The Baha'i believers in Charleston, West Virginia, is comprised of people from many backgrounds and walks of life, inspired by a belief in the oneness of humanity and the oneness of God. The Baha'i Faith is an independent religion founded in Iran in 1844. We believe in the values of consultation, knowledge, and virtuous work. We believe that all members of the human race can do their part in building strong, vibrant community life. We believe that individuals are responsible for their own, personal investigation into truth. Baha’i's come together for devotional and community activities, even as there are no clergy in the Baha'i Faith. We hope that you will find these pages a good starting point to your search.
A person becomes a Bahá’í by recognizing Bahá’u’lláh as the Messenger of God for this age and accepting to follow His laws, His teachings, and the administrative institutions He established for the unification of humankind. People enroll in a Bahá’í community by signifying such belief and commitment, orally or in writing. You can either approach a Baha'i to sign a card or sign it online at https://www.bahai.us/contact/become-a-bahai/.
Local Bahá’í communities meet every 19 days for a “Feast.” Current feasts with the Charleston Baha'i community are held at the Baha'i Center in Charleston. Although there is no clergy in the Bahá’í Faith. this gathering includes consultation on global, national, and community activities. It starts with a devotional program and concludes with social interaction. In addition, being a unifed, global religion, the Bahá’í community does have established institutions that are democratically elected at the national and international levels.
Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Baha'i Faith, wrote that in an age of universal education, there would no longer be a need for a special class of clergy. Instead, He provided a framework for administering the affairs of the Faith through a system of elected councils at the local, national, and international levels.
The Bahá’í World Centre is established in the Haifa/’Akká area of Israel, the location of Bahá’u’lláh’s exile in 1868 and His death in 1892. The area is today the site of the Faith’s most sacred shrines—the resting places of Bahá’u’lláh and His Forerunner, the Báb—and the seat of the Faith’s international governing body. These shrines are surrounded by world-famous, beautiful gardens on the side of Mount Carmel.
Bahá’ís’ vision of the future derives from a fundamental understanding that human beings have been created to “carry forward an ever-advancing civilization.” This advancement is impelled by the coming of the Messengers of God from age to age. Bahá’u’lláh proclaimed that the time has arrived for humanity in all its diversity to realize its potential to live as one united people, empowered through His Revelation to establish a world civilization based on justice and peace.
The family is the basic unit of social life, and the progress of society depends on soundly functioning families. Monogamous marriage between a man and a woman is the foundation of family life. Bahá’u’lláh described matrimony as “a fortress for well-being and salvation” and identified the rearing of children as the fundamental, though not the only, purpose of marriage.
No. The Bahá’í Faith has maintained unity during its transitions, due to clearly written testaments, which were written to preserve the unity of His followers. The Bab's followers became Bahá’u’lláh's followers, known as Baha'is. After Baha'u'llah's passing, His eldest son, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá became the appointed interpreter of His teachings. The grandson, Shoghi Effendi, became the Guardian of the Faith until his passing. Then the Universal House of Justice, a democratically elected international council was convened. The Bahá’í community is a single, organically united global body, free of schisms or factions.
The Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh, was born into a Muslim family and society. Thus, in much the same way as Christianity grew out of Judaism, or Buddhism out of Hinduism, the Bahá’í Faith emerged from an Islamic context. However, like them, the Bahá’í Faith is an independent religion with its own laws, teachings, and institutions.
A large body of scriptures is authored by Baha'u'llah are archived with perfect accuracy. Comprising an estimated 100 volumes, these writings cover topics of a wide range, including laws and principles for personal conduct and the governance of society. Baha'is also consider the many writings of the Báb and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to be sacred material.
The Most Holy Book of the Bahá’í Faith is the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the book of laws written by Bahá’u’lláh. From that book, "Think not that We have revealed unto you a mere code of laws. Nay, rather, We have unsealed the choice Wine with the fingers of might and power. To this beareth witness that which the Pen of Revelation hath revealed. Meditate upon this, O men of insight! "
Bahá’ís observe eleven holy days each year. These include days associated with the lives of Bahá’u’lláh and the Báb, as well as the Bahá’í new year, on March 21. The most important of the other holidays is Ridván, a twelve-day period in April/May that commemorates Bahá’u’lláh’s declaration of His mission. The holy days are commemorated with community gatherings for prayer, reflection, and fellowship. On nine of these holy days, Bahá’ís abstain from work.
Yes. All continents have their own, unique places of worship. Many nations also have their own unique place of worship.
While their architectural styles differ, they share certain features, such as nine entrances on nine sides, and are set in magnificent gardens (nine being the highest digit symbolizes completeness or unity). These temples are places for personal prayer and meditation, as well as collective worship, where sacred scriptures are recited and sung.
The Baha'i House of Worship for North America is located in Wilmette, Illinois, approximately one hour north of downtown Chicago. The cornerstone for the temple was laid by 'Abdul-Baha, the son of Baha'u'llah, in 1912. It was established as "….a haven for the deepest contemplation on spiritual reality and foundational questions of life.” "Every one of us has a soul that longs to connect with its Creator and to contribute to a better world. The Baha’i House of Worship stands as a testament to these purposes, offering a quiet and safe space to go inward and revitalize your sense of purpose in the world. Here you can lay down your burdens, contemplate your dreams and tend to your spirit. Whatever your faith background or system of belief, you are welcome to use this space for personal prayer, reflection and meditation." This House of Worship is open to all. Many Chicago tourists consider their trip to Chicago incomplete without a visit. The website is: https://www.bahai.us/bahai-temple/.
Bahá’ís worship God through prayer and meditation, by participating in devotional gatherings, and through active service to their communities. They individually recite one of three obligatory prayers each day as prescribed by Bahá’u’lláh. The Bahá’í scriptures offer much guidance on the uses of prayer and contain many prayers for various purposes and occasions. Moreover, work performed in the spirit of service is, according to the Bahá’í teachings, a form of worshipping God.
People commune with God through prayer and receive guidance through study of the Word of God. The Bahá’í writings contain prayers for a wide range of purposes and occasions in addition to certain daily obligatory prayers. Moreover, Bahá’ís believe that work performed in a spirit of service is worship. Thus, together with active service, fasting, meditation, and obedience to spiritual and moral laws, prayer enables us to develop and grow closer to God.
Through Divine Messengers, God has revealed His laws and teachings for humanity in order that the individual can draw near to Him and society can advance spiritually and materially. Throughout history, the revelations of the Messengers of God have renewed religion so that humanity can come to understand its true purpose.
Bahá’ís believe that the Báb (1819-1850) was an independent Messenger of God, whose mission was to inaugurate a new cycle in humanity’s spiritual development. His writings prepared the way for the mission of Bahá’u’lláh. The Báb was executed in 1850 at the instance of Islamic clergy who felt their position threatened by the principles He taught.
Bahá’u’lláh is recognized by millions throughout the world as the Messenger of God for this age. The Bahá’í Faith is founded on His teachings. Born in 1817 to a prominent family in Iran, He showed from childhood an unusual intellectual precocity, although unschooled in the kind of learning prevalent in 19th century Iran; He demonstrated, too, a particular devotion to relief of the condition of the poor. His given name was Mírza Husayn ‘Alí, but He identified Himself as Bahá’u’lláh, which means “Glory of God,” a title by which He was addressed by His Forerunner, the Báb. Because of His teachings, He was banished into an exile, eventually lasting forty years, that took Him to the Holy Land. It was there that He passed away in 1892.
Copyright © 2021 Baha'is of Charleston - All Rights Reserved
Let your vision be world-embracing