Religion fulfils an important role in the lives of billions of people all over the world. It not only provides a moral code to guide the believers’ living but it also gives spiritual fulfillment. Many religions exist in the world and their unique rituals and varying beliefs differentiate them. Islam and Baha’i are two of the world religions practiced by different followers. This paper will briefly compare and contrast the Baha’i faith with Islam.
A similarity between Islam and Baha’i is that both faiths are monotheistic meaning that they believe in a single all-powerful God. Ayoub reveals that in Islam, this deity is referred to as Allah and he is the great creator and ruler of the universe (345). Muslims are expected to live their lives in accordance to the will of Allah and offer their devotion to him.
Similarly, Baha’i teaches that there is only one God and he is the all-powerful maker of the universe (Masumian 89). Baha’i followers are to worship this omnipresent deity and attempt to develop a profound understanding of him through prayer and meditation.
Another similarity between Baha’i and Islam is in their believe in an afterlife. Both religions declare that human beings have a soul that is immortal and therefore continues to live after death. According to the two religions, the human body is only a vehicle for the soul in its physical experience on earth.
Islam teaches that the believer’s soul will move on to heaven or hell depending on his conduct here on earth (Ayoub 345). In the same way, Baha’i teaches that the soul of the individual moves on to heaven or hell after death. Masumian notes that the Baha’i concept of heaven and hell is in relation to the closeness or detachment from God (89).
An obvious difference between Baha’i and Islam is that they were founded at different times and by different individuals. The prophet Mohammed founded Islam in the 7th century AD in modern day Saudi Arabia (Ayoub 344). Mohammed is considered the most important prophet of Islam and it was through him that the message of God was revealed to the world.
The Baha’i faith was founded in 1863 by Mirza Husayn Ali in Iran. This founder is referred to as Baha’u’llah, meaning “the Glory of God” and he is considered the most recent prophet of the religion (Masumian 89). The revelations of God to Prophet Baha’u’llah and his teachings are integral to the Baha’i faith.
Another difference between Islam and Baha’i is in their view of other religions and gods. Muslim believers acknowledge the difference between their God and the gods of other religions. Ayoub states that Muslims seeks to convert people of other faiths into Islam, which is regarded as the true religion (349). This goal of conversion occurs since the faith teaches that Allah is the only true God. In contrast to this, the Baha’i faith declares that there is oneness of God and religion.
According to the faith, the entire world only has one God and he has been given different names throughout religious history (Masumian 89). To the Baha’I followers, all religions have the same divine origin and they are therefore only representations of the one and only religion that God has ever taught.
This paper set out to provide a brief comparison of Islam and Baha’i. It started by acknowledging the significance of religion in the world. The paper has shown that while the two faiths have major differences, they also share some core beliefs.
Ayoub, Mahmoud. “The Islamic Tradition.” World Religions: Western Traditions. Ed. Willard G. Oxtoby, 2nd ed. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2002. 342-455. Print.
Masumian, Farnaz. Life After Death: A Study of the Afterlife in World Religions. Mumbai: Kalimat Press, 1995. Print.