In his writings, Baha’u’llah frequently expressed deep sadness at humanity’s incessant warfare and the untold sufferings that it brings.

But Baha’u’llah also acted to prevent that deep despair, by setting in motion a global plan for peace. Knowing full well that the world’s rejection of the Baha’i message could only prolong such tragedy, he wrote:

How long will humanity persist in its waywardness? How long will injustice continue? How long is chaos and confusion to reign amongst men? How long will discord agitate the face of society? … The winds of despair are, alas, blowing from every direction, and the strife that divideth and afflicteth the human race is daily increasing. The signs of impending convulsions and chaos can now be discerned, inasmuch as the prevailing order appeareth to be lamentably defective. – Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 216.

Baha’u’llah called upon humanity to think in terms of the needs of all of God’s children and to liberate themselves from petty interests:

Let your vision be world-embracing, rather than confined to your own self …. It is incumbent upon every man, in this Day, to hold fast unto whatsoever will promote the interests, and exalt the station, of all nations and just governments … It is not his to boast who loveth his country, but it is his who loveth the world. – Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 87; Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 95.

Baha’u’llah lauded those who arise to serve the interests of all humanity:

That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race. The Great Being saith: Blessed and happy is he that ariseth to promote the best interests of the peoples and kindreds of the earth. In another passage He hath proclaimed: It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. – Ibid., p. 250.

The Baha’i teachings state that the time has come for the nations of the earth to work together to establish peace and to regulate international affairs in such manner as to ensure justice for all of humanity. The era of unfettered national sovereignty must come to a close. Addressing “the concourse of the rulers of the earth,” Baha’u’llah wrote:

O ye the elected representatives of the people in every land! Take ye counsel together, and let your concern be only for that which profiteth mankind and bettereth the condition thereof …. Regard the world as the human body which, though at its creation whole and perfect, hath been afflicted, through various causes, with grave disorders and maladies. Not for one day did it gain ease, nay its sickness waxed more severe, as it fell under the treatment of ignorant physicians, who gave full rein to their personal desires and have erred grievously. And if, at one time, through the care of an able physician, a member of that body was healed, the rest remained afflicted as before. – Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp. 90-91.

Later he added:

O kings of the earth! We see you increasing every year your expenditures, and laying the burden thereof on your subjects. This, verily, is wholly and grossly unjust. Fear the sighs and tears of this Wronged One, and lay not excessive burdens on your peoples ….

… Be reconciled among yourselves, that ye may need no more armaments save in a measure to safeguard your territories and dominions. . . .

Be united, O kings of the earth, for thereby will the tempest of discord be stilled amongst you, and your peoples find rest …. Should any one among you take up arms against another, rise ye all against him, for this is naught but manifest justice. – Ibid., pp. 93-94.

The Baha’i teachings advocate the establishment of an international body composed of representatives from all the world’s nations. The Baha’i writings say that such a body will resolve disputes and deal with other matters necessary to ensure international harmony. Among its guiding principles will be that of collective security, whereby the nations of the world will unitedly oppose renegade acts of aggression.

Abdu’l-Baha described a world that is becoming increasingly interdependent. No longer can the nations operate in isolation. This stage represents the end result of a long historic process of social evolution:

In cycles gone by, though harmony was established, yet, owing to the absence of means, the unity of all mankind could not have been achieved. Continents remained widely divided, nay even among the peoples of one and the same continent association and interchange of thought were wellnigh impossible. Consequently intercourse, understanding and unity amongst all the peoples and kindreds of the earth were unattainable. In this day, however, means of communication have multiplied, and the five continents of the earth have virtually merged into one. And for everyone it is now easy to travel to any land, to associate and exchange views with its peoples, and to become familiar, through publications, with the conditions, the religious beliefs and the thoughts of all men. In like manner all the members of the human family, whether peoples or governments, cities or villages, have become increasingly interdependent. For none is self-sufficiency any longer possible, inasmuch as political ties unite all peoples and nations, and the bonds of trade and industry, of agriculture and education, are being strengthened every day. Hence the unity of all mankind can in this day be achieved. – Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 31.

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.

2 Comments

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  • Pete Jorgensen
    Jul 19, 2017
    Thanks, the wife & liked the power of the quotes. We might think over the "Unfettered National Sovereignty" in the title though.
    Sovereignty' is by definition absolute authority free from outside interference; Baha'u'llah made it clear that the only real sovereignty is divine sovereignty.
    Perhaps a half millennium ago nobody elsewhere knew or cared about what the Incas did to their neighbors, but in today's world everyone knows everything. For a century now we've lived in an world where limits to intra-national behavior have become clearer and more quickly enforced. These days even internal affairs are ...subject neighbors' approval.
    We might even want to consider this a world government in substance, if not yet in form.
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  • Jul 19, 2017
    Communication, and therefore correct interpretation of what each player is saying, is essential! I read a long time ago (source lost) that one of the reasons that the second A-bomb was dropped on Japan could have been their inability to communicate with us their desire to surrender. Some of the misunderstandings that happen now between countries could be resolved if they were just able to talk with each other, and really understand. Accepting the oneness of God and true Unity -- the essential harmony of all religions and of all of humanity -- will drop the barriers between ...longtime foes and allow this communication to happen.
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