Strain every nerve to acquire both inner and outer perfections, for the fruit of the human tree hath ever been and will ever be perfections both within and without. It is not desirable that a man be left without knowledge or skills, for he is then but a barren tree. Then, so much as capacity and capability allow, ye needs must deck the tree of being with fruits such as knowledge, wisdom, spiritual perception and eloquent speech. Baha’I writings
From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh
Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom.
Drug and alcohol abuse has assumed epidemic proportions in various parts of the world. Health-care professionals are combating this epidemic, but the task of preventing drug abuse remains a challenge to all sectors of society. Thousands of people of all ages are subjecting themselves to the harmful influences of drugs. They do so out of curiosity. for pleasure, or in order to deal with stressful events or painful experiences.
With the advent of modern civilization, human expectations regarding security and comfort have increased. Those expectations have been complicated, however, by a rise in social stress and uncertainty. Widespread problems related to the abuse of drugs and alcohol, particularly among youth, reflect this development and indicate that many individuals are suffering from an internal crisis.
The best beloved of all things in my sight is Justice. – Baha’u’llah
That which traineth the world is Justice, for it is upheld by two pillars, reward and punishment. –Baha’u’llah
In sum, the proper functioning of the body politic depend on justice and not forgiveness. Abdu’lBaha
The Baha’i teachings strongly advocate justice—but some people tend to confuse justice with vengeance. When one has suffered greatly at the hands of another, they often want to exact retribution and ensure the perpetrator faces similar torment in return. So although the Baha’i teachings emphasize the building of a just society, they also make clear that no punishment should ever seek revenge:
Work is a universal and essential aspect of human existence. Through work, people obtain the means of sustenance and realise many of their potentialities. “The best of men are they that earn a livelihood by their calling and spend upon themselves and upon their kindred for the love of God, the Lord of all worlds.”
Work is indispensable to progress and the generation of wealth—not just for oneself, but for all the peoples of the world. Personal wealth is acceptable if it is earned through honest work and its acquisition is not the cause of the impoverishment of others.
May you all be united, may you be agreed, may you serve the solidarity of mankind. May you be well-wishers of all humanity. May you be assistants of every poor one. May you be nurses for the sick. May you be sources of comfort to the broken in heart. May you be a refuge for the wanderer. May you be a source of courage to the affrighted one. Thus, through the favor and assistance of God may the standard of the happiness of humanity be held aloft in the center of the world and the ensign of universal agreement be unfurled. - Abdu'l-Baha,
Be united, O kings of the earth, for thereby will the tempest of discord be stilled amongst you, and your peoples find rest, if ye be of them that comprehend... Should anyone seek refuge with you, extend unto him your protection and betray him not. - Baha'u'llah
Conflict-related sexual violence
The Baha'i teachings advocate—that achieving gender equality helps in preventing conflict and reducing violence:
… the principle of the oneness of mankind is described in the Baha'i Writings as the pivot round which all the Teachings of Baha'u'llah revolve. It has widespread implications which affect and remold all dimensions of human activity. It calls for a fundamental change in the manner in which people relate to each other, and the eradication of those age-old practices which deny the intrinsic human right of every individual to be treated with consideration and respect.
"O ye lovers of God! In this, the cycle of Almighty God, violence and force, constraint and oppression, are one and all condemned."
Let those who, driven by their passions or by their inability to exercise discipline in the control of their anger, might be tempted to inflict violence on another human being, be mindful of the condemnation of such disgraceful behaviour by the Revelation of Baha'u'llah. - The Universal House of Justice
The Bahá’í Statement on Nature
“Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. Its manifestations are diversified by varying causes, and in this diversity there are signs for men of discernment. Nature is God's Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. It is a dispensation of Providence ordained by the Ordainer, the All-Wise.”Bahá'í Writings
With those words, Bahá'u'lláh, Prophet-Founder of the Bahá'í Faith, outlines the essential relationship between man and the environment: that the grandeur and diversity of the natural world are purposeful reflections of the majesty and bounty of God. For Bahá'ís, there follows an implicit understanding that nature is to be respected and protected, as a divine trust for which we are answerable
Bahá'í Perspective on Spiritual Aspects of Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development:
Attempt is to encourage a discourse on the spiritual value of cultural diversity and how such It will be suggested that the fundamental principle that underpins the maturation of sustainable development policy is a spiritually and materially integrated understanding of the value of humans, their cultures and the environment in which they live.
…every Faith has given rise to a culture which flowered in different forms…
The fundamental principle of the oneness of mankind, and the aim of the Faith to promote unity in diversity, underlie the Bahá'í approach to indigenous peoples. Their rights are inseparable from human rights for all, and the Bahá'í Faith upholds the right of indigenous peoples to develop and take pride in their own identity, culture and language.
The Baha'i Faith offers humanity a plan to bring about not only an end to war, but a lasting global peace.
Isn’t that, after all, what a religion is supposed to do?
The central purpose of the divine religions is the establishment of peace and unity among mankind. Their reality is one; therefore, their accomplishment is one and universal—whether it be through the essential or material ordinances of God. There is but one light of the material sun, one ocean, one rain, one atmosphere. Similarly, in the spiritual world there is one divine reality forming the center and altruistic basis for peace and reconciliation among various and conflicting nations and peoples.
- Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 98.
A Baha'i Perspective
The Family As The First Community.
Though most societies and cultures recognize the family as a necessary and fundamental unit, many changes are occurring to threaten its well-being and the happiness of its members. The family is a microcosm of the world, and its unity must be preserved if the unity and peace of our planet is to be realized.
The Baha'i Writings place great emphasis on the nobility of human beings and the importance of each person acquiring the highest qualities in order to serve his or her best interest, as well as those of humanity. Therefore in Baha'i communities worldwide, new teachings and principles bearing on the equality of men and women, the true and ultimate purpose of marriage and of family life, the relationship of members of the family to each other and to society at large, and the education of children have been accepted and are being implemented.
Baha’is exalt and honor the profession of journalism. Abdu’l-Baha, interviewed by Western journalists many times, said “We may ascertain the progress or retrogression of a nation by its journalism,” and “Journalists must write significant articles, articles that shall foster the public welfare. If they do so they will be the first agents for the development of the community.”
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.
Those festive, joyous holidays the worldwide Baha’i community celebrates between April 21st and May 2nd every year — provides the occasion for the holiest and happiest days of the Baha’i year.
The Ridvan Festival commemorates the anniversary of the garden sojourn where Baha’u’llah declared His mission outside Baghdad during the twelve days before His banishment to Istanbul (then called Constantinople) in 1863. Baha’u’llah had been exiled to Baghdad ten years earlier in 1853 by a Persian government that feared the rapid spread of His teachings and their progressive impact on society; and now, because His teachings continued to spread and threaten the clerics, Baha’u’llah was being sent into further exile as a result of pressure from that same government.
The Bahá’ís of Botswana join our fellow countrymen in standing up in the fight against inhumane acts of violence against any members of our society.
Gender based violence has become so deeply entrenched in the world. It is a symptomatic manifestation of a chronic disease affecting our society. The Bahá’í community believes that this disease from which our progress and prosperity is so severely crippled is, in part due to the failure to recognise the equality of men and women.
The writings of the Baha’i Faith provide a conceptual framework that encourages the involvement of women in the scientific endeavor and delineates the unique qualities that women can bring to the sciences. Through examining the lives of early women scientists whose contributions revolutionized their field one can glimpse those unique qualities in action.
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.
FOR MORE INFORMATION