Principles of Bahá’u’lláh as Expounded by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Original English

Principles of Bahá’u’lláh as Expounded by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

The sun of reality has risen from the eastern horizon. Its light and heat are being felt in all regions.

Just as the rays of the phenomenal sun are infinite, likewise the rays of the sun of reality are infinite. The following summary contains but a few of the rays which may be likened unto great principles shining into the consciousness of man.

1. The first is the independent investigation of reality.

2. The second is the banishment of all prejudice.
3. The third is the oneness of the world of humanity.
4. The fourth is the oneness of the foundation of all religions.
5. The fifth is the unity of science and religion.
6. The sixth is the universal auxiliary language.
7. The seventh is universal education.
8. The eighth is the equality of the sexes.
9. The ninth is the parliament of man.
10. The tenth is universal peace.[pg 25]

1. Independent Investigation Of Reality

Discover for yourselves the reality of things, and strive to assimilate the methods by which noble-mindedness and glory are attained among the nations and people of the world.

No man should follow blindly his ancestors and forefathers. Nay, each must see with his own eyes, hear with his own ears and investigate independently in order that he may find the truth. The religion of forefathers and ancestors is based upon blind imitation. Man should investigate reality.

2. Abandonment of All Prejudice

O people, make firm the girdle of endeavor, that perchance religious prejudice may be annulled. For love of God and his servants engage in this great and mighty matter. Religious hatred and rancor is a world-consuming fire, and the quenching thereof most arduous, unless the hand of divine might give men deliverance from this unfruitful calamity.

Beware of prejudice; light is good in whatsoever lamp it is burning. A rose is beautiful in whatsoever garden it may bloom. A star has the same radiance if it shines from the east or the west.

All the prophets of God have come to unite the children of men and not to disperse them; to put in action the law of love and not enmity.

We must banish prejudice. Religious, patriotic, racial prejudices must disappear, for they are the destroyers of human society.

We must become the cause of the unity of the human race.

3. The Oneness of the World of Humanity

White doves and gray doves associate with each other in perfect friendship. Man draws imaginary lines on the planet and says, “This is a Frenchman, a Musselman, an Italian!” Upon these differences wars are waged. Men are fighting for the possession of the earth. They fight for that which becomes their graves, their cemeteries, their tombs.

In reality all are members of one human family — children of one Heavenly Father. Humanity may be likened[pg 26] unto the vari-colored flowers of one garden. There is unity in diversity. Each sets off and enhances the other’s beauty.

4. The Foundation of all Religions is One

The foundation underlying all the divine precepts is one reality. It must needs be reality and reality is one. Therefore the foundation of the divine religions is one. But we can see that certain forms and ceremonies have crept in. They are heretical, they are accidental, because they differ, hence they cause differences among religions. If we set aside all superstitions and see the reality of the foundation we shall all agree, because religion is one and not multiple.

5. Religion Must be in Accord with Science and Reason

Religion must agree with science, so that science shall sustain religion and religion explain science. The two must be brought together, indissolubly, in reality. Down to the present day it has been customary for man to accept blindly what was called religion, even though it were not in accord with human reason.

6. A Universal Language

A universal language shall be adopted and taught in the schools and academies of the world. A committee appointed by the national bodies shall select a suitable language to be used as a means of international communication.

Every one will need but two languages, his national tongue and the universal language. All will acquire the international language.

7. Universal Education

Partaking of knowledge and education is one of the requisites of religion. The education of each child is obligatory. If there are no parents, the community must look after the child. It is suggested that the childless educate a child.

It is incumbent on every one to engage in some occupation, such as arts, trades, and the like. We have made[pg 27] this — your occupation — identical with the worship of God, the true one. Reflect, O people, upon the mercy of God and upon his favors, then thank him in mornings and evenings.

8. Equality Between Men and Women

This is peculiar to the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. Former religious systems placed men above women. Daughters and sons must follow the same form of study and acquire a uniform education. One course of education promotes unity among mankind.

9. An International Tribunal

The true civilization will raise its banner when some noble kings of big ambitions, the bright suns of the world of humanitarian enthusiasm, shall, for the good and happiness of all the human race, step forth with firm resolution and keen mind and hold a conference on the question of universal peace; when keeping fast hold of the means of enforcing their views they shall establish a union of the states of the world, and conclude a definite treaty and strict alliance between them upon conditions not to be evaded. When the whole human race has been consulted through their representatives and invited to corroborate this treaty which verily will be accounted sacred by all the peoples of the earth, it will be the duty of the united powers of the world to see that this great treaty shall endure.

A reflection of this parliament of man will be established in each community and called the “house of justice.” Its members will be chosen for their attribute of justice, and all matters pertaining to the community interests will be brought here for consultation.

10. Universal Peace

All men and nations shall make peace. There shall be universal peace amongst governments, universal peace amongst religions, universal peace amongst races, universal peace amongst the denizens of all regions. Today in the world of humanity the most important matter is the question of universal peace.[pg 28]