Baha'I

2285 words 10 pages
Baha'i Baha'i is a fairly new faith dating back to the mid-nineteenth century. However, since then more than 7 million people, world wide have joined this faith. This leaves one to wonder how this faith came to be one of the world religions in such a short period of time. This paper will examine this thought and many others such as the history, beliefs, and traditions.
History
The followers of Baha'is emerged from Iranians who had formerly been Shi'i Muslims (Smith, 1999). According to Breuilly, O'Brien, & Palmer (1997), the Baha'i faith began to take shape when Mirza Husayn Ali, born in 1817, was sent by God to serve as a prophet. Today, Ali is known at Baha'u'llah, meaning Glory of God. As with other prophets, Abraham, Moses,
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Their main purpose of life is to know and love God. In order to achieve this purpose, they have three main ways: prayer, fasting, and meditation. All of this will bring them closer to knowing and loving God.
Baha'is believe that prayer is more of a conversation with God, while meditation brings them closer to one's inner spirit. They also believe that God can not become incarnate in a human being and that God is neither male nor female. The word God is a reference that does not specify any type of gender (www.bbc.co.uk/religion).
Baha'is teach that humans will never be able to completely understand or truly know God, but one will be able to have an appreciation for Him. Ones knowledge of God is through attributes and qualities. No one has a direct knowledge of Him.
"It is for this reason that the disciplines of daily prayer, meditation, and study of the holy writings constitutes an important part of the individual spiritual practice of Baha'is. They feel that this discipline is one of the most important ways of growing closer to their Creator" (www.bahai.org).
Baha'u'llah wrote that Gods purpose of man was for the following, "The purpose of God in creating man hath been, and will ever be, to enable him to know his Creator and to attain His Presence. To this most excellent aim, this supreme objective, all the

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