Community Development through Academic Service Learning
Marriage & Family
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- At the outset of every endeavour, it is incumbent to look to the
end of it.
Bahá’u’lláh: Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 168
- O SON OF BEING!
Bring thyself to account each day ere thou art summoned to a
reckoning; for death, unheralded, shall come upon thee and thou shalt be called to give account for thy
Bahá’u’lláh: Arabic Hidden Words, p. 31
- Compare the nations of the world to the members of a family. A family is a nation in
miniature. Simply enlarge the circle of the household, and you have the nation. Enlarge
the circle of nations, and you have all humanity. The conditions surrounding the family
surround the nation. The happenings in the family are the happenings in the life of the
nation. Would it add to the progress and advancement of a family if dissensions should
arise among its members, all fighting, pillaging each other, jealous and revengeful of
injury, seeking selfish advantage? Nay, this would be the cause of the effacement of
progress and advancement. So it is in the great family of nations, for nations are but an
aggregate of families. Therefore, as strife and dissension destroy a family and prevent
its progress, so nations are destroyed and advancement hindered.
Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 157
III. Types of Families
- Among the great Prophets was Abraham, Who, being an iconoclast and a Herald of the
oneness of God, was banished from His native land. He founded a family upon which the
blessing of God descended, and it was owing to this religious basis and ordination that
the Abrahamic house progressed and advanced. Through the divine benediction noteworthy and
luminous prophets issued from His lineage. There appeared Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Joseph,
Moses, Aaron, David and Solomon. The Holy Land was conquered by the power of the Covenant
of God with Abraham, and the glory of the Solomonic wisdom and sovereignty dawned. All
this was due to the religion of God which this blessed lineage established and upheld. It
is evident that throughout the history of Abraham and His posterity this was the source of
their honor, advancement and civilization. Even today the descendants of His household and
lineage are found throughout the world.
Abdul-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 362
- The mystery of this phenomenon, the cause thereof is this, that mankind has been created
from one single origin, has branched off from one family. Thus in reality all mankind
represents one family. God has not created any difference. He has created all as one that
thus this family might live in perfect happiness and well-being.
Abdul-Bahá: Foundations of World Unity, p. 38
IV. Mate Selection and Commitment
- Baháí marriage is the commitment of the two parties one to the other, and their
mutual attachment of mind and heart. Each must, however, exercise the utmost care to
become thoroughly acquainted with the character of the other, that the binding covenant
between them may be a tie that will endure forever. Their purpose must be this: to become
loving companions and comrades and at one with each other for time and eternity....
Abdul-Bahá: Selections From the Writings of Abdul-Bahá,
V. Sexuality and Gender Roles
- Concerning your question whether there are any legitimate forms of expression of the sex
instinct outside of marriage; according to the Baháí Teachings no sexual act can
be considered lawful unless performed between lawfully married persons. Outside of marital
life there can be no lawful or healthy use of the sex impulse. The Baháí youth
should, on the one hand, be taught the lesson of self-control which, when exercised,
undoubtedly has a salutary effect on the development of character and of personality in
general, and on the other should be advised, nay even encouraged, to contract marriage
while still young and in full possession of their physical vigour. Economic factors, no
doubt, are often a serious hindrance to early marriage, but in most cases are only an
excuse, and as such should not be overstressed.
Shoghi Effendi: A Chaste and Holy Life, p. 56
- Exalted, immensely exalted is He Who hath removed differences and established harmony.
Glorified, infinitely glorified is He Who hath caused discord to cease, and decreed
solidarity and unity. Praised be God, the Pen of the Most High hath lifted distinctions
from between His servants and handmaidens and, through His consummate favours and
all-encompassing mercy, hath conferred upon all a station and rank on the same plane. He
hath broken the back of vain imaginings with the sword of utterance and hath obliterated
the perils of idle fancies through the pervasive power of His might.
Compilation of Compilations,
Vol II (Women), p. 357
VI. Fertility and Parenting
- According to the teachings of Baháulláh the family, being a human unit,
must be educated according to the rules of sanctity. All the virtues must be taught the
family. The integrity of the family bond must be constantly considered, and the rights of
the individual members must not be transgressed. The rights of the son, the father, the
mother--none of them must be transgressed, none of them must be arbitrary. Just as the son
has certain obligations to his father, the father, likewise, has certain obligations to
his son. The mother, the sister and other members of the household have their certain
prerogatives. All these rights and prerogatives must be conserved, yet the unity of the
family must be sustained. The injury of one shall be considered the injury of all; the
comfort of each, the comfort of all; the honor of one, the honor of all.
Abdul-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 168
- It is the bounden duty of parents to rear their children to be staunch in faith, the
reason being that a child who removeth himself from the religion of God will not act in
such a way as to win the good pleasure of his parents and his Lord. For every praiseworthy
deed is born out of the light of religion, and lacking this supreme bestowal the child
will not turn away from any evil, nor will he draw nigh unto any good.
Baháulláh: Compilation of Compilations, Vol I (Baháí
Education), p.248; (Women), p.372
- That which is of paramount importance for the children, that which must precede all
else, is to teach them the oneness of God and the laws of God. For lacking this, the fear
of God cannot be inculcated, and lacking the fear of God an infinity of odious and
abominable actions will spring up, and sentiments will be uttered that transgress all
The parents must exert every effort to rear their offspring to be religious, for should
the children not attain this greatest of adornments, they will not obey their parents,
which in a certain sense means that they will not obey God. Indeed, such children will
show no consideration to anyone, and will do exactly as they please.
Baháulláh: Compilation of Compilations, Vol I (Baháí
Education), p. 248; (Family Life), p. 385
- Every imperfect soul is self-centred and thinketh only of his own good. But as his
thoughts expand a little he will begin to think of the welfare and comfort of his family.
If his ideas still more widen, his concern will be the felicity of his fellow citizens;
and if still they widen, he will be thinking of the glory of his land and of his race. But
when ideas and views reach the utmost degree of expansion and attain the stage of
perfection, then will he be interested in the exaltation of humankind. He will then be the
well-wisher of all men and the seeker of the weal and prosperity of all lands. This is
indicative of perfection.
Abdul-Bahá: Selections ...Abdul-Bahá, p. 69
VII. Family Relationships
- Consider the harmful effects of discord and dissension in a family; then reflect
upon the favours and blessings which descend upon that family when unity exists among its
various members. What incalculable benefits and blessings would descend upon the great
human family if unity and brotherhood were established! In this century when the
beneficient results of unity and the ill effects of discord are so clearly apparent, the
means for the attainment and accomplishment of human fellowship have appeared in the
world. His Holiness Baha'u'llah has proclaimed and provided the way by which hostility and
dissension may be removed from the human world. He has left no ground or possibility for
strife and disagreement. First He has proclaimed the oneness of mankind and specialized
religious teachings for existing human conditions.
Abdul-Bahá: Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 230;
Compilations, Vol I (Family Life), pp. 396-397
- My home is the home of peace. My home is the home of joy and delight. My home is the
home of laughter and exultation. Whosoever enters through the portals of this home, must
go out with gladsome heart. This is the home of light; whosoever enters here must become
Compilation of Compilations, Vol I (Family Life), p. 397
VIII. Marriage, Work and Economics
- It is incumbent upon each one of you to engage in
some occupation - such as a craft, a trade or the like. We have exalted
your engagement in such work to the rank of worship of the one true God.
Reflect, O people, on the grace and blessings of your Lord, and yield Him
thanks at eventide and dawn. Waste not your hours in idleness and sloth, but
occupy yourselves with what will profit you and others. Thus hath it been
decreed in this Tablet from whose horizon hath shone the day-star of wisdom
and utterance. The most despised of men in the sight of God are they who
sit and beg.
- You ask about the admonition that everyone must work, and want to know if
this means that you, a wife and mother, must work for a livelihood as your
husband does. We are requested to enclose for your perusal an excerpt, 'The
twelfth Glad-Tidings', from Bahá’u’lláh's 'Tablet of Bisharat'. You will see
that the directive is for the friends to be engaged in an occupation which
will be of benefit to mankind. Homemaking is a highly honourable and
responsible work of fundamental importance for mankind.
From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an
individual believer, June 16, 1982
- The beginning of magnanimity is when man expendeth his wealth on himself, on his
family and on the poor among his brethren in his Faith.
Baháulláh: Tablets of Baháulláh, p. 156
IX. Dissolution of Marriages
- God doth verily love union and concord, and abhorreth separation and divorce.
do everything in your power to produce a harmonious relationship between you and
avoid divorce by all means, if possible. The Bahai attitude is that marriage is a
very serious and sacred relationship and divorce a last resort to be avoided if humanly
From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, 1945
X. Marriage and Family Strengths and Needs
- Note ye how easily, where unity existeth in a given family, the affairs of that family
are conducted; what progress the members of that family make, how they prosper in the
world. Their concerns are in order, they enjoy comfort and tranquillity, they are secure,
their position is assured, they come to be envied by all. Such a family but addeth to its
stature and its lasting honour, as day succeedeth day.
Abdul-Bahá: Selections from the Writings of
Abdul-Bahá, p. 279
- The ages of its infancy and childhood are past, never again to return, while the Great
Age, the consummation of all ages, which must signalize the coming of age of the entire
human race, is yet to come. The convulsions of this transitional and most turbulent period
in the annals of humanity are the essential prerequisites, and herald the inevitable
approach, of that Age of Ages, "the time of the end," in which the folly and
tumult of strife that has, since the dawn of history, blackened the annals of mankind,
will have been finally transmuted into the wisdom and the tranquility of an undisturbed, a
universal, and lasting peace, in which the discord and separation of the children of men
will have given way to the worldwide reconciliation, and the complete unification of the
divers elements that constitute human society.
This will indeed be the fitting climax
of that process of integration which, starting with the family, the smallest unit in the
scale of human organization, must, after having called successively into being the tribe,
the city-state, and the nation, continue to operate until it culminates in the unification
of the whole world, the final object and the crowning glory of human evolution on this
planet. It is this stage which humanity, willingly or unwillingly, is resistlessly
Shoghi Effendi: The Promised Day is Come, p. 117
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Last Revised: August 2014