You may have heard of the Baháʼí Faith, or you may be a practicing Baháʼí yourself.
While the passing of a loved one can be difficult for most people and faiths, the Baháʼís have a positive view on the world that fosters healing and a unity of purpose.
What It Means To Be In The Bahá’í Faith
Founded relatively recently, the Baháʼí Faith teaches the unity of all faiths and the essential worth of all religions.
Since its creation in the 19th century by Bahá’u’lláh, this religious movement has been pursued by governments in Iran and other parts of the Middle East for decades.
There is no sect of Islam considered to be Baháʼí. It is a totally independent religion.
It is the Baháʼís belief that God is one, that religion is one, and that humanity is one.
A global society must unite the human race as a single race, according to the Baháʼí Faith.
It believes that for a world to unite, it must abandon and eliminate prejudices of all kinds, eliminate extremes of wealth and poverty, and encourage moral high standards in individuals.
The Baháʼís are urged to participate in society to the fullest and to maintain high ethical standards.
What Happens During a Baha’i Funeral?
Upon death, according to the Baháʼí Faith, the soul is released from the physical body and enters the spiritual realm. Burials and funerals protect the living from pain and ensure that the deceased’s soul is blessed.
- Baháʼí Law says the body must be buried quickly and nearby, because it’s forbidden to bury a person’s body more than an hour away from where the person died.
- Unless required by law, Baháʼí practices do not permit embalming or cremation.
- A Baháʼí funeral will typically be closed-casket.
- The body is wrapped in a shroud made of silk or cotton, with a casket made of stone, hard fine wood, or crystal.
- Memorial services are normally held within two or three days following the death. Guests can dress how they like, or according to local customs.
- The funeral service is usually a simple one. The only mandatory part of the service is the recitation of the Prayer for the Dead.
- Non-believers are welcome to attend and be present when the Prayer is read.
- Baháʼí funerals involve prayers to ensure the deceased’s spirit finds peace after death.
- The Prayer is recited by one member of the congregation, while all others remain silent.
- It may be recited once or twice, depending on local customs.
- The Baháʼí Faith does not have any specific rules for expressing condolences. A sympathy card or food offering is appreciated.
Coast Family Funerals are a Bahá’í funeral service provider on the Central Coast of New South Wales.
The long-standing, family-owned funeral director is fully set up to provide everything needed for families and spiritual leaders according to the Baháʼí Faith.
The Bahá’í Faith In Australia
Bahá’ís are estimated to number 20,000 in Australia, up from the 14,000 identified as Bahá’í in the last Census.
The Bahá’í House of Worship in Sydney (Ingleside), also known as the Bahá’í Temple, stands as a symbol of the oneness of humanity. It is a place of worship open to people of all beliefs.
It is a place to pray and meditate on the sacred texts of various religions around the world. If there is a need to speak, this should be done in an emergency only. Shoes may be worn inside.
The Central Coast Baha’i Community provides information on the Bahá’í faith. It holds study classes and information evenings on World Unity, Equality between men and women, Health & Healing, the Bahá’í Faith and others. Devotional gatherings are held regularly.
Bahá’í Scripture classes are held in some primary schools. Classes stress the development of moral values as taught in all world religions, such as patience, honesty, compassion and respect as well as broad social principles.
The Bahá’í Faith Around The World
There are around 6 million Bahá’ís worldwide. The countries with the largest Bahá’i populations include: India (1,897,651), United States (512,864), Kenya (422,782), Vietnam (388,802) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (282,916).
Baha’i Faith FAQs
How Do Baháʼís Deal with Death?
Bahá’ís identify mourning, the distress and pain of losing contact with loved ones and friends as a part of life – a stage that lasts only a temporal period of time. Bahá’ís follow their core beliefs through their death rituals, funerals, and the way they are mourned. The Bahá’í faith teaches that when a human dies, their soul leaves their body. The journey towards perfection then continues.
What Is The Religious Symbol Of The Bahá’í Faith?
The nine-pointed star symbolises the importance of the number nine for Bahá’ís. As the highest single digit number, nine represents completeness and fulfillment of expectations of previous religions. Bahá’í temples often depict the star.
In a court of law, would a Bahá’í take an oath on the Bible?
In addition to the Bible, Bahá’ís may swear allegiance to any sacred book. It is preferred for them to take their oath on a Bahá’í book, such as the Kitab-i-Aqbas, the major book of the Bahá’í community.
Are worship times important to Bahá’ís?
Bahá’ís must pray every day. Some of which call for certain movements to be performed, while others may be read at a designated time or times of the day.
Are autopsies permitted in the Bahá’í Faith?
Yes, if required for medical or legal reasons.
The Australian Bahá’í Community
Central Coast Baháʼí Community
The Baháʼí House of Worship in Sydney
The Bahá’í World
Baháʼí World News Service
The Official Website of the Worldwide Bahá’í community
No matter how prepared you may be, losing a loved one can be an incredibly emotional, difficult time for you and your loved ones. We’re here to support you on that journey, ensuring a memorable and lasting tribute for your dearest.
For more details on how Coast Family Funerals will ensure your Bahá’í ceremony is conducted in a respectful way and in line with the teachings, please contact us today.