The Sunday Mail
Bahá’ís of Harare recently joined the Bahá’ís all around the world to celebrate the 174th anniversary of the birth of their Faith. Joyous multi-cultural celebrations included prayers and reading from the Holy Writings, music and fellowship.
The Bahá’í Faith began with the mission entrusted by God to two Divine Messengers — the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh.
In the middle of the 19th century, The Báb — the Herald of the Bahá’í Faith – announced that He was the bearer of a message destined to transform humanity’s spiritual life.
His primary mission was to prepare the way for the coming of Bahá’u’lláh, who would usher in an age of peace and justice.
The Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh, is regarded by the Bahá’ís as the most recent in the line of Messengers of God.
Bahá’u’lláh delivered a new Revelation from God to humanity.
In His Writings, He outlined a framework for the development of a global civilisation which takes into account both the spiritual and material dimensions of human life.
His Writings offer spiritual guidance as well as directives for personal and social conduct.
They are designed to reshape the divisive society of the present world and usher in an era of universal peace.
The Bahá’í Writings confirm that there is only one God, the Creator of the universe and its absolute Ruler. Although people may pray to God in different languages and call Him by different names, nevertheless they have in mind the same Almighty Creator.
Throughout history, God has revealed Himself to humanity through a series of Divine Messengers, known as Manifestations of God.
Each of these Manifestations of God has founded a great religion and their teachings guide and educate us and provide the basis for the advancement of human society.
The Bahá’í Faith recognises the divine origin of all the major world religions and honours and reveres their Founders.
The conviction that we all belong to one human family is at the heart of the Bahá’í Faith.
The principle of the oneness of humankind is “the pivot round which the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh revolve . . . ”
The belief in oneness of humanity does not imply uniformity. Rather, the Bahá’í Writings affirm the principle of unity in diversity.
More than the mere tolerance of differences or celebration of superficial aspects of diverse cultures, the diversity of the human family, Bahá’ís believe, should be the cause of abiding love and harmony, “as it is in music where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord.”
Humanity, in the Bahá’í view, having passed through the ages of infancy and childhood, now stands at the threshold of its collective maturity, the hallmark of which will be the unification of the human race in a global civilisation.
The emergence of this civilisation, prosperous in both its spiritual and material dimensions, implies that the spiritual and practical aspects of life are to advance harmoniously together.
The worldwide Baha’i community is composed of people from virtually every racial, ethnic and religious background.
With followers in at least 233 countries and dependent territories, the Bahá’í Faith has become the second-most widespread Faith in its geographic reach and is among the fastest growing world religions.
The Bahá’í International Community enjoys a long standing consultative status with the United Nations and has been involved in a wide range of activities which include peace building, promoting human rights, equality of men and women, education, health and sustainable development.