The Baha’i Faith and Its Connection to the Environment

Photo via WikiCommonsMore than 2000 years ago, when idol-worship was the common practice, the prophet Abraham introduced the members of his community to the concept of a single God. Later, Zoroaster influenced his group of followers to worship one God. Those are two examples of spiritual teachers, men who changed the beliefs of a segment of mankind. Members of the Baha’i Faith believe that the prophet founder of their chosen religion had a mission similar to that of Abraham, Zoroaster, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha and others like them.

Each of those men shared with mankind teachings that had been revealed to them by God. Baha’u’llah, a man who lived and taught in Persia during the second half of the 19th century was the prophet-founder of the Baha’i Faith. His coming had been foretold by a man named the Bab. Baha’is believe that the appearance of those twin manifestations signals the start of a second spiritual cycle, one that differs from the earlier prophetic cycle.

The principal message of Baha’u’llah concerned the concept of unity, what he called the oneness of mankind. He urged his followers to see every man and woman as members of one world family. He spoke-out against any effort to favor one race or one gender over the other. His followers were not supposed to join any political party or union, because that was seen as an act that failed to promote unity.

Baha’is believe that God has chosen to send us a new messenger at this time because He feels that the time has come for all the people on the earth to unite. Baha’u’llah’s message extended to the area of religion. He wanted his followers to accept the unity of all religions. His recommendation that all religions unite can be viewed as an unmistakable link between the Baha’i Faith and those efforts that are directed at saving the environment.

Baha’u’llah recognized those units of society that have helped to encourage unity and cooperation. He cautioned his followers against acting to destroy the family or the government of the nation in which they lived. Yet, his teachings also indicated that the time had come for the world to undergo an organic change, a re-structuring of society.

Now, that recommended re-structuring is not meant to urge people to abolish any sense of order. Indeed, Baha’is see the presence of order as the basis for acknowledgement of an integrating/uniting principal. The ordering of objects helps to establish their purpose, and shows how every object on this earth has a relation to every other object.

Furthermore, in the absence of order, mankind could not hope to discover beauty on this planet. Beauty stems from the existence of order. By introducing order into our planet Earth, our creator allowed that rotating sphere to contain many beautiful locations. Those explorers who have discovered such locations have been filled with a sense of grandeur, awe and majesty.

Photo via WikiCommonsThe finest cathedrals were constructed with an eye to creating a similar sense of grandeur, awe, and majesty. Obviously, the feelings triggered by beauty are much like those that reverential men and women hold, in respect to their Creator. In other words, beauty, what might be viewed as the highest form of order, reveals the strong connection between religion and efforts to maintain the order that exists on our planet.

As indicated above, that same order serves as an integrating or uniting principal. The Baha’i Faith seeks to support any effort that is directed at promoting unity. Hence, there is an obvious connection between the teachings of the Baha’i Faith and a love for the environment.

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Sue is a member of the Baha’i Faith. She has served as the secretary of the Culver City Area Interfaith Alliance