The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race, and to foster the spirit of love and fellowship amongst men.
Throughout His discourses in Paris, the Master explained the third principle of the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh: that religion ought to be the cause of love and affection. All the Messengers of God have brought a message of love – a message filled with a great unselfish and limitless love for humanity. None have ever taught that hate and war are good. Some of the causes of war, hatred and prejudice, in all its forms, are ignorance and misinterpretation of religious principles. Whatever religious background we come from, if we acknowledge love’s greatness and its fundamental purpose and strive to translate it into action, conflict and hatred — which have caused alienation amongst men — will be removed and love and affection will flourish. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá states:
Religion is the chief foundation of Love and Unity and the cause of Oneness. If a religion become the cause of hatred and disharmony, it would be better that it should not exist. To be without such a religion is better than to be with it.
The power of Love is one of the very causes of life. This love is the beauty of God reflected in the soul, it is the Divine love that is reflected in the hearts of men, and material and physical forces do not limit it. This love, this power of affection and attraction to beauty, is one of the greatest gifts we have. It is only by being obedient to it, and through the manifestation of its power, that man can attain to true nobility and sacrifice his all for the betterment of society. This same love will break through all the boundaries of nationalism, cultural differences, racial tensions, class distinctions, etc; it will make all men waves of one sea, stars of one heaven, and will bring about the realisation of true harmony upon which the foundation of the unification of the human family will be built.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá urges us to order our “lives in accordance with the first principle of the divine teaching, which is love. Service to humanity is service to God. Let the love and light of the Kingdom radiate through you until all who look upon you shall be illumined by its reflection.”
Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 215
‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 28
The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 8
Paris Talks, p. 33, 49, 163, 175, 199
Photo of a detail of the Shrine of the Báb by Elliott Vreeland, www.flickr/evreelan