The founder of the Baha’i Faith, Baha’u’llah (1817-1892), is regarded by his followers as the most recent in the line of God’s messengers that includes Abraham, Moses, the Buddha, Zoroaster, Jesus, and Muhammad. At the heart of Baha’i belief is the conviction that humankind is a single people with a common destiny.
The vision of the Baha’i community for Australia is a society embodying the principle of the oneness of humanity: that we are all equal regardless of background or belief, and we all have a part to play in the progress of our society.
Relationship to the rest of the Earth Community
Nature is a dispensation of Providence
“Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. Its manifestations are diversified by varying causes, and in this diversity, there are signs for men of discernment. Nature is God’s Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. It is a dispensation of Providence ordained by the Ordainer, the All-Wise.
— Tablets of Baha’u’llah revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 142.
“The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.”
— Tablets of Baha’u’llah revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 167.
“By nature, is meant those inherent properties and necessary relations derived from the realities of things. And these realities of things, though in the utmost diversity, are yet intimately connected one with the other.
— Baha’i World Faith, p. 340.
“Liken the world of existence to the temple of man. All the limbs and organs of the human body assist each other; therefore, life continues. Likewise, among the parts of existence there is a wonderful connection and interchange of forces, which is the cause of the life of the world and the continuation of these countless phenomena.
— ‘Abdul-Baha, Star of the West 6 (17), pp. 138-139 and Compilation on Social and Economic Development, no. 47.
“Look not upon the creatures of God except with the eye of kindliness and of mercy, for Our living providence hath pervaded all created things, and Our grace encompassed the earth and the heavens.
— Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, XIV, p. 33.
“Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. Its manifestations are diversified by varying causes, and in this diversity, there are signs for men of discernment. Nature is God's Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. It is a dispensation of Providence ordained by the Ordainer, the All-Wise.” With those words, Baha’u’llah, Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith, outlines the essential relationship between man and the environment: that the grandeur and diversity of the natural world are purposeful reflections of the majesty and bounty of God.
For Baha’is, there follows an implicit understanding that nature is to be respected and protected, as a divine trust for which we are answerable.
A century ago, Baha’u’llah proclaimed that humanity has entered a new age. Promised by all the religious Messengers of the past, this new epoch will ultimately bring peace and enlightenment for humanity. To reach that point, however, humankind must first recognize its fundamental unity as well as the unity of God and of religion. Until there is a general recognition of this wholeness and interdependence, humanity's problems will only worsen.
"The wellbeing of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established," Baha’u’llah wrote. "The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens." For Baha’is the goal of existence is to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization. Such a civilization can only be built on an earth that can sustain itself…. commitment to the environment is fundamental to our Faith.
— The Baha’i Faith Statement on Nature: Presented in October 1987, when the Baha’i Faith became the sixth religion to join the Network on Conservation and Religion.
Text provided by the Australian Bahai community.