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What is Bahai

Article Index
What is Bahai
Examining the Intellectual Validity of Bahai thought
Problems in the Bahai reasoning process
Validating a Bahai prophet/manifestation by his works
The Bahai Hermeneutic
The Bahai view of Christ
Theological problems with Bahai belief for the Christian
So what is the bottom line?


  • was a derivative of She'ite Islam belief - Iran 1844, but is now considered a distinct religion (1) - leaders were/are: the Bab, Baha'u'llah, Abdu'l- Baha, Shoghi Effendi, now an elected governing body
  • claim to be the vehicle for establishing a one world order, government, economy, police force, language and religion - champion the universal brotherhood of man (2)

Baha'is believe:

1. that all religions derive from the same source, manifestations of God such as Moses, Zoroaster, Jesus, Muhammed, Krishna, Buddha. Confucius, the Bab, and Baha'u'llah - the latest manifestation, are all one and the same, sent to mankind by God for a given dispensation or historical period - each supercedes the previous one in revelation without negating his predecessors (3)(5)

2. in the oneness and unity of mankind - equality of race, sex & religion are all of one God (3)

3. that there is an eternal truth, but God is an unknowable essence; he is knowable only in so far as he is revealed in the current dispensation, and as is consistent in history (4)(47)

4. that revelation is ongoing and relative to a given dispensation - there is no complete, final word of God (5)

5. that all religions are the same in areas of essential/relevant doctrine, differences are only in areas of non-essentials. If areas of doctrine conflict, they are to be considered unimportant (6)

a. all believe in a creator - God, First Cause, etc.

b. all have a central figure - one lone man whose love has changed millions of people and whose words still live on to inspire

c. all promise that when the hearts of men have grown cold, a Great One will appear to usher in the day of Universal Brotherhood (7)

6. that a manifestation's precepts and ordinances are to be obeyed as from God; his teaching alone is sufficient for salvation; he is the only way to God for his dispensation, his work cannot fail nor can his mission not be accomplished (8)

- the major criteria for distinguishing a true manifestation from a false one are:

a. his truth is self-validating - his life is proof (9)

b. he fulfills prophecy and foretells his successor (10)

c. each manifestation is a different person (11)

d. there is an appointed time period for him to turn over the reins to his successor (12)

e. he is simple, gentle, has no personal ambition, is often of low estate, obscure and impecunious. He is always a man of little human learning (13)

f. he is sinless (14)

g. he manifests extraordinary ethical attributes beyond the common man (15)

h. he brings a new name and a new attribute of God to human consciousness (16)

i. he brings harmony among conflicting peoples (17)

j. he changes men's hearts without the exhibition of external power (18)