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173 It Hath Been Forbidden You To Carry Arms Unless Essential #159






Baha'u'llah confirms an injunction contained in the Bayan which makes it
unlawful to carry arms, unless it is necessary to do so. With regard to
circumstances under which the bearing of arms might be essential for an
individual, 'Abdu'l-Baha gives permission to a believer for
self-protection in a dangerous environment. Shoghi Effendi in a letter
written on his behalf has also indicated that, in an emergency, when there
is no legal force at hand to appeal to, a Baha'i is justified in defending
his life. There are a number of other situations in which weapons are
needed and can be legitimately used; for instance, in countries where
people hunt for their food and clothing, and in such sports as archery,
marksmanship, and fencing.

On the societal level, the principle of collective security enunciated by
Baha'u'llah (see Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, CXVII) and
elaborated by Shoghi Effendi (see the Guardian's letters in The World
Order of Baha'u'llah) does not presuppose the abolition of the use of
force, but prescribes a system in which Force is made the servant of
Justice, and which provides for the existence of an international
peace-keeping force that will safeguard the organic unity of the whole
commonwealth. In the Tablet of Bisharat, Baha'u'llah expresses the hope
that weapons of war throughout the world may be converted into
instruments of reconstruction and that strife and conflict may be removed
from the midst of men.

In another Tablet Baha'u'llah stresses the importance of fellowship with
the followers of all religions; He also states that the law of holy war
hath been blotted out from the Book.





Next: 174 And Permitted You To Attire Yourselves In Silk #159

Previous: 172 The Six Raised Up By Virtue Of This Upright Alif #157



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