A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Chastity

A chaste and holy life must be made the controlling principle in the behavior and conduct of all Bahá’ís, both in their social relations with the members of their own community, and in their contact with the world at large. It must adorn and reinforce the ceaseless labors and meritorious exertions of those whose enviable position is to propagate the Message, and to administer the affairs, of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. It must be upheld, in all its integrity and implications, in every phase of the life of those who fill the ranks of that Faith, whether in their homes, their travels, their clubs, their societies, their entertainments, their schools, and their universities. It must be accorded special consideration in the conduct of the social activities of every Bahá’í summer school and any other occasions on which Bahá’í community life is organized and fostered. It must be closely and continually identified with the mission of the Bahá’í youth, both as an element in the life of the Bahá’í community, and as a factor in the future progress and orientation of the youth of their own country.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 29-30)


A man of noble character and strong willpower, could certainly remain faithful to his wife during a long absence!
(Shoghi Effendi, The Light of Divine Guidance v II, p. 69)


And further, those present should concern themselves with every means of training the girl children; with teaching the various branches of knowledge, good behaviour, a proper way of life, the cultivation of a good character, chastity and constancy, perseverance, strength, determination, firmness of purpose; with household management, the education of children, and whatever especially applieth to the needs of girls—to the end that these girls, reared in the stronghold of all perfections, and with the protection of a goodly character, will, when they themselves become mothers, bring up their children from earliest infancy to have a good character and conduct themselves well.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 123)


As to a chaste and holy life, it should be regarded as no less essential a factor that must contribute its proper share to the strengthening and vitalization of the Bahá’í community, upon which must in turn depend the success of any Bahá’í plan or enterprise. In these days when the forces of irreligion are weakening the moral fiber, and undermining the foundations of individual morality, the obligation of chastity and holiness must claim an increasing share of the attention of the American believers, both in their individual capacities and as the responsible custodians of the interests of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. In the discharge of such an obligation, to which the special circumstances resulting from an excessive and enervating materialism now prevailing in their country lend particular significance, they must play a conspicuous and predominant role. All of them, be they men or women, must, at this threatening hour when the lights of religion are fading out, and its restraints are one by one being abolished, pause to examine themselves, scrutinize their conduct, and with characteristic resolution arise to purge the life of their community of every trace of moral laxity that might stain the name, or impair the integrity, of so holy and precious a Faith.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 29)


As to chastity, this is one of the most challenging concepts to get across in this very permissive age, but Bahá’ís must make the utmost effort to uphold Bahá’í standards, no matter how difficult they may seem at first. Such efforts will be made easier if the youth will understand that the laws and standards of the Faith are meant to free them from untold spiritual and moral difficulties in the same way that a proper appreciation of the laws of nature enables one to live in harmony with the forces of the planet...’
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 361)


By this your hearts will be purified, your consciences illumined, your souls make clear, your banners hoisted, and ye will become signs of guidance among the maid-servants, standards of chastity and piety throughout all the nations of the earth, and the appearances of the gifts of your Lord among women.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 30)


Chastity implies both before and after marriage an unsullied, chaste sex life. Before marriage absolutely chaste, after marriage absolutely faithful to one’s chosen companion. Faithful in all sexual acts, faithful in word and in deed.
(Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 233)


Chastity in no way implies withdrawal from human relationships. It liberates people from the tyranny of the ubiquity of sex. A person who is in control of his sexual impulses is enabled to have profound and enduring friendships with many people, both men and women, without ever sullying that unique and priceless bond that should unite man and wife.
(Universal House of Justice, A Chaste and Holy Life, #13)


Does it not seem strange that Christian sects should have instituted the monastic life and celibacy for the clergy, in view of the facts that Christ chose married men for His disciples, and both He Himself and His apostles lived lives of active beneficence, in close association and familiar intercourse with the people?
(Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era, p. 176)


Entrance into the Kingdom is through the love of God, through detachment, through holiness and chastity, through truthfulness, purity, steadfastness, faithfulness and the sacrifice of life.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 242)


Even among the non-believers, people were astonished at the change. What could have come over this youth, they wanted to know; how did it happen that he was suddenly detached from the world, eager and devoted? “He was tainted, corrupted,” they said; “today he is abstemious and chaste. He was sunk in his appetites, but is now the soul of purity, living a righteous life. He has left the world behind him. He has broken up the feast, dismissed the revelers, and folded the banquet cloth away. His mind is distracted by love.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Memorials of the Faithful, p. 130)


Exhortations to remain pure and chaste will only succeed to a limited degree in helping them to resist these forces.
(Universal House of Justice, 28 December 2010 to the Continental Board of Counsellors)


For desire is a flame that has reduced to ashes uncounted lifetime harvests of the learned, a devouring fire that even the vast sea of their accumulated knowledge could never quench. How often has it happened that an individual who was graced with every attribute of humanity and wore the jewel of true understanding, nevertheless followed after his passions until his excellent qualities passed beyond moderation and he was forced into excess. His pure intentions changed to evil ones, his attributes were no longer put to uses worthy of them, and the power of his desires turned him aside from righteousness and its rewards into ways that were dangerous and dark. A good character is in the sight of God and His chosen ones and the possessors of insight, the most excellent and praiseworthy of all things, but always on condition that its centre of emanation should be reason and knowledge and its base should be true moderation.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 59-60)


Give ye great weight to the Nineteen Day gatherings, so that on these occasions the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful may … grow in purity and holiness … and in the resistance to passion and self. Thus will they separate themselves from this elemental world, and immerse themselves in the ardors of the spirit.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Meetings/The Nineteen Day Feast, p. 1)


God hath imposed a fine on every adulterer and adulteress, to be paid to the House of Justice. Although the term translated here as adultery refers, in its broadest sense, to unlawful sexual intercourse between either married or unmarried individuals (see note 36 for a definition of the term), ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has specified that the punishment here prescribed is for sexual intercourse between persons who are unmarried. He indicates that it remains for the Universal House of Justice to determine the penalty for adultery committed by a married individual.
(See also Q and A 49.) (Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 200)


He is My true follower who, if he come to a valley of pure gold, will pass straight through it aloof as a cloud, and will neither turn back, nor pause. Such a man is, assuredly, of Me. From his garment the Concourse on high can inhale the fragrance of sanctity.... And if he met the fairest and most comely of women, he would not feel his heart seduced by the least shadow of desire for her beauty. Such an one, indeed, is the creation of spotless chastity. Thus instructeth you the Pen of the Ancient of Days, as bidden by your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Bountiful.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 118)


In a letter to an individual written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi it is said: ‘The Master’s words to ..., which you quoted, can certainly be taken as the true spirit of the teachings on the subject of sex. We must strive to achieve this exalted standard.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 440-441)


In brief, let each one of you be as a lamp shining forth with the light of the virtues of the world of humanity. Be trustworthy, sincere, affectionate and replete with chastity. Be illumined, be spiritual, be divine, be glorious, be quickened of God, be a Bahá’í.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 453)


It demands daily vigilance in the control of one’s carnal desires and corrupt inclinations. It calls for the abandonment of a frivolous conduct, with its excessive attachment to trivial and often misdirected pleasures.
(Shoghi Effendi: The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 30)


It is not surprising that serious-minded Bahá’í youth growing up in a bewildering moral environment are asking for specific guidance on the matter of proper conduct in friendship between boys and girls, men and women. It is also not surprising that their parents and other adult advisors are themselves sometimes confused on the issues that arise as they find old standards are changing and new patterns of behavior are developing in society which are unsettling, possibly even frightening to them. The primary protection for the friends in these matters, both young and old alike, is to continue to deepen, truly deepen, in the Teachings so that their behavior more readily conforms to the high standards of the Faith.
(Universal House of Justice, to a National Spiritual Assembly, 5 February 1992)


It must be realized that the isolation and despair from which so many suffer are products of an environment ruled by an all-pervasive materialism. And in this the friends must understand the ramifications of Bahá’u’lláh’s statement that “the present-day order” must
"be rolled up, and a new one spread out in its stead.”
(Universal House of Justice, 28 December 2010, section on “Chaste and Holy Life")


How great is my wish to attain unto a detachment so complete that were there to appear before me those countenances which are hid within the chambers of chastity, and the beauty of which Thou didst veil from the eyes of the entire creation, and whose faces Thou didst sanctify from the sight of all beings, and were they to unveil themselves in all the glory of the splendors of Thine incomparable beauty, I would refuse to look upon them, and would behold them solely for the purpose of discerning the mysteries of Thy handiwork, which have perplexed the minds of such as have drawn nigh unto Thee, and awed the souls of all them that have recognized Thee. I would, by Thy power and Thy might, soar to such heights that nothing whatsoever would have the power to keep me back from the manifold evidences of Thy transcendent dominion, nor would any earthly scheme shut me out from the manifestations of Thy Divine holiness.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 336)


Let your eye be chaste, your hand faithful, your tongue truthful and your heart enlightened.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 138)


No less pertinent to the success of the Bahá’í enterprise today are the Guardian’s forthright comments on the importance of a chaste and holy life, “with its implications of modesty, purity, temperance, decency, and clean-mindedness”. He was unequivocal in his language, summoning the friends to a life unsullied “by the
indecencies, the vices, the false standards, which an inherently deficient moral code tolerates, perpetuates, and fosters”. We need not provide for you here evidence of the influence that such a deficient code now exerts on humanity as a whole; even the remotest spots on the globe are captivated by its enticements. Yet we feel compelled to mention a few points related specifically to the theme of purity. The forces at work on the hearts and minds of the young, to whom the Guardian directed his appeal most fervently, are pernicious indeed.
(Universal House of Justice, 28 December 2010, section on “Chaste and Holy Life")


No matter how devoted and fine the love may be between people … to let it find expression in sexual acts is wrong.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Notes, p. 223).


O Friends of the Pure and Omnipotent God! To be pure and holy in all things is an attribute of the consecrated soul and a necessary characteristic of the unenslaved mind. The best of perfections is immaculacy and the freeing of oneself from every defect. Once the individual is, in every respect, cleansed and purified, then will he become a focal centre reflecting the Manifest Light. First in a human being’s way of life must be purity, then freshness, cleanliness, and independence of spirit. First must the stream bed be cleansed, then may the sweet river waters be led into it. Chaste eyes enjoy the beatific vision of the Lord and know what this encounter meaneth; a pure sense inhaleth the fragrances that blow from the rose gardens of His grace; a burnished heart will mirror forth the comely face of truth.(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 146)


O saints of God! at the end of Our discourse We enjoin on you once again chastity, faithfulness, godliness, sincerity, and purity.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, A Traveller’s Narrative, p. 48)


On page 25[1] of “The Advent of Divine Justice” the beloved Guardian is describing the requirements not only of chastity, but of “a chaste and holy life”—both the adjectives are important. One of the signs of a decadent society, a sign which is very evident in the world today, is an almost frenetic devotion to pleasure and diversion, an insatiable thirst for amusement, a fanatical devotion to games and sport, a reluctance to treat any matter seriously, and a scornful, derisory attitude towards virtue and solid worth.
(Universal House of Justice, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 53)


On the one hand, the high standard of conduct inculcated by Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation can admit no compromise; it can, in no wise, be lowered, and all must fix their gaze on its lofty heights. On the other, it must be acknowledged that, as human beings, we are far from perfect; what is expected of everyone is sincere daily effort. Self-righteousness is to be eschewed.
(Universal House of Justice, 28 December 2010)


Purity and chastity have been, and still are, the most great ornaments for the handmaidens of God. God is My Witness! The brightness of the light of chastity sheddeth its illumination upon the worlds of the spirit, and its fragrance is wafted even unto the Most Exalted Paradise.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Advent of Divine Justice", p. 32)


Should any one of you enter into the service (or employment) of the government, he must live and act with the utmost truthfulness, righteousness, chastity, uprightness, purity, sanctity, justice and equity.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 403)


Some individuals for various reasons are unable to find a spouse, or choose to remain single; they must develop their natures and talents in other ways [than having sex].
(The Universal House of Justice, 1993 Jun 05, Homosexuality, p. 11)


Such a chaste and holy life, with its implications of modesty, purity, temperance, decency, and clean-mindedness, involves no less than the exercise of moderation in all that pertains to dress, language, amusements, and all artistic and literary avocations. It demands daily vigilance in the control of one’s carnal desires and corrupt inclinations. It calls for the abandonment of a frivolous conduct, with its excessive attachment to trivial and often misdirected pleasures. It requires total abstinence from all alcoholic drinks, from opium, and from similar habit-forming drugs. It condemns the prostitution of art and of literature, the practices of nudism and of companionate marriage, infidelity in marital relationships, and all manner of promiscuity, of easy familiarity, and of sexual vices. It can tolerate no compromise with the theories, the standards, the habits, and the excesses of a decadent age. Nay rather it seeks to demonstrate, through the dynamic force of its example, the pernicious character of such theories, the falsity of such standards, the hollowness of such claims, the perversity of such habits, and the sacrilegious character of such excesses.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 29)


The Bahá’í Faith recognizes the value of the sex impulse, but condemns its illegitimate and improper expressions such as free love, companionate marriage and others, all of which it considers positively harmful to man and to the society in which he lives. The proper use of the sex instinct is the natural right of every individual, and it is precisely for this purpose that the institution of marriage has been established. The Bahá’ís do not believe in the suppression of the sex impulse but in its regulation and control.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 344)


The Bahá’í Teachings on this matter, which is of such vital concern and about which there is a wide divergency of views, are very clear and emphatic. Briefly stated the Bahá’í conception of sex is based on the belief that chastity should be strictly practised by both sexes, not only because it is in itself highly commendable ethically, but also due to its being the only way to a happy and successful marital life. Sex relationships of any form, outside marriage, are not permissible therefor, and whoso violates this rule will not only be responsible to God, but will incur the necessary punishment from society.
(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 344-345)


The Bahá’í teaching on sexual intercourse is very clear. It is permissible only between a man and the woman who is his wife.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 344)


The heart must needs therefore be cleansed from the idle sayings of men, and sanctified from every earthly affection, so that it may discover the hidden meaning of divine inspiration, and become the treasury of the mysteries of divine knowledge.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Kitáb-i-qán, p. 70).


The institution of marriage, as established by Bahá’u’lláh, while giving due importance to the physical aspect of marital union considers it as subordinate to the moral and spiritual purposes and functions with which it has been invested by an All-Wise and loving Providence. Only when these different values are given each their due importance, and only on the basis of the subordination of the physical to the moral, and the carnal to the spiritual can such excesses and laxity in marital relations as our decadent age is so sadly witnessing be avoided, and family life be restored to its original purity, and fulfill the true function for which it has been instituted by God.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 226)


The pilgrim’s note reports the Master as saying: ‘Women and men must not embrace each other when not married, or not about to be married. They must not kiss each other... If they wish to greet each other, or comfort each other, they may take each other by the hand.’ In a letter to an individual written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi it is said: ‘The Master’s words to... which you quoted, can certainly be taken as the true spirit of the teachings on the subject of sex. We must strive to achieve this exalted standard.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 439)


The primary purpose of sexual relations is, clearly, to perpetuate the species. The fact that personal pleasure is derived therefrom is one of the bounties of God. The sex act is merely one moment in a long process, from courtship through marriage, the procreation of children, their nursing and rearing, and involves the establishment of a mutually sustaining relationship between two souls which will endure beyond life on this earth.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1993 Jun 05, Homosexuality, p. 11)


The recrudescence of religious intolerance, of racial animosity, and of patriotic arrogance; the increasing evidences of selfishness, of suspicion, of fear and of fraud; the spread of terrorism, of lawlessness, of drunkenness and of crime; the unquenchable thirst for, and the feverish pursuit after, earthly vanities, riches and pleasures; the weakening of family solidarity; the laxity in parental control; the lapse into luxurious indulgence; the irresponsible attitude towards marriage and the consequent rising tide of divorce; the degeneracy of art and music, the infection of literature, and the corruption of the press; the extension of the influence and activities of those “prophets of decadence” who advocate companionate marriage, who preach the philosophy of nudism, who call modesty an intellectual fiction, who refuse to regard the procreation of children as the sacred and primary purpose of marriage, who denounce religion as an opiate of the people, who would, if given free rein, lead back the human race to barbarism, chaos, and ultimate extinction—these appear as the outstanding characteristics of a decadent society, a society that must either be reborn or perish.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 237)


The world today is submerged, amongst other things, in an over-exaggeration of the importance of physical love, and a dearth of spiritual values. In as far as possible the believers should try to realize this and rise above the level of their fellowmen who are, typical of all decadent periods in history, placing so much overemphasis on the purely physical side of mating.
(Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 233)


There are potent social pressures in Western society for all teenagers to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Lack of experience, perceived cultural norms, and abusive role-modeling are some of the factors that may mislead teenagers into believing that violent, jealous, possessive, or intrusive behaviors are signs of love or that immoral behaviors are signs of maturity and independence. Like adults, they may be drawn into a relationship and develop strong feelings for someone who is attentive during the early phase of a relationship before there are obvious signs of abuse. Or they may be drawn into dangerous or immoral situations out of pressure to belong. Once emotional bonds are established between two people, it can be as difficult for teens as for adults to break out of a relationship, particularly if the two share the same circle of friends.
(National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States, Guidelines for Spiritual Assemblies on Domestic Violence, p. 99).


There is a currently popular philosophy which says that each human being should be free to do whatever he wishes, and makes him happy, so long as his actions do not harm anyone else. This sounds very attractive, especially in a world which has been so oppressed by totalitarian regimes of one kind or another. One of the major difficulties in applying it is to be found in the degree to which individuals’ perceptions of what is harmful vary. Another, which is often overlooked, is the average human being’s ignorance of the divinely intended goal of his existence. Human beings need not only assistance in defining acceptable behaviour of one person towards another, but also guidance which will help them to refrain from doing that which is spiritually damaging to themselves.
(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice, 17 September 1993)


There is no doubt that the standard of spotless chastity inculcated by Bahá’u’lláh in His teachings can be attained by the friends only when they stand forth firmly and courageously as uncompromising adherents of the Bahá’í way of life fully conscious that they represent teachings which are the very antithesis of the corrosive forces which are so tragically destroying the fabric of man’s moral values. The present trend in modern society and its conflict with our challenging principles of moral conduct, far from influencing the believers to compromise their resolve to adhere undeviatingly to the standards of purity and chastity set forth for them by their Faith, must stimulate them to discharge their sacred obligations with determination and thus combat the evil forces undermining the foundations of individual morality.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 363)


Thus shall they learn perseverance in all things, the will to advance, high mindedness and high resolve, chastity and purity of life. Thus shall they be enabled to carry to a successful conclusion whatsoever they undertake.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 123)


We are not ascetics in any sense of the word. On the contrary, Bahá’u’lláh says God has created all the good things in the world for us to enjoy and partake. But we must not become attached to them and put them before the spiritual things. Chastity in the strict sense means not to have sexual intercourse, or sexual intimacies, before marriage. In the general sense it means not to be licentious. This does not mean we Bahá’ís believe sexual relations to be impure or wrong. On the contrary they are natural and should be considered one of God’s many blessings.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Light of Divine Guidance v II, p. 69)


We have directed all in the nights and in the days to faithfulness, chastity, purity, and constancy; and have enjoined good deeds and well-pleasing qualities.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, A Traveller’s Narrative, p. 46)


Were the commands of the Prophets concerning chastity in sexual relations generally observed, another fertile cause of disease would be eliminated. The loathsome venereal diseases, which wreck the health of so many thousands today, innocent as well as guilty, babes as well as parents, would very soon be entirely a thing of the past.
(Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era, p. 104)


What needs to be appreciated in this respect is the extent to which young minds are affected by the choices parents make for their own lives, when, no matter how unintentionally, no matter how innocently, such choices condone the passions of the world - its admiration for power, its adoration of status, its love of luxuries, its attachment to frivolous pursuits, its glorification of violence, and its obsession with self-gratification.
(Universal House of Justice, 28 December 2010 to the Continental Board of Counsellors)


What the Bahá’ís must do is not commit adultery if they are married, and refrain from sexual intimacy before marriage. It is not a sin in the Bahá’í Faith if you do not marry, but marriage is recommended to the believers by Bahá’u’lláh.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 451)


When the world becomes more spiritual there will not be such an exaggerated emphasis on sex, as there is today, and consequently it will be easier for young people to be chaste and control their passions.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Light of Divine Guidance v II, p. 69)


When we realize that Bahá’u’lláh says adultery retards the progress of the soul in the after life—so grievous is it … we see how clear are our teachings on these subjects.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 344)


While recognizing the divine origin and force of the sex impulse in man, religion teaches that it must be controlled, and Bahá’u’lláh’s law confines its expression to the marriage relationship. The unmarried homosexual is therefore in the same position as anyone else who does not marry. The Law of God requires them to practise chastity.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1993 Jun 05, Homosexuality, p. 12)


Woman was considered to be created for rearing children and attending to the duties of the household. If she pursued educational courses, it was deemed contrary to chastity; hence women were made prisoners of the household. The houses did not even have windows opening upon the outside world. Bahá’u’lláh destroyed these ideas and proclaimed the equality of man and woman.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 166)


You belong to the world of purity, and are not content to live the life of the animal, spending your days in eating, drinking, and sleeping. You are indeed men! Your thoughts and ambitions are set to acquire human perfection. You live to do good and to bring happiness to others. Your greatest longing is to comfort those who mourn, to strengthen the weak, and to be the cause of hope to the despairing soul. Day and night your thoughts are turned to the Kingdom, and your hearts are full of the Love of God.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 112-113)


You must become the lamps of Bahá’u’lláh so that you may shine with eternal light and be the proofs and evidences of His truth. Then will such signs of purity and chastity be witnessed in your deeds and actions that men will behold the heavenly radiance of your lives and say, “Verily, ye are the proofs of Bahá’u’lláh. Verily, Bahá’u’lláh is the True One, for He has trained such souls as these, each one of which is a proof in himself.”
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 460)


… even if the relationship between a Bahá’í man and woman is entirely innocent, it is vitally important that they should not live together in a way that would give the wrong impression. If there is any doubt about the perceived morality of a particular situation they should unhesitatingly avoid it and seek alternative arrangements in order to preserve the good name of the Faith. In following the standards of the Faith, the friends must be not only righteous, but also wise. Naivete can do great harm, especially in the present unstable condition of social morals in the world at large.
(Universal House of Justice, http://www.mail-archive.com/bahai-st@list.jccc.edu/msg01089.html )