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Bahá’ís believe that the human being is created by God
at the time of conception and is composed of two parts
– the physical frame which is the body, and the soul. It is
the soul which distinguishes man from God’s other creations.
When the physical body ceases to exist, the soul returns to
the spiritual worlds of God.

spiritualimage2“Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God, in a state and condition which neither the revolution of ages and centuries, nor the changes and chances of this world, can alter. It will endure as long as the Kingdom of God, His sovereignty, His dominion and power will endure. It will manifest the signs of God and His attributes, and will reveal His loving kindness and bounty.”

— Bahá’í Writings

Similar in the way that our physical attributes develop in the womb of the mother, the purpose of our existence in this world is to acquire those spiritual qualities which will prepare us for the life beyond.

The soul gives us the unique capacity to know God and to love Him. It is “…the first among all created things to declare the excellence of its Creator, the first to recognize His glory, to cleave to His truth, and to bow down in adoration before Him.”

In order to develop those spiritual attributes which will be needed in the life hereafter, we must worship God through prayer, meditation and living a life which is pleasing to God and that reflects the nobility of God’s creation.

Prayer: Prayer is food for the soul, just as we nourish our physical bodies so should we nourish our souls and our soul receives its nourishment through prayer and meditation.

“There is nothing sweeter in the world of existence than prayer. Man must live in a state of prayer. The most blessed condition is the condition of prayer and supplication. Prayer is conversation with God. The greatest attainment or the sweetest state is none other than conversation with God. It creates spirituality, creates mindfulness and celestial feelings, begets new attractions of the Kingdom and engenders susceptibilities of the higher intelligence.”

— Bahá’í Writings

To live in a state of prayer entails not only uttering the verses of God but also turning our hearts and souls towards him throughout the day. Bahai’s have prayers that have been revealed by the central figures of the Bahá'í Faith – The Báb, Bahá’u’lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá.

Human progress—spiritual, material, or social—would be impossible without reflection and contemplation. Bahá’u’lláh states: “The source of crafts, sciences and arts is the power of reflection.” For Bahá’ís, this daily practice of spirituality leads to self-exploration and a consistent reflection on our own actions. Because the Bahá’í Faith has no clergy, and because Bahá’ís believe in the independent investigation of truth and in individual responsibility for our own behavior, the development of a consistent, regular spiritual practice of self-reflection and moral inventory becomes even more important.

Meditation is the key for opening the doors of mysteries. In that state man abstracts himself: in that state man withdraws himself from all outside objects; in that subjective mood he is immersed in the ocean of spiritual life and can unfold the secrets of things-in-themselves . . . This faculty brings forth from the invisible plane the sciences and arts. Through the meditative faculty inventions are made possible, colossal undertakings are carried out; through it governments can run smoothly. Through this faculty man enters into the very Kingdom of God.

— Bahá’í Writings

Just as a candle’s purpose is to provide light, the human soul was created to give generously. We fulfil our highest purpose in a life of service in which, with humility and detachment, we offer our time, energy, knowledge, and financial resources for the betterment of humankind.

The attribute of service is taught from a very young age, and is held in the same regard as praying to God. Service to humanity expresses our love for God and his creation:

“Briefly, all effort and exertion put forth by man from the fullness of his heart is worship, if it is prompted by the highest motives and the will to do service to humanity. This is worship: to serve mankind and to minister to the needs of the people. Service is prayer.”

— Bahá’í Writings

Service in the Bahá’í community can find its expression in the mutual support and accompaniment that is provided by the interaction of the individual, community and institutions.
This attribute of service is encouraged in Bahá’í communities.

lifeofgen

The cultivation of spiritual qualities in this world is inseparable from an ongoing refinement of our conduct in which our actions increasingly come to reflect the nobility and integrity with which every human being is endowed. Such spiritual qualities are not acquired through focusing on the self; they are developed in service to others.

“Man's glory lieth in his knowledge, his upright conduct, his praiseworthy character, his wisdom, and not in his nationality or rank.”

— Bahá’í Writings

CONDUCT