What do the Baha'i
The Bahai people believe that all faith is unified
in the eyes of God, and that there are certain principles under which
God intended for us to live. Those principles include:
- Racial Unity: Bahai believe that racism hinders the
development of the individual and even entire
communities. It blights human progress, and is
- Emancipation of Women: Denying the equality of women is an
injustice agains half of the world's population and
encourages men to bring harmful attitudes to the workplace
and eventually the world.
- Economic Justice: The disparity between rich and poor is a
source of acute world suffering, and keeps the world
instable and on the brink of war.
- Patriotism within a global perspective: Citizens should be
proud of their countries and their national identities, but
secondarily to the pride of being a human amongst
- Universal education: Bahais believe that historically
ignorance has been a principle reason for the decline of
societies and the perpetuation of prejudice. Baha
scriptures state that every human deserves an education
including the right to learn to read and write.
- Universal language: A common language would make
communicating clearer and more efficient. All people
should learn a common language in addition to their cultural
- Respect for the environment: The exploitation of the
Earth's resources destroys the balance of life and
harmony. Material development should foster not only
the body but the mind and spirit as well.
- World Federal System: The Bahai scripture states that
there should be a global international federation in place
that governs the resources, solves problems and coordinates
resolutions for the entire planet.
- Religious Dialogue: Bahai believe that religious strife
has caused the majority of world war and conflict. The
Bahai believe that all faith comes from God and that all
paths to the divine are cornerstones for interfaith
dialogue. The basis of all faith is love and harmony,
most of which have common values and concerns.
The goals of the Bahai faith are for people
to realize that we live in one humanity and that we are one human family
that should treat each other fairly and with respect. Bahai
believers work toward bringing their principles to fruition with good
deeds and political and charitable enterprises. They work
particularly closely with the United Nations and projects such as
environmental agencies, agricultural improvement projects, vocational
training institutes and rural health care facilities.
Interreligious agencies and advocating and promoting interfaith and
interspiritual dialogue is particularly important to the Bahai
There are three major figures of the Bahai
faith. There is the Bab, Baha'u'llah, and Abdu'l-Baha.
The Bab (meaning The Gate ) was born Mírzá 'Alí Muhammad,
from Shíráz, a part of Iran (then Persia) who had a
vision from God and a message of love and unity among all
people. In May 1844 he began to dispense these ideas to
others and was quickly persecuted, exiled and eventually
executed in 1850.
Baha'u'llah was born Mírzá
Husayn-'Alí and became the next to carry the message of the Bab.
He was similarly imprisoned in Tehran and was moved from prison
to prison until his death in 1892. During his 24 years or
so working toward the Bab's legacy, he formulated the laws and
ordinances wrote over a hundred volumes on the principles
of the faith, proclaimed His Message to kings, rulers both
Christian and Muslim, including the Pope, the Caliph of Islam,
American leaders, the leaders of Shí'ih and Sunní Islam,
and the high priests of the Zoroastrian religion.
Abdu'l-Baha was born the son of Baha'u'llah and was originally
named 'Abbás Effendi and was declared prodigy of Baha in
his early childhood. Abdu'l-Baha also remained imprisoned
until the Young Turk revolution and was released from
confinement in 1908. He spoke in many places including
Europe and America, passing in 1921.
Each of these men wrote and spoke extensively on the principles
of the Bahai and it is these scriptures that are revered most by
the Bahai today.
Shoggi Effendi Rabbani is the grandson of Abdu'l-Baha and is the
Guardian of the Bahai faith. Shoggi Effendi Rabbani died
in 1957 after organizing the faith to be extolled about the
world, with a world centre, a shrine to Bab, and the institution
of the Universal House of Justice.
The Bahai also believe that the words of other
prophets/messengers such as Jesus, Krishna, Mohammed, Zoroaster,
Buddha, and Abraham are just as valid and important to
understand and emmulate.
How do the Bahai celebrate their beliefs? Holidays,
Prayers and Worship
Holidays: Holidays are celebrated from sundown the night before
20 Birth of Bab*
12 Baha'ullahs Birthday*
before fasting time
2-20 Month of Fasting:
21 Naw-Ruz* - New Year.
21-May 4 - Ridvan
of the Báb - May 23
of the Bahá'u'lláh - May 29
Unity Day - June 13
of the Báb - July 9
|Abdu'l-Baha, the Son of Bahá'u'lláh,
wrote the following about the Bahá'i holy days:
"In the sacred laws of God, in every cycle and
dispensation there are blessed feasts, holidays and
workless days. On such days all kinds of occupations,
commerce, industry, agriculture, classes, etc. should be
"All should rejoice together, hold general
meetings, become as one assembly, so that the national
oneness, unity and harmony may be demonstrated in the
eyes of all."
The Bahá'i calendar includes nine holy days, which
all have the significance of major feasts whose
observance is required. Seven of them are joyful days
celebrated by picnics or festal gatherings at which
music, the reading of verses and tablets, and short
addresses suitable to the occasion are contributed by
those present. The anniversaries of the Martyrdom of the
Báb and the Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh are celebrated
with solemnity by appropriate meetings and discourses,
the reading of prayers and tablets. All Bahá'i holy
days run from sundown to sundown.
I tried to learn about what Bahai's actually do during the
holidays, and the best I can learn is that they basically do
what anyone else does on a holiday... spend time with people
they like, eat food they like, listen to music and enjoy... and
observe the day.
and Worship: There are several prayers on this page, and
there are pages that are linked on this site where some
important sacred texts and prayers can be read and learned right
here online. The teachings of the Bahai includes a
detailed journey of knowledge in the spiritual nature of human
beings, and an important emphasis on unifying humanity,
beginning with the love of the family as well as a prescription
for solving the social ills of human society. Bahai people
consist of those who accept the message of the Baha'u'llah.
There are no clergy people, and there is little ritual.
There is not usually a weekly worship service, but rather a
monthly get together often called a Feast, where adherents get
together to pray, discuss, consult on social issues and plan
social activities. Each local community of Bahai elects by
a secret ballot (no campaigning and no nominations) a nine
member assembly which coordinates and administers, as well as
conducts marriages and funerals.
the title to review an online book written by Baha'u'llah about
prayers and meditations. This piece courtesy of Sacred Texts.
Visit more sacred texts at