The Worldly Government, or to Govern the Hearts?
Some of the unaware friends of the Bahá'í Faith, and a group of the enemies, have ,somehow, stated in their articles, writings, speeches ,and statements that the Bahá'í Faith is going to enter the political affairs, in order to get the authority and governance over the people of the world. They see the increase in the number of the local/national spiritual assemblies, development of the missionary plans, and establishment of frequent civil international organizations as signs and measures in order to interfere the governmental affairs, and to change them, and ultimately, to establish a world government, and to take under power the whole humankind.
According to my researches in the Bahá'í texts, I believe that the provisions of the Bahá'í Faith has never sought political goals or material objectives, nor to attempt to change the governments or establish a Bahá'í sovereignty.
No doubt, over estimate of such issues, will cause concerns among the politicians, power seekers, the states, the authorities of religions, the supporters or opponents of religions , and even the common people. it can be a pretext for continue or increase the restrictions of the oppressed Bahai community of Iran. According to my promise to the Friends, I would like to share my view in this subject with you.
1. Bahaullah, the founder and prophet of the Bahá'í Faith has mentioned in the Aghdas, and many other sacred tablets, such as the tablets of Zabihullah, Nosrat, Khalil, the King, the Ahdi, and the hidden words, and has clearly declared that the aim of the Faith is to create unity, friendship, justice, and kindness among the nations, communities, and the religions of the world. The Bahá'í Faith is not established in order to obtain authority and leadership, nor to fight Islam and other divine religions. On the other hand, our target is to achieve the Divine purposes of the other sacred religions, and to build the Divine kingdom, and revitalize the spiritual lives of the whole mankind. I would like to refer to some of the statements as below.
Bahaullah has said during the time of prison in Siahchal:
“O’ you Friends of God... never talk about the world, its properties, and the worldly kings and authorities. The almighty God has bestowed the physical countries to the kings. So, none is permitted to do anything against the wills and decisions of the kings. The Almighty has preserved the “land of the hearts of the believers” for himself... .”
2. The Bahá'í Faith neither wants the physical power, nor physical dignity. It is concerned with the hearts, and not the land and soil of the world! Wherever the Bahá'ís reside, they feel obliged themselves to sincere service.
3. We do not intend to occupy your country. Rather, we want to occupy your hearts.
4. It is not allowed for the Bahá'ís, to protest the kings, the governors, and the authorities. Leave what are in the hands of the authorities to them, and pay your attention to the hearth.
5. O’ people of the Baha’, I swear by my life and your lives, this humble soul, has not had the dream of presidency and authority.
6. The Almighty God has rendered the political and governmental affairs to the kings, the governors, and authorities. And on the other hand, has taken the hearts of the humankind as His everlasting residence.
7. The Almighty God has attended the hearts of the believers, and has gifted the other cheap items, say, the seas and lands, and whatever in them, to the kings and the lords. He has, seemingly, left the security and welfare of the communities to the king and the states...
8. In a tablet to Nasiruddin Shah, the king of Iran , he says: the Bahá'ís neither intend to seize the state, nor see it permissible to use the power and armed force.
By considering the above statements, you will note that the Bahai faith has focused its attention on the spiritual affairs and governance over the hearts.
It has, further, left the worldly, political, and civil affairs and issues, to the governments totally; and, has accepted the full obedience and fidelity to the states as a firm policy.
The observance of historical experiences reveals that the positions and aims of the kings, emperors, and lords have been different from the Divine prophets, and manifestations. The friends and messengers of God did not try to get the throne. In fact, they are in a higher position than the Kings.
II. One of the brilliant teachings of the Bahá'í Faith is the non-involvement in the political affairs.
The central personalities of the Bahá'í cause, have permanently prohibited the Friends from interference in politics. Abdul-Baha has acknowledged the involvement in politics as cause of regret, and has forbidden even to talk about the political affairs with one’s family, at home!
Even if we think that governance over the people and nations, and using different diplomatic approaches, without acquaintance with the politics, is not so difficult; however it will be impossible, in practice. The teaching of non-involvement in politics, clearly indicates that the Bahá'í community is not going to Coup de Etate, nor to overthrow the despotic governments and seize the throne.
III- In the Bahá'í Faith the honestly obedience to the states and kings is regarded as compulsory.
Bahaullah has stated, “The believers of this party – i.e. the Bahá'ís- in whatever country they reside, should behave the governing authorities with sincerity and honesty…the Baha’is should be the honest server of the government and the nation.”
In another place, he has said: “Not even one single person is allowed to perform what is in contrast with the views and policies of the authorities of the country.”
Even those actions that would raise the anger of the country’s people in charge, are not acceptable, and should be left. Participation in the political activities and competitions with the current authorities, with civil or military approaches, will cause serious difficulties and contradictions, which are not in conformity with the essence and aims of the Bahá'í teachings and disciples.
IV- The manifestation of the Bahá'í Faith has not only prohibited any war , crusade, killing and slaughter in his frequent works, but also has forbidden taking and carrying arm ,except in emergency cases. Bahaullah, even has not let to protest other people. He says,” If an aggressor attacked you, you should be patient.If he bothered you, you should forgive him. We have somehow forbidden quarrel, fighting, murder, and lunder.” Trying To attain the government, requires political tension and competition with the governing groups.
A competent and workable governance and security, necessitates armed forces and application of warfare. So we can assume that the Bahá'ís should not think about the taking of government as long as the Bahá'í leadership and scriptures have prohibited any use of warfare, and violations.
V-The Bahá'ís are prohibited from any job opportunity which is directly related to politics. They are not permitted to accept the high rank political positions. The Friends are even prevented from those jobs that contradict humanitarian emotions and friend ship. If the Bahá'í Faith intended to change the states, and seize the governing power, it would had let them to make the initial provisions, i.e. to establish political parties, or to accept the membership of the political parties, in order to train the necessary human resource.
VI- A requirement to attain the governance, is to establish the political parties and develop them. But the Bahá'ís, according to their spiritual teachings, are not allowed to enter the political parties and clubs. Even during the time of Shah, that all Iranian people were obliged to enter the Rastakhiz -All embracing (trans-Iranian)- party, the Bahá'í community of Iran, clearly and explicitly declared to the government that Bahá'ís will not enter the Rastakhiz or any other political party.In this Faith, not only the Bahá'ís are prohibited from membership in the political parties, but it is not allowed for them to confirm or disregard any other party.
The beloved Guardian has written: ”All of us should keep aloof, by our hearts and tongues, publicly and privately, from the politics and the enmities of the parties, governments and states; and should feel free from such thoughts, do not try for having relation with the political parties, and do not enter any gathering of such encountering groups”. In another part of his letter, he has added:” we should consider it a kind of sickness, or pollution to utter a word against or in favor of a political theory or against it, and prefer to keep ourselves away from them.”
Refrain to establish a new party, prevention of joining the Bahá'í Friends to other parties, and prohibition of propagation for special parties, altogether, indicate that the Bahá'í Faith is not looking for governance, nor shift in powers and governments through the political parties or even non-governmental (civil) organizations.
VII- If the political sovereignty and conquering other countries were from the aims and targets of the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, the UHJ, as the highest judicial, legislative, and administrative position in the divine Cause, should have included it in its constitution; while, we all know that the UHJ has no program nor plan for the material governance over the countries. On the other hand, we do not have any glad tiding in the Bahá'í scriptures about the conquest and accession to the throne by the Bahá'í Kings, emperors, caliphs, king of kings, etc.
VIII- The pre- requirement of a world sovereignty, international governance, and leadership over the national sovereignties and powers, in addition to warfare, military powers and resources, and strong political powers (That we fortunately do not have!) is the existence of a remarkable followers and believers. I am very doubtful that, by considering the last 170 years statistics, in the next 830 years, till the time of coming the next divine manifestation, we could find a ground for establishment of a universal state, so there will be no need to take much about such a political unit.
By considering the above facts and the clear and exact scriptures, we have no choice but to interpret some terms about the establishment of Bahá'í world Governance, or achievements of the “Bahá'í Golden society” as vague, spiritual governance or conquest of the hearts and souls .We should always remember this vital point that ” non-involvement in the politics” is not a fiction! It is rather a clear, actual, and saving teaching for the Bahá'í Faith.
I have no prejudice, and I do not insist on my understanding. It will be my pleasure to receive the points and comments of the other friends and respected intellectuals about this subject.