Over the past 30 years, I have gone from being a member of a Unitarian Universalist church, to being a member of the Haifa based Baha’i Faith, to returning to the Unitarian Universalist church. Since 2010, it seems there has been found a way to merge the two religions and to use the internet to break the power of the “mainstream” Baha’i Faith and allow religious freedom to be a genuine concept for Baha’is to embrace among themselves.
Introducing the Unitarian Baha’is:
Unitarian Baha’i Faith is an interpretation of the Baha’i religion characterized by a focus on individual freedom of conscience rather than the authority of Baha’i leaders and institutions.
The Baha’i Faith is a religion teaching the essential worth of all religions, and the unity and equality of all people especially the family of Baha’u’llah. The teachings of Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Faith, form the foundation for the Baha’i belief. Three principles are central to these teachings: the unity of God, the unity of religion, and the unity of humanity. Baha’is believe that God periodically reveals his will through divine messengers, whose purpose is to transform the character of humankind and to develop, within those who respond, moral and spiritual qualities. Religion is thus seen as orderly, unified, and progressive from age to age.
Baha’i teachings are in some ways similar to other monotheistic faiths: God is considered single and all-powerful. However, Baha’u’llah taught that religion is orderly and progressively revealed by one God through Manifestations of God who are the founders of major world religions throughout history; Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad being the most recent in the period before the Bab and Baha’u’llah.
“Say: all things are of God.” This exalted utterance is like unto water for quenching the fire of hate and enmity which smouldereth within the hearts and breasts of men. By this single utterance contending peoples and kindreds will attain the light of true unity.
– Baha’u’llah, The Book of My Covenant
Baha’is believes in all the principles such as the oneness and singleness of God, The oneness of mankind, Equality of Races, Equality of Men and Women, Harmony of Science and Religion, Religion without Clergy, Universal Language, Universal Tribunal, Universal Peace.
Unitarian Baha’is consider the Bab as the forerunner of He whom God shall manifest and Baha’u’llah as the Fulfiller! The Manifestation.
In history, every Prophet of God came and assigned a successor after him to lead the religion of God and to withstand the rivals from harming the righteous path. However, in the will of Baha’u’llah (Kitab-i-Ahdi), he had appointed two Guardians out of his four sons to safeguard and spread the faith worldwide which is as follows:
“Truly, God has ordained the station of Ghusn-i-Akbar after the station of the former [Ghusn-i-Azam, Abbas Effendi]. We have surely chosen Akbar after Azam as a command from the All-Knowing, the All-Wise!”
As Baha’u’llah was the Manifestation of God, he prophesied in the above statement that he had appointed his elder son Abbas Effendi preceded by his younger son Mohammad Ali Effendi as his successor. Baha’u’llah was indeed aware of the fact that his elder son will fall in his own greed and will be deviated from the holy word of God and his second son will prevail.
Secondly, due to Abbas Effendi’s deviation and rebellious actions against God led him to be cut off from his male descendants causing it to be deprived of further Guardianship from his progeny whereas his younger son’s (Muhammad Ali Effendi) lineage and guidance still continues according to the will of his father.
Lastly, we wanted to know more about the pure descendants of Baha’u’llah and the one who could lead the dynasty of Guardianship and the flawless religion of God.
Historical Unitarian Baha’is
The first Unitarian Baha’i was Mirza Muhammad Ali, also known as Ghusn-i-Akbar (“the Greatest Branch”), the second son of Baha’u’llah.
Baha’u’llah’s will named Abdul-Baha, the eldest son, as his successor, and stated that Ghusn-i-Akbar’s status or rank was after that of Abdul-Baha. None of Baha’u’llah’s other children were mentioned by name in the will.
Most of Baha’u’llah’s family supported Ghusn-i-Akbar’s side, including Baha’u’llah’s two surviving wives, Fatima and Gawhar, and all of their children. However Baha’u’llah’s daughter Bahiyyih Khanum, from his late first wife Asiyih Khanum, and the vast majority of Baha’is supported Abdu’l Baha’s side of the dispute.
The supporters of Mirza Muhammad Ali called themselves “Unitarians” because they emphasized the concept Oneness of God and absolute prohibition of joining partners with God (known as Unitarianism among Christians).
Hence Abdu’l-Baha was deviated from the covenant of Baha’u’llah but Mirza Muhammad `Ali sincerely pray that God may forgive and guide them to the truth.
Unitarian Baha’is today seek to revive actual teaching of Baha’u’llah. Modern Unitarian Baha’is is an understanding that emphasizes the unity and transcendence of God, the humanity and limitations of all religious leaders including prophets, the importance of inclusion and tolerance among followers of Baha’u’llah and people of all faiths.
We have a tolerant and welcoming view toward some types of people who are viewed with suspicion or rejected by the supporters of Abdu’l-Baha especially the so called Universal House of Justice.
Many Baha’is today are members or supporters of the Unitarian Universalist Association and participate in its cause and congregations.
The Unitarian Baha’is includes all the living descendants of Baha’u’llah (the Aghsan); the descendants of those whom were excommunicated by Abbas Effendi, and later Shoghi Effendi.
Unitarian Baha’is who identify themselves as followers of Baha’u’llah, the Founding-Prophet of the Baha’i Faith. We welcome all unenrolled Baha’is, Free Baha’is, the Aghsan (the descendants of Baha’u’llah living in Israel who followed Muhammad Ali Baha’i, the second son of Baha’u’llah), Israeli-Baha’is, Baha’is-Muslims, Baha’i-Christians, Orthodox Baha’is, Baha’is Loyal to the Guardian, Tarbiyat Baha’is, Reformed Baha’is and Baha’is who belong to the Administrative Order headquartered in Haifa, Israel.
WE WELCOME ALL…WE SHUN NONE!