How to Attend a Baha'i Meeting
Many people meet Baha'is and learn about the Baha'i Faith by attending a meeting. This meeting may be a Fireside, Devotion, or Ruhi Book Group. If you want to learn about the Baha'i Faith, you will be welcomed. The sacred Baha'i Writings encourage using the Word of God to teach, explore, and discuss spiritual ideas with others.
Be at ease.No one expects you to enroll in the Baha'i Faith after attending one meeting although you are welcome to do so if you desire. It is unlikely that anyone will try to talk you into joining.
Wear modest clothing that will not risk distracting others from your desire to learn.There are no Baha'i rules for modesty. Baha'is are generally conservative about clothing and if you wear something too revealing you may feel out of place. Use sense or ask to determine the dress level but most events are roughly business casual.
Be on time.Your hosts are eager to fit their devotion or book group into their busy schedules. By being on time you show courtesy and receive the best use of your time.
Enjoy your status as a guest.Hospitality is a given at a Baha'i meeting, and you may be served refreshments.
Understand what prayers are.Baha'is believe in the Creative Word, which includes prayers that have been composed by the Central Figures of the Baha'i Faith. In most meetings one or several of these prayers will be read or chanted to open and close the meeting.
Baha'is may happily offer you a gift of books, booklets, flyers, handouts, or workbooks.They will be happy if you take the material, but not insulted if you do not.
Understand that men and women are equal in the Baha'i Faith.Your meeting may be led by a woman; tea may be served by a man. There are no ministers in the Baha'i Faith. The person hosting the meeting may be a trained tutor in a book group or a Baha'i who wishes to host a devotion or potluck dinner.
Ask questions.The Baha'i Faith is new; your Baha'i friends are used to being asked questions.
Avoid specific political opinions.Baha'is are admonished to not engage in partisan politics, so expressing opinions about Democratic, Republican, or other parties' platforms or officials is to be avoided by Baha'is. Rather, the spiritual principles behind political concepts can be eagerly discussed.
QuestionHow does a Sikh religious person dress?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSikhs dress modestly, and those officially initiated into their religion are required to wear a specific style of cotton underwear that looks a little like boxer shorts, and an iron bracelet that is a symbol of humility and restraint (due to its weight, it's a constant reminder to be good). Sikhs do not cut their hair and instead are required to wear a turban; for this reason, they must always carry a wooden comb to keep their hair healthy. Finally, they also always carry a small sword called a kirpan - this is an article of faith, not a weapon.Thanks!
- Baha'is believe that all religions come from the same one God, and that all the major Prophets of God have taught the same Faith. Baha'is believe that Baha'u'llah is the Manifestation of God for this day, whereas in the past, God's Faith has been taught by Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and the Bab. For this reason, the meeting you attend might include just as much discussion of Buddhism, Christianity, or Islam as it does conversation about the Faith, especially in youth groups.
- Smoking rarely occurs at a Baha'i meeting. Smoking is discouraged by the Baha'i Faith.
- The first Baha'is were from the Shi'a Muslim population. The Baha'i Faith is not a sect of Islam; some of its language is influenced by Islamic writings.
- Many Baha'is have accepted their Faith after having been raised in another religion. In a Baha'i meeting there may be former Catholics, Baptists, Jews, Muslims, or Buddhists. There may be people who are 4th and 5th generation Baha'i.
- You won't be asked for money at a Baha'i meeting. Giving to Baha'i Funds is a privilege of membership.
- Baha'is love to tell their personal stories. If you ask, be prepared to be entertained.
- Alcohol is not served at a Baha'i meeting. The Baha'i Faith prohibits drinking alcohol.
- Baha'is love singing and music. Many prayers have been set to music.
- Baha'i study groups are often called "deepenings".
- Baha'is do not keep any particular diet (beyond avoiding alcohol and other drugs and intoxicants) - while many believe a vegetarian diet is ideal, it is not a requirement of the Faith.
- Baha'is accept and respect all major religions, so denigrating a particular religion may not be well received.
- While Baha'is do not register with political parties or participate in partisan politics, they care deeply about governance and about many aspects of government which affect justice, fairness, health, the environment, education, and more.
Video: Baha'i Blog Attends the Association for Baha'i Studies Conference
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