Readers may recall that “Fifty Baha’i Principles of Unity” appeared in two previous BahaiTeachings.org articles. These teachings were presented in roughly historical order, as taught by Baha’u’llah, Abdu’l-Baha, Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice.

Here, these same unity principles — with a couple of changes as to the principles themselves — are now presented, for the first time, in a socially nuanced order, “from individual to international relations.”

It is hoped that this sequence will be of a more practical nature and therefore of greater interest to our esteemed readers.

BahaiTeachings.org editor, David Langness, has invited me to write a series of articles on each of these Baha’i principles of unity. Here, now, are these teachings:

I. INDIVIDUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

1. “Mystic Feeling which Unites Man with God.”

II. FAMILY RELATIONS

2. Unity of Husband and Wife (vaḥdat)

3. Unity of the Family (ittiḥād va ittifāq dar miyān-i khāndān)

III. INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS

4. Oneness of Emotions (iḥsāsāt-i vāḥidih)

5. Spiritual Oneness (vaḥdat-i rawḥānī)

IV. GENDER RELATIONS

6. Unity of the Rights of Men and Women (vaḥdat-i huqūq-i rijāl va nisā’)

7. Unity in Education (vaḥdat-i uṣūl va qavānīn-i tarbiyat)

V. ECONOMIC RELATIONS

8. Economic Unity (ittiḥād-i iqtiṣādī)

9. Unity of People and Wealth (ittiḥād-i nufūs va amvāl)

VI. RACE RELATIONS

10. Unity in Diversity

11. Unity of Races (vaḥdat-i jins)

VII. ENVIRONMENTAL RELATIONS

12. Unity of Existence (Oneness of Being and Manifestation (Arabic: waḥdat al-wujūd wa shuhūd/Persian: vaḥdat-i vujūd va shuhūd)

13. Unity of Species (vaḥdat-i jins)

14. Unity with the Environment

VIII. INTERFAITH RELATIONS

15. Unity of God (tawḥīd-i ilāhī)

16. Mystic Unity of God and His Manifestations

17. Unity of the Manifestations of God (maqām-i tawḥīd)

18. Unity of Truth (vaḥdat-i ḥaqīqat)

19. Unity Among Religions (ittiḥād dar dīn)

20. Peace Among Religions (sabab-i ulfat bayn-i adyān/ṣuḥul bayn-i adyān)

IX. SCIENTIFIC RELATIONS

21. Unity of Science and Religion (vaḥdat-i ‘ilm va dīn)

22. Methodological Coherence

23. Unity of Thought (vaḥdat-i ārā) in World Undertakings

X. LINGUISTIC RELATIONS

24. Unity of Language (vaḥdat-i lisān)

XI. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

25. Unity of Conscience (vaḥdat-i vujdān)

26. Unity in Freedom (vaḥdat-i āzādī)

27. Evolving Social Unities

28. Unity in the Political Realm (vaḥdat-i siyāsat)

29. Unity of Nations (vaḥdat-i vaṭan)

30. Unity of All Mankind/World Unity (ittifāq-i kull va ittiḥād-i ‘umūm/vaḥdat-i ‘ālam-i insānī)

31. Unity of the World Commonwealth

32. Unity of the Free

Seat of the Universal House of Justice

Seat of the Universal House of Justice

XII. BAHA’I RELATIONS

33. Unity of the Baha’i Revelation

34. All-Unifying Power (jihat-i jāmiʻih)

35. Unity of Doctrine

36. Unity of Meaning

37. Baha’i Unity (vaḥdat-i Bahā’ī)

38. Unity among Baha’i Women (al-ittiḥād wa’l-ittifāq)

39. Unity in Religion (vaḥdat-i dīnī)

40. Unity of Station (ittiḥād-i maqām)

41. Unity of Souls (ittiḥād-i nufūs)

42. Unity in Speech (ittiḥād dar qawl)

43. Unity in [Ritual] Acts (ittiḥād-i ā’māl)

44. Unity of Baha’i Administration

45. Unity of Purpose

46. Unity of Means

47. Unity of Vision

48. Unity of Action

49. Unity of the Spiritual Assembly (yigānigī)

50. Unity of Houses of Justice and Governments

An official Baha’i statement, Century of Light (commissioned by the Universal House of Justice), offers this general perspective on the role of unity in the advancement of human affairs:

For unity to exist among human beings—at even the simplest level—two fundamental conditions must pertain. Those involved must first of all be in some agreement about the nature of reality as it affects their relationships with one another and with the phenomenal world. They must, secondly, give assent to some recognized and authoritative means by which decisions will be taken that affect their association with one another and that determine their collective goals.

Unity is not, that is, merely a condition resulting from a sense of mutual goodwill and common purpose, however profound and sincerely held such sentiments may be, any more than an organism is a product of some fortuitous and amorphous association of various elements. Unity is a phenomenon of creative power, whose existence becomes apparent through the effects that collective action produces and whose absence is betrayed by the impotence of such efforts. However handicapped it often has been by ignorance and perversity, this force has been the primary influence driving the advancement of civilization, generating legal codes, social and political institutions, artistic works, technological achievements without end, moral breakthroughs, material prosperity, and long periods of public peace whose afterglow lived in the memories of subsequent generations as imagined “golden ages”.

As this eloquent statement — a prolegomenon, if you will — makes clear, the Baha’i Faith does not have a monopoly on unity. Far from it.

What is unique to the Baha’i teachings, however, is their extraordinary emphasis on unity, as the fundamental cure for the ills of the world in this day and age. It stands to reason, therefore, that the Baha’i Faith ought to have more to say about unity than any other religion has preceded it.

While the Baha’i Faith teaches respect for all religions — and emphasizes that Faiths should be friends — it should be fairly obvious that the above principles of unity are really quite unique to the Baha’i teachings, and thus offer practical guidance, infused with mystical significance for spiritual growth, for individual and social development. These teachings are quite extraordinary.

The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BahaiTeachings.org or any institution of the Baha’i Faith.

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