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Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era

  • Author:
  • J. E. Esslemont

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980 edition
  • Pages:
  • 286
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Pages 133-134

Chapter 9: True Civilization

O people of God! Be not occupied with yourselves. Be intent on the betterment of the world and the training of nations.—BAHÁ’U’LLÁH.

Religion the Basis of Civilization

According to the Bahá’í view, the problems of human life, individual and social, are so inconceivably complex that the ordinary human intellect is incapable of itself of solving them aright. Only the Omniscient fully knows the purpose of creation and how that purpose may be achieved. Through the Prophets He shows to mankind the true goal of human life and the right path of progress; and the building up of a true civilization depends upon faithful adherence to the guidance of prophetic Revelation. Bahá’u’lláh says:—
Religion is the greatest instrument for the order of the world and the tranquillity of all existent beings. The weakening of the pillars of religion has encouraged the ignorant and rendered them audacious and arrogant. Truly I say, whatever lowers the lofty station of religion will increase heedlessness in the wicked, and finally result in anarchy. …

Consider the civilization of the people of the Occident—how it has occasioned commotion and agitation to the people of the world. Infernal instruments have been devised, and such atrocity is displayed in the destruction of life as has not been seen by the eye of the world, nor heard by the ear of nations. It is impossible to reform these violent, overwhelming evils, except the peoples of the world become united upon a certain issue or under the shadow of One Religion. …

O people of Bahá! Each one of the revealed Commands 134 is a mighty stronghold for the protection of the world.—Words of Paradise.
The present state of Europe and of the world in general eloquently confirms the truth of these words written so many years ago. Neglect of the prophetic commands and the prevalence of irreligion have been accompanied by disorder and destruction on the most terrible scale, and, without the change of heart and aim which is the essential characteristic of true religion, the reform of society seems an utter impossibility.