The central principle of Bahá’u’lláh is the oneness of humanity. It is the hallmark of Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation and of His teachings.
Bahá’u’lláh taught that there is one God, Who has sent a succession of divine educators in the form of Prophets (or “Manifestations” of God), and the teachings of these Messengers have been the chief civilizing force in human society.
All of the great religions come from the same divine source, like a series of chapters in a book, and they have the same essential purpose: to guide and educate the peoples of the world.
Bahá’ís believe that humanity, after a long and turbulent adolescence, is reaching a stage of maturity in which its unification into a global and just society can finally be realized.
Some Bahá’í principles
All humanity is one.
The Bahá’í teachings emphasize that all of us, as creations of one God, are part of one human family.
Bahá’u’lláh said, “The tabernacle of unity hath been raised; regard ye not one another as strangers. Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch.”
People of nearly every background, in every nation, have become Bahá’ís.
There is one God.
The Bahá’í belief in one God means that the universe and all creatures and forces within it have been created by a single supernatural Being.
Such designations as God, Allah, Yahweh, and Brahma all refer to the same divine Being, Whose nature is unknowable and inaccessible to humankind. We learn about God through His Messengers, who teach and guide humanity.
All of the major religions come from God.
Bahá’ís believe in the oneness of all religions; they all come from one God. The purpose of all religions is to guide and educate humanity.
Religion continually evolves, and each particular religious system represents a stage in the evolution of the whole.
God reveals His will through a series of divine Messengers, the content of Whose messages addresses the requirements of the age in which they appear.
Women and men are equal.
Bahá’ís view equality between women and men and the full participation of women in every field of human endeavour as essential prerequisites to human progress.
Women and men are equal pillars of society; the weakness of one pillar results in fragility of the entire edifice.
Thus, inequality between women and men delays not only the advancement of women, but also the progress of society itself.
All prejudice—racial, religious, national, and economic—is destructive and must be overcome.
Bahá’u’lláh devoted special attention to the problem of prejudice. At the heart of His message is a call for mutual understanding and fellowship among all nations, cultures, and peoples.
All people, Bahá’u’lláh teaches, are created equal and noble. Thinking of one as being superior to others is destructive and leads to disunity and oppression.Therefore, prejudice—whether based on race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, or social or economic background—must be overcome if humanity is to create a peaceful and just global society.
We must investigate truth for ourselves.
Bahá’u’lláh emphasized the fundamental obligation of human beings to acquire knowledge with their “own eyes and not through the eyes of others.”
Every individual has a moral responsibility to use their capacity for reason to find the truth. It is also our moral obligation as human beings to refrain from accepting the opinions and ideas of others without questioning them, whether out of admiration for or fear of those who espouse them. Such attachments can, in turn, lead to conflict and discord.
The independent search for truth enables individuals to differentiate truth from falsehood.
Science and religion are in harmony.
The Bahá’í teachings stress the fundamental harmony of science and religion—two systems of knowledge that are mutually reinforcing and both of which are necessary for the advancement of humanity.
Science and religion both describe one reality, or truth. Contradictions between science and traditional religious beliefs are, in fact, often attributable to human fallibility and egotism.
The Bahá’í Faith teaches that, in the absence of science, religion soon degenerates into superstition and fanaticism, while science without religion becomes merely the instrument of materialism and that, unchecked, material progress will not lead to true prosperity.
Access to knowledge and education must be universal.
According to the Bahá’í Faith, education must be accessible to all, irrespective of one’s social status or background.
Knowledge plays a central role in human life. The process of generating and applying knowledge lies at the heart of civilization and is the source of the advancement of society. Lack of education and ignorance are primarily responsible for social regression and persistent prejudice.
It is essential that education addresses the material, social and spiritual dimensions of human development. Educational processes should foster both individual and collective transformation and should be designed to stimulate learning and action. As well, service to society should be considered an essential component of education.
The extremes of wealth and poverty must be eliminated.
The Bahá’í vision of economic justice anticipates a society that prevents, among other injustices, the control of wealth in the hands of a few and extremes of wealth and poverty.
The Bahá’í teachings maintain that economic justice and global prosperity will be achieved only when the essential connection between the spiritual and practical aspects of life is recognized.
The question of human nature has an important place in this process of change. We must re-examine our identity as human beings and our purpose in life at the deepest levels.
Material advancement is not an end in itself but rather a vehicle for moral, spiritual, and social progress. Economic processes that are driven by self-interest and that exclude considerations such as justice, service to the common good, and sacrifice are not sustainable.
Thus, any effort to fundamentally improve the economic relationships in society needs to go hand in hand with moral development.
The family and its unity are essential for building a healthy society.
Bahá’u’lláh came to bring unity to the world, and a fundamental unity is that of the family. Bahá’ís understand that the family is the basic unit of society, and unless families are healthy and unified, society itself cannot be so.
In the Bahá’í writings, we find the statement, “If love and agreement are manifest in a single family, that family will advance, become illumined and spiritual.”