meaning "Submission to the Will Of God", is the name given in the Qur'án (Koran)
to God's one eternal religion, of which the Revelation of Muhammad represents an
extremely important stage. The Bahá'í Faith appeared from the cradle of Islám in
the same way that Christianity appeared from the cradle of the Jewish Faith.
believe that there is only one God, eternal and indivisible, even though He is
known by many names in different languages. In each age God sends a Messenger
Who reveals the message of God for mankind for that age. This is a process
centuries, many Prophets have told of the Day in which God's Will would finally
prevail on this Earth, and Muhammad was to be the last of these Prophets or
Bahá'ís believe that He carried the title "Seal of the
Prophets" in order to announce to mankind that the next stage would be the
"Great News" of the Day of Judgement.
early 1840s, many Christians were expecting the return of Christ, which they
had calculated according to Biblical prophecy. Some Muslim prophecies also
pointed to the year 1260 A.H. (1844 A.D.) and therefore a group of Muslims in
Iran and Iraq were looking for the return promised by Islám.
A young man
called Siyyid 'Ali-Muhammad declared in Shiraz, Iran, on May 22nd, 1844 (1260
A.H.), that He was the Promised One of Islám - the Mihdi expected by Sunní
Muslims, and the Qáim expected by the Shías. He undertook the pilgrimage
(Hajj) to Mecca, and at the door of the Ka'bah declared three times, to all
that Qa'im whose advent you have been awaiting!"
brought by the Báb was called the Bayán. In it He explained many passages
from the Qur'an and announced new principles for the new age. Immediately,
opposition from religious leaders led to fierce persecution. Over 20,000 devout
believers were killed, and the Báb Himself was executed in 1850.
God's plan promised two blasts on the trumpet on the Day of Judgement:
day, the disturbing trumpet-blast shall disturb it, which the second blast shall
Husayn-'Ali-i-Nurí, known as Bahá'u'lláh, (The Glory of God) was born into a
wealthy family in Iran. He was descended from Abraham, from the Prophet
Zoroaster, and from the Persian king Yazdigird III. He was extremely generous
and kind, and was greatly loved by the poor people of Teheran. Upon reading one
single page of the Writings of the Báb, He declared that the Author of this work
was none other than the Author of the Qur'án, and unhesitatingly gave His
allegiance to the Báb. Because of His high social standing and great popularity,
the clergy did not dare kill Him, although they imprisoned Him and tortured Him.
He was eventually exiled to Iraq, but in Baghdád He built up such a following
that in April 1863 the Sultan of Turkey summoned Him to Constantinople. Before
leaving Baghdád, He declared that He was the Promised One of all religions, Whom
the Báb had foretold, the "Spirit of God" expected by the Sunnís and the return
of the Imám Husayn for the Shías.
Laws For The New Age
It says in
age its Book. What He pleaseth will God abrogate or confirm; for with Him is the
Source of Revelation."
set out laws for the new age in the Kitab-i-Aqdas (The Most Holy Book),
which was revealed when Bahá'u'lláh was enduring His fourth and final exile, in
Akká, in the Holy Land:
not that We have revealed unto you a mere code of laws. Nay, rather, We have
unsealed the choice Wine with the fingers of might and power."
Bahá'u'lláh, like Muhammad and all the Messengers of God before Him, suffered at
the hands of the unbelievers. He passed to the next world in 1892.
promise was that the Day of Judgement would see the unity of mankind:
Lord! For the day of whose coming there is not a doubt, thou wilt surely gather
mankind together. Verily, God will not fail the promise." (Al-Imran-3:9)
teachings of Bahá'u'lláh address aspects of this unity of mankind:
Bahá'u'lláh taught that all the major religions
of the world are from God. They were given to mankind in a pure form, but
mankind has altered them over time.
We should abandon all prejudice of colour,
class and creed. The Islamic concept of brotherhood should be extended to all
Women should have equal rights with men.
Religion should be in harmony with science.
A form of world government will ensure peace
and justice throughout the planet.
All children should have the advantage of
Laws should be enacted which ensure the removal
of the extremes of wealth and poverty.
A world language should be adopted for all
The Unity of Religion
age, God sends a Messenger Who has a specific message for that time. In the
Semitic line, we know of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Other parts of the
world also have divinely-inspired religions. Indeed, the Qur'án tells us that
every people has had a Prophet. It is the Will of God in this age that all His
people should become one in faith. Bahá'ís believe that The Báb and Bahá'u'lláh
were the Holy Ones promised in the revelation of Muhammad. They are the twin
Messengers of the Day of Judgement, and also the Ones Promised in the Scriptures
of the Jews, Christians, Hindus, Zoroastrians and Buddhists. Bahá'u'lláh's
teachings have now been taken to every part of the world, and are bringing
people into unity. Religion has so often divided humanity, but now it will bring
us together. As the Qur'án says:
former and the latter [religions] gathered
shall they all be...."
precisely the purpose of the Bahá'í Faith.
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