Recent Articles
  • The Equality of Men and Women

    When ‘Abdu’l-Bahá talked about the problems and challenges humanity must deal with during His travels in Europe and the United States and Canada from 1910 to 1913, He brought up the equality of men and women—a question that, where it has been unaddressed, is causing a crisis in society (and families) and consequently a threat to the social structure.

  • Traditions Differ From Truth

    Knowledge of the truth is the goal of religions. Its progressive revelation in pro- portions corresponding to human spiritual capacity should not be a cause for discord and strife between people.

  • Movement and Life

    In December 1911, ‘Abdu’l- Bahá returned from His tour in London and Paris to spend the winter months in the city of Alexandria and prepare for His journey to America and Canada the following year. The flow of visitors to His residence continued all through the months of the winter…

  • The Springtime of the Soul Returns

    ‘A bdu’l-Bahá’s stay in Paris for the months of October and November 1911 afforded His hearers the pleasure of daily talks in which He discussed various topics related to the principles of Bahá’u’lláh. At the beginning of His visit, on 15 October, He gave a talk about the regularity of the renewal of the divine […]

  • Universal Love

    ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, while on visit to the city of Paris in 1911, more than once addressed the subject of the soul in His public talks. He pointed out in particular its spiritual nature and its essential effect on material life, with emphasis too on its role in establishing a unity of mankind for whose realization in this enlightened age all past religions participated in preparing the way.

More articles on The Centenary >
The Centenary

The Call of the Unity of Mankind Is Raised in a Divided World

“In every Dispensation, the light of Divine Guidance
has been focused upon one central theme…. In this wondrous Revelation,
this glorious century, the foundation of the Faith of God,
and the distinguishing feature of His Law, is the
consciousness of the oneness of mankind.”1

'Abdu'l-Baha, photographed during His visit to London by the famous Lafayette studio. He spent four weeks in the city in September 1911, and later returned from December 1912 to January 1913.
                      (Copyright The Bahá'í World News)

After ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s arrival in London from Thonon-les-Bains on the 4th of September, 1911, Reverend R. J. Campbell invited Him to talk to the members of his church. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá ac- cepted the invitation and on the 10th of September gave the following talk to a crowded audience:

“O NOBLE friends; seekers after God! Praise be to God! Today the light of Truth is shining upon the world in its abundance; the breezes of the heavenly garden are blowing throughout all re- gions; the call of the King- dom is heard in all lands, and the breath of the Holy Spirit is felt in all hearts that are faithful. The Spirit of God is giving eternal life. In this wonderful age the East is enlightened, the West is fragrant, and everywhere the soul inhales the holy perfume. The sea of the unity of mankind is lifting up its waves with joy, for there is real communication be- tween the hearts and minds of men. The banner of the Holy Spirit is uplifted, and men see it, and are assured with the knowledge that this is a new day.

“This is a new cycle of human power. All the horizons of the world are luminous, and the world will become indeed as a garden and a paradise. It is the hour of unity of the sons of men and of the drawing together of all races and all classes. You are loosed from ancient superstitions which have kept men ignorant, destroying the foundation of true humanity.

“The gift of God to this enlightened age is the knowledge of the oneness of mankind and of the fundamental oneness of religion. War shall cease between nations, and by the will of God the Most Great Peace shall come; the world will be seen as a new world, and all men will live as brothers.

“In the days of old an instinct for warfare was developed in the struggle with wild animals; this is no longer necessary; nay, rather, co-operation and mutual under- standing are seen to produce the greatest welfare of mankind. Enmity is now the result of prejudice only.

“In the Hidden Words Bahá’u’lláh says, ‘Justice is to be loved above all.’ Praise be to God, in this country the standard of justice has been raised; a great effort is being made to give all souls an equal and a true place. This is the desire of all noble natures; this is today the teaching for the East and for the West; therefore the East and the West will understand each other and reverence each other, and embrace like long-parted lovers who have found each other.”

“(This Address was printed in the compilation of His addresses entitled ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London by kind permission, from The Christian Commonwealth of September 13th, 1911. Spoken by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Persian from the City Temple pulpit, the above translation was then read to the congregation by Mr. W. Tudor-Pole.)”2

With these words, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá inaugurated the beginning of His talks in London, announcing that the purpose of His proclamation was the explanation and spread of the principle of the unity of mankind—the same principle Bahá’u’lláh revealed for the first time in His message to Queen Victoria addressing the kings and rulers and calling on them to consult together on ways and means for the rebuilding of the world and the unification of its peoples.3

Referring to this principle as the primary purpose of the message of Bahá’u’lláh and the pivot around which all His teachings revolve, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has written the following illuminating statement:

“In every Dispensation, the light of Divine Guidance has been focussed upon one central theme…. In this wondrous Revelation, this glorious century, the foundation of the Faith of God and the distinguishing feature of His Law is the consciousness of the Oneness of Mankind.”4

The above-cited brief talk of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá reveals themes of major significance which are at the heart of the oneness of mankind. It shows first that the various religions, despite apparent differences in some of their provisions, were not inconsistent in aim, haphazard in end, or disparate in their teachings. A thread of guiding light radiating from the Words of God unites all religions in a message that aims to develop and refine the intellectual and spiritual capacity of mankind, that allows a unity free of all peculiarities that may be a hindrance in the way of universal love, and that has the capability to unite the earth’s peoples and the power to lead them to peace under the shade of the unity of all humankind.