The Bahai Religion Sample

Posted on January 19, 2024

The Bahai Religion

The Baha’i faith is a worldly acknowledged religion that primarily affirms the spiritual integration of humankind. With over 5 million followers spread across the globe, the Baha’i religion was incepted in 19th-century in Iran and has since developed into a diverse community that promotes principles that eliminate prejudice, encourage equality between women and men, harmony between science and religion, and universal access to education (Palmer and Tavangar 35- 36). This research explores critical aspects of the Baha’i faith. It includes its sacred stories and texts, central beliefs, rituals and holy days, places of worship, dietary laws, global presence, and guiding principles that connect followers in their spiritual journey.

Sacred Stories and Texts

Baha’i faith comprises important sacred works. These include the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, Some Answered Questions, as well as the collected works of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh’s son, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (Martin 14). These build on teachings from previous faiths while presenting new spiritual truths. For instance, the Kitáb-i-Íqán explains Islamic prophecy and the relation of progressive revelation across Abrahamic faiths, tying spiritual history into an evolving narrative (Martin 12). Central figures of veneration emerge in these works, including:

The Báb

Considered a messenger of God in the Baha’i faith, the Báb was born Siyyid ‘Alí-Muhammad in Iran in 1819 CE (Martin 1). His teachings prepared the way for Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahai faith. The Báb was executed in 1850 CE for his religious claims.


Born Mirza Husayn’ Ali in 1817 CE, Bahá’u’lláh is the prophet and founder of the Baha’i faith (Martin 1; Handal i). His teachings emphasize the spiritual unity of humankind and lay the foundations for a peaceful global society. Revered by Baha’is as the latest divine messenger, his life was spent enduring exile and imprisonment for his religious claims before passing away in 1892 CE.

Central Beliefs

Some central beliefs in the Baha’i faith include:

  1. Unity of Religions. While the Baha’i faith is independent, Baha’is view religion as an unfolding process where the great faiths and prophets relate to one another in the continuous revelation of God’s will. They do not believe any one religion holds an exclusive truth.
  2. Harmony of Science and Religion. Science and religion are complementary systems of knowledge and truth that should agree. Religion without science leads to superstition, while science without religion ends in materialism.
  3. Oneness of Humanity. At the core of Baha’i belief is that all humans belong to one human family and need to work together to create peace (Palmer and Tavangar 29). Prejudices of race, ethnicity, gender, wealth, and other differences are seen as destructive to recognizing human oneness.
  4. Equality of Women and Men. The equality between women and men is an unequivocal principle within the Baha’i writings. Women are encouraged to participate in all aspects of community life, from membership in governing councils to leading in rituals.
  5. Need for Universal Education. The Baha’i teachings consider compulsory education for all members of society a fundamental principle. Access to education is seen as essential for developing communities and meeting challenges facing humanity.

Worship and Holy Days

Baha’is have certain spiritual obligations, including daily prayer, an annual fasting period, and regular community service participation. The Baha’i calendar consists of 19 months with 4 or 5 intercalary days to maintain synchronization with the solar year. Some holy days on the Baha’i calendar include:

  1. Naw-Rúz – Baha’i New Year (March 21) – Coincides with the spring equinox and symbolizes spiritual renewal (Stockman 17).
  2. Festival of Ridván (April 21-May 2) – this day observes the anniversary of Bahá’u’lláh’s declaration of prophethood after undergoing imprisonment and exile for making claims of divinely inspired revelation. The garden where this took place holds deep meaning as a site where Bahá’u’lláh openly first shared fundamental Baha’i teachings (Stockman 17).
  3. Martyrdom of the Báb (July 9) – Date remembering the execution of Siyyid ‘Alí-Muhammad, who announced himself as the Báb and foretold the imminent appearance of the next messenger of God in the line of prophecy. His devotion to taking on the title of Báb, meaning “gate” in Arabic, destined him to become the conduit for a new revelation (Stockman 17).
  4. Birth of Bahá’u’lláh (November 12)- Celebrates the birth of Bahá’u’lláh, who was born Mirza Husayn’ Ali in 1817 CE, the central prophet founder of the Baha’i faith whose teachings guide adherents today as the latest messenger from God (Stockman 17).
  5. Birth of the Báb (October 20) – Holy day commemorating the birth of Siyyid ‘Alí-Muhammad, who later took on the title of the Báb, meaning “gate” in Arabic. The Báb is considered the herald of the Baha’i faith for paving the way for the later revelation of Bahá’u’lláh through his teachings and martyrdom (Stockman 17).

Along with holy days that connect Baha’is to sacred history and allow celebration and reflection, Baha’is set aside obligatory prayer time each day for meditation, recitation, and reflection. Congregational prayer happens when Baha’is gather rather than being required at a particular weekly service.

Places of Worship and Pilgrimage Sites

The Baha’i sacred spaces include Houses of Worship open to all religious backgrounds, along with sites related to the history of the religion and the lives of central figures. Only nine continental Baha’i Temples exist in Cambodia, Germany, India, Chile, Samoa, Panama, Australia, Kenya, and the United States. These structures often integrate symbolic architecture from diverse cultures and aim to provide places for prayer and meditation focused on unity. Additionally, other sites hold meaning for adherents’ spiritual lives, such as locations related to the Báb’s imprisonment and execution, as well as the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh and Shrine of the Báb in Haifa and Acre, Israel (Behai 242, 270). While pilgrimage is not doctrinally obligatory, visiting sites connected with the lives of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh and touching first-hand the places where they underwent sacrifice and prepared teachings can carry deep spiritual resonance and meaning for Baha’is.

Dietary Laws and Global Reach

The Baha’i faith has no dietary restrictions aside from a prohibition on alcohol and intoxicants, which are seen as detrimental to spiritual awareness. This outlook makes the religion accessible to new followers from diverse cultures. Further, it is the second most widespread religion after Christianity; Baha’is live in over 100,000 localities with more than 2,100 ethnic groups represented (“Statistics | Bahá’í World News Service (BWNS)”). The largest populations reside in India, Iran, and the United States, though persecution of adherents in the Middle East has led many to find refuge elsewhere. 

Guiding Principles and Administration

The Baha’i administrative model promotes collaborative structures focused on facilitating unified action and dispersing authority to balance input from diverse viewpoints. These include decision-making through group consultation aiming for unanimity built on understanding rather than contention over competing personal opinions. Baha’i institutions also avoid partisan political involvement, emphasizing constructive community efforts instead. Some fundamental principles in the Baha’i teachings promote:

Independent Investigation of Truth – Individuals are encouraged to search for understanding through their study rather than unquestioningly accept the doctrine. Unity is expected in principles rather than uniformity in practice. Rejecting Superstition and Prejudice – Traditions and interpretations that generate harm by breeding differences, especially prejudices related to gender, race, ethnicity, or nationality, should be abandoned in favor of a model embracing human diversity. Religious Harmony and Peace – Religion should serve as a means for love and unity among peoples across sects rather than a source of antagonism or disunity. Baha’is’ work is to build understanding across faith groups. Universal Compulsory Education – Access to education allows all of humanity to invest in personal and societal progress equally. Lack of education breeds ignorance, which can foster division and suffering. Eliminating Extreme Wealth and Poverty – While differences in individual capacity result in wealth variations, extreme economic inequality tends toward social fragmentation and excess on either end should be curtailed. Along with additional social teachings focused on advancing human welfare, the Baha’i faith promotes an inclusive belief system grounded in realizing ethical and spiritual principles through deeds and actions in daily life.


As an independent world religion growing in global prominence, the Baha’i faith puts forth spiritual teachings and principles focused on the welfare of all peoples while emphasizing the underlying unity across humanity. By exploring critical components from its cosmological narrative, belief system, sacred texts, obligatory practices, houses of worship and holy sites, guiding tenets, administration, and global reach, we better understand a religion seeking truth and participation for all. With teachings that connect science and religion, embrace diversity, advocate for universal education and peaceful resolution of conflicts, and promote economic justice, the Baha’i International Community continues promoting this inclusive vision aimed at achieving unified human advancement into an era of greater maturity, harmony, and shared prosperity across all members of the human race.

Works Cited

Behai, Shua Ullah. A Lost History of the Baha’i Faith: The Progressive Tradition of Baha’u’llah’s Forgotten Family. 2014.

Handal, Boris. “A Trilogy of Consecration.” (2020).

Martin, Douglas. “The Mission of the Báb.”

Palmer, David A., and Temily Tavangar. “The Bahá’í faith and covenantal pluralism: Promoting oneness, respecting difference.” The Review of Faith & International Affairs 19.2 (2021): 29-39.

Stockman, Robert H. The Bahá’í faith, violence, and non-violence. Cambridge University Press, 2020.

“Statistics | Bahá’í World News Service (BWNS).” Bahá’í World News Service, Accessed 8 Jan. 2024.

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