Baha'i Ethics

Unity of Religions and Humankind

The principal Bahá'í tenets are the essential unity of all religions and the unity of humanity. Bahá'ís believe in the oneness of humanity and devote themselves to the abolition of racial, class, and religious prejudices.

Social Values

Service to humanity is another central teaching of the Bahá'í Faith, which has led Bahá'ís to initiate thousands of social and economic development projects - most of them modest, grassroots efforts such as schools, village healthcare campaigns, and environmental projects - around the world.

Baha'ullah's writings consist primary of principles, laws, and institutions for a world civilization that is characterized by unity and harmony. These principles include abandonment of all prejudice, equality between the sexes, recognition of the common source and essential oneness of the world's great religions; elimination of the extremes of poverty and wealth; universal compulsory education; responsibility of each individual to search independently for truth; establishment of a world federal system based on principles of collective security; and recognition that religion is in harmony with reason and scientific knowledge.

Because of its commitment to these ideals, the Bahá'í community has been an active supporter of international organizations such as the United Nations.

Personal Lifestyle

Bahá'ís must abstain totally from narcotics, alcohol, or any substances that affect the mind. They are expected to pray daily, meditate regularly and develop spiritually by reading the scriptures and practicing good actions.

Beyond these guidelines, Bahá'ís live much like those around them. They have a wide variety of jobs, go to movies, attend sporting events, and wear no special garments.

Sex and Marriage

Bahai's are expected to practice monogamy and obtain the consent of their parents to marry. Bahá'ís consider human sexuality to be a gift from God. "Its disciplined expression within the legitimate bonds of marriage can be a powerful expression of the spiritual quality of love." However, if misused, sexual desires can lead one into perverse, wasteful, and even destructive actions.