Twelve Bahai Principles – An Introduction

The most important technique Bahais use to establish the superiority of their beliefs over others, are a series of slogans and statements called the “Bahai Principles” which they prorogate with great pride. Here is an independent view of the same.

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The Bahai Faith finds its origins in the Babi Faith propogated by Mirza Ali Mohammed Shirazi in Persia (modern day Iran). Starting with a claim to be the Bab or Gate of the hidden Imam Mahdi (as), the Bab slowly expanded his scope to claim to be the Mahdi himself and subsequently even made a claim of being God (Read More). Incidentally, the Bab never claimed to be an independent prophet – this claim was made popular by the Bahais to establish that the Bab brought a new religion.

Ali Mohammed Bab recanted several times from his claims – this is denied by the Bahais, but the proofs against them are overwhelming. There are atleast 4 recorded instances of his recantations (Read More).

Ali Mohammed Bab revealed a book called the Bayan, in two different languages (Arabic and Persian), both of which remained incomplete until his death. In this book, he gave his followers tidings about the appearance of ‘He whom God shall make manifest’ (man yuzhiruhullah) roughly 1,500 years after his death.

The death of the Bab was followed by a period of strife in the Babi community and a brief power struggle between Mirza Hussain Ali (self named Bahaullah) and his half brother Mirza Yahya, Subhe Azal. An acrimonious exchange of letters and words ensued between the brothers (who even accused the other of plotting to murder the other) subsequent to which Bahaullah prevailed.

Bahaullah declared himself to be He whom God shall make manifest. Ironically, this was only about few years after the death of the Bab and much earlier than he had prophesized. When Mirza Husayn Ali saw that his disciples accepted anything that he said as divine revelation, he went as far as claiming to be the Creator of Gods!

Mirza Hussain Ali Bahaullah was succeeded by his son Abdul Baha who in turn was succeeded by Shoghi Effendi. Hereafter, the Bahai script went wrong. A prophecy by Abdul Baha that the successorship of the Faith would vest in the sons of Shoghi was falsified as Shoghi died in London under mysterious circumstances (Read More).

However, it was under Shoghi Effendi that the Bahai Faith was transformed into a large and extensive organization administered by the Universal House of Justice that imitated organizational models prevalent in the West, for the administration of and structured propagation ofthe sectin the world.

The most important technique Bahais use to establish the superiority of their beliefs over others, are a series of slogans and statements called the “Bahai Principles” that they prorogate with great pride.

During Abdul Baha’s journey to Europe and America, he realised that the West would be attracted to the Faith only if were presented in a form palatable to them. Herein lies the origin of the Bahai Principles.These principles were created by Abdul Baha years after the death of his father – in fact Bahaullah never presented the Bahai Faith in the form as was presented by Abdul Baha.

Abdul Baha claimed that his father had gifted humanity with a series of pure principles,the likeness of which could not be found anywhere else. When explaining each principle, he would refer to the scattered utterances of his father and try to find words from Bahaullah that would relate them to him.

However, this effort would never satisfy any seeker of the truth who knew that these principles were not written by Bahaullah, but rather compiled years after his demise, by his son, Abdul Baha. More noteworthy is the fact that these principles, while drafted by Abdul Baha, contradict some of the tenets of the Bahai Faith as outlined by Bahaullah. For example, Abdul Baha declared that women and men are equal and neither has an advantage upon the other. He introduced this kind of thinking as a principle from the principles of Bahaullah. This is while in the opinion of Bahaullah, men are without doubt superior to women.

The principles that have been attributed to Bahaullah and the Bahai Faith do not have a set number and have been referred to as being between four and eighteen in various Bahai works. Bahai books also conflict in their order. However, they are most commonly famous as the twelve principles. The most important of these include:

  1. The Independent Search After Truth, Unfettered by Superstition or Tradition

  2. The Oneness of Humanity

  3. Religion Must be the Source of Unity and Fellowship in the World

  4. Religion Must be in Conformity with Science and Reason

  5. The Removal of All Prejudice

  6. The Equalization of the Means of Livelihood for All Humanity

  7. Establishment of a Universal House of Justice and Supreme Tribunal.

    (Abdul Baha mentions the principle of “The Equality of Rights” in the book of Khatabat, vol. 2, as the seventh principle, but because this topic is discussed in detail in the principles of “The Oneness of Humanity” and “The Equality of Men and Women,” the subject of the Universal House of Justice and the International Tribunal has replaced it, in order to familiarize the readers more with the principles of The Bahai Faith.)

  8. Universal Compulsory Education

  9. A Universal Auxiliary Language

  10. The Equality of Men and Women

  11. Establishment of Universal Peace

  12. The World of Humanity is in the Need of the Breath of the Holy Spirit

These these series of articles, we shall aim to examine every Bahai principle in detail. Our arguments shall be based on facts and logic. These, therefore should apppeal to those seeking the independent investigation of truth.

Our approach in analyzing Bahai Principles

The First Approach: Staying Away From Prejudice

The articles will be complied avoiding any sort of sympathy for any particular individual, group, or religion. This method was used by the authors of this book when analyzing the statements of the founders of The Bahai Faith to seek the truth using the divine blessing of reason. For reason, is the sole solid divine means to determine truth from falsehood.

The Second Approach: Using Original Bahai Sources

The method used in this study when quoting Bahai literature is to use primary sources, and specific references to authentic books and texts that are approved of by the Bahai authorities. These references – from primary authentic sources – are cited as footnotes so that the readers can easily have access to the exact phrases without having to refer to the original sources.

All quotes have been extracted from genuine Bahai sources endorsed by the UHJ and clear references have been presented.

A single approach has been taken in analyzing each principle. Each principle has been analyzed in a separate chapter with respect to the following perspectives:

a) Are these principles novel or unique, as has been claimed by the founders of The Bahai Faith?

b) Did the Bahai leaders, themselves, act upon these principles?

c) Are these teachings logical and rational?

The articles have been based on the book “Avaze Dohol” – the Beating of the Drum by Masoud Basiti, Zahra Moradi.

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About imranshaykh
I am a student of comparative religion with a special interest in Islam and The Bahai Faith

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