Salman, you are a member of the Bahá'i Faith, what are the Bahá'i
Salman: Some of the Basic principles are: the oneness of mankind independent investigation
of truth, the common foundation of all religions, the essential harmony of science and
religion, equal status for men and women, elimination
of prejudices of all kinds, universal compulsory education, spiritual solution to economic
problem, a universal auxhilliary language, universal peace upheld by a world government.
The vision of a united mankind, a global world order is no longer utopian. The people of
the world are being oriented towards global action in all areas of life.
Baha'u'llah assures us that soon the present day order will be rolled up and a new one
will be spread instead. The world will be one country and all people its citizens.
"These fruitless strifes, these ruinuous wars shall pass away, and the 'Most Great
Peace' shall come.
Pan: How is the Bahá'i Faith making progress?
Salman: Although still in its infancy, the Faith has now emerged from obscurity on a
global scale yet the vast majority of the world's population remains unaware of its
existence and vital importance for the mater intellectual and spiritual life of man on
earth. However, at this stage of evolution, it has become more vulnerable to external
elements and adherents and need to exercise more vigilance and wisdom to ensure protection
"against the malice of the ignorant and the unwisdom of friends." We know from
the Holy Writings that the emergence of the Faith from obscurity is but one of the stages
in the long evolution towards the Faith's divinely appointed destiny. The Bahá'is
warned that there will be more oppressions and bitter oppositions from various quarters in
many countries, but at the end the Faith will triumph and will be accorded universal
Pan: What makes you so confident that the Baha'i Faith will in time
be adopted as a world religion?
Salman: Our absolute belief in the power of Baha'u'llah. He is the divine educator and the
Spirit of this new age. A new race of man is being gradually raised with increased
spiritual susceptibilities. This drastic transformation in the life of man is taking
placevery rapidly, through the power of divine revelation. "Entry by troops" of
peoples of diverse nations and races into into the Bahá'i Faith as anticipated by Abdul
Baha, is witnessed in many countries, especially in the developing countries. This
prophecy is affirmed in the Holy Qur'an as a sign of God's victory in the "latter
days". It says that when the day of God'd victory arrives, you will see the people
entering the religion of God in droves. It is interesting that the verse from the Qur'an
"the victory of God id near at hand" often appears engraved on stones above
entrances to mosques in some Muslim countries and yet perhaps only few would stop to think
on the significance and true meaning of this inscription.
Pan: Are Baha'u'llah's claims supported by prophecies in the Bible
Salman: A study of the Holy Writings of the past dispensations will reveal beyond any
shadow of a doubt that Baha'u'llah is the Promised One. To the Jews he is the
"Everlsting Father", "The Lord of Hosts", to the Zoroastrians, He is
the "Promised Shah-Bahram"; to the Buddhists, the fifth Buddha; to the Hindus,
the reincarnation of Krishna; to the Mohammedans, "The Great Announcement", and
to the Christians, the second coming of Christ. Baha'u'llah (which means the "Glory
of God") proclaimed his mission in Baghdad to all mankind in 1863. He was banished to
Edirne and later to the prison city of Akka in the Holy Land. Thus, the Biblical prophecy
that the Glory of God would come to the Holy Land from the East and other prophecies about
the events that would take place in Sharon and the valley of Achor (Akka) were fulfilled.
Pan: How do you finance your various local, national and
international Bahá'i activities?
Salman: All the necessary funds come from voluntary contributions of the declared
There are no collections. Donations from non-Bahá'i are not accepted. Baha'u'llah has
reserved this bounty for His followers only. Whether poor
or wealthy, each Bahá'i feels his spiritual responsibility and privilege to contribute to
the Bahá'i fund. The amount given is not important. But the degree of the sacrifice of the
giver and the love with which he makes his/ her gift.
Pan: Do the Bahá'is have churches and a priesthood?
Salman: The Bahá'i house of worship is called 'Mashriq-ul-Adhkar', which
literally means "Dawning-place of the praise of God". It is nine sided
and domed. Around, it will be built social institutions, such as home for the aged,
hospital, school, orphanage and administrative buildings. At the present time, there is
one mother temple on each continent and one in Western Samoa in the Pacific. These
beautiful houses of worship are open to all religions, anyone can enter therein for
meditation and prayer, but not for preaching.
Bahá'i Faith has no clergy. The duty of giving the Healing Message of Baha'u'llah to a
sorely ailing world rests with the individual believers and the Bahá'i institutions.
Teaching the Cause of God, giving the Message in its pure form, is considered to be a
Pan: Do we really need to have a new religion in this scientific
age? And since religion has been the main cause of misunderstandings and strifes amongst
people, could we not dispense with it?
Salman: Baha'u'llah says that people of wealth, authority and power must show the
profoundest regard for religion. Religion is a radiant light and an "impregnable
stronghold" for the protection and welfare of the peoples of the world. Everyone of
true understanding will agree that the fear of God causes man to avoid evil, and compels
him to do good.
When the lamp of religion is dimmed, chaos and confusion appear, equity and justice, unity
and peace cease to exist. Religion is the greatest of all means for the establishment of
order in the world. The purpose of religion is to establish unity and concord amongst the
people of the world. It should not be made the cause of dissension and strife.
If religion is not conducive to unity and love, it is not the right kind of religion.
The Bahá'i teachings assert that religion should be in harmony with science and reason.
Religion is revealed truth, and science discovered truth. Without truth, there can be no
human progress. Religion should respond to the needs and requirements of the present day.
Baha'is believe that divine revelation is continuous and progressive. "Kitab-i
Aqdes", the most Holy Book of Baha'u'llah will become available in English in 1995.
Pan: How many Bahá'is are there in the T.R. of Northern Cyprus?
Salman: I guess over two hundred.