The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.
At a time of rapid change in the world today, humanity needs, more than ever, a unified vision of the nature and purpose of our lives and of the future of our society. Such a vision unfolds within the writings of Bahá’u’lláh, the Prophet Founder of the Bahá’í Faith.
The Bahá’í community of the United Kingdom is exploring Bahá'u'lláh’s spiritual teachings with people of all backgrounds and is learning how this vision of the oneness of mankind, best expressed by the principle of unity in diversity, can be translated into action for the betterment of the world.
What Bahá’ís Believe
The purpose of religion as revealed from the heaven of God's holy Will is to establish unity and concord amongst the peoples of the world; make it not the cause of dissension and strife.
Throughout history, God has sent to humanity, according to the needs of the time, a series of Divine Educators, known as Manifestations of God. These Divine Educators include Abraham, Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Jesus, Muhammad, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. Their distinct social and spiritual teachings have guided humanity’s efforts to advance civilisation.
These principles and laws, these firmly-established and mighty systems, have proceeded from one Source, and are the rays of one Light. That they differ one from another is to be attributed to the varying requirements of the ages in which they were promulgated.
Bahá’u’lláh, the most recent of these Divine Educators, teaches that humanity is on a path to maturity, much like an individual who progresses through various stages of development. The current turmoil in the world can be viewed as humanity experiencing the turbulence of adolescence.
The writings of Bahá'u'lláh provide a wealth of spiritual teachings that assist us in progressing on this path towards maturity, and in building a peaceful and unified world.
The Bahá’í teachings explain that God, the Creator of the universe, is beyond the comprehension of the human mind. However, His attributes are reflected in the world around us, and His teachings and guidance are given to humanity through the Divine Educators, or Manifestations of God, who usher in new religious eras and unfold new horizons of human potential.
The Bahá’í Faith was founded in 19th century Iran by Bahá’u’lláh, whose title means the Glory of God. Bahá’ís believe that Bahá’u’lláh is the latest in a series of divinely inspired educators, including, Krishna, Buddha, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, entrusted by God to guide the spiritual, moral and social life of humanity..
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The UK Bahá’í Community
The Bahá’í community of the UK consists of approximately 7000 individuals coming from all backgrounds, and living across all regions of the UK. The Bahá’í community, along with likeminded friends, neighbours and colleagues, is dedicated to working with all peoples to contribute to the spiritual and material progress of society.
Prayer and Worship
Prayer is central to the life of Bahá’ís. Baha’is pray daily, as well as gather regularly to worship and reflect with their friends and neighbours in a diverse array of neighbourhoods and villages across the country. These gatherings engender a collective spirit of solidarity and service to the community.
Service to Humanity
Bahá’u’lláh's vision of a united, just, equitable and prosperous world, requires more than high ideals and lofty words. As such, Bahá’u’lláhs teachings call upon Bahá’ís to work together with their neighbours, friends and colleagues, to identify and carry out acts of service to better their communities and society.
Only through education, Bahá'ís believe, can each individual achieve their potential. This education, however, must be both intellectual and spiritual. It is to this end that the Bahá'í community has been developing educational programmes aimed at unlocking the capacities of children, youth and adults, from all backgrounds, to contribute to social progress.
There are no clergy in the Bahá’í faith. The affairs of the Bahá’í community are administered by an elected Local Spiritual Assembly and a National Spiritual Assembly, with elections taking place once a year. The worldwide Bahá’í community receives guidance from the Universal House of Justice, which is elected every five years and resides in the Bahá’í World Centre in Haifa, Israel.
Bahá’ís commemorate 11 Holy Days throughout the year. Whilst there are no cultural traditions as to how these days are celebrated, Bahá’ís do suspend work on nine of these days. This year is particularly significant in that it marks 200 years since the birth of Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith.