Bahá’u’lláh and His life

The beliefs and activities of the Australian Bahá’í Community are based on the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892), the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith.

In 2017 Bahá’ís in Australia and throughout the world are celebrating the bicentennial of His birth with local and national events culminating on 21-22 October 2017.

Who is Bahá’u’lláh?

Bahá’u’lláh (1817-92) is the latest in the series of Divine Messengers who founded the world religions as part of the progressive revelation of God’s guidance to humanity. Bahá’u’lláh (“The Glory of God”) is the One promised in the scriptures of the world’s great faith traditions.

Born on 12 November 1817 in Tehran, Iran, Bahá’u’lláh was the son of a wealthy nobleman and government minister. He devoted Himself to the care of the poor and became a follower of the Báb (1819-1850), His spiritual forerunner.

After receiving His revelation in 1852, Bahá’u’lláh was exiled, eventually to the Ottoman-ruled Holy Land (now Israel). He remained a prisoner for the rest of His life. His voluminous writings include many beautiful prayers, passages of spiritual upliftment, guidance for the spiritual life of the individual and society, and proclamation to the most powerful rulers of His time.

Bahá’u’lláh passed away near Acre in the Holy Land where His shrine is now set amid beautiful gardens and attracts pilgrims and visitors from around the world.

His vision for humanity

Bahá’u’lláh envisioned a united global society, founded on justice and productive of peace, in which respect for diversity arises from the conviction that all people are equal members of one human family. This is encapsulated by His statement: “The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens”.

Bahá’u’lláh taught that there is one God, an “unknowable essence” called by different names around the world. The world’s major religions come from that same God, part of one evolving, eternal Faith.

Key principles of the Bahá’í Faith include:

• Equality of women and men

• Abolition of extremes of poverty and wealth

• Universal education

• Harmony of science and religion

• An equal standard of human rights for all people

In His presence

Oxford University’s Professor E. G. Browne recorded his impression after meeting Him in 1890:

The face of him on whom I gazed I can never forget, though I cannot describe it. Those piercing eyes seemed to read one’s very soul; power and authority sat on that ample brow … No need to ask in whose presence I stood, as I bowed myself before one who is the object of a devotion and love which kings might envy and emperors sigh for in vain!