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Each religion expects a Promised One, a Savior, a great Return.
Baha’is believe that Baha’u’llah fulfills those expectations for every great Faith – and for the first time in history, Baha’u’llah has made that remarkable claim to the followers of all religions. Baha’u’llah’s mission — to unite all people in one common faith – has made the Baha’i Faith one of the most widespread belief systems on Earth. Baha’u’llah writes:
That which the Lord hath ordained as the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is the union of all its peoples in one universal Cause, one common faith. This can in no wise be achieved except through the power of a skilled, an all-powerful and inspired Physician. – Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 255.
This stupendous claim should not have arrived unexpectedly. The Bible, for example, forewarned us. It proclaimed that when the Promised One comes He would wear many crowns. He would come as the Lord of Lords (Rev 19:1115) and as a chief shepherd (1 Peter 5:4). And it announced that in his net he would catch fish of many kinds (Mt 13:4749). Indeed, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Muslims, and many others have found the ultimate purpose of their religion realized in the Baha’i Faith.
The Baha’i Faith re-asserts and re-emphasizes the age-old pattern of the Founders of all Faiths, and the followers of the ancient moral principles. Once again, we see religion organized around a Central Point. It finds its origin in the voice of a single prophetic human being, who approaches his task without scholastic learning or the guidance of clerics. He stands solitary and alone, and claims to speak with the voice of God. He needs none to teach him. He has no peers. He repeats the eternal truths of all religions.
Baha’u’llah proclaimed his mission to be to unite the differing religions, to separate the wheat from the chaff among the followers of religion, and to reap their harvest. If we dare to respond to Baha’u’llah’s call, then we have responded to the needs of our age. If we do not, we will deprive ourselves of this powerful, prophetic and profound guidance, given to humanity by God once in every dispensation.
Many people who first hear the news of Baha’u’llah’s new Faith ask why they haven’t heard it before. This call, however, does not broadcast itself to everyone at once. This great announcement, heard first in the human heart, comes to each person when they are spiritually ready to hear it. This momentous news does not transmit itself in the way the regular, daily news of the world does – instead, it comes to those who search, to the true seekers of meaning and mystical reality. And when it comes, that news has the power to entirely transform lives:
The Promised One of all the world’s peoples hath now been made manifest. For each and every people, and every religion, await a Promised One, and Baha’u’llah is that One Who is awaited by all; and therefore the Cause of Baha’u’llah will bring about the oneness of mankind, and the tabernacle of unity will be upraised on the heights of the world, and the banners of the universality of all humankind will be unfurled on the peaks of the earth. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 101.