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Baha'i marriage:

Discussion in 'Baha'i Faith DIR' started by arthra, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    What's really out of context is the way we practice adoption here. When the laws for marriage were written, the idea of anonymous adoption was unknown. If your parents couldn't support you for some reason, you were adopted by another relative, but you still knew who your parents were.

    Even in this country anonymous adoption is an anomaly and not practiced for that long. And lately adoptions are getting more and more open.

    So it seems the application to my case is something more of a historical fluke and a problem that's going to fade in time anyway.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Darz

    Darz Member

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    That's good to hear. It seems like it could create a huge problem for some Baha'is who wish to get married and can't find their birth parents. Or in some cases their birth parents might not give permission to a multi-ethnic marriage because of prejudice.
     
  3. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    If the parents cannot be located and efforts to reach them have failed this is duly noted and accepted by the Assembly and the marriage can proceed on the approval of parents that are available. If one parent refuses to consent then the marriage cannot proceed until they agree. The hallmark of the Baha'i Faith is unity..

    Actually what this does is pretty much eliminate the nagging mother-in-law instead, the new couple has the support of the families on both sides thus strengthening the marriage... My wife and I have had the bounty of the support of both sides of our families and this really has made a difference more than once!

    - Art
     
  4. ProudMuslim

    ProudMuslim Active Member

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    Yes i love this idea of simple marriage, i think we have similar idea where it's very basic.

    I hope you will help me with the following questions:

    - Can a Bahai female marry non-Bahai male?
    - In case of mixed marriage, is there is law or rule within the Bahai faith regarding the children's fiath of such marriage?
    - Is there any faith where a Bahai cannot marry into?
    - Is polygamy allowed?
     
  5. Steinninn

    Steinninn Viking

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    I'll give you a quick answer because I have to run out and catch the bus. Hopefully the next person can give you a more detailed answer:
    - Yes
    - No
    - No, not from the baha'i standpoint.
    - No
     
  6. ProudMuslim

    ProudMuslim Active Member

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    Thank you for your prompt answer :)

    Ok more questions:

    - Can a Bahai marry an agnostic or athiest?
    - Can the children of mixed marriage be raised as non-Bahai?
    - Does Bahai encourage propagation?
    - Is there any given reason why polygamy is not permitted?

    Thank you in advance.
    -
     
  7. Adib

    Adib Lover of World Religions

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    Hello ProudMuslim, and welcome to the Baha'i Faith forum! :) I'll give your questions a shot as well.

    Yes. One member of our local community is actually married to an agnostic.

    I suppose, and I'm sure it's happened before. But with most of the mixed couples that I've ever been acquainted with, the Baha'i spouse always tries to instill some Baha'i teachings into the child's education. Nothing wrong with a little "elimination of all forms of prejudice" and "unity of mankind" as far as I'm concerned! :)

    Oh yes. I believe there is a quote in our Writings which states that the greatest thing a Baha'i can do in this day and age is to teach the Faith. The act of teaching has even been put on the same level as martyrdom in days past.

    I'm going to have to get slightly historical on you but I feel it will illustrate the answer you're looking for in the most clear method possible, so please bear with me. :)

    In verse 63 of our book of laws, the Kitab-i-Aqdas, Baha'u'llah (founder of the Baha'i Faith) states the following:

    In that quote, it appears that Baha'u'llah is condoning bigamy. This was likely done to make the transition from Islam to the Baha'i Faith easier for the early Persian believers. But in the endnotes of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, the following is stated:

    We can then infer that comfort and tranquillity should be essential to matrimony. This is why `Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'u'llah's son and authorized interpreter of his words, has stated the following regarding polygamy in the Faith:

    So in the end, polygamy is really forbidden because a man could not possibly love multiple wives equally, and this is bound to increase tension and disrupt tranquility in potential relationships.

    Sorry if that last bit might have confused you. Please don't hesitate to ask more questions! :D
     
    #27 Adib, Mar 10, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  8. Steinninn

    Steinninn Viking

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    I'd like to add that it is ok for a muslim with many wifes to become baha'i. Baha'u'llah himself, I believe, had at least two wifes. My interpertation of this is that if one wants to becaume baha'i, he is forgiven anything he did under his old religios laws.
     
  9. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    ProudMuslim:

    Thanks for posting such great questions and welcome to the Baha'i Forum!!!!

    Baha'is love to respond to questions so I wanted to join in ...I will respond using italics..

    Proud Muslim wrote:

    I hope you will help me with the following questions:

    - Can a Bahai female marry non-Bahai male?

    Yes indeed! The only requirement is that the parents of each prospective spouse must agree and that they will all abide by God's will.

    - In case of mixed marriage, is there is law or rule within the Bahai faith regarding the children's fiath of such marriage?

    Baha'is are not supposed to commit to the child being raised in another Faith. We believe the children can be exposed to other religions and make a choice when they reach maturity which for us is fifteen years of age.

    - Is there any faith where a Bahai cannot marry into?

    The Baha'i is not expected to renounce their Faith in any way.. so if marriage occurs with a non-Baha'i it's on the basis of equality.. But there's no restriction of what religion the prospective spouse can have.

    - Is polygamy allowed?

    Polygamy is forbidden for Baha'is BUT if a person converts to the Faith and say ALREADY HAS say several wives they are not asked to renounce them but it is expected that the next generation of Baha'is would be monogamous.. I'm adding this Letter to the original text of my post:


    Your letter of ... requesting guidance on the matter of enforcement of the marriage laws in relation to traditional chiefs has been received by the Universal House of Justice... We are instructed to convey the following. You are advised by the House of Justice to inform traditional chiefs who become Bahá'ís of the marriage law which calls for monogamy. A chief who already has more than one wife is not required to divorce any of his wives, but should not extend the polygamy by taking an additional wife. Any chief who is adequately informed of the law but violates it should be subject to normal administrative sanctions.
    ...your Assembly should of course not become preoccupied with this question to the extent of prying into the personal lives of any of the chiefs; however, should it come to your attention that the law of marriage is being violated by any of them, then appropriate action must be taken by your Assembly.
    (13 June 1990, written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Spiritual Assembly) [47]
    (The Universal House of Justice, 1998 Dec 16, Traditional practices in Africa)



    Ok more questions:

    - Can a Bahai marry an agnostic or athiest?

    If the atheist or agnostic agrees to say they will abide by the will of God which is the one thing required in the marriage vow then they can be married.. Most athiests I'm told will not do this.. Agnostics are another matter but if they agree to abide by God's will it's acceptable.

    - Can the children of mixed marriage be raised as non-Bahai?

    Unsure what you mean by a "mixed marriage".. let's say you marry into a family that already has say Christian children from a previous union.. We would not require them to be Baha'i. The Baha'i parent would be expected to raise their child and expose them to the Faith.


    - Does Bahai encourage propagation?

    Do you mean teaching propagation or having children propagation? Baha'is are encouraged to have children and raise them up so that they will make mention of God.

    - Is there any given reason why polygamy is not permitted?

    Abdul-Baha Who was the authorized by Baha'u'llah to be the Interpreter of the Writings and in this case the law in the Kitab-i-Aqdas indicated that no man can treat two wives with equality that being the case monogamy is enjoined.

    Thank you in advance.

    Quite alright .. if you would like more information about any of these points just indicate what you want to explore further!

    - Art: hamster :
     
    #29 arthra, Mar 10, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  10. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Well-Known Member

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    Hi, PM; great to have you here! :)

    I'll supplement the answer to one of the questions you asked:



    Whether a marriage is "mixed" or not, a Baha'i has an obligation to see to it that his or her children receive instruction not only about the Baha'i Faith, but about ALL the great religions (we accept all of them as legitimate and God-sent)! Of course, Baha'i schools assist in this.

    For example, when my son was six years old, he was already taking a comparative-religion course at our Baha'i school where he learned about the other religions and how they're all of God!

    Then when the child reaches the Age of Maturity (15), he or she has the right to choose to become a Baha'i, something else, or nothing whatever! And the parents MAY NOT interfere in this decision.

    Works great for us! :)

    Best regards,

    Bruce

     
  11. ProudMuslim

    ProudMuslim Active Member

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    Hello everyone once again :)

    Man i was getting tired of debating in the other threads, so i wanted to educate myself again for a change and your free lectures are always appreciated :)

    So i understand that the blessing of the biological parents are a must for a Bahai marriage to be performed. My question is in modern times, where international adoptions are increasing or in the case when the biological mother get pregnant outside wedlock and then drop off her baby next to the nearest mosque or hospital and never return back. How can you trace back the biological parents? In some cases agencies can't even tell if the biological parents are alive or not. Is there any exception to this rule?

    Thank you in advance :)
     
  12. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Good questions.. and you're right about the times we live in..

    Usually the institution that is responsible to see that Baha'i law is followed in the case of marriage is the Local Spiritual Assembly. They need to determine if the living parents approve of the marriage.. this is most often done in writing giving consents.. It doesn't matter how old the prospective spouses to be are.

    Bahá'u'lláh has clearly stated the consent of all living parents is required for a Bahá'í marriage. This applies whether the parents are Bahá'ís or non-Bahá'ís, divorced for years or not. This great law He has laid down to strengthen the social fabric, to knit closer the ties of the home, to place a certain gratitude and respect in the hearts of children for those who have given them life and sent their souls out on the eternal journey towards their Creator.

    (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 241)

    Anyway with missing parents we are still required to attempt to locate the parent so some kind of search is required.. If after due efforts are made and the parent cannot be found this is recognized and the consent is not required.

    As to adoptions it depends:

    "Whenever the law of the land or the agreement of adoption prohibits future contact between an adopted child and its natural parents, the Bahá'í law does not require the child to seek the consent of those parents to its marriage.

    "In the situation, however, where contact with the natural parent is permitted, it should be a matter of wise discretion at what stage contact, in cases where it has been broken, should be re- established. Just as love for one person need not reduce the love one bears to another, so unity with the adoptive parents need not destroy or reduce the unity a child has with its natural parents, or vice versa. The characters and attitudes of the individuals concerned will have an effect upon this..."
    (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, February 17, 1971)
    (Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 141)

    In cases where a parent is incompetent the child is not required to get their consent for the marriage.

    - Art
     
    #32 arthra, Mar 23, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
  13. Steinninn

    Steinninn Viking

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    This has probably been asked before, I just can't recall. What if she is not baha'i, do i have to get her parents permission?
     
  14. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    Yes indeed! For there to be a Baha'i marriage all living parents must give their consent whether the prospective spouse is Baha'i or not. There can even be a Baha'i marriage by prospective spouses who are non-Baha'is as long as they abide by the requirements. Our community had one such a marriage some years ago and both came from Adventist- Christian backgrounds.

    - Art
     
  15. Cosmos

    Cosmos Member

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    An interesting thing I have noticed within the Baha'i community, particularly locally in my city, is the openness of the LSA towards my fiance and I as we are not exactly married yet, but officially engaged. She has met my parents and I am meeting hers. Although the Spiritual Assembly has consulted and deemed it necessary to withhold full card-membership registration and some aspects of our administrative rights such as attending Feasts or voting, we are active participants in the community core activities, in including the Ridvan IPG meetings, and have become at least for now the new focal for the Bremerton area activities. Our plan, God-willing, is to be able to wed here in Washington State and then have a honeymoon in Montona or Colorado so as to meet regional Baha'i spiritual leadership!
     
  16. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Well-Known Member

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    It should also be remembered, Art, that Baha'is are forbidden from marrying covenant-breakers.

    Peace,

    Bruce
     
  17. GabrielWithoutWings

    GabrielWithoutWings Well-Known Member

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    Wow, pot shots from Bruce?

    He must be getting under your collar. You didn't use an exclamation mark one time in this post. :p
     
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