Religions beliefs shape peoples characters and influence their interpersonal relationships. The Bahai faith is one of today’s many religions that is attracting people from all nations. To date it has attracted over 5 million followers . The name Bahai is derived from the Arabic word Baha which means ‘ glory’. “ The Bahai Faith has its roots way back in the 19th century in Persia when Baha ‘u’ llah; who is considered the founder of the faith, wrote books that based the foundations of the faith. ” Bahai therefore emphasizes on spirituality for all human beings.
The religion is mainly a draws its principles from the major religions in the world like Christianity, Islam, Jewish, Buddhism and Hindu. Basic Beliefs of the faith In this religion, there are no clergy people as because they believe that God is in control of everything and no individual can have power over other people. “ Therefore, the duty to develop human resources, attract more people to the faith and to coordinate activities of the religion by ensuring that everything is in order among other spiritually building activities falls on the spiritual assembly.
” These are individuals who have been elected by the followers to serve others and offer guidance on the Bahai principles. Thus, these institutions are run according to the Bahai texts. Spiritual assemblies therefore exist at the local as well as national levels. Every adult is considered as a spiritual leader as they can instill positive values to other members of the community by interacting with them. Oneness of all religions The foundation of all religions in the world are based on the same fundamental principles such as love, serving each other, believe in one God among other things.
This shows that they are one when looked from a different point of view and it is this idea and principle the Bahai is all about. “ Human thinking and certain superstitions have clouded they way they relate with others and this has contributed to the divisions in society and the decay of civilization. ” Therefore the ideal spirituality is founded in harmonizing the various beliefs which are founded in both religion andsciencein one unified religion. “ The Bahai faith has therefore incorporated the Western as well as the Eastern traditions in its teachings and laws.
” The Bahai followers do not have a standard way of enrolling people to the movement. This is because they are made up of people from various denominations and sects who seek to fid fulfillment in a religion that gives them the peace and love that they cannot get from other places. Science and Religion Science and certain religions have always contradicted themselves in a number of issues. This is mostly seen where it is believed that God created human beings while science on the other hand states that human beings evolved.
The Bahai faith says that real science as well as religion is not supposed to contradict each other and that the two depend on each other. If people concentrate on one aspect and disregard the others, they will lack certain important elements which can contribute to negative behavior. This is because each enhances in explaining why, when and how certain things occur. The Bahai scholars say that if there are any cases of conflict, then it is because of human miscalculations as everything on earth is supposed to be in unison.
By understanding how things happen, people become more knowledgeable and this goes to show the importance of the harmony between science and religion. Adherents to the Bahai teachings believe in making the world a better place to live in hence the Bahai Religious movement tries to link people of all backgrounds which include the different religions plus races so as to enhance international understanding. They believe in one God who is the creator of everything that is on earth and who communicates with his people through messengers.
They refer to him as being all powerful and for this reason, no one on this earth who can be likened to him or take his place. God therefore serves as an example of good deeds that other human beings can emulate. The followers therefore have to continually learn to love and serve him by praying and meditating. Prayer is important and it is very important and that is why the believers especially those aged 15- 70 years have to offer obligatory prayers.
These prayers are conducted individually as group prayers are not allowed unless those ones read from writings. Fasting is encouraged mainly follows the Islamic way and takes place in the month of March for a period of two weeks. During this time, people pray for their welfare as well as those of others. Human beings are the central and most unique creations of God. “ They are therefore supposed to live as live holy and pleasing lives in the eyes of the most high as this connected them.
” Bahai followers therefore believe that if a person dies, they can either go to heaven or hell depending on how they lived their lives where they can either be closer or further to God spiritually. Equalityof all persons is one thing that the Bahai tenetsstresson. By being equal, it means that both men and women are treated equally and children of all backgrounds have access to propereducation. To achieve this, they try to eradicate all forms of injustice in society by embracingcultural diversityand treating all persons equally as more can be learnt from other people who have different belief systems.
“ People are also not supposed to discriminate others on the basis of their status of wealth or nationalism as this divisions are the ones that give rise to hate which gives rise to tensions and as they build it leads to people engaging in inhuman acts that are very wrong according to the law and not pleasing to God. ” The Bahai faith draws examples that are used by central figures in other religions. Though they borrow most thing s from other religions, they have their own laws as well as scriptures that make the religion unique.
Religious history is expressed in a series of manifestations where lessons are drawn from various experiences that people face. This religious movement is continual and is believed to be never ending. Teachings The Kitab-i-Aqdas (The Most Holy Book) is the spiritual book which was written by Baha ‘u’ llah lays the foundation and laws that the followers of the religion are guided by. “ It also deals with prophesies, how institutions and people should relate with each other and how it can be used to aid in passing of sentences in the judicial law systems.
” The laws have also set rules for acceptable standards in the society. Since there are a lot of evils in society related to using drugs and alcohol, the Bahai religious movement prohibit the use of illegal substances mainly drugs and drinking alcohol. If a person is found to have engaged in arson, according to Bahai teachings, when they are accorded thedeath penalty, they will be burnt. Offenses such as murder are punishable by law and a person found to have committed is either sentenced to death or life imprisonment.
From this we can see that they involve the judicial systems in place in bringing justice to society. Religion and deeds Like all religions, offering back to the community is a good gesture as it enables the community to fund its projects, operate efficiently and also help the disadvantaged in the society. Bahai’s are expected to give back to the community no matter how much they have as that is between them and their God on top of this, they are also supposed to make a contribution of 19% of their income according to the law to serve the same purpose.
Financial contributions made by non-Bahai believers however are never accepted. Before the religion came to being, little was said about peace. Leaders in today’s society are however recognizing that without religious understandings, it is difficult to change people’s perceptions and this is what is giving rise to the evils in today’s society. Women Most women have found solace in this religion as it passes the various ideals that they would like to see in the world. This is because both the men and the women are treated equally.
Bahais believe that by eradicating past beliefs which are discriminatory and ignorant, they are able to enhance the progress of various individuals. This is rooted from the fact that both genders receive equal education therefore they can choose the careers that are suitable to them. In return, they are acceptable in the job market for ant position because they are qualified. This has enabled women to take up professions in careers that were considered to be predominantly the strong holds of men for example being political leaders, being part of the top managers in various organizations and even becoming police chiefs.
Familyand marriage Family and marriage are considered to be sacred in the Bahai faith. The acceptable age of getting married is 15 years if the participants are willing because no one is supposed to be married off by force. Marriage is only supposed to happen between a man and a woman. Therefore, same sex marriages or relationships are therefore forbidden. Marriage is not restricted to certain religions or races as people are free to marry whoever they love and would like to spend the rest of their lives with.
When people get married, the husband to be is supposed to pay dowry which will be dependant on his and also his family’s financial status. The Kitab-i-Aqdas, allows a man to marry two wives as long as no one is favored over the other. This has however been interpreted to mean that monogamy was the principle that was being emphasized on. Adultery and fornication is not allowed. People who have been discovered to have engaged in this act will be required to pay a fine at their local spiritual assembly.
“ Divorceis discouraged in the Bahai faith but when two people cannot get along or an unjust act has been committed, they are allowed to divorce but this will be made legal after a year when the couple has not been able to reconcile. ” Parents are supposed to nurture their children in proper manner as well as ensure that their children are well educated. In case the family is restrained byfinance, the daughter over the son in the family will be allowed to go to school. This is because the girl in future will be the first one to ensure that her children are educated.
“ Women are the first mothers and are teachers of their children from the time they are born, it is therefore necessary that they are educated than the men. ” For the next of kin to be able to inherit anything a will has to be written. Exceptions however, can be allowed when a person dies without having written one. The deceased property is then distributed equally among the heirs and where they cannot be identified, it will be taken to the local spiritual assembly. Enhancing Global Peace
The world is changing and things such as transportation, communication, industrialization and the independence of people as well as countries have radically changed people’s lives. “ Moreover, they have made countries dependant on each other for various basic goods, essential commodities such as oil, expertise through skilled personnel and incorporation of information andtechnologyto enable countries industrialize. ” As different people interact, there are bound to be conflicts whish require a proper mechanism for solving disputes.
Bahaism therefore, tries to ensure that there are proper avenues for nations to solve their problems so as to reduce the cases of war which has subjected nations topoverty. The Bahai religious movement therefore ensures that global unity is enhanced by emphasizing on loving fellow neighbors. In addition the teachings say that real inner peace cannot come unless people decide to treat others as they would like to be treated if they were in similar positions.
Moreover, they have developed international reforms and institutions that can enhance theirgoalsand objectives so as to put and end to war, eradicate immoral intentions and create a system of corporation among nations. Conclusion Bahai faith has defined various laws and policies that seek to address most of the problems that are faced in the world today and have addressed every issue be it social , economical, environmental among other things. It is therefore a religion that is focused on enhancing global unity and peace which the world is in need of to curb the various problems and issues that are emerging.
Bahai faith has therefore revolutionalized religions by enhancing individual and community transformation. Works cited Bahai International Community. The Bahai’s http://www. bahai. org/faq/facts/bahai_faith Oxtoby W. G. World Religions: Western Traditions. Oxford University Press, 1996 chapter six: Pg. 479-485 Remey C. Mason. The Bahai Revelation andReconstruction, Read books, 2008 Ridell Deb. From Heart to Heart -Baha’i Religion Fosters gift of Family Unity. (Religion) Guard November 11, 2006 http://www. encyclopedia. com/doc/1G1-154722593. html