Bahá’u’lláh has proclaimed and promulgated the foundation of international peace. For thousands of years men and nations have gone forth to the battlefield to settle their differences. The cause of this has been ignorance and degeneracy. Praise be to God! In this radiant century minds have developed, perceptions have become keener, eyes are illumined and ears attentive. Therefore, it will be impossible for war to continue. Consider human ignorance and inconsistency. A man who kills another man is punished by execution, but a military genius who kills one hundred thousand of his fellow creatures is immortalized as a hero. One man steals a small sum of money and is imprisoned as a thief. Another pillages a whole country and is honored as a patriot and conqueror. A single falsehood brings reproach and censure, but the wiles of politicians and diplomats excite the admiration and praise of a nation. Consider the ignorance and inconsistency of mankind. How darkened and savage are the instincts of humanity!
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 287)
Behold the disturbances which, for many a long year, have afflicted the earth, and the perturbation that hath seized its peoples. It hath either been ravaged by war, or tormented by sudden and unforeseen calamities.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p.163)
Beware lest ye shed the blood of anyone. Unsheathe the sword of your tongue from the scabbard of utterance, for therewith ye can conquer the citadels of men’s hearts. We have abolished the law to wage holy war against each other. God’s mercy, hath, verily, encompassed all created things, if ye do but understand. Aid ye your Lord, the God of Mercy, with the sword of understanding. Keener indeed is it, and more finely tempered, than the sword of utterance, were ye but to reflect upon the words of your Lord. Thus have the hosts of Divine Revelation been sent down by God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, and thus have the armies of divine inspiration been made manifest from the Source of command, as bidden by God, the All-Glorious, the Best-Beloved.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 25)
But war is made for the satisfaction of men’s ambition; for the sake of worldly gain to the few, terrible misery is brought to numberless homes, breaking the hearts of hundreds of men and women! How many widows mourn their husbands, how many stories of savage cruelty do we hear! How many little orphaned children are crying for their dead fathers, how many women are weeping for their slain sons! There is nothing so heart-breaking and terrible as an outburst of human savagery!
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 29)
Consider that there are two hundred and fifty million Christians and three hundred million Muslims. How much blood has flowed in their wars; how many nations have been destroyed; how many children have been made fatherless; how many fathers and mothers have mourned the loss of children and dear ones! All this has been due to prejudice, misunderstanding and imitations of ancestral beliefs without investigation of reality.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 201)
During the quarter of a century preceding the establishment of the League of Nations a permanent Court of Arbitration was established at The Hague (1900), and many arbitration treaties were signed, but most of these fell far short of the comprehensive proposals of Bahá’u’lláh. No arbitration treaty was made between two great Powers in which all matters of dispute were included. Differences affecting “vital interests,” “honor” and “independence” were specifically excepted. Not only so, but effective guarantees that nations would abide by the terms of the treaties into which they had entered were lacking. In the Bahá’í proposals, on the other hand, questions of boundaries, of national honor and of vital interest are expressly included, and agreements will have the supreme guarantee of the World League of Nations behind them. Only when these proposals are completely carried out will international arbitration attain the full scope of its beneficent possibilities and the curse of war be finally banished from the world.
(Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era, p. 168)
Equality between men and women is conducive to the abolition of warfare for the reason that women will never be willing to sanction it. Mothers will not give their sons as sacrifices upon the battlefield after twenty years of anxiety and loving devotion in rearing them from infancy, no matter what cause they are called upon to defend. There is no doubt that when women obtain equality of rights, war will entirely cease among mankind.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 175)
For the ferocious animal may tear to pieces one in a single day; the wolf, for instance, may carry away one sheep, but some unjust man kills one hundred thousand of his kind a day, and glories in it, saying: “I am a great general; I am a great commander-in-chief, for in one day I have done away with one hundred thousand of my kind!” Consider how ignorant the human race is. If a man kills another man,—one single soul,—no matter what the cause may be,—he is at once pronounced a murderer, meets with capital punishment, or is put in prison for life. But the man who kills one hundred thousand of his kind is called a “Conqueror,” a “Hero,” a “Great General.” If a man should commit the theft of one dollar he is called a thief and sent to the penitentiary; but if a general should pillage a whole country, they all him a great “Conqueror” of the highest heroism. “This is a hero!” “This is a conqueror of the world!” How ignorant man is! How low!
(Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 315)
I ASKED ‘Abdu’l-Bahá concerning the state of all those young men souls who have fallen so suddenly and tragically during our world war. Could they affect our present living conditions in any way?
"His reply ran as follows: “God treats these people with His mercy, not with His justice, since God is against war. But as many did not will the war, but were obliged to go to the battle field by force of circumstances, therefore God has mercy for they suffered much and they lost their lives. These deserve the forgiveness of God. As they suffered in the world and were afflicted by great calamities and their blood was shed and in reality they were treated unjustly and thus died unwillingly, therefore God will have mercy and forgive their shortcomings and will reward them. He will compensate them for loss. Is it just to be so afflicted and killed and suffer and have no reward? This is contrary to the Kingdom of God. We supplicate God that these murdered ones will become and stay alive in His Kingdom and be submerged in the sea of His mercy and be happy.”
(Star of the West, Volume 10, Issue 18, pg. 336)
The beloved Guardian has explained that the unity of mankind implies the establishment of a world commonwealth, a world federal system, ‘..liberated from the curse of war and its miseries (Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 436)
The blessings which the Lesser Peace will confer upon humanity will enable it to produce a new political structure freeing humanity from the curse of war.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 3, p. 313)
The mother bears the troubles and anxieties of rearing the child, undergoes the ordeal of its birth and training. Therefore, it is most difficult for mothers to send to the battlefield those upon whom they have lavished such love and care. Consider a son reared and trained twenty years by a devoted mother. What sleepless nights and restless, anxious days she has spent! Having brought him through dangers and difficulties to the age of maturity, how agonizing then to sacrifice him upon the battlefield! Therefore, the mothers will not sanction war nor be satisfied with it. So it will come to pass that when women participate fully and equally in the affairs of the world, when they enter confidently and capably the great arena of laws and politics, war will cease; for woman will be the obstacle and hindrance to it. This is true and without doubt.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 134-135)
The time must come when the imperative necessity for the holding of a vast, an all-embracing assemblage of men will be universally realized. The rulers and kings of the earth must needs attend it, and, participating in its deliberations, must consider such ways and means as will lay the foundations of the world’s Great Peace amongst men. Such a peace demandeth that the Great Powers should resolve, for the sake of the tranquillity of the peoples of the earth, to be fully reconciled among themselves. Should any king take up arms against another, all should unitedly arise and prevent him. If this be done, the nations of the world will no longer require any armaments, except for the purpose of preserving the security of their realms and of maintaining internal order within their territories. This will ensure the peace and composure of every people, government and nation.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 248)
The war in the Balkans was mentioned in conversation that day. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá advised the Bahá’ís to talk of their own war against materialism and ignorance.
(H.M. Balyuzi, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá - The Centre of the Covenant, p. 390)
The world-shaking ordeal which Bahá’u’lláh, as quoted in the foregoing pages, has so graphically prophesied, may find it [the American nation] swept, to an unprecedented degree, into its vortex. Out of it will probably emerge, unlike its reactions to the last world conflict, consciously determined to seize its opportunity, to bring the full weight of its influence to bear upon the gigantic problems that such an ordeal must leave in its wake, and to exorcise forever, in conjunction with its sister nations of both the East and the West, the greatest curse which, from time immemorial, has afflicted and degraded the human race.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 186)
There is in existence a stupendous force, as yet, happily undiscovered by man. Let us supplicate God, the Beloved, that this force be not discovered by science until spiritual civilization shall dominate the human mind. In the hands of men of lower nature, this power would be able to destroy the whole earth.
(Shoghi Effendi, Japan Will Turn Ablaze, p. 51)
Therefore, the foundations of the religious systems are one because all proceed from the indivisible reality; but the followers of these systems have disagreed; discord, strife and warfare have arisen among them, for they have forsaken the foundation and held to that which is but imitation and semblance. Inasmuch as imitations differ, enmity and dissension have resulted.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 197)
Wars, religious, racial or political, have arisen from human ignorance, misunderstanding and lack of education.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity, p. 22)
We hear only the sighs of the maidens and the cry of the orphans, the moaning of the mothers, and the tears of the fathers because of false reports. We see only tears flowing from every bereaved mother and the heart of every father, bereft of sons, burning. Towns are being devastated, people are perishing, the children are made orphans, and the women are becoming widows. And this is only because of our heedlessness of Thy commemoration and our deprivation of Thy love. Verily, we have been occupied with ourselves. The intoxication of passion seized us; we have taken the road of heedlessness and blindness; have abandoned the path of guidance and have chosen the path of obstinacy and forgotten the commandments of the ancient Scriptures. We have forsaken the exhortations in the preserved Tablets and Parchments—the great verses.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 407)
When all mankind shall receive the same opportunity of education and the equality of men and women be realized, the foundations of war will be utterly destroyed. Without equality this will be impossible because all differences and distinction are conducive to discord and strife. Equality between men and women is conducive to the abolition of warfare for the reason that women will never be willing to sanction it. Mothers will not give their sons as sacrifices upon the battlefield after twenty years of anxiety and loving devotion in rearing them from infancy, no matter what cause they are called upon to defend. There is no doubt that when women obtain equality of rights, war will entirely cease among mankind.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 175)
Yet even now warfare prevails. Envy and hatred have arisen between nations.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 83)