means of uniting religion and science.

‘Ali, the son-in-law of Muhammad, said: ‘That which is in conformity with science is also in conformity with religion’. Whatever the intelligence of man cannot understand, religion ought not to accept. Religion and science walk hand in hand, and any religion contrary to science is not the truth.”
— ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks 1911-12, p. 133

 

Elimination of Prejudice

“The fifth principle of Bahá’u’lláh is:Flags of different countries

Prejudices of Religion, Race or Sect destroy the foundation of Humanity.

All the divisions in the world, hatred, war and bloodshed, are caused by one or other of these prejudices.

The whole world must be looked upon as one single country, all the nations as one nation, all men as belonging to one race. Religions, races, and nations are all divisions of man’s making only, and are necessary only in his thought; before God there are neither Persians, Arabs, French nor English; God is God for all, and to Him all creation is one. We must obey God, and strive to follow Him by leaving all our prejudices and bringing about peace on earth.”
— ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks 1911-12, p. 134

More on the elimination of prejudice may be read here.

 

Eliminate Extremes of Wealth & Poverty

“The sixth principle of Bahá’u’lláh is:Box of vegetables

Equal opportunity of the means of Existence.

Every human being has the right to live; they have a right to rest, and to a certain amount of well-being. As a rich man is able to live in his palace surrounded by luxury and the greatest comfort, so should a poor man be able to have the necessaries of life. Nobody should die of hunger; everybody should have sufficient clothing; one man should not live in excess while another has no possible means of existence.

Let us try with all the strength we have to bring about happier conditions, so that no single soul may be destitute.”
— ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks 1911-12, pp. 134 – 135

The Bahá’í-inspired Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity statement on “Science, Religion and Development” may be read here.

 

Equality Before the Law

“The seventh principle of Bahá’u’lláh is:

Congressional briefing on international justice

The Equality of Men — equality before the Law.

The Law must reign, and not the individual; thus will the world become a place of beauty and true brotherhood will be realized. Having attained solidarity, men will have found truth.”
— ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks 1911-12, p. 135

 

Universal Peace

United Nations session

The United Nations is a step toward peace.

“The eighth principle of Bahá’u’lláh is:

Universal Peace.

A Supreme Tribunal shall be elected by the peoples and governments of every nation, where members from each country and government shall assemble in unity. All disputes shall be brought before this Court, its mission being to prevent war.”
— ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks 1911-12, p. 135

“The human race, as a distinct, organic unit, has passed through evolutionary stages analogous to the stages of infancy and childhood in the lives of its individual members, and is now in the culminating period of its turbulent adolescence approaching its long-awaited coming of age.”

—The Promise of World Peace

The full text of the letter “The Promise of World Peace” from the Universal House of Justice, addressed to the Peoples of the World, may be read here.

 

Religion is for Spiritual Progress

“The ninth principle of Bahá’u’lláh is:Symbols of the world's religions

That Religion should not concern itself with Political Questions.

Religion is concerned with things of the spirit, politics with things of the world. Religion has to work with the world of thought, whilst the field of politics lies with the world of external conditions.

It is the work of the clergy to educate the people, to instruct them, to give them good advice and teaching so that they may progress spiritually. With political questions they have nothing to do.”
— ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks 1911-12, p. 136

The statement “Reflections on Governance” may be read here.

 

Women Have Equal Rights

“The tenth principle of Bahá’u’lláh is:Haleh and Vida Chapman

Education and Instruction of Women.

Women have equal rights with men upon earth; in religion and society they are a very important element. As long as women are prevented from attaining their highest possibilities, so long will men be unable to achieve the greatness which might be theirs.”
— ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks 1911-12, p. 136

The statement “Two Wings of a Bird” may be read here.
The statement “Advancing Toward the Equality of Women and Men” may be read here.

 

Spiritual Development

“The eleventh principle of Bahá’u’lláh is:

The Power of the Holy Spirit, by which alone Spiritual Development is achieved.

It is only by the breath of the Holy Spirit that spiritual development can come about. No matter how the material world may progress, no matter how splendidly it may adorn itself, it can never be anything but a lifeless body unless the soul is within, for it is the soul that animates the body; the body alone has no real significance. Deprived of the blessings of the Holy Spirit the material body would be inert.

Here are, very briefly explained, some of the principles of Bahá’u’lláh.

In short, it behoves us all to be lovers of truth. Let us seek her in every season and in every country, being careful never to attach ourselves to personalities. Let us see the light wherever it shines, and may we be enabled to recognize the light of truth no matter where it may arise. Let us inhale the perfume of the rose from the midst of thorns which surround it; let us drink the running water from every pure spring.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks 1911-12, p. 136