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Old 10-20-2016, 11:22 AM   #1
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War. Huh. Yeah. What is it Good For??

So, looking at the rhetoric being thrown around and some of the overt actions being either implemented and called for in the world, part of me strongly suspects that we'll soon be seeing the re-start of the Cold War.

Which got me researching the subject of war in Baha'i writings.

Which led me to find some cool verses to share.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ‘Abdu'l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization
In like manner, the size of the armaments of every government should be strictly limited, for if the preparations for war and the military forces of any nation should be allowed to increase, they will arouse the suspicion of others. The fundamental principle underlying this solemn Pact should be so fixed that if any government later violate any one of its provisions, all the governments on earth should arise to reduce it to utter submission, nay the human race as a whole should resolve, with every power at its disposal, to destroy that government. Should this greatest of all remedies be applied to the sick body of the world, it will assuredly recover from its ills and will remain eternally safe and secure.
I've found only one type of warfare permitted by the Faith, and it's explicitly a type of war only allowable after a Baha'i-styled World Commonwealth is established. It's a call for all nations (and even all people apart from nations) to bring down any government that seeks to break the World Commonwealth and go to war with any other nation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian National Spiritual Assembly
A hitherto untranslated Tablet from 'Abdu'l-Bahá, however, points out that in the case of attack by robbers and highwaymen, a Bahá'í should not surrender himself, but should try, as far as circumstances permit, to defend himself, and later on lodge a complaint with the government authorities. In a letter written on behalf of the Guardian, he also indicates that in an emergency when there is no legal force at hand to appeal to, a Bahá'í is justified in defending his life. In another letter the Guardian has further point out that the assault of an irresponsible assailant upon a Bahá'í should be resisted by the Bahá'í, who would be justified, under such circumstances, in protecting his life.
So self defense is permissible, which makes me think then that fighting an invader would be considered just. As a result, I'm starting to suspect that something like the Japan Self-Defense Forces would be a good model for a nation to adopt for its military pre-World Commonwealth, but I'm still researching both the writings and how the JSDF operates and will leave such conclusions until when research is done completely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Letter Written On Behalf Of The Guardian
within the limits imposed by the government, engage in any activity that would tend to minimize or restrict the scope of military operations.
So Baha'is should be active in trying to advance, as much as their laws allow them, a less interventionist foreign policy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bahá'u'lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf
O peoples of the earth! Haste ye to do the pleasure of God, and war ye valiantly, as it behooveth you to war, for the sake of proclaiming His resistless and immovable Cause. We have decreed that war shall be waged in the path of God with the armies of wisdom and utterance, and of a goodly character and praiseworthy deeds. Thus hath it been decided by Him Who is the All-Powerful, the Almighty. There is no glory for him that committeth disorder on the earth after it hath been made so good. Fear God, O people, and be not of them that act unjustly.
This one's interesting!! God calls us to WAR!! To wage a Battle of Words!! A Crusade of Wisdom!! A Jihad of Good Deeds!!

I like both the symbolism and the re-framing of war here. And the idea that a Baha'i "warrior" is one who simply utters wisdom and performs good deeds!!

Let's go to war my friends!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ‘Abdu'l-Bahá, The Compilation of Compilations
The ideals of Peace must be nurtured and spread among the inhabitants of the world; they must be instructed in the school of Peace and the evils of war. First: The financiers and bankers must desist from lending money to any government contemplating to wage an ‘unjust war’ upon an innocent nation. Second: The presidents and managers of the railroads and steamship companies must refrain from transporting war ammunition, infernal engines, guns, cannons and powder from one country into another. Third: The soldiers must petition, through their representatives, the Ministers of War, the politicians, the Congressmen and the generals to put forth in a clear, intelligible language the reasons and the causes which have brought them to the brink of such a national calamity.
'Abdu'l-Baha gives us here an interesting step-by-step guide to ending the institution of war!! Lenders must stop lending money to nations who go to war. Shippers must stop transporting military equipment cross-country. And soldiers must demand clear and reasoned explanations from their leaders.

Then there's THIS quote which I find really interesting:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ‘Abdu'l-Bahá, The Compilation of Compilations
The soldiers must demand this as one of the prerogatives. "Demonstrate to us", they must say, "that this is a just war, and we will then enter into the battlefield otherwise we will not take one step.... Come forth from your hiding-places, enter into the battlefield if you like to attack each other and tear each other to pieces if you desire to air your so-called contentions. The discord and feud are between you; why do you make us, innocent people, a party to it? If fighting and bloodshed are good things, then lead us into the fray by your presence!"
In order for a nation to wage war, it must have soldiers that question and DEMAND an explanation for the war's justifications, and the soldiers must refuse to act until such proof is provided. Furthermore, leaders who order their soldiers into battle are required to actually go into battle themselves.

I find this clause by 'Abdu'l-Baha rather fascinating as it so goes against everything that is considered "common sense" in terms of war in this modern age. Imagine, soldiers who are trained and instructed to question their superiors, demand justifications, and refuse to go into war unless the case for going to war is proven beyond a doubt!! Imagine, instead of hiding in bunkers, those who declare wars being required to risk their own lives in the battlefield!! What an interesting transformation that would have on the concept of war!!

I also note that of all the prophets and saints I can think of that actually did lead their followers in war (like Krishna, David, Solomon, Samson, Muhammad, Husayn), they did follow this guidance and risked themselves in battle as well, as well as explained the reasons for the justness of those wars (the entire Bhagavad Gita is based around Krishna on the front lines explaining why the war that is being fought is necessary).
 
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Old 10-20-2016, 01:41 PM   #2
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" For thousands of years
ye have been contending
in warfare and strife.
It is enough.
Now is the time for unity."

Baha'u'llah

Last edited by becky; 10-20-2016 at 11:32 PM.
 
Old 10-20-2016, 06:57 PM   #3
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Oh, almost forgot...in answer to your original question...." absolutely nothing!"

Loving regards,
Becky
 
Old 10-21-2016, 02:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by becky View Post
Oh, almost forgot...in answer to your original question...." absolutely nothing!"

Loving regards,
Becky
Ha ha - Yes that is so.

Walrus had fun with that one, yes the war now is goodly deeds and words.

Fight every angry word with Live in return

Fight every unjust act with just and good deeds.

God bless you all Regards Tony
 
Old 10-21-2016, 02:24 PM   #5
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The evident outlook is that wars will be fought for a little time yet.

The Non combantant roll is what a Baha'i would participate in if called on to go to war. There are Laws we must abide by in each country.

I remember seeing many years ago, as I was not long out of the army when I became a Baha'i, a question about if one was ordered to fight. If not mistaken after all attempts of being a non combatant and one was ordered to fight, I am thinking it was said either be the best soldier or the best shot! Sorry not able to research at this time.

Personally it would be up to each individual, to me it is better to be killed than kill is the advice I hope my heart would choose. Being ex Infantry the training is 100% directed at the opposite thought.

Regards Tony
 
Old 10-22-2016, 01:21 PM   #6
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This is worth considering in these times.

"A conquest can be a praiseworthy thing, and there are times when war becomes the powerful basis of peace, and ruin the very means of reconstruction. If, for example, a high-minded sovereign marshals his troops to block the onset of the insurgent and the aggressor, or again, if he takes the field and distinguishes himself in a struggle to unify a divided state and people, if, in brief, he is waging war for a righteous purpose, then this seeming wrath is mercy itself, and this apparent tyranny the very substance of justice and this warfare the cornerstone of peace."

('Abdu'l-Baha, Secret of Divine Civilization, pp. 70-71)

We know for the world to rid itself of the "Terror" mentality, that fighting will be required. They know no other way.

Our time is not of the Most Great Peace, we are struggling to build communities, to find our unity and bring about the "Lesser Peace".

May God grant a speedy transformation and shorten these days even more. Gods Will be Done.

Regards Tony
 
Old 10-23-2016, 07:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
I find this clause by 'Abdu'l-Baha rather fascinating as it so goes against everything that is considered "common sense" in terms of war in this modern age. Imagine, soldiers who are trained and instructed to question their superiors, demand justifications, and refuse to go into war unless the case for going to war is proven beyond a doubt!! Imagine, instead of hiding in bunkers, those who declare wars being required to risk their own lives in the battlefield!! What an interesting transformation that would have on the concept of war!!
And an interesting transformation that would have for current events. The U.S. wouldn't have invaded Iraq after 9/11 and opened the door for all kinds of sectarian chaos.

Last edited by ahanu; 10-23-2016 at 07:19 AM.
 
Old 10-23-2016, 12:36 PM   #8
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War. Huh. Yeah. What is it Good For??

well let me think.
It is good for suffering, pain, filling cemeteries.
anguish for parents
maiming
misery
good for certain arms dealers
In my life time have never heard anyone coming home from war praising how wonderful it was
But amazingly each war people forget and praise those who rush to participate
and those who return say the same as those before' it is horrible and should never happen again
bill
 
Old 10-23-2016, 03:30 PM   #9
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However, in the infancy of the faith pitched battles were fought, were they not?
 
Old 10-23-2016, 05:12 PM   #10
Tony Bristow-Stagg
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AidanK View Post
However, in the infancy of the faith pitched battles were fought, were they not?
They were indeed. Mighty Battles they were and only deception and untruths by the Muslims finished the gallent stand of the Babi's on all occasions.

Regards Tony
 
Old 10-24-2016, 02:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AidanK View Post
However, in the infancy of the faith pitched battles were fought, were they not?
In the infancy of the Baha'i Faith? When? I think you're referring to the Babi Faith.
 
Old 10-24-2016, 07:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahanu View Post
And an interesting transformation that would have for current events. The U.S. wouldn't have invaded Iraq after 9/11 and opened the door for all kinds of sectarian chaos.
I think it might be even greater than that... if we had had that kind of mindset back during the First World War, I suspect there might not have been a 9/11 incident in the first place. It's hard to imagine any world leader in 1914 that would be willing to personally risk their life in the trenches all to avenge the assassination of a single Archduke.

And examining the wars of the early 1900's and the wars of today, I do think they are rather closely linked.

WWI had many downsides in the end. The treaty forced on the losing parties of the World War One crippled Germany to the extent it built up nationalism and resentment of those with money that led to the endorsement of German National Socialism and thus fed directly into the causes of WWII.

And while the Ottomans were in sharp decline and would have likely collapsed with or without WWI, British involvement in the collapse of the Ottoman Empire led directly to the strengthening of the Saud Dynasty in Arabia. The Saudis in turn promoted their Wahhabi ideology which was and is the backbone for a large chunk of extremist Islamic groups.

So WWI leads to WWII through the penalties inflicted upon Germany, and WWII is fought, again by persons who preferred hiding in bunkers to fighting on the front lines. The dust of WWII clears and sets the stage for the Cold War and all related conflicts, between the West and the Communist East.

WWII also sees Nazi Germany start a nuclear weapons program. The USA, UK, and Canada start their own program, only doing so to compete with the German's program. The USSR then starts their own program to compete with the USA's. So nuclear weapons exist because of events shaped by WWI.

And then in the Cold War, to oppose Russian interests in Afghanistan, the Wahhabis empowered by the results of the First World War are given weapons and training so they can oppose the Russians in Afghanistan. That group of Wahhabis goes on to become Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda then turns on their former allies, setting off the current wave of warfare. And notably, in a case of history ever repeating itself, groups that were given weapons and training to oppose Al-Qaeda have gone on to form ISIS.

Each war that has been fought in the past century or so has directly fueled future wars. It seems pretty clear today as to why Abdu'l-Baha spent so much time telling people that the First World War was coming, and urging them to stay out of it. And it seems rather clear why warfare is forbidden in this age. For whatever reason, the wars in this age feed into new wars.

The wars of older ages that could be a "powerful basis of peace" don't seem to be present in this current age. It's hard to find wars since Baha'u'llah's prohibition of them that look like Cyrus's conquest of Babylon (and freeing the slaves of that nation, restoring the Jews to freedom).

So it seems to me, had the world taken Abdu'l-Baha's advice:
-No First World War
-No rise of the Nazi Ideology in Germany
-Possibly no rise of the Wahhabi Ideology in Arabia, or perhaps not as much of a rise. It's hard to say just looking at Arabian history.
-Italian and Japanese Fascism still might arise, but the lack of a Nazi Germany means any resulting wars do not have the effect of empowering the Soviet Union as WWII did.
-Lack of a Cold War means none of the wars associated with that. It also means less nuclear weapons, or possibly no nuclear weapons. It also means the groups that make up Al-Qaeda receive no funds, armaments, or training.
-A less powerful Saudi Arabia and a less powerful or possibly non-existent Al-Qaeda make 9/11 unlikely to occur.
-Lack of 9/11 means no war in Afghanistan, at the very least, and eliminate the need for the drone strikes in Pakistan.
-Less wars in the Middle East means less destabilization there.

It is truly unfortunate the countries did not follow Abdu'l-Baha's advice.
 
Old 10-24-2016, 01:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AidanK View Post
However, in the infancy of the faith pitched battles were fought, were they not?
During the Babi Faith yes, not the Baha'i faith. And even in those times does it negate any of my points...............I think not
 
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