What Bahá’ís Believe
The Life of the Spirit
“Wert thou to attain to but a dewdrop of the crystal waters of divine knowledge, thou wouldst readily realize that true life is not the life of the flesh but the life of the spirit…”— Bahá’u’lláh
Baha’u’llah’s Revelation affirms that the purpose of our lives is to know God and to attain His presence. Our true identity is our rational soul, whose free will and powers of understanding enable us to continually better ourselves and our society. Walking a path of service to God and to humanity gives life meaning and prepares us for the moment the soul separates from the body and continues on its eternal journey towards its Maker.
Four topics are examined in this section. Under each heading, there is a collection of pages, articles, selections from the Bahá’í writings, and further resources, that explore each of the topics in depth.
The Human Soul
Every human being possesses an immortal, rational soul that passes through this world for a brief time and continues for eternity to advance towards God. Our life’s purpose is to progress spiritually by serving our fellow human beings. In doing so, we acquire the divine qualities we will need in the life to come.
Acts of devotion such as prayer, meditation, fasting, pilgrimage, and service to others are inherent to religious life. Through them, individuals and communities are able to continually reinforce the unique bond that exists between God and humanity.
A Life of Generous Giving
Just as a candle’s purpose is to provide light, the human soul was created to give generously. We fulfil our highest purpose in a life of service in which, with humility and detachment, we offer our time, energy, knowledge, and financial resources.
Character and Conduct
The cultivation of spiritual qualities in this world is inseparable from an ongoing refinement of our conduct in which our actions increasingly come to reflect the nobility and integrity with which every human being is endowed. Such spiritual qualities are not acquired through focusing on the self; they are developed in service to others.