Bahá'ís believe that in each age God sends a Messenger to mankind. Those we know from the past have been the great religious teachers such as Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Christ and Muhammad. They have all taught us about God and how we should live our lives
All the Messengers in the past have promised that a great World Teacher would come Who would bring an age of peace to mankind. Sometimes they refer to this as the return of their own spirit, sometimes it seems like another person, as in this quotation from the Christian scriptures:
"I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when He the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you unto all truth..."
Bahá'ís believe that, although the Messengers are all different individuals, it is the same spirit, the spirit of God, which is in them all. So, in one sense, it is the same Messenger Who comes each time. In another sense, it is actually a different person.
The Promised One
Bahá'ís believe that Bahá'u'lláh fulfilled all the promises and prophecies of the past when He announced His Message to the world. We believe that the same spirit which was in all the Messengers is in Bahá'u'lláh.
The name Bahá'u'lláh means 'the Glory of God' or 'Glory of the Lord'. This title is mentioned in many prophecies in the Holy Books.
Bahá'ís believe that Bahá'u'lláh is the Prince of Peace promised to the Jews by Isaiah, the Spirit of Truth promised by Christ as His Return, the Promised One of Islam, the Return of Krishna, the Buddha Maitreya.
Who was Bahá'u'lláh?
Bahá'u'lláh was born into a wealthy and powerful family in Persia in 1817. He gave up all his wealth and possessions in order to serve God
as His Messenger. He said:
Because of His Faith, Bahá'u'lláh was bastinadoed (beaten on the soles of the feet), imprisoned in a dungeon in chains, exiled from country to country, and imprisoned again for most of the rest of His life. He accepted all this because of His love for God and His desire to serve Him. He never stopped telling everyone about the Message which God had given Him, the Message of peace and love and brotherhood between all people and all nations.
Despite His sufferings, Bahá'u'lláh was happy because He was doing the will of God.
The Promised Day of God
This is the Promised Day of God:
"...this is the Day which the one true God... hath announced in all His Books unto his Prophets and Messengers."
This is the day when the will of God will be done upon all the earth:
"The promises of God, as recorded in the holy Scriptures, have all been fulfilled...This is the day which the Pen of the Most High hath glorified in all the Holy Scriptures."
This is the day for which humanity has been hoping and waiting for thousands of years:
"Verily I say, this is the day in which mankind can behold the face, and hear the Voice, of the Promised One....Great indeed is this Day! "
This is the promised Age of Peace.
The Message for Today
Each Messenger builds upon the Messages of Those gone before. Like children in a school, we learn more from each Teacher, so that our souls may progress towards spiritual perfection.
Each Messenger also brings social teachings designed for each particular age. The teachings of Bahá'u'lláh are for the age we live in today. Here are some examples:
"That one indeed is a man who today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race...The earth is but one country and
mankind its citizens."
The Time is Now
All the Messengers of the past have promised a time of peace with a great World Teacher. The coming of Bahá'u'lláh is the beginning of a new age in the history of mankind. In this age we will achieve the unity of the peoples of the world. In this age we will achieve peace.
"O people! The Day, promised unto you in all the Scriptures, is now come."
Published by, and copyright of, the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Warwick.
Approved by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United Kingdom,
27 Rutland Gate, London, SW7 1PD.
All quotations are from the Bahá'í writings.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holders