Marriage in the Bahá’í Faith
A Relationship & Marriage Service
of Marriage Transformation®

This website is to assist Bahá’ís and those in relationships or marriages with Bahá’ís to turn to Bahá’í administrative bodies for guidance and help and to apply Bahá’í teachings on relationships and marriage in their lives. The site also has Marriage Transformation® content which may be helpful.

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Marriage: Striving for Excellence

Purposes of Marriage

Guidance from the Bahá’í Writings:

  1. “And when He [God] desired to manifest grace and beneficence to men, and to set the world in order, He revealed observances and created laws; among them He established the law of marriage, made it as a fortress for well-being and salvation, and enjoined it upon us in that which was sent down out of the heaven of sanctity in His Most Holy Book [The Kitáb-i-Aqdas]. He saith, great is His glory: ‘Enter into wedlock, O people, that ye may bring forth one who will make mention of Me amid My servants. This is My bidding unto you; hold fast to it as an assistance to yourselves.’” (Bahá’u’lláh: Bahá’í Prayers (US 2002), p. 118)

  2. “The true marriage of Bahá’ís is this, that husband and wife should be united both physically and spiritually, that they may ever improve the spiritual life of each other, and may enjoy everlasting unity throughout all the worlds of God.” (‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 118)

  3. “The Lord, peerless is He, hath made woman and man to abide with each other in the closest companionship, and to be even as a single soul. They are two helpmates, two intimate friends, who should be concerned about the welfare of each other. If they live thus, they will pass through this world with perfect contentment, bliss, and peace of heart, and become the object of divine grace and favor in the Kingdom of heaven. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 122)

  4. "...[T]he life of a married couple should resemble the life of the angels in heaven—a life full of joy and spiritual delight, a life of unity and concord, a friendship both mental and physical. The home should be orderly and well-organized. Their ideas and thoughts should be like the rays of the sun of truth and the radiance of the brilliant stars in the heavens. Even as two birds they should warble melodies upon the branches of the tree of fellowship and harmony. They should always be elated with joy and gladness and be a source of happiness to the hearts of others. They should set an example to their fellow-men, manifest true and sincere love towards each other and educate their children in such a manner as to blazon the fame and glory of their family." (‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Lights of Guidance, #733)

  5. "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, #1156)

  6. "The Bahá’í Teachings do not contemplate any form of 'trial marriage.' A couple should study each other’s character and spend time getting to know each other before they decide to marry, and when they do marry it should be with the intention of establishing an eternal bond. They should realize, moreover, that the primary purpose of marriage is the procreation of children. (Universal House of Justice: Lights of Guidance, #1269)

  7. ...[T]he House of Justice feels it most essential for your husband and you to understand that marriage can be a source of well-being, conveying a sense of security and spiritual happiness. However, it is not something that just happens. For marriage to become a haven of contentment it requires the cooperation of the marriage partners themselves, and the assistance of their families…. (On behalf of the Universal House of Justice: The Compilation of Compilations, Vol. II, “Women”, p. 384)
Fountain on Vancouver Island

Bahá’u'lláh's Marriage Law Excerpt provided with permission of Bahá’í Canada (February 2011); includes guidance on consent, engagements, weddings...

The Bahá’í Marriage Law (English, Spanish, and Persian) -  From the November/December 2012 issue of The American Bahá'í. Originally published in the November/December 2010 issue of The American Bahá'í, ©2010 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States, provided with permission.

Marriage and the Family - from www.bahai.us

The Role of Individual and Couples

Guidance from the Bahá’í Writings and Institutions:

“The individual initiative of the friends should be carefully nurtured and encouraged so that they may, guided by the spiritual principles of our Faith, arise to fulfill their spiritual responsibilities.” (On behalf of the Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 556)

“Learning in action….” (Universal House of Justice, 1-13-03)

“The more we do, the more we learn.” (International Teaching Centre, 9-30-07)

Some Perspectives from Marriage Transformation:

Individual awareness and initiative are key factors in the effective establishment and maintenance of relationships and marriages in the Bahá’í community and the greater community. Individuals and couples can make the personal choice to seek out and participate in relationship and marriage education: knowledge and skill building for strong and happy marriages. As people establish strong marriages and families, this strengthens the community. Awareness also helps individuals and couples provide outreach and encouragement to others, helping them to understand how to establish strong marriages, and assisting them with resources during difficult times.

 

Why Maintain and Strengthen Marriages?

Guidance from the Bahá’í Writings:

“…[I]f the friends are not able to maintain harmony within their families, on what other basis do they hope to demonstrate to a skeptical world the efficacy of the pre-eminent character of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh? What possible influence could they hope to exert on the development of nations and the establishment of world peace?” (On behalf of the Universal House of Justice: Lights of Guidance, p. 222)

Some Perspectives from Marriage Transformation:

Marital and family unity among the Bahá’ís builds credibility for their message of unity to the world. Seriously courting a partner, including in-depth character understanding, and maintaining marriages are part of an individual’s and couple’s service to God:

At times you will hear Bahá’ís say that the divorce rate among Bahá’ís is the same as in the general public. There has not been systematic data collection on this matter, so no facts are known. However, where some data is available, this does not appear to be true; the rates appear to be lower.

There many educational materials and courses available for keeping your marriage strong and healthy. Be proactive and focused on prevention and catching problems early. Getting help before your problems are severe will help keep your marriage unified.

Troubled Marriages and Marriage Counseling; Reconciliation, Separation, and Divorce

Guidance from the Bahá’í Writings:

“Consultation is…available for the individual in solving his own problems; he may consult with his Assembly, with his family and with his friends.” (On behalf of the Universal House of Justice quoted in the “Understanding Tests” letter from the World Centre Research Department to the Universal House of Justice, July 17, 1989)

“Neither you nor your husband should hesitate to continue consulting professional marriage counselors, individually and together if possible, and also to take advantage of the supportive counseling which can come from wise and mature friends. Non-Bahá’í counseling can be useful but it is usually necessary to temper it with Bahá’í insight.” (On behalf of the Universal House of Justice: The Compilation of Compilations, Vol. II, “Preserving Bahá’í Marriages”, p. 455)

See the Resource section of this website for helpful materials and assistance.


Helpful Information from Marriage Transformation

Potential Correlation of Principles from the current Plans of the Universal House of Justice and Relationships and Marriage (downloadable pdf file)

Brief Video on Character and Marriage (6:08 minutes)

The Sacred Commitment of Marriage
(The links between marriage preparation and neighborhood community building) (downloadable pdf file)

When Your Spouse Is Not a Bahá’í

Rearing Children to Honor Marriage: Parents wishing to rear children to respect marriage and family and have a strong Bahá’í identity may create customized children's books using materials on this webpage:www.bahaimarriage.net/resources_children.htm.


Books, Discussion & Action Resources, and Websites


Workshops

Online:  Wilmette Institute, an agency of the U.S. National Spiritual Assembly, is offering regular online knowledge and skill-building courses on relationships and marriage. Details are available at http://wi.bahai.us; additional details are available at http://www.bahaimarriage.net/learning.htm.

Marriage Transformation Workshops


“Out of the fusion of two souls a third subtle entity is born. Though invisible and intangible on earth it is the composite soul of true lovers. The progress of one mysteriously influences the other, they become the tutors of each other’s soul. Distance or death, being physical forces, cannot cause its disintegration.”
~ Rosemary Sala, The Bahá’í World, Volume 7, p. 763
(link to source article, "Marriage in the Baha'i Faith")


 

This webpage was updated on January 3, 2016

Note: All photos on this website are from Marriage Transformation workshops
or are the personal photos of Susanne M. Alexander.


© 2010-2016 Marriage Transformation® LLC All Rights Reserved.
Marriage Transformation is a registered trademark, and its primary website is www.marriagetransformation.com.
This site includes www.bahaimarriage.net, www.bahaimarriages.net, and www.bahairelationships.com.
This website is an individual service initiative reflecting the current understanding of Susanne M. Alexander;
it is not affiliated with any Bahá’í institution. The official Bahá’í website is www.bahai.org, and you are encouraged to turn to the
Bahá’í institutions for specific guidance.

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