What Is Bahá’u’lláh’s Plan for a Peaceful and Prosperous World?
Updated: Dec 30, 2019
We cannot build a new, peaceful, and prosperous world with obstacles like ignorance, inequality, apathy, selfishness, poverty, prejudice, and a lack of communication. The following are some of the principles Bahá’u’lláh presented for building a new world order:
Universal and compulsory education.
True education is the key to the prevention of all human suffering. True education not only enriches the mind but molds the character as well. It fosters the development of all human potential— physical, mental, emotional, social, moral, and spiritual. Every child must learn to practice justice, love, and wisdom. Learning to read and write, and master science, literature, and technology are only a small part of the total education a child must receive.
The primary, the most urgent requirement is the promotion of education. It is inconceivable that any nation should achieve prosperity and success unless this paramount, this fundamental concern is carried forward. The principal reason for the decline and fall of peoples is ignorance. Today the masses of the people are uninformed even as to ordinary affairs, how much less do they grasp the core of the important problems and complex needs of the time. - ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Each gender has special talents and can make special contributions to society. Women have had fewer opportunities for developing their talents. Their profound influence on children makes them especially deserving of new and greater opportunities for spiritual growth and self-enhancement.
Women and men have been and will always be equal in the sight of God...The most beloved of people before God are the most steadfast and those who have surpassed others in their love for God, exalted be His glory...- Bahá’u’lláh
Humanity is like a bird with its two wings—the one is male, the other female. Unless both wings are strong and impelled by some common force, the bird cannot fly heavenwards. According to the spirit of this age, women must advance and fulfill their mission in all departments of life, becoming equal to men. They must be on the same level as men and enjoy equal rights. This is my earnest prayer and it is one of the fundamental principles of Bahá’u’lláh.- ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Elimination of poverty.
There should be a fair distribution of wealth. The Bahá’í Faith has laws and teachings that make this possible.
O YE RICH ONES ON EARTH! The poor in your midst are My trust; guard ye My trust, and be not intent only on your own ease.- Bahá’u’lláh
O CHILDREN OF DUST! Tell the rich of the midnight sighing of the poor, lest heedlessness lead them into the path of destruction, and deprive them of the Tree of Wealth. To give and to be generous are attributes of Mine; well is it with him that adorneth himself with My virtues.- Bahá’u’lláh
It is important to limit riches, as it is also of importance to limit poverty. Either extreme is not good...When we see poverty allowed to reach a condition of starvation, it is a sure sign that somewhere we shall find tyranny ...There must be special laws made, dealing with these extremes of riches and want... The government of the countries should conform to the Divine Law which gives equal justice to all. - ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Work is not a curse or a burden, but a blessing and a gift from God.
Many people do not enjoy their work. “If you haven’t made up your mind about reincarnation, just watch the way some people come back to life at quitting time.”
The hand that is rough with labor is fit to hold the hand of God. In the estimation of God, Bahá’u’lláh teaches, work equates with worship. All are encouraged to invest their talents in a craft or profession.
It is enjoined upon every one of you to engage in some form of occupation...We have graciously exalted your engagement in such work to the rank of worship unto God, the True One. Ponder ye in your hearts the grace and the blessings of God and render thanks unto Him at eventide and at dawn. Waste not your time in idleness and sloth. Occupy yourselves with that which profiteth yourselves and others.- Bahá’u’lláh
Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings change the pain of working into the pleasure of serving and glorifying God. They transform a worker’s perspective from “how many hours did I put in” into “how much did I put in the hours.” A cheerful attitude always lightens the burden. The worthiest gifts to God are wrapped in a desire to serve Him and tied with a passion to love Him. Bahá’u’lláh teaches that serving and pleasing people is the same as serving and pleasing God.
Elimination of prejudice.
Being prejudiced is identical to being narrow-minded. A mind that is already set stands as an obstacle to understanding, harmony, peace, and unity. Today, many kinds of prejudice prevail: racism, sexism, sectarianism, and nationalism.
Ye observe how the world is divided against itself, how many a land is red with blood...And the breeding-ground of all these tragedies is prejudice: prejudice of race and nation, of religion, of political opinion; and the root cause of prejudice is blind imitation of the past—imitation in religion, in racial attitudes, in national bias, in politics. So long as this aping of the past pesisteth, just so long will the foundations of the social order be blown to the four winds, just so long will humanity be continually exposed to direst peril. - ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Unity in diversity.
We have many distinct walls. Let us make a bridge to connect them all. “The world is slowly learning that because two believers think differently, neither need be wicked.” Unity in diversity declares this most fundamental message:
In all things—love
‘Abdu’l-Bahá explains this principle:
When divers shades of thought, temperament and character, are brought together under the power and influence of one central agency, the beauty and glory of human perfection will be revealed and made manifest. Naught but the celestial potency of the Word of God, which ruleth and transcendeth the realities of all things, is capable of harmonizing the divergent thoughts, sentiments, ideas, and convictions of the children of men.- ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
A new world order.
A religion that intends to unify the world must have a plan for global unity and set an example of order and harmony in the way it directs its own affairs.
Soon will the present-day order be rolled up, and a new one spread out in its stead. Verily, thy Lord speaketh the truth, and is the Knower of things unseen.- Bahá’u’lláh
The day is approaching when We will have rolled up the world and all that is therein, and spread out a new order in its stead. He, verily, is powerful over all things.- Bahá’u’lláh
Bend your minds and wills to the education of the peoples and kindreds of the earth, that haply the dissensions that divide it may...be blotted out from its face, and all mankind become the upholders of one Order, and the inhabitants of one City.- Bahá’u’lláh
The unity of the human race, as envisaged by Bahá’u’lláh, implies the establishment of a world commonwealth in which all nations, races, creeds, and classes are closely and permanently united, and in which the autonomy of its state members and the personal freedom and initiative of the individuals that compose them are definitely and completely safeguarded. This commonwealth must, as far as we can visualize it, consist of a world legislature...A world executive, backed by an international Force, will carry out the decisions arrived at, and apply the laws enacted by, this world legislature...A world tribunal will...deliver its compulsory and final verdict in all and any disputes that may arise between the various elements constituting this universal system. A mechanism of world inter-communication will be devised, embracing the whole planet...A world metropolis will act as the nerve center of a world civilization...The economic resources of the world will be organized, its sources of raw materials will be tapped and fully utilized, its markets will be coordinated and developed, and the distribution of its products will be equitably regulated. - Shoghi Effendi
This is the plan prepared for the whole earth, this is the hand stretched out over all the nations. For the Lord of Hosts has prepared his plan: who shall frustrate it? His is the hand stretched out, and who shall turn it back? Isaiah 14:26-27
A universal auxiliary language.
According to one source, the people of our planet speak 6,000 languages and dialects. As the world shrinks, communication between its inhabitants becomes more critical. A universal auxiliary language is an essential medium for fostering fellowship and understanding among nations.
We have enjoined upon the Trustees of the House of Justice either to choose one language from among those now existing or to adopt a new one, and in like manner to select a common script, both of which should be taught in all the schools of the world. Thus will the earth be regarded as one country and one home. The most glorious fruit of the tree of knowledge is this exalted word: Of one tree are all ye the fruit, and of one bough the leaves. Let not man glory in this that he loveth his country, let him rather glory in this that he loveth his kind.- Bahá’u’lláh
Lack of communication not only breaks down marriages but also nations.
People don’t get along because they fear each other. People fear each other because they don’t know each other. They don’t know each other because they have not properly communicated with each other. - Martin Luther King
In a global language lies enormous powers:
And the Lord said, behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and now nothing they have imagined they can do will be impossible to them. Genesis 11:6
We are, in essence, spiritual beings.
Our souls depend on spiritual nourishment as much as our bodies on physical. Whether it is the cell or the soul, starvation eventually leads to death. Spirituality is the salt of the soul; without it, the soul spoils. It must be sprinkled on everyone, every day. “A 5-year-old boy was watching his mother change the baby. When she overlooked sprinkling the tot’s backside with talcum powder, the 5-year-old reminded her, ‘Hey, Mom, you forgot to salt him!’”
…from the very beginning, the children must receive divine education and must continually be reminded to remember their God. Let the love of God pervade their inmost being, commingled with their mother’s milk.- ‘Abdu’l-Bahá