Bahá'u'lláh and His Covenant

“My object is none other than the betterment of the world and the tranquility of its peoples.”

Bahá'u'lláh was born in 1817 in the city of Tehran, the capital of what is now Iran. He came from a noble family, and was renowned for His generosity, compassion, keen intelligence, and devotion to justice. In the middle of the 19th century, Bahá’u’lláh arose to proclaim a new revelation from God and deliver the vision of His Cause.

As Bahá'u'lláh began to share the new message entrusted to Him, He was rejected by the ruling elite, imprisoned, tortured, and banished from His homeland. A series of harsh exiles brought Bahá'u'lláh to what is now modern-day Israel, where, although still a prisoner, He continued throughout His life to reveal the Word of God expressed through mystical writings, laws and ordinances, and social and ethical teachings.

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    The resting place of Bahá’u’lláh is located in Bahji, Israel.
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    The resting place of the Báb, the forerunner of Bahá’u’lláh, and of ‘Abdu’l­Bahá is framed by terraces and gardens the flow up Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel.
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    ‘Abdu’l­-Bahá, center, surrounded by Bahá’ís in New York during his 1912 visit throughout North America.
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    The seat of the Universal House of Justice is located atop Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel.

“I have never aspired after worldly leadership. My sole purpose hath been to hand down unto men that which I was bidden to deliver by God...”

In His will and testament, Bahá’u’lláh established a covenant with those that followed Him and stated clearly that all Bahá’ís should turn to His oldest son, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, for guidance and interpretation of His teachings. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was His Father’s most devoted companion during the long years of suffering.

In 1911, at the age of 68, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá embarked on a series of historic journeys across Europe and North America, bringing His Father’s Faith to the West. Until His passing in 1921, ‘Abdu'l-Bahá unceasingly inspired and encouraged the Bahá'ís and everyone He met to live a practical, spiritual life of humility, generosity, and unconditional love. In ‘Abdu'l-Bahá we find the perfect example of what it means to be a Bahá’í.

To ensure the unity of the new Faith, at His passing, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá named His grandson, Shoghi Effendi, as the guardian and authorized interpreter of the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. Under his guidance, the framework for the election of the Universal House of Justice was formed. It is this institution that today guides the worldwide Bahá’í community to contribute to betterment of the world.

Explore this subject

The below content areas are found on the international site of the Baha’i community. Here you can learn how the Bahá’í Faith began with the mission entrusted by God to two Divine Messengers—the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. You can also explore how the unique unity and continuity of guidance of the worldwide Faith is assured and safeguarded.

Bahá’u’lláh and His Covenant

The origins and history of the Bahá’í Faith and the source of its distinctive unity.

The Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh

The resting place of Bahá’u’lláh and the most holy spot on earth for Bahá’ís.

The Shrine of the Báb

The resting place of the Báb and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá with its nineteen gardens and terraces.