THE 19 BELIEFS & 95 TENETS
A Codification of Baha'i Beliefs and Practice
3. The 19 Beliefs and 95 Tenets of the Faith
Problem: When Seekers ask "What do Bahá'ís believe?" they are given or directed to "The Principles" which make no mention of Jesus, no mention of the Afterlife, etc. This is a total turn-off for Christians and many of the more spiritual Seekers.
Solution: The 19 Beliefs:
I. There is one God named Alláh Who is Unknowable in His Essence, Who begets not nor is begotten, and Who has no son or consort.
II. Alláh has 99 Names and Attributes mentioned in the Holy Qur'an (the Holy Book of Islaam); One of Which is Al-Quyyoom ("The Self-Existing One"), otherwise known as Jehovah, Who is the Father, the Begetter of the Spirit (Jesus)
III. The Essence of God (Alláh) does not incarnate, but the Names and Attributes of Alláh sometimes incarnate upon this planet as Perfect Men Who are called Manifestations of God: it is through these Perfect Men that God may be known.
IV. The Manifestations of God on this planet have included Adam, Noah, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Christ, Muhammad, The Báb, and Bahá'u'lláh; as well as Krishna, Buddha and Others.
V. Jesus was "the very Savior of Man" (PUP, p.62), the "Lord of the Visible and Invisible" (GWB 57,#23), the "Lord of all being" (GWB 55,#23), the WORD of God (SWA 20:1), the "Son of God" (SAQ 63, WOB 105) Who was born of a literal virgin and the Holy Ghost (LG #1637), whose death on the Cross infused a fresh capacity into all Creation, Who healed the sick, caused the blind to see, the lame to walk, and sanctified the soul of the sinner (GWB 85-86).
VI. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Unto Him) was a Manifestation of God, the Comforter that Christ promised the Father would send, the one called "Faithful and True" mentioned in the Book of Revelation, and the Seal of the Prophets.
VII. His Holinesss The Báb (The Gate of God) was a Manifestion of God, the Return of the Imam Mehdi of Shi'ite Islam, and the Forerunner of Bahá'u'lláh.
VIII. Bahá'u'lláh (The Glory of God) was the Supreme Manifestation of God, the incarnation of the Father on Earth, the Begetter of the Spirit (Jesus), the Author of the Most Holy Book, the Lord of the Vineyard, the Messiah ben David, the Kalki Avatar, the Maitreya Buddha, the Shah Bahram, the Son of Man, and the Spirit of Truth.
IX. There will be future Manifestations of God Who shall appear on this planet, but only after 1000 literal years from 1863.
X. The Mission of Bahá'u'lláh was to unite Mankind into the Kingdom of God the Father on Earth; otherwise known as the Millennial Kingdom, the City of New Jerusalem, the Reign of Christ on Earth, or the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh.
XI. The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh will protect and promote the equality of men and women, promote the independent investigation of truth, make religion the cause of unity among mankind, promote a Universal Auxilary language, mandate the elimination of prejudices of all kinds (racial, class, caste, ethnic), eliminate the extremes of poverty and wealth via spiritual solutions to economic problems, mandate universal education for males and females, provide for a Universal Tribunal to settle disputes between nations, and to protect the basic human rights of all people everywhere.
XII. There is no reincarnation of human souls on this material planet, but mortal existences on other material planets is possible.
XIII. Heaven and Hell are not geographic locations but inward conditions of the soul in this life which manifests heavenly or hellish outward conditions for the soul in the Afterlife.
XIV. There is no eternal unending Hell; all souls will have the opportunity for spiritual advancement in the Afterlife.
XV. For every deed done in this life, whether good or evil, there is a recompence (reward or punishment) in the Afterlife.
XVI. There is no resurrection of the physical body, dust returns to dust; at death the soul is freed from the physical body like a bird freed from a cage.
XVII. The more we suffer in this world, the less we will have to suffer in the next world.
XVIII. 'Abdu'l-Bahá was not a Manifestation of God, but the Word and Mystery of God, the Master, the Exemplar of the Faith; the example of what every Bahá'í should be.
XIX. To be a Bahá'í simply means to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it; to work for universal peace and universal brotherhood.
NOTE: The Qu'ran says that Allah "does not beget nor is begotten" but Bahá'u'lláh calls God "the Begetter of the Spirit (Jesus)". This is no contradiction! Allah refers to God in His Essence: Who is Unknowable, and Who has no son nor consort. Jehovah was not Allah, but the Name/Attribute of Allah. Jehovah means "The Self-Subsistent" in Hebrew. One of the 95 Names of Allah is "The Self-Subsistent". 95=9+5=14=1+4=_9_. 9x5=45=4+5=_5_. Jehovah is the Father, becase the Father "begot" Jesus (Who had no mortal Father). Jesus was born of a literal virgin, and He had no "Father" other than Jehovah the Lord of Hosts Who came to Earth as Bahá'u'lláh. The other Manifestations of God (except for Adam) had human fathers. This is why Jesus is called "the Only Begotten".
The Holy Writings refer to Christ as "the Lord Christ" and "the Son of God" and Bahá'u'lláh confirms that "through Him the soul of the sinner is sanctified" and 'Abdu'l-Bahá confirmed that after His death His disciples "saw Christ living, helping, and protecting them." (i.e. they saw Him in visions--they were not viewing His physical body).
These 19 Beliefs are much more comprehensive than any other statement of belief thus far devised and will do much to attract Christian and other spiritual/religious Seekers to the Faith.
These 19 Beliefs are part of a much larger set of tenets called The 95 Tenets which include:
*The 19 Beliefs
*The 19 Obligations
*The 19 Forbiddens
*The 19 Prohibitions
*The 19 Admonitions
The 19 Obligations are like the Daily Obligatory Prayer, etc.
There are 38 "Thou shalt nots" in the Faith which can be divided into "Forbiddens" (MAJOR forbiddens such as not committing adultery, murder, etc.) and "Prohibitions" (MINOR forbiddens--such as not thrusting hand in food, not wearing hair over ears if male, etc.). The 19 Admonitions are "suggestions" like vegitarianism, the 19-Day Feast, etc.
The number 95 is sacred, because it is 19 times 5.
The 19 Beliefs should replace "The 12 (sometimes 11, sometimes 9, sometimes 13) Principles" anytime the Friends put forth "What Baha'is Believe".
The 95 Tenets is merely a codification of Baha'i Practice; based upon the Holy Laws of Baha'u'llah, and the admonitions of 'Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi.