To be a Baha'i...

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Jun 2006
I think it would be a good thing to have a thread on what it means to be a Baha'i.. Maybe some of us could volunteer some personal reflections on what it means to them. To generate some thought I've included an excerpt below written by Ugo Schaefer:

The Light Shineth in Darkness
Udo Schaefer

.."To be a Baha'i simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood." ('Abdul-Baha) In one of his talks in London, he said that someone could be a Baha'i even if he had never heard the name of Baha'u'llah: "The man who lives the life according to the teachings of Baha'u'llah is already a Baha'i. On the other hand, a man may call himself a Baha'i for fifty years, and if he does not live the life he is not a Baha'i.."

These words show briefly but clearly what the decisive factors are: our life and our actions. In the sacred writings of the Baha'i Faith no idea recurs as often as this one: man must bring forth fruits; he must not waste these days which will never return. Here are a few quotations on this subject: "The essence of faith", Baha'u'llah writes, "is fewness of words and abundance of deeds; he whose words exceed his deeds, know verily his death is better than his life." (Bwf 140)

"The companions of God are, in this day, the lump that must leaven the peoples of the world. They must show forth such trustworthiness, such truthfulness and perseverance, such deeds and character that all mankind may profit by their example." (Adj 19)

"O army of God!" writes 'Abdul-Baha, "...should any one of you enter a city, he should become a centre of attraction by reason of his sincerity, his faithfulness and love, his honesty and fidelity, his truthfulness and loving-kindness towards all the peoples of the world, so that the people of that city may cry out and say: 'This man is unquestionably a Baha'i, for his manners, his behaviour, his conduct, his morals, his nature, and disposition reflect the attributes of the Baha'is.'" (Adj 21). (39:2)
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