I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify, at this moment, to my powerlessness and to Thy might, to my poverty and to Thy wealth. There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.
- Bahá'u'lláh, Prayers and Meditations
In 1844 CE a gentleman in Shiraz, Persia revealed that he was the Báb (gate) through whom a savior, “He whom God shall make manifest,” would become known to the world. In 1845 Bahá'u'lláh accepted the message of the Báb, fulfilled the prophesy in capacity as that savior, and founded the Bahá'í Faith as its prophet.
Bahá'u'lláh is the last in a series of great beings previously associated exclusively with particular religions, including Hinduism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and many others.
Bahá'u'lláh’s Kitáb-i-Aqdas (Most Holy Book), completed 1873, is the central book of the Bahá'í Faith. It is the basis for asserting the unity of Almighty God through the unity of all religious practices; in time, this connectedness of humankind through the Bahá'í Faith will bring peace, plenty, and fulfilment of all kinds to everyone on earth.
Bahá'ís must take to heart one of three obligatory prayers each day; the shortest one is quoted above. They observe the Bahá'í month of `Alá' from March 2 through March 20. Specific injunctions in their teachings meld their religious beliefs with the formality of civil law in matters of property ownership, marriage, and other areas. Bahá'ís shun isolated living and enjoy participation in their social community, which if possible should include persons outside their religious community.
There is an expectation that Bahá'ís will seek righteousness and find the help of good counsel and good community to these ends.
Bahá'í Faith is not an Interfaith Religion
The Bahá'í faith is a religion which claims as ancestry most other great religions and prophets, but it is not an interfaith organization which will give full membership to adherents of non-Bahá'í faith. Bahá'ís respect the infallible authority of the Universal House of Justice, with an elected board of nine governs at its base in Haifa, Israel.
Certain personal characteristics which most people consider to be non-religious, such as choice to drink alcohol or the attribute of homosexuality, are specifically prohibited by a legacy of Bahá'í tradition in an effort to promote true righteousness over immediate or temporary worldly unity.
Bahá'í Faith is Compatible with Secular Facts
Bahá'í Faith promotes secular studies and promises doctrinal conformation with the discoveries of worldly authorities. To this end Bahá'í diplomats have a history of involvement with the United Nations (particularly the Economic and Social Council and the Children’s Fund, or UNICEF), the World Health Organization, various international environmental protection agencies, and womens' civil rights protectorates.
Bahá'í Faith encourages studies in physical sciences as well and took an early stand of support for new theories of all kinds prominent enough to be debated openly. While Bahá'í leaders often are silent about their personal views, the overall trend of the church is that fresh ideas are fairly assessed and, if appropriate, quickly assimilated into Bahá'í ideology.