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The Bahá'í Faith

“So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.” - Bahá'u'lláh



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_How Bahá'ís view other religions_

When Bahá'ís say that the various religions are one, they do not mean that the various religious creeds and organizations are the same. Rather, they believe that there is only one religion and all of the Messengers of God have progressively revealed its nature. Together, the world's great religions are expressions of a single unfolding Divine plan, "the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future."


People from all of the major religious backgrounds have found that the promises and expectations of their own beliefs are fulfilled in the Bahá'í Faith. Bahá'ís from Native American, African and other indigenous backgrounds, similarly, find in the Bahá'í teachings fulfillment of prophetic visions.


For Bahá'ís of Jewish background, Bahá'u'lláh is the appearance of the promised "Lord of Hosts" come down "with ten thousands of saints." A descendent of Abraham and a "scion from the root of Jesse," Bahá'u'lláh has come to lead the way for nations to "beat their swords into plowshares." Many features of Bahá'u'lláh's involuntary exile to the Land of Israel, along with other historical events during Bahá'u'lláh's life and since are seen as fulfilling numerous prophecies in the Bible.


For Bahá'ís of Buddhist background, Bahá'u'lláh fulfils the prophecies for the coming of "a Buddha named Maitreye, the Buddha of universal fellowship" who will, according to Buddhist traditions, bring peace and enlightenment for all humanity. They see the fulfillment of numerous prophecies, such as the fact that the Buddha Maitreye is to come from "the West", noting the fact that Iran is West of India.


For Bahá'ís of Hindu background, Bahá'u'lláh comes as the new incarnation of Krishna, the "Tenth Avatar" and the "Most Great Spirit." He is "the birthless, the deathless" the One who, "when goodness grows weak," returns "in every age" to "establish righteousness" as promised in the Bhagavad-Gita.


For Bahá'ís of Christian background, Bahá'u'lláh fulfils the paradoxical promises of Christ's return "in the Glory of the Father" and as a "thief in the night." That the Faith was founded in 1844 relates to numerous Christian prophecies. Bahá'ís note, for example, that central Africa was finally opened to Christianity in the 1840s, and that event was widely seen as fulfilling the promise that Christ would return after "the Gospel had been preached to all nations." In Bahá'u'lláh's teachings Bahá'ís see fulfillment of Christ's promise to bring all people together so that "there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."


For Bahá'ís of Muslim background, Bahá'u'lláh fulfils the promise of the Qur'an for the "Day of God" and the "Great Announcement," when "God" will come down "overshadowed with clouds." They see in the dramatic events of the Bábí and Bahá'í movements the fulfillment of many traditional statements of Muhammad, which have long been a puzzle.



"Excerpted from The Bahá'ís Magazine, a publication of the Bahá'í International Community."