According to the Baha’i teachings, the prophets and founders of the world’s great religions are one. They all had a single, central mission – to teach love and unity to humanity.
Love and fellowship are absolutely needful to win the good-pleasure of God which is the goal of all human attainment. We must be united. We must love each other. We must ever praise each other. We must bestow commendation upon all people, thus removing the discord and hatred which have caused alienation amongst men. Otherwise the conditions of the past will continue, praising ourselves and condemning others; religious wars will have no end and religious prejudice, the prime cause of this havoc and tribulation, will increase. This must be abandoned, and the way to do it is to investigate the reality which underlies all the religions. This underlying reality is the love of humanity. For God is one and humanity is one, and the only creed of the prophets is love and unity. – Abdu’l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 99.
Despite the conflict and violence between some of their followers, these divine intermediaries are not at war with each other. In the essence of their teachings, the prophets and founders of the world’s great Faiths agree. The Baha’i writings affirm that:
Every one of them is the Way of God that connecteth this world with the realms above, and the Standard of His Truth unto every one in the kingdoms of earth and heaven. They are the Manifestations of God amidst men, the evidences of His Truth, and the signs of His glory. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, pp. 49-50.
Each prophet of God has made the claim to be the Way of God, and each one has enjoined their followers to follow their Way. While these messengers lived in times when their teachings were spread by word of mouth or by texts passed from person to person, and their teachings were very slowly diffused, we live in an age of instant access to knowledge — and we can see for ourselves the profound unity of their essential moral and spiritual teachings. A deep study of the religions reveals that each of the Prophets reflects one Will, manifests one God, and has one purpose – to guide us to salvation and unity:
All the teaching of the Prophets is one; one faith; one Divine light shining throughout the world. Now, under the banner of the oneness of humanity all people of all creeds should turn away from prejudice and become friends and believers in all the Prophets. – Abdu’l-Baha, Abdu’l-Baha in London, p. 42.
This striking and unique message comes directly from Baha’u’llah, the most recent prophet and founder of a world Faith. Baha’u’llah’s teachings center around the concept of oneness. Baha’is believe that realizing and practicing our essential oneness leads us to unity – the unity of humanity, the unity of every nation on the planet and the unity of all Faiths:
Every Prophet Whom the Almighty and Peerless Creator hath purposed to send to the peoples of the earth hath been entrusted with a Message, and charged to act in a manner that would best meet the requirements of the age in which He appeared. God’s purpose in sending His Prophets unto men is twofold. The first is to liberate the children of men from the darkness of ignorance, and guide them to the light of true understanding. The second is to ensure the peace and tranquility of mankind, and provide all the means by which they can be established.
The Prophets of God should be regarded as physicians whose task is to foster the well-being of the world and its peoples, that, through the spirit of oneness, they may heal the sickness of a divided humanity. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, pp. 79-80.
One of the ways to understand the oneness of all the Prophets of God is to consider their most compelling and profound inner messages. If you look at those central messages with wisdom and insight, you can see the utterances and teachings of these Manifestations of God all express a single truth. Many people have a hard time appreciating that fact, which explains the varying understandings and interpretations of the messages of each of the Prophets.
Baha’is believe that the bounties God gives us in the form of the great Faiths is one bounty; but the recipients of that bounty are many.