NON-INTERFERENCE IN POLITICS
...We must build up our own Bahá'í system, and leave the faulty systems
of the world to go their way. We cannot change them through becoming
involved in them; on the contrary, they will destroy us."
-- Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 56
(Remain Aloof from Political Affairs)
"According to the exhortations of the Supreme Pen and the confirmatory
explanations of the Covenant of God Bahá'ís are in no way allowed to enter
into political affairs under any pretense of excuse; since such an action
brings about disastrous results and ends in hurting the Cause of God and
its intimate friends."
-- Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 56
"What the Guardian was referring to was the Theocratic systems, such as
the Catholic Church and the Caliphate, which are not divinely given as
systems, but man-made and yet, having partly derived from the teachings
of Christ and Muhammad are, in a sense, theocracies. The Bahá'í theocracy,
on the contrary, is both divinely ordained as a system and, of course,
based on the teachings of the Prophet Himself... Theophany is used in the
sense of Dispensation..."
-- Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 78
"The friends may vote, if they can do it, without identifying themselves
with one party or another.
-- Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 81
only will the present-day Spiritual Assemblies be styled differently
in future, but they will be enabled also to add to their present
functions those powers, duties, and prerogatives necessitated by the
recognition of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, not merely as one of the
recognized religious systems of the world, but as the State Religion of
an independent and Sovereign Power. And as the Bahá'í Faith permeates the
masses of the peoples of East and West, and its truth is embraced by the
majority of the peoples of a number of the Sovereign States of the world,
will the Universal House of Justice attain the plenitude of its power,
and exercise, as the supreme organ of the Bahá'í Commonwealth, all the
rights, the duties, and responsibilities incumbent upon the world's
-- Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 6-7
writings above indicate a Baha'i Administrative Order (a Baha'i Theocracy)
replace will take the place of existing political systems (which Baha'is are not
allowed to participate in except they may vote). This contradicts what Baha'u'llah
says below, "He hath invested them [kings] with the rulership of the earth","It is
not Our wish to lay hands on your kingdoms", or to "Offer up, O people of Bahá,
your substance, nay your very lives, for his assistance [for a king who follows
Baha'u'llah]" -- teachings that were already in effect in the time of Baha'u'llah
and Abdu'l-Baha, before Shoghi Effendi was Guardian. If a State that is made
up mostly of Baha'is gains political power from non-Baha'is, the non-Baha'is will
be automatically deprived of voting and ruling rights, as non-Baha'is cannot
participate in Baha'i elections.
Give a hearing ear, O people, to that which I, in truth, say unto you.
one true God, exalted be His glory, hath ever regarded, and will continue to
regard, the hearts of men as His own, His exclusive possession. All else,
whether pertaining to land or sea, whether riches or glory, He hath bequeathed
unto the Kings and rulers of the earth. From the beginning that hath no
beginning the ensign proclaiming the words "He doeth whatsoever He willeth"
hath been unfurled in all its splendor before His Manifestation. What mankind
needeth in this day is obedience unto them that are in authority, and a faithful
adherence to the cord of wisdom. The instruments which are essential to the
immediate protection, the security and assurance of the human race have been
entrusted to the hands, and lie in the grasp, of the governors of human society.
This is the wish of God and His decree.... We cherish the hope that one of the
kings of the earth will, for the sake of God, arise for the triumph of this
wronged, this oppressed people. Such a king will be eternally extolled and
glorified. God hath prescribed unto this people the duty of aiding whosoever
will aid them, of serving his best interests, and of demonstrating to him their
abiding loyalty. They who follow Me must strive, under all circumstances, to
promote the welfare of whosoever will arise for the triumph of My Cause, and
must at all times prove their devotion and fidelity unto him. Happy is the man
that hearkeneth and observeth My counsel. Woe unto him that faileth to
fulfil My wish.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 206
ye the loved ones and the trustees of God! Kings are the manifestations
of the power, and the daysprings of the might and riches, of God. Pray
ye on their behalf. He hath invested them with the rulership of the earth
and hath singled out the hearts of men as His Own domain.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 220
one true God, exalted be His glory, hath bestowed the government of
the earth upon the kings. To none is given the right to act in any
manner that would run counter to the considered views of them who are
in authority. That which He hath reserved for Himself are the cities of
men's hearts; and of these the loved ones of Him Who is the Sovereign
Truth are, in this Day, as the keys. Please God they may, one and all,
be enabled to unlock, through the power of the Most Great Name, the
gates of these cities. This is what is meant by aiding the one true
God--a theme to which the Pen of Him Who causeth the dawn to break hath
referred in all His Books and Tablets.
-- Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 241-242
the righteousness of God! It is not Our wish to lay hands on your kingdoms.
Our mission is to seize and possess the hearts of men. Upon them the eyes of
Bahá are fastened. To this testifieth the Kingdom of Names, could ye but
comprehend it. Whoso followeth his Lord will renounce the world and all that
is therein; how much greater, then, must be the detachment of Him Who holdeth
so august a station! Forsake your palaces, and haste ye to gain admittance
into His Kingdom. This, indeed, will profit you both in this world and in the
next. To this testifieth the Lord of the realm on high, did ye but know it.
great the blessedness that awaiteth the king who will arise to aid My
Cause in My kingdom, who will detach himself from all else but Me! Such a
king is numbered with the companions of the Crimson Ark--the Ark which God
hath prepared for the people of Bahá. All must glorify his name, must
reverence his station, and aid him to unlock the cities with the keys of My
Name, the omnipotent Protector of all that inhabit the visible and invisible
kingdoms. Such a king is the very eye of mankind, the luminous ornament on
the brow of creation, the fountainhead of blessings unto the whole world.
Offer up, O people of Bahá, your substance, nay your very lives, for his
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 49-50
Non-involvement in politics
also precludes kings and rulers being able to "uphold
and cleave to religion" as indicated below.
is incumbent upon the kings and the spiritual leaders of the world to lay
fast hold on religion, inasmuch as through it the fear of God is instilled in
all else but Him."
second word We have recorded on the second leaf of Paradise is the
following: "The Pen of the Divine Expounder exhorteth, at this moment, the
manifestations of authority and the sources of power, namely the kings and
rulers of the earth--may God assist them--and enjoineth them to uphold the
cause of religion, and to cleave unto it. Religion is, verily, the chief
instrument for the establishment of order in the world, and of tranquillity
amongst its peoples. The weakening of the pillars of religion hath strengthened
the foolish, and emboldened them, and made them more arrogant. Verily I
say: The greater the decline of religion, the more grievous the waywardness
of the ungodly. This cannot but lead in the end to chaos and confusion. Hear
Me, O men of insight, and be warned, ye who are endued with discernment!"
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 28
It behoveth you, O Ministers of State, to keep the precepts of God, and
forsake your own laws and regulations, and to be of them who are guided aright.
Better is this for you than all ye possess, did ye but know it. If ye
transgress the commandment of God, not one jot or one tittle of all your works
shall be acceptable in His sight. Ye shall, erelong, discover the consequences
of that which ye shall have done in this vain life, and shall be repaid for
them. This, verily, is the truth, the undoubted truth.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 123
administrators of the law would take into consideration the spiritual
consequences of their decisions, and follow the guidance of religion, `They
would be Divine agents in the world of action, the representatives of God for
those who are on earth, and they would defend, for the love of God, the
interests of His servants as they would defend their own'. If a governor realizes
his responsibility, and fears to defy the Divine Law, his judgments will be just.
Above all, if he believes that the consequences of his actions will follow him
beyond his earthly life, and that `as he sows so must he reap', such a man will
surely avoid injustice and tyranny.
an official, on the contrary, think that all responsibility for his actions
must end with his earthly life, knowing and believing nothing of Divine favours
and a spiritual kingdom of joy, he will lack the incentive to just dealing, and
the inspiration to destroy oppression and unrighteousness.
a ruler knows that his judgments will be weighed in a balance by the
Divine Judge, and that if he be not found wanting he will come into the Celestial
Kingdom and that the light of the Heavenly Bounty will shine upon him, then will
he surely act with justice and equity. Behold how important it is that Ministers
of State should be enlightened by religion!
political questions the clergy, however, have nothing to do! Religious
should not be confused with politics in the present state of the world (for their
interests are not identical).
Religion concerns matters of the heart, of the spirit, and of morals.
are occupied with the material things of life. Religious teachers should
not invade the realm of politics; they should concern themselves with the spiritual
education of the people; they should ever give good counsel to men, trying to serve
God and human kind; they should endeavour to awaken spiritual aspiration, and
strive to enlarge the understanding and knowledge of humanity, to improve morals,
and to increase the love for justice.
is in accordance with the Teaching of Bahá'u'lláh. In
the Gospel also it is
written, `Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the
things which are God's'.
-- `Abdu'l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 157-159
Great Being saith: The heaven of statesmanship is made luminous and
resplendent by the brightness of the light of these blessed words which hath
dawned from the dayspring of the Will of God: It behoveth every ruler to
weigh his own being every day in the balance of equity and justice and then
to judge between men and counsel them to do that which would direct their
steps unto the path of wisdom and understanding. This is the cornerstone of
statesmanship and the essence thereof. From these words every enlightened man
of wisdom will readily perceive that which will foster such aims as the welfare,
security and protection of mankind and the safety of human lives. Were men
of insight to quaff their fill from the ocean of inner meanings which lie
enshrined in these words and become acquainted therewith, they would bear
witness to the sublimity and the excellence of this utterance. If this lowly
one were to set forth that which he perceiveth, all would testify unto God's
consummate wisdom. The secrets of statesmanship and that of which the people
are in need lie enfolded within these words. This lowly servant earnestly
entreateth the One true God--exalted be His glory--to illumine the eyes of
the people of the world with the splendour of the light of wisdom that they,
one and all, may recognize that which is indispensable in this day.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 166