Equality Of Men And Women

“The tenth principle of his Highness Bahā’u’llāh is the unity of men and women; for in the view of God men and women are equal. They are all from the human race and the descendants of Adam. Because being male or female is not specific to the human race. Plants have male and female and animals too have male and female and there is no distinction. Look at the plant kingdom. Is there any distinction between male plants and female plants? Rather there is complete equality; and in the Animal kingdom too, there is no distinction at all. They are all under the shadow of God’s mercy.”

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Tehran), vol. 2, pp. 149–150.

Now let us analyze if this principle is followed by the Baha’is and what the leaders of Baha’i faith say about equality of man and women.

A woman’s question was referred to him (meaning `Abdu’l-Bahā) who had asked why hasn’t God made any woman Prophets and why have all Divine Manifestations been men. He answered:

“Although women and men share the same capacities and abilities, there is definitely no doubt that men are superior and stronger. Even in animals like pigeons, sparrows, peacocks, and other [birds] this advantage is visible.”

Reference: Maḥmūd Zaraqānī, Badā’i` al-āthār, vol. 1, p. 153.

Bahā’u’llāh says:

“Today, whoever amongst the slave-maids (meaning women) succeeds in recognizing He Who is the Goal of the World, will be considered a man in the Divine Book (dar kitāb ‘ilāhī az rijāl maḥsūb).”

Reference: `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Payām-i malakūt, p. 232.

Bahā’u’llāh says:

“Oh slave-maids! Rise for the true affair like men. Today, there are many women who God considers as men, and some men who are considered women.”

Why would someone utter these words if he believes men and women are equal? Man being considered as woman! Woman being considered as man!

Reference: `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Payām-i malakūt, p. 232.

`Abdu’l-Bahā Says:

“Oh dear divine slave-maids! Do not pay attention to your [lack of] capacities and competencies. Rather, rely on the grace and kindness of the Blessed Beauty, because that everlasting beneficence will turn a shrub into a blessed tree, will turn a mirage into cool water, will turn a lost speck into the essence of existence, will turn a perishing ant into a tutor of the school of knowledge.”

In other words: Oh dear women, do not be sad that you are incompetent and incapable; my father can make up for these deficiencies for he can turn the lowliest things into the most exalted creatures.

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, Makātīb, vol. 7, pp. 135–6.

Courtesy: Twelve Principles – A Comprehensive Investigation on the Bahai Teachings

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