Bahá’í faith promotes oneness of humanity

Flora Teckie

Flora Teckie

Published Mar 26, 2024


Flora Teckie

A genuine commitment to human rights, in the Bahá’í view, will only be possible through a recognition of the oneness of humanity.

For the unity of humanity to become a reality, there must be universal respect for human rights; and commitment to human rights results from the recognition of the oneness of the human family – of every race, nation, ethnic group, or gender.

March 20 is globally celebrated as the Bahá’í New Year. The principle of the oneness of humanity is the pivot round which all the teachings of the Bahá’í Faith revolve. It is the Bahá’í belief that humanity is one, that the diversity in the human family adds to the beauty and perfection of the whole, and that the day has come for the unification of humanity into one global society.

March 21 is the Human Rights Day in our country, and it is celebrated globally as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Eliminating racial discrimination, and implementing human rights for all, will only be possible when peoples of the world are convinced that we are all members of one human family, created by one Almighty Creator.

According to a statement of the Bahá’í International Community: “The source of human rights is the endowment of qualities, virtues and powers which God has bestowed upon mankind without discrimination of sex, race, creed or nation.”

The recognition of oneness of humanity gives rise to an elevated concept of human rights, one that includes the assurance of dignity for each person and the realization of each individual’s potential.

“The principle of the oneness of humankind” in the Bahá’í view, “lies at the heart of the exhortation that we should treat others as we ourselves would wish to be treated. To establish justice, peace and order in an interdependent world, this principle must guide all interactions…”

Currently, a major cause of discrimination and intolerance is the erroneous idea that we are somehow composed of separate and distinct races and groups, which have different intellectual, moral, and physical capacities, that justify different forms of treatment.

In reality, there is only one human race, and we are all created out of the same substance. The reality of human oneness is fully endorsed by science. Anthropology, physiology, psychology, sociology, and genetics all confirm that there is only one human species, although infinitely varied in the secondary aspects of life.

“In the Baha’i view, the foundation of universal understanding and, therefore, for human rights education is the oneness of humanity, a spiritual principle amply confirmed by all the sciences... If we see ourselves as members of one human family, interconnected and interdependent, we will be unable to violate the rights of another member of that family without feeling the pain ourselves.”

Belief in the fundamental oneness of the human race is the key to overcoming the prejudices that are dividing us. It is a prerequisite for lasting unity.

To accept the oneness of humanity is to embrace the variations that characterise human society, and to desire for everyone the opportunity to develop and express their unique capacities and inherent talents.

The oneness of humanity does not imply that we should abandon legitimate loyalties, suppress cultural diversity, or abolish national autonomy. It implies having a wider loyalty, and the subordination of national and regional impulses and interests to the imperative claims of a unified world.

The implementing of the principle of the oneness of the human family requires from all of us immense perseverance, sacrifice, and willingness to change.

Flora Teckie is a professional architect, a follower of the Bahá’í faith, and spiritual columnist.

The Star