The Baha'i Faith

Powerful Essays
Baha’i is a fairly new faith dating back to the mid-nineteenth century. However, since then more than 7 million people, world wide have joined this faith. This leaves one to wonder how this faith came to be one of the world religions in such a short period of time. This paper will examine this thought and many others such as the history, beliefs, and traditions.
The followers of Baha’is emerged from Iranians who had formerly been Shi’i Muslims (Smith, 1999). According to Breuilly, O’Brien, & Palmer (1997), the Baha’i faith began to take shape when Mirza Husayn Ali, born in 1817, was sent by God to serve as a prophet. Today, Ali is known at Baha’u’llah, meaning Glory of God. As with other prophets, Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, the Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad; Baha’u’llah is considered just as important (Hatcher & Martin, 2002). All of these prophets are viewed as providing a path to salvation which contributes to the carrying forward of an ever advancing civilization (Hatcher & Martin). No one is more or less important as the other as each is sent with a purpose.
In 1884 Siyyid Ali-Muhammad, known as the Bab, announced that he was a Bab, which according to Shi’a tradition means a gate through whom God communicates with humanity (Breuilly, O’Brien, & Palmer, 1997). This announcement left an uneasy feeling through the region. However, Siyyid did gain followers, known as Babis, who believed that a new era of revelation was about to begin.
This revelation left Bab and his followers marked for death. In 1850, Bab was executed for his belief as with many of his followers. However, before Bab died he did say that a new prophet was being sent, this prophet was Baha’u’llah (Breuilly, O’Brien, & Palmer, 1997).
Baha’u’llah was a follower of Bab’s, who was arrested after Bab’s death. Upon Baha’u’llah’s release from prison, he was exiled to the Ottoman Empire. Baha’u’llah then went into hiding for two years. In 1863, Baha’u’llah announced that he was the new prophet. The Ottoman rulers did not know how to respond to this announcement and kept him under house arrest for the next five years. He was then exiled to what we know today as Israel.
After his exile to...

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..., gender or age, which can be traced back to the early days of the Baha’i movement.
Of all the religions studied in this course, I can easily say that I could come to the belief that Baha’is have. To me, the Baha’is go beyond religion to try to bring more balance into society.

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Religious Tolerance.Org, retrieved on October 16, 2004
Smith, P. (1999). The Baha’i faith: A short story. Oxford: Oneworld Publications.
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