The Oneness of Humanity in the Baha'i Faith

1. Is the principle of Oneness of Humanity novel?

`Abd al-Bahā:

The Oneness of Humanity is not novel and was the basis of the teachings of the Divine Prophets.[1]


`Abd al-Bahā:

The principles of Baha’u’llah are novel.[2]

2. Are black Africans cows or humans?

`Abd al-Bahā:

Black Africans that have not been nurtured are cows that God has created with human faces.[3]
 

`Abd al-Bahā:

All of humanity are members of the human species.[4]

3. Are Africans uncivilized, wild, and without common-sense?

`Abd al-Bahā:

God created all humans from clay and did not put any differences. He created everyone the same and has put no differences in any grace or mercy.[5]
 

`Abd al-Bahā:

The inhabitants of a land like Africa are all like wild savages and land-dwelling animals that lack common-sense and knowledge.[6]

4. Should we be polite or rude?

Baha’u’llah referring to his brother:

Oh donkey[7], oh cow, Oh polytheist,  dung beetle, Satan, mosquito . . .[8]
 

Baha’u’llah and `Abd al-Bahā:

Whoever is without manners, it is better that they be destroyed.[9]
We must not insult people.[10]

5. Are Turks murderers and cannibals that deserve ridiculous answers?

`Abd al-Bahā and Baha’u’llah:

Turks are murderers and cannibals.[11] They deserve ridiculous answers.[12]
 

`Abd al-Bahā:


We are all divine sheep and no one has any superiority over another.[13]

 6. Does God’s Grace apply to all humans?

Baha’u’llah:

Whoever calls a single person of those that have not accepted Baha’ism a human will be deprived of God’s Grace.[14]
 

`Abd al-Bahā:

God’s Grace applies to all humans even though some are ignorant and must be taught, some are unaware and should be awakened.[15]

7. Interacting with other faiths or cutting relations?

Baha’u’llah:

Shia Muslims are polytheists[16] and meeting with them is forbidden.[17]
 

Baha’u’llah:

Interact with followers of other faiths with kindness and affection.[18]

8 . Are all people equal or are Baha’is superior to non-Baha’is?

Baha’u’llah:

My followers are [precious] gems and all other people are [worthless] pebbles.[19]
 

Baha’u’llah:

All people are the same, just like the leaves or fruits of a tree which have no difference.[20]

9. Accompaniment or Banishment?

Shoghi Effendi:

No one is allowed to speak with those who have been spiritually excommunicated, even their family members.[21]
 

`Abd al-Bahā:

If someone is separated, he should be returned and accompanied.[22]

10. Kindness or Torment?

Baha’u’llah:

Be a certain torment for the disbelievers and polytheists.[23]
 

`Abd al-Bahā:

Be kind to any creature that has a soul.[24]

11. Kindness or Beating?

`Abd al-Bahā:

My father (Baha’u’llah) told his companions to hit the kebob seller in the mouth because he merely said the Bābīs have come again.[25]
 

`Abd al-Bahā:

All are the creations of God and God is kind to all. So why should we be unkind?[26]

 12. Kindness or Separation?
Baha’u’llah:

You do not have the right to meet or speak with those who have objected to Baha’ism.[27]
 

`Abd al-Bahā:

Kindness brings about life, separation brings about death.”[28]

13. Should traitors be given refuge?

`Abd al-Bahā:

Do not be kind to traitors, for kindness will cause them to revolt.[29]
 

`Abd al-Bahā:

Give traitors shelter and refuge.”[30]

14. Should we utter rude words?

`Abd al-Bahā:

In the fight over succession, he calls his brother and his followers names such as mosquito, earthworm, bat, raven, fox . . .[31]
 

Baha’u’llah:

Do not utter profanities at any one and do not make anyone upset.[32]

15. Should we be kind to wolves?

`Abd al-Bahā:

Do not be kind with wolves, for it is betrayal of the sheep.[33]
 

`Abd al-Bahā:

Act with kindness towards bloodthirsty wolves.[34]

16. Are those that turned back from Baha’ism animals?

Baha’u’llah:

Those who have turned away from Baha’ism are animals[35], keep away from them.[36]
 

`Abd al-Bahā:

We should not consider ourselves greater than others, even those who are not believers.[37]

17. Are those who deny Baha’u’llah bastards?

Baha’u’llah:

Whoever denies me and is my enemy, is a bastard.[38]
 

`Abd al-Bahā:

As soon as we see ourselves superior to others, we will have gotten distant from the path of salvation and prosperity.”[39]

 18. Must we be kind towards tyrants or should we punish them?

`Abd al-Bahā:

Punish tyrants so they do not revolt.[40]
 

`Abd al-Bahā:

Be kind to tyrants.[41]


 19. Kindness towards the opposition or enmity?

`Abd al-Bahā:

Meeting with the polytheists and hypocrites is forbidden.[42]
 

`Abd al-Bahā:

We must be kind to the enemies and love the deniers.[43]



[1] “The foundation laid by all Prophets, is the foundation of Baha’u’llah and that foundation is the Oneness of Humanity,” `Abd al-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Tehran), vol. 2, p. 286; “All divine prophets struggled for the Oneness of Humanity and served humanity. For the foundation of the divine teachings is the Oneness of Humanity. Moses served the Oneness of Humanity, Jesus established the Oneness of Humanity, Mohammad declared the Oneness of Humanity. The Bible, Torah, and Quran established the foundation of the Oneness of Humanity,” `Abd al-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Egypt), vol. 1, pp. 18-19.
[2] “The call of Allah (nidā Allāh) was raised to such an extent that . . . the minds were astonished at what call this is that is so high? What is this star that has come up? Some were astonished, others were researching, and others were uttering proofs. They all said, ‘The principles of his Highness Baha’u’llah truly have no equal, they are the soul of this era and the light of this century,’” Abbas Effendi (`Abd al-Bahā), Khaṭābāt, vol. 3, p. 78.
[3] “The [black Africans] are cows that God has created with human faces,” `Abd al-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Tehran), vol. 3, p. 48.
[4]`Abd al-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Tehran), vol. 2, pp. 145–146.
[5] “The God of the world created all [humans] from clay and created everyone from one element, created all from one progeny, created all in one land, and created in the shadow of one sky, and made all emotions shared, and did not put any differences. He created everyone the same and gives all sustenance, nurtures/brings up all, protects all, and is kind to all. He has put no differences in any grace or mercy,” `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Payāmi malakūt, p. 42 (citing `Abd al-Bahā).
[6] “The inhabitants of a land like Africa are all like wild savages and land-dwelling animals that lack common-sense and knowledge and are all wild. There is not a single wise and civilized person among them,” `Abd al-Bahā, Makātīb (Egypt), vol. 1, pp. 331; “The wild tribes have no superiority over animals. For example what is the difference between African blacks and American blacks? The [black Africans] are cows that God has created with human faces. The [black Americans] are civilized, intelligent, and have culture . . .” `Abd al-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Tehran), vol. 3, p. 48.
[7]“Oh you donkeys! Whatever God says is the truth and will not become void by the words of the polytheists,” Baha’u’llah, Badī`, p. 174.
[8] “When Mīrzā Yaḥyā Azal started opposing the works, deeds, and words of his esteemed brother (Baha’u’llah) in Edirne[8] . . . he plunged from his [high] stature and the rank of union and agreement [that he had with Baha’u’llah] and was gradually— in the tablets, works, and revelations [from Baha’u’llah]— referred to with codes, references, and names such as the polytheist, the calf, the scarab (dung beetle), the tyrant, the Satan, the devil, the foul swamp, the buzzing of a mosquito, and similar names,” Asad-Allāh Fāḍil Māzandarānī, Asrār al-āthār khuṣūṣī, vol. 5, p. 345–346.
[9] “Politeness is one of mankind’s traits that distinguishes him from other [creatures]. He who has no success in [being polite] then his demise certainly has—and will have—priority over his existence,” E.G. Browne, Nuqṭat al-kāf (Leiden: Brill, 1901), p. 203–204.
[10] “The divine principles in this luminous era are such that one must not insult anyone,” `Abd al-Bahā, Makātīb (Egypt), vol. 1, p. 355.
[11] “Seek distance from the Turks, even if it is your father. For if they like you they shall eat you and if they are your enemy they will kill you,” Asad-Allāh Fāḍil Māzandarānī, Asrār al-āthār khuṣūṣī, vol. 2,p. 154.
[12] “When Djemal Pasha[12] . . . reached Acre[12] and asked to see me, I mounted a donkey and headed for his home. As soon as he saw me, he greeted me and sat me next to him and without hesitation said: “You are a corrupter of religion and that is why the government of Iran exiled you here . . .” I thought to myself that he is a Turk and I must give him a ridiculous and silencing answer,” Asad-Allāh Fāḍil Māzandarānī, Asrār al-āthār khuṣūṣī,vol. 3,p. 4243.
[13]“The second principle is the Oneness of Humanity: all humans are divine sheep and God is the kind shepherd who has utter compassion towards all the sheep and has made no distinction [between them],” `Abd al-Bahā, Makātīb, vol. 3, p. 67.
[14] “From this day, any person that considers a single person from those who deny me a human—whether that [denier] has a high or low stature—they will be excluded from all Divine Graces, let alone trying to prove [those deniers] have dignity or stature,” Baha’u’llah, Badī`, p. 140.
[15] “The human species are all in the shadow of the Lord’s mercy. At most some are imperfect and must be perfected, are ignorant and must be taught, are sick and must be treated, are asleep and must be awakened. We should not be angry at an infant for being an infant. We should nurture him. We should not be angry at a sick person for not being well. We should have the greatest mercy and kindness towards him. From these [examples] it is apparent that the enmity between religions should be completely wiped out; oppression and injustice should be removed and instead, the greatest amount of kindness and affection should flow,” `Abd al-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Tehran), vol. 2, pp. 145–146.
[16] “[I swear] by the age of God, the Shia sect have been mentioned as polytheists in the Red Book written by the Exalted Pen (Qalam A`lā),” `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Mā’idiyi āsimanī, vol. 4, pp. 140141.
[17] “Know that God has forbidden his lovers from meeting with the polytheists and hypocrites,” `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Mā’idiyi āsimanī, vol. 4, pp. 280.
[18] “Consort with all religions with amity and concord,” Baha’u’llah, Aqdas (n.p.: Baha’i World Centre, 1992), p. 72.
[19] “My friends are pearls and jewels and all others are small earthly pebbles,” `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Mā’idiyi āsimanī, vol. 4, pp. 353.
[20]“You are all the fruits of one tree and the leaves of one branch,” Baha’u’llah, Majmū`iyi alwāḥ mubāraki, p. 265.
[21] “A question was asked about the friends that, as a result of their ignorance and neglect, had been excluded from administrative affairs about whether they should be invited to public assemblies or not? He (Shoghi) said, ‘Inviting them is not permitted.’ And it was asked about those that had been excluded from the community whether greeting and speaking with them was permitted? He replied, ‘If they have been spiritually excommunicated speaking with them is not permitted in any way,’” Shoghi Effendi, Tauqī’āt Mubāraki (year 102–109), pp. 9495.
[22] “Thus, the divine sheep must interact with each other with utter affection. If one wanders away they should return him and accompany him,” `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Payāmi malakūt, p.44 (citing `Abd al-Bahā).
[23] “And you, O friends of God, be clouds of grace for those who believe in God and his signs, and be certain torment for those who do not believe in God and are polytheists,” Baha’u’llah, Majmū`iyi alwāḥ mubāraki, p. 216.
[24] “God the Exalted has put the crown of grace and beneficence on man’s head so that he shows kindness and affection to all things that possess a soul and to make apparent the greatness of the world of humanity,” `Abd al-Bahā, Makātīb (Tehran), vol. 8, p. 227.
[25] “When his holiness returned from Sulaymaniyah, he was strolling in the street one day with the late Āqā Mīrzā Muḥammad Qulī. A Kebob seller quietly said, ‘These Bābīs have appeared again!’ His holiness said to Mīrzā Muḥammad Qulī, ‘Hit him in the mouth!’ Mīrzā Muḥammad Qulī grabbed his beard and started hitting him in the head,” Ḥabīb Mu’ayyid, Khāṭirāti Ḥabīb (n.p.: Mu’assisiyi Millī Maṭbū`āt Amrī, 118 Badī`), vol. 1, p.266.
[26] “All of humanity are members of the human species. They are all servants of God. They have all been created by God. They are all divine children. God gives sustenance to all of them; nurtures all of them; is compassionate to all of them; why should we be uncompassionate?” `Abd al-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Tehran), vol. 2, pp. 145–146.
[27] “It is not permitted to interact, speak, or meet with those dissenting individuals that have made their objections apparent. This is an order revealed from the heavens of an Ancient Commander,” `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Mā’idiyi āsimanī, vol. 8, pp. 74.
[28]`Abd al-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Egypt), vol.1, p. 153.
[29] “One cannot be kind to a tyrant, traitor, or thief, for kindness will make them revolt instead of awakening them. The more you show affection to a liar, the more lies he will tell,” `Abd al-Bahā, Makātīb (Egypt), vol. 3, p. 211.
[30]`Abd al-Bahā, Makātīb, vol. 3, p. 160.
[31]“They are senile like arrogant fools and not seashells full of gems. They are ecstatic from the smell of garbage like dung beetles and not from the scent of a flower of gardens. They are lowly earthworms buried beneath the great earth not high flying birds. They are bats of darkness not the searchlights of clear horizons. They always make excuses and like ravens, have nested in the landfills of fall (Autumn) . . . so you Oh true friend and spiritual helper . . . attack these unjust foxes and like a high soaring eagle drive away these hateful ravens from this field,” `Abd al-Bahā, Makātīb (Egypt), vol. 1, pp. 442–443.
[32]“Oh followers of Bahā! You were—and are—the starting point of affection and the beginning place of divine favors. Do not stain your tongue by swearing and cursing . . . do not be the cause of sadness,” `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Ganjīniyi ḥudūd wa aḥkām, chap. 47, p. 322.
[33] “If you are kind to a wolf you are betraying the sheep because it will destroy a herd of sheep. If you give a dog that bites the opportunity, it will kill thousands of humans and animals. Thus showing affection to savage animals is equal to being unfair to oppressed animals,” `Abd al-Bahā, Makātīb (Egypt), vol. 3, p. 212.
[34] “Make bloodthirsty wolves smell the scent of musk like gazelles,” `Abd al-Bahā, Makātīb, vol. 3, p. 160.
[35] “Those individuals who oppose this Novel Affair (meaning Baha’ism) are deprived of the garb of being called and described [as humans?] and are and have been animals in the presence of God,” Baha’u’llah, Badī`, p. 213.
[36] “We must avoid deniers in all affairs and we must not become fond of them or sit and converse with them even for a moment, for by God the [effect of] evil individuals on pure individuals is like fire on dry wood and heat on cold snow,” `Abd a l-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Mā’idiyi āsimanī, vol. 8, pp. 39.
[37]“we must not desire ourselves and must regard others as better than ourselves, even those who are not believers,” `Abd a l-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Ganjīniyi ḥudūd wa aḥkām, chap. 49, p. 326.
[38] “Whoever denies this apparent exalted luminous grace (meaning Baha’ism), it is worthy that he asks his state from his mother and he will soon be returned to the bottom of hell,” `Abd a l-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Mā’idiyi āsimanī, vol. 4, pp. 355 and `Abd a l-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Ganj shāygān, p. 78; “Whoever has the enmity of this servant (meaning Baha’u’llah) in his heart, certainly Satan has entered their mother’s bed,” `Abd a l-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Ganj shāygān, p. 79.
[39] `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Ganjīniyi ḥudūd wa aḥkām, chap. 49, p. 326.
[40] “One cannot be kind to a tyrant, traitor, or thief, for kindness will make them revolt instead of awakening them. The more you show affection to a liar, the more lies he will tell,” `Abd al-Bahā, Makātīb (Egypt), vol. 3, p. 211
[41] “Apply ointment to the wounds of tyrants and heal the pain of oppressors,” Asad-Allāh Fāḍil Māzandarānī, Amr wa khalq, vol. 3,p. 228.
[42] “Know that God has forbidden his lovers from meeting with the polytheists and hypocrites,” `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Mā’idiyi āsimanī, vol. 4, pp. 280.
[43] “We must . . . warn the unaware, show compassion to the enemies, and love the foes,” `Abd al-Bahā, Makātīb (Egypt), vol. 1, p. 288.

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