Founded 169 years ago, the Bahá’í Faith is today among the fastest-growing of the world’s religions. With up to seven million or more followers, who reside in virtually every nation on earth, it is the second-most widespread faith, surpassing every religion but Christianity in its geographic reach. Bahá’ís reside in more than 100,000 localities around the world, an expansion that reflects their dedication to the ideal of world citizenship.
The Baha’i Faith’s teachings embody the idea of hospitality in every way, be that personal, institutional or intellectual, and can be seen in the following quotes from it’s scripture:
Enkindle with all your might in every meeting the light of the love of God,
gladden and cheer every heart with the utmost loving-kindness,
show forth your love to the strangers just as you show forth to your relations.
If a soul is seeking to quarrel, ask ye for reconciliation;
if he blame you, praise him;
if he give you a deadly poison, bestow ye an all-healing antidote;
if he createth death, administer ye eternal life;
if he becometh a thorn, change ye into roses and hyacinths.
Perchance, through such deeds and words, this darkened world will become illuminated, this terrestrial universe will become transformed into a heavenly realm, and this satanic prison become a divine court; warfare and bloodshed be annihilated, and love and faithfulness hoist the tent of unity upon the apex of the world.
(Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 353)
Beware! Beware! Lest ye offend any heart!
Beware! Beware! Lest ye hurt any soul!
Beware! Beware! Lest ye deal unkindly toward any
Beware! Beware! Lest ye be the cause of hopelessness
to any creature!
Should one become the cause of grief to any one heart,
or of despondency to any one soul, it were better to hide
oneself in the lowest depths of the earth than to walk upon
(Letters of Abdu’l-Baha)
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. He Who is the Day Star of Truth beareth Me witness! So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. The one true God, He Who knoweth all things, Himself testifieth to the truth of these words.
(Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 288)
God has created all humanity. God has not originally created Frenchmen, Englishmen, Americans, Germans, Italians or Spaniards. There is no difference as regards creation and kind; all belong to one household; all are the leaves of one tree; all are the fruits of one branch; all are the flowers of the same garden; all are the waves of the same sea.
(Compilations, Baha’i Scriptures, p. 313)
The second Taraz is to consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship, to proclaim that which the Speaker on Sinai hath set forth and to observe fairness in all matters.
(Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 35)
“Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship.” Whatsoever hath led the children of men to shun one another, and hath caused dissensions and divisions amongst them, hath, through the revelation of these words, been nullified and abolished.
(Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 94)
The Great Being saith: 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. Suffer it not to become a source of dissension and discord, of hate and enmity.
(Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 215)
That the divers communions of the earth, and the manifold systems of religious belief, should never be allowed to foster the feelings of animosity among men, is, in this Day, of the essence of the Faith of God and His Religion. These principles and laws, these firmly-established and mighty systems, have proceeded from one Source, and are the rays of one Light. That they differ one from another is to be attributed to the varying requirements of the ages in which they were promulgated.
(Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 287)
The third Tajalli is concerning arts, crafts and sciences. Knowledge is as wings to man’s life, and a ladder for his ascent. Its acquisition is incumbent upon everyone. The knowledge of such sciences, however, should be acquired as can profit the peoples of the earth, and not those which begin with words and end with words. Great indeed is the claim of scientists and craftsmen on the peoples of the world.
(Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 51)
Fourthly: Religion and Science are inter-twined with each other and cannot be separated. These are the two wings with which humanity must fly. One wing is not enough. Every religion which does not concern itself with Science is mere tradition, and that is not the essential. Therefore science, education and civilization are most important necessities for the full religious life.
(Abdu’l-Baha, Abdu’l-Baha in London, p. 28)
The Baha’i Faith believes in the following:
- One God
- The Oneness of Mankind
- The Independent Investigation of Truth
- The oneness of religion – that they all come from God
- The harmony of science and religion
- The equality of men and women
- The elimination of prejudices of all kinds
- Universal compulsory education
- A spiritual solution to the economic problems of the world
- A universal auxiliary language
- World peace upheld by a world representative government
For further information go to:
John Suggs (Hospitality Initiative Steering Committee)