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The time fore-ordained unto the peoples and kindreds of the earth is now come. The promises of God, as recorded in the holy Scriptures, have all been fulfilled. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, pp. 12-13.
The Baha’i teachings challenge everyone who investigates them to recognize a new prophet of God—Baha’u’llah. He founded the Baha’i Faith in the 19th Century while undergoing forty years of exile, imprisonment and torture; and that Faith has now spread around the world, attracting millions of people from every culture, former religion and ethnicity.
The Baha’i teachings, however, don’t insist that you believe in them. Baha’is don’t proselytize or forcibly convert anyone, and the Baha’i Faith has no clergy. Instead, Baha’u’llah asked each person to freely conduct their own independent investigation of the truth, and to decide for themselves, without prejudice, whether or not the Baha’i message rings true.
He put it this way:
Verily I say, this is the Day in which mankind can behold the Face, and hear the Voice, of the Promised One. The Call of God hath been raised, and the light of His countenance hath been lifted up upon men. It behoveth every man to blot out the trace of every idle word from the tablet of his heart, and to gaze, with an open and unbiased mind, on the signs of His Revelation, the proofs of His Mission, and the tokens of His glory.
Great indeed is this Day! The allusions made to it in all the sacred Scriptures as the Day of God attest its greatness. The soul of every Prophet of God, of every Divine Messenger, hath thirsted for this wondrous Day. All the divers kindreds of the earth have, likewise, yearned to attain it. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, pp. 10-11.
Baha’is believe that Baha’u’llah has brought a fresh religious revelation to humanity—that this global Faith represents a completely new era in human progress, belief, development and civilization. Directly comparable to the advent of a Moses, a Buddha, a Christ or a Muhammad, the Baha’i revelation brings the same transcendent character and world-changing potentiality that the advent of every new major Faith offers us. Baha’u’llah wrote:
This is the Day in which God’s most excellent favors have been poured out upon men, the Day in which His most mighty grace hath been infused into all created things. It is incumbent upon all the peoples of the world to reconcile their differences, and, with perfect unity and peace, abide beneath the shadow of the Tree of His care and loving-kindness. It behoveth them to cleave to whatsoever will, in this Day, be conducive to the exaltation of their stations, and to the promotion of their best interests…
Beseech ye the one true God to grant that all men may be graciously assisted to fulfil that which is acceptable in Our sight. 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. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 6.
So it’s up to you to determine the truth of this new Faith for yourself. You get to decide whether the major claims Baha’u’llah made resonate with you and touch your heart:
From the continual imitation of ancient and worn-out ways, the world had grown dark as darksome night. The fundamentals of the divine Teachings had passed from memory; their pith and heart had been totally forgotten, and the people were holding on to husks. The nations had, like tattered garments long outworn, fallen into a pitiful condition.
Out of this pitch blackness there dawned the morning splendour of the Teachings of Baha’u’llah. He hath dressed the world with a garment new and fair, and that new garment is the principles which have come down from God.
Now the new age is here and creation is reborn. Humanity hath taken on new life. The autumn hath gone by, and the reviving spring is here. All things are now made new. Arts and industries have been reborn, there are new discoveries in science, and there are new inventions; even the details of human affairs, such as dress and personal effects — even weapons — all these have likewise been renewed. The laws and procedures of every government have been revised. Renewal is the order of the day.
And all this newness hath its source in the fresh outpourings of wondrous grace and favour from the Lord of the Kingdom, which have renewed the world. The people, therefore, must be set completely free from their old patterns of thought, that all their attention may be focused upon these new principles, for these are the light of this time and the very spirit of this age. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, pp. 252-253.