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.

172 The Six Raised Up By Virtue Of This Upright Alif #157 174 And Permitted You To Attire Yourselves In Silk #159 facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail