Bahá’u’lláh teaches that all the world’s major faiths come from the same Divine Source. This does not mean they are all exactly the same. Rather, God has sent a series of Divine Educators, Whose purpose is to guide humankind. The faiths established by these Educators represent successive stages in the spiritual evolution of human society.
The All-Knowing Physician hath His finger on the pulse of mankind. He perceiveth the disease, and prescribeth, in His unerring wisdom, the remedy. Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require. Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and centre your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements. Bahá’u’llá
Teachings for a peaceful society
When we look around us, we see a world filled with conflict, injustice and inequality. Society’s attempts at fixing these problems have fallen short because without a unified vision, we are only able to treat the symptoms, not the cause.
Bahá’u’lláh compared the world of humanity to the human body. Within this body, millions of cells, each with a different function, plays a part in maintaining a healthy system. Just as a healthy human body would never pit one part of itself against another, different parts of humanity cannot be in conflict with each other and expect to advance and prosper.
For thousands of years we have had bloodshed and strife. It is enough; it is sufficient. Now is the time to associate together in love and harmony. For thousands of years we have tried the sword and warfare; let mankind for a time at least live in peace. Review history and consider how much savagery, how much bloodshed and battle the world has witnessed. It has been either religious warfare, political warfare or some other clash of human interests. The world of humanity has never enjoyed the blessing of Universal Peace … God has created us all human and all countries of the world are parts of the same globe. We are all his servants. He is kind and just to all. Why should we be unkind and unjust to each other? He provides for all. Why should we deprive one another? He protects and preserves all. Why should we kill our fellow-creatures? – Abdu’l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 50.
Humanity now has within its grasp the tools and knowledge to achieve unity. As a global society we must come together and, like the cells of a healthy body, contribute to the material, social and spiritual well-being of every member of the human family.
We can treat the root cause of the world’s problems by faithfully applying fundamental principles like the equality of women and men, the harmony of religion and science, the centrality of justice to all human endeavours, and universal education. The same principles can be applied at the level of our local communities by each of us developing the attitudes, beliefs and skills for fostering unity.
“The well-being of mankind,” Bahá’u’lláh wrote more than a century ago, “its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.
In observing that “mankind is groaning, is dying to be led to unity, and to terminate its age-long martyrdom”, Shoghi Effendi further commented that: “Unification of the whole of mankind is the hall-mark of the stage which human society is now approaching. Unity of family, of tribe, of city-state, and nation have been successively attempted and fully established. World unity is the goal towards which a harassed humanity is striving. Nation-building has come to an end. The anarchy inherent in state sovereignty is moving towards a climax. A world, growing to maturity, must abandon this fetish, recognize the oneness and wholeness of human relationships, and establish once for all the machinery that can best incarnate this fundamental principle of its life.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the son of Bahá’u’lláh and authorized interpreter of his teachings, offered these insights: “They must make the Cause of Peace the object of general consultation, and seek by every means in their power to establish a Union of the nations of the world. They must conclude a binding treaty and establish a covenant, the provisions of which shall be sound, inviolable and definite. They must proclaim it to all the world and obtain for it the sanction of all the human race. This supreme and noble undertaking—the real source of the peace and well-being of all the world—should be regarded as sacred by all that dwell on earth. All the forces of humanity must be mobilized to ensure the stability and permanence of this Most Great Covenant. In this all-embracing Pact the limits and frontiers of each and every nation should be clearly fixed, the principles underlying the relations of governments towards one another definitely laid down, and all international agreements and obligations ascertained. In like manner, the size of the armaments of every government should be strictly limited, for if the preparations for war and the military forces of any nation should be allowed to increase, they will arouse the suspicion of others. The fundamental principle underlying this solemn Pact should be so fixed that if any government later violate any one of its provisions, all the governments on earth should arise to reduce it to utter submission, nay the human race as a whole should resolve, with every power at its disposal, to destroy that government. Should this greatest of all remedies be applied to the sick body of the world, it will assuredly recover from its ills and will remain eternally safe and secure.”
The Bahá’ís of Botswana
Bahá’ís of Botswana
Bahá’í communities are working together with their neighbours and friends to promote and contribute to the well-being and progress of society. In urban centres and rural villages, in homes and schools, citizens of all backgrounds, classes and ages are participating in a dynamic pattern of life, taking part in activities which are, at once, spiritual, social and educational.
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