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Notes:
Based on a course given at the Hawaiian Bahá'í Summer School 1965 and 1973. Revised edition, 2000.

Six Lessons on Bahá'í Law:
A Deepening Course for Bahá'ís

compiled by John Cornell and Beatrice Rinde.
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the Hawaiian Islands, 1974

SIX LESSONS ON BAHÁ'Í LAW

TABLE OF CONTENTS
 


Introduction Purpose of this Course

LESSON I The Bahá'í Faith Has Principles and Laws
How Many Principles?
Kinds of Principles
Some Spiritual Principles
Some Administrative Principles
Secondary Principles
The Bahá'í Faith Opposes Wrong Principles
Kinds of Law
Why Do We Need Law?
America's Mission Regarding Law
Why America?
Following Bahá'í Law
All Mankind Subject to Law of Bahá'í
Law in Prophecy

LESSON II Justice and Mercy
Mercy
Limitations on Mercy
Justice: Purpose
Justice Must Be Based on Facts
Justice: Reward and Punishment
The Most Great Justice
Justice by Individuals
Equality
Equity

LESSON III Laws for the Individual
Prohibitions
Prayer
Fasting
Qiblih
Huqúqu'lláh
Inheritance
Education
Pilgrimage
Obligation to Work
Mendicancy
Theft and Entering without Permission
Confession

LESSON IV Laws for Society
Consultation
Consultation with Experts
Nineteen Day Feast
The Mashriqu'l-Adhkar
Institutions Must Obey and Enforce Bahá'í Laws and Principles
Punishment
Matters of Personal Status
Marriage
Divorce

LESSON V Jurisdiction
Definition
The Administrative Order
Guardianship
Hands of the Cause
Supreme House of Justice
Secondary House of Justice
Local Spiritual Assembly
Geographical Jurisdiction
Individual Rights
Asking for Rights

LESSON VI Relation to Civil Law
Obedience to Government
Legal Standing: Incorporation
House of Justice Temporarily Named "Spiritual Assembly"
Definition of "Spiritual" in Legal Terminology
Use of "Spiritual Court" in Law Literature
Settlement of Disputes
Mediation and Conciliation
Arbitration


PURPOSE OF THIS COURSE

    "The teaching of the Administration is ... an indispensable feature of every Bahá’i Summer School and its special significance can be better understood if we realize the great need of every believer today for a more adequate understanding of the social principles and laws of the Faith."

    (Written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Centers of Bahá’i Learning, p.8)


    It is a vital and urgent duty of the Assemblies, both national and local, not only to apply the Laws of Bahá'í with justice and firmness, but to increase the believers' understanding of and devotion to these Laws. In this way they will obey them not through fear of punishment but out of love for Bahá’u’llah and because their whole lives have been transformed and reoriented in the Way of God.

    (Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 343)


    The youthful Bahá’i community of the United States is seeking its moral birthright as the laws of Bahá’u’llah replace the usual Judeo-Christian background of the members.... full understanding of the meaning and implications of the laws surrounding marriage and the family is imperative.... Local spiritual assemblies will grow to new maturity as they become true educators of the Bahá’i community, as they help to solve the personal problems of their members, and as they with justice ... protect and validate the Bahá’i law.

    (NSA of the US, Annual Reports 1963-64, p. 7)


BAHÁ'Í WORKS CITED
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WOB -
Shoghi Effendi: Advent of Divine Justice
Bahá'í News
J.E. Esslemont: Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era
Compilation: Bahá'í World Faith
Shoghi Effendi: Centers of Bahá'í Learning
Nabíl-i-A'zam: Dawn-Breakers
Shoghi Effendi: Directives of the Guardian
Shoghi Effendi: Dawn of a New Day
Bahá'u'lláh: Epistle to the Son of the Wolf
Shoghi Effendi: Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, The
Shoghi Effendi: God Passes By
Bahá'u'lláh: Gleaning from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh
Bahá'u'lláh: Kitáb-i-Aqdas
Bahá'u'lláh: Kitáb-i-Íqán
Compilation: Lights of Guidance
Light of the Pacific
Shoghi Effendi: Messages to America
Shoghi Effendi: Messages to the Bahá'í World
Universal House of Justice: Messages from Universal House of Justice
Shoghi Effendi: National Bahá'í Review
Bahá'u'lláh: Prayers and Meditations
Shoghi Effendi: Principles of Bahá'í Administration
Bahá'u'lláh: The Promised Day is Come
'Abdu'l-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace
'Abdu'l-Bahá: Some Answered Questions
'Abdu'l-Bahá: Secret of Divine Civilisation
Star of the West
'Abdu'l-Bahá: Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá
'Abdu'l-Bahá: Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá
Bahá'u'lláh: Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh
'Abdu'l-Bahá: Will and Testament
Shoghi Effendi: World Order of Bahá'u'lláh

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