History & Background
• The Baha'i faith was founded in the mid-19th century in Iran.
• In 1844 Siyyid ‘Ali Mohammad, a Shiite Muslim, proclaimed that he
was "the Bab," "the Gate," a special sort of interpreter of the Quran
with special religious insight and prophetic abilities; he was the
• The Bab's prophetic message spread in Iran, which angered both
the government and the Shiite leadership. He was arrested and
• One of the Bab's disciples, Mirza Hoseyn ‘Ali Nuri, known as
Baha'u'llah, spread the Bab's teachings; these teachings eventually
• Baha'i propounds that God is utterly transcendent and
ultimately unknowable to humanity.
• God's manifestation is understood in Baha'i to come not just
through the Bab and Baha'u'llah, but also through the
world's religious prophets, includingAbraham, Moses, the
Buddha, Krishna, and Muhammad.
The Nature of Human Being
According to The Baha’i Faith
• Human beings are seen in the Baha'i scriptures as having
two aspects to their nature: a spiritual aspect, which will
survive death and is thus eternal, and a physical aspect,
which human beings share with animals and which ends
• The spiritual is the true reality of human beings and what
distinguishes them from animals, but while on earth, this is
concealed from humans by the fact that the demands of the
human body seem more pressing and divert their attention
from the spiritual.
• Human beings natural tendencies - inclined to concentrate
on the physical, becoming full of greed, lust, arrogance, and
• The Manifestations of God, the founders of the world's
religions, are sent to guide humanity away from this
concentration on their animal nature and to educate human
beings on how to develop their spiritual aspect.
Baha’is Beliefs About Human
and The Soul
What do Baha’is believe about
According to Bahai teachings:
• Human is fundamentally spiritual and the essential identity
of each person is defined by an invisible, rational, and
• The soul shows itself through the qualities of character that
we associate with each person.
• The soul is the focal point for love and compassion, for faith
and courage, and for other such "human" qualities that
cannot be explained solely by thinking of a human being as
• The soul animates the body and distinguishes human beings
from the animals.
• It grows and develops only through the individual's
relationship with God
• The relationship is fostered through prayer, knowledge of
the scriptures revealed by theseTeachers, love for God,
moral self-discipline, and service to humanity. This process
is what gives meaning to life.
Besides the emphasis on the soul, the Bahá'í Faith also does not
encourage a negative view of the body.
Since the body is the vehicle of the rational soul in this life on earth, it is
important to maintain and care for it. Bahá'u'lláh strongly discouraged any form of
extreme self-denial. His emphasis was on healthy discipline. Therefore the Bahá'í
writings contain a number of practical laws relating to the care of the human body:
proper nutrition, regular bathing, and so forth.
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