The Bahá’í teachings represent a considerable number of theological, social, and spiritual ideas that were established in the Bahá’í Faith by Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the religion, and clarified by successive leaders.
The Oneness of Humanity
Collectively humanity is a single species and all people are equal in the sight of God. The unity of humanity transcends all divisions of race, nation, gender, caste and social class, while celebrating its diversity.
The Oneness of Religion
God progressively reveals religion through His prophets or messengers to mankind as humanity matures and its capacity and degree of understanding also grows. This is a continuing and never ending process.
God periodically reveals His will to mankind through messengers/prophets. Each in turn establishes a new covenant and founds a new religion; a process of revelation that never ceases.
Equality of Men and Women
The Bahá’í Faith affirms gender equality; that men and women are indeed equal, that there is no distinction in their spiritual stations, only gender distinctiveness in some aspects of life.
Harmony of Science & Religion
Truth is one, therefore true science and true religion must be in harmony. Science without religion leads to materialism, and religion without science leads to superstition.
Universal Auxiliary Language
A universal auxiliary language would remove the pressure experienced by the natural aggrandizement of majority language groups. Minority languages are preserved, each person would keep their mother tongue, and thus preserve minority cultures.
Investigation of Truth
Acquiring knowledge through personal processes, and not believe or follow others blindly. Truth is one, and when a person independently investigates reality they are lead to the same truth.
Wealth and Poverty
Extremes of poverty and wealth are disallowed for a compassionate society. Poverty demoralizes people and extreme wealth overburdens people. Such extremes must be eliminated.
Emphasis is given compulsory education; promoting moral and spiritual education in addition to the arts, trades, sciences. It is the obligation of parents to provide for the education of their children, and with special importance given to girls.
ObeisanceBaha – Descriptive Bahá’í Historia
Note: This site was compromised during January 2017. It’s now being rebuilt
The purpose of this site is to preserve Baha’i history—however, it can be appreciated that recorded history is never complete if it does not recognize the efforts made by those frontline workers upon whose shoulders the weight of success for policy, programs, teaching, and Baha’i community consolidation activities was borne. We are familiar with well-known Baha’i leaders, but until a more inclusive and realistic Baha’i historical narrative is completed a proper assessment of its growth and expansion will remain incomplete.
We support historical research. Our archives contain information on Baha’i activities dating to the early 1960s. It includes names participants, places, events and a variety of material preserved for historical record. Examples include photographs, documents, interviews, observations and research based on primary, secondary, and tertiary sources. We hope to provide researchers with quality information to augment their efforts to provide an objective appraisal concerning the growth of the Baha’i Faith.
You are invited to explore ObeisanceBaha and experience what if has to offer. While still under development, this site will eventually become resource-rich with little known information about the Baha’i Faith, many of its activities and events, and about many of those who made it possible. Join with us in this activity. Further, we invite you to make available through us to the larger Baha’i community the wealth of knowledge, information and material you have available, for which you will be credited. Thanks for your willingness to participate!
We believe that Baha’i history may never be fully complete but it can be enhanced by creating a more detailed record of events that transpired over the ages. We are familiar with well-known Baha’i but a more inclusive and realistic historical narrative is necessary in order to properly assess the growth and expansion of the Faith. Therefore, we must continually finds ways to identify and document the efforts of those mostly unknown frontline worriers upon whose shoulders the weight of untold challenges were borne to advance the Baha’i Faith and consolidate its communities.
Seen below are a few slides that show Baha’is in attendance at various events held in different geographic locations (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda, South Africa, Mauritius, United States) between 1994 and 2003. Both they and events are more fully documented in blog posts and journals found on this website.
Providing Value to build awareness For intense effort to engage
A Comprehensive plan to promote and preserve Baha’i History
We are a center of learning and research dedicated to providing a deeper understanding of Baha’i historical events and those who were intricately involved in the experience.
We show the normal functioning of Baha’i communities in historical perspective through people, events and activities to preserve little known facts.
Our archives contain source materials accumulated since 1965, and are presented here to document people, places and events instrumental in the growth of Baha’i community life.
Image wall allows visitors to browse posts or pages by their images that are displayed randomly on an infinitely scrollable wall of images. Click on any image.
A digital archiving project is a process of preserving data for long-term retention. This can extend the life span of content for easy access and also help to avoid future issues.
For research purposes the distinctions between primary, secondary, and tertiary sources can be ambiguous. An individual document may be a primary source in one context and a secondary source in another. Encyclopedias are typically considered tertiary sources, but a study of how encyclopedias have changed on the Internet, seemingly, would use them as primary sources. Because time is a defining element, for our purposes these distinctions remain more loosely defined.
Information can come from virtually anywhere — media, blogs, photographs, personal experiences, books, news articles, journal and magazine articles, expert opinions, encyclopedias, oral accounting, and web pages — and the type of information we require most likely will change depending on the question we are trying to answer.
Procedures for contradictory source criticism
Core principles for determining reliability
Eyewitness evidence as real meaning of the statement
Caution with indirect and secondary source of knowledge
Oral tradition must satisfy certain conditions
Anonymous sources not used to establish historical facts
Panama Baha’i Temple Site
Baha’i Intercontential Conference, Panama, 7-10 Oct, 1967.
Peter Tillotson (Architect), Hands of the Cause: Abu’l-Qásim Faizi, Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum
Photo © ObeisanceBaha
Historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines uses as primary sources and other evidence to research and then to write to form accounts of the past. Information evaluation is the process of evaluating the qualities of an information source, such as its validity, reliability, and relevance to the subject under investigation. View ‘Instructions’.
ObeisanceBaha holds an extensive catalogue of research data, documents, studies, reports and other items. It also includes a Name-List of individuals referenced on its website. Information relevant to specific references is compiled and can be searched using the search function. View ‘Catalogue’.
Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh
- 1 “O SON OF SPIRIT! My first counsel is this: Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting.”
- 2“O SON OF MAN! Veiled in My immemorial being and in the ancient eternity of My essence, I knew My love for thee; therefore I created thee, have engraved on thee Mine image and revealed to thee My beauty.”
- 3“O SON OF SPIRIT! Noble have I created thee, yet thou hast abased thyself. Rise then unto that for which thou wast created.”
Our primary sources of information allow researchers to get as close as possible to original ideas, events, and empirical research as possible; however, for our purposes, this remains more loosely defined. Baha’i news sources contain reports on activities of the worldwide Baha’i community, considered official sources of information regarding the activities, people, places and events during and to a limited extent beyond the early 1900s.
Baha’i News was a publication circulated from March 1910 until March of 1911. It represents the first volume of Star of the West prior to its renaming (Vol. 2), and ran from 1924 to 1990.
Star of the West was published between 1910 and 1935, and contains many translations of Tablets and communications not published elsewhere. The was first published as ‘Bahai News’.
The Baha’i News Letter was a 40-issue publication between December of 1924 and May of 1930. At issue 41 the title was changed to Baha’i News and continued publication. Photo © Bahá’í Int’l Com.
Baha’i News was a publication circulated from December of 1924 until October of 1990. The title ‘Baha’i News’ begins at issue 41, the first 40 issues were titled ‘Baha’i News Letter’.
National Bahá’í Review, an insert included with Baha’i News with subjects of interest to believers in the United States. Began in 1958 titled “U.S. Supplement”. Photo © Bahá’í Int’l Com
The Bahá’í World chronicles over 80 years of religious history, and described by Shoghi Effendi as a unique record of world-wide Bahá’í activity available to the general public.
The Bahá’í Media Bank provides photographs for download, intended for non-commercial purposes only. It contains images and information of Baha’i activities around the globe.
The Association for Bahá’í Studies, founded in Canada in 1975, promotes the advanced study of the Bahá’í Faith and the application of its principles to the needs of humanity.
“Bahá’ís believe the crucial need facing humanity is to find a unifying vision of the future of society and of the nature and purpose of life. Such a vision unfolds in the writings of Bahá’u’lláh.” Explore the Bahá’í Faith.
Baha’i National Center
National Baha’i Center, Seoul, ROK, ca. 1986. Baha’i Continental Board of Counsellors: Mrs. K. Schwerin (1st row, 2nd frm right); Dr. Kim (stnd., 2nd frm right). Photo ©ObeisanceBaha
We are concerned primarily with the ideas, values, successes and circumstances that bind us together historically as a global religious community.
Writings of The Báb
- 4 “O Lord! Unto Thee I repair for refuge and toward all Thy signs I set my heart. O Lord! Whether travelling or at home, and in my occupation or in my work, I place my whole trust in Thee.”
- 5 “The most acceptable prayer is the one offered with the utmost spirituality and radiance; its prolongation hath not been and is not beloved by God. The more detached and the purer the prayer, the more acceptable is it in the presence of God.”
- 6 “Wert thou to open the heart of a single soul by helping him to embrace the Cause of Him Whom God shall make manifest, thine inmost being would be filled with the inspirations of that august Name.”
Our secondary sources of information analyze, review, or summarize information in primary resources or other secondary resources; however, for our purposes, this remains more loosely defined. Even sources presenting facts or descriptions about events are secondary unless they are based on direct participation or observation. Our secondary sources include events, people, special works, topics, and facts that provide substantial analysis. Most are post-1930.
The author has compiled a list of English language based sources, primary texts and authoritative literature, on the Baha’i Faith that can be considered essential to a theological library.
Bibliographies and literature reviews of Baha’i materials. Sources cited are deemed relevant for undertaking an independent and objective inquiry into the Baha’i Faith. Photo © Bahá’í Int’l Com.
Bahaikipedia is a collaborative encyclopedia on the Bahá’í Faith that exists to make factual information easily accessible in a single location. Article links will guide you to associated information.
The US National Bahá’í Library is online and available to researchers and bibliophiles. It includes books, pamphlets, study materials, and national and international Bahá’í periodicals.
Louhelen Baha'i Library
The Web-based catalog allows public access to descriptions of the National Bahá’í Library’s cataloged titles and also those held at the Louhelen Bahá’í School’s library.
The Religious Literacy Project is dedicated to enhance and promote understanding of religion, providing resources to better understand the roles religions play in global, national, and local contexts.
Accentuating Baha’i History
We focus on extending both the theoretical and historiographical bases for photographic accentuation of Baha’i history. This provides an important base for the further development and preservation of materials vital for historical research.
Becoming involved in this very exciting project.
Global Economics Forum
Global Economics Forum, Washington, DC (ca. 1969)
Attending [L/R]: James Oliver, Maxine Oliver, Helen Harris, Theodies Washington, Unknown, Silvia Ioas
Seated: Antoniette Washington, Anita I. Chapman. Photo © ObeisanceBaha
Our archives contain materials accumulated since 1965 and presented to document people, places and events instrumental to the expansion, growth and development of Baha’i communities. The project enable stories that would otherwise go unheard to be shared and appreciated.
Writings of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá
- 7 “The Faith of the Blessed Beauty is summoning mankind to safety and love, to amity and peace; it hath raised up its tabernacle on the heights of the earth, and directeth its call to all nations.”
- 8 “O thou whose heart overfloweth with love for the Lord! I address thee from this consecrated spot, to gladden thy bosom with mine epistle to thee, for this is such a letter as maketh the heart of him who believeth in God’s oneness to wing its flight toward the summits of bliss.”
- 9 “Service to the friends is service to the Kingdom of God, and consideration shown to the poor is one of the greatest teachings of God.”
Our tertiary sources of information provide overviews of topics by synthesizing information gathered from other resources; however, for our purposes, this remains more loosely defined. Our tertiary sources often provide data in a convenient form or provide information within a particular context convenient for more complete analysis and interpretation.
“I am interested especially in Bahai theology (theology is what Bahais usually call ‘deepening,’ but conducted in a systematic and self-critical way)…”
H-Bahai encourages scholarly discussion of the culture and history of millenarian and/or esoteric religious traditions originating in modern Iran and other regions.
Collecting stories of individual Baha’is currently living in the UK, or have lived here in the past. Sponsored by: The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahai’s of the UK. Photo © Bahá’í Int’l Com
Encyclopædia Iranica is dedicated to the study of Iranian civilization in the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent.
Perspectives given by members of the Baha’i Faith who are striving to deepen their understanding of the Baha’i teachings and to apply them to contemporary challenges.
Our Core Capabilities
Core capabilities are addressed through spiritual values, moral principles and ethical criteria that denote standards of conduct. This directly impacts individual performance and institutional practices.
Acting accordingly to discover our spiritual nature.
Foundation and inspiration of Baha’i ethics.
Upon which social order and good governance depend.
Essence of Faith
Consists in “fewness of words and abundance of deeds”.
Photos – “© Bahá’í Int’l Com.” > (© Bahá’í International Community)
Photo – Baha’i Temple, Chile > (© Bahá’í International Community)
Photo – Seat of the Universal House of Justice > (© Bahá’í International Community)
Specified Photos – © ObeisanceBaha > (© Terry Randolph)
Photos Not Specified > (Creative Commons Zero)
All Photos by © Terry Randolph unless otherwise noted.
Quotes are licensed as Copyright © Bahá’í International Community
US National Baha’i Convention
Hands of the Cause of God
Dr. Dhikru’llah Khadem (1904–1986), Mr. John Aldham Robarts (1901–1991)
Baha’i National Convention, Baha’i House of Worship, Wilmette, IL. 1986.
Photo © ObeisanceBaha
Center of Learning
ObeisanceBaha pursues learning through research experience. We are dedicated to fostering deeper understanding and appreciation for the Baha’i experience. Through our collections, pursuits and projects we seek to nurture factual rendering of Baha’i history.