08 November 2001


The Earth is but one country, and Humankind is its citizenry...
These words of Mirza Husayn-'Ali-i-Nuri (1817-1892), known to Baha'is as the Baha'u'llah (Glory of God) summarize the thrust of the Baha'i faith toward the unity of all humankind. He was preceded by his mentor, Siyyid 'Ali-Muhammad (1819-1850), who declared himself to be the Bab (Gate) after a Shi'ite Muslim concept, on May 23, 1844 in Shiraz, Persia (now Iran). The Baha'is consider this event to be the founding of their religion, which is as different from its origins in Islam as Islam is from its orgins in Judaism and Christiantity.

In 1866, after years of persecution (both the Bab and the Baha'u'llah were imprisoned, and the Bab was executed in 1850), the Baha'u'llah declared himself to be the new Messenger of God for this age, whose coming had been predicted by the Bab. He left the world a large number of writings, including The Kitáb-i-Aqdas (The Most Holy Book), and the Kitáb-i-Íqán (The Book of Certitude) as major theological works, and the Hidden Words and the Seven Valleys as mystical treatises. He died under imprisonment in Akka in what was then the Ottoman Empire, but is now Israel. The Baha'u'llah left a will which made his eldest son, Abbas Effendi, also known as Abdu'l Baha (Servant of Baha) the next leader of the Baha'i faith. He eventually passed leadership to his eldest grandson, Shoghi Effendi.

After him, leadership has passed to the Universal House of Justice, currently located in Israel.
Baha'i worship takes place in the homes of individual Baha'is or rented quarters. There are seven Baha'i temples in the world (one for each continent). Baha'is believe that the scriptures of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and other religions are sacred, and that the Prophets sent by God for each Age include Adam, Krishna, Buddha, Y'shua of Nazareth (Jesus), Muhammad, the Bab and the Baha'u'llah. Baha'is do not have clergy.

The Baha'is
Baha'i Faith on Wikipedia
Baha'i Faith in the US
About.com: Baha'i

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