Talk:Baháʼí Faith

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Former featured articleBaháʼí Faith is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
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Article milestones
December 30, 2004Featured article candidatePromoted
June 1, 2007Featured article reviewKept
October 15, 2022Featured article reviewDemoted
Current status: Former featured article

Queen Marie

Pardon, Gazelle55, about [1], but how does a Master of Arts thesis from the University of Arkansas count as "do not meet Wikipedia's guidelines for reliable sources" as you put it? Smkolins (talk) 20:33, 31 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi, Smkolins, in WP:SCHOLARSHIP (which is a part of WP:RS), it says "Masters dissertations and theses are considered reliable only if they can be shown to have had significant scholarly influence." I am sure there is a good source that talks about Queen Marie's conversion out there, but I think for this page in particular we want the source quality to be going up, not down. Gazelle55 (talk) 21:04, 31 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Gazelle55, would you care to review the main article for more satisfactory sources and instead of just subtracting actually make the article better? Smkolins (talk) 00:52, 1 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi, Smkolins, I appreciate your concern for improving this and other articles and the hard work you have put into improving Wikipedia. That said, I think we have some major differences as far as what "makes the article better". If you copy the article into your word processor you will see that the article is already long enough as per WP:SIZERULE, so expansion of content on Baha'i topics should be on the more specific pages, not necessarily a lot on this one. More to the point, I strongly believe that insisting on source quality improves the pages. Even still, I haven't gone on a blitz and removed all the unsourced or poorly sourced material from this page, because like you I would rather wait for better sources. I removed this material because it was new and it's already been noted on the talk page that this page needs cleanup to maintain its Feature Article rating.
To be clear, what I do on Baha'i pages is the same as what I do on other pages. I am interested in the topic of entheogens/psychedelics, and yet I make a point of removing sub-par sources from those pages and try to reflect the full range of scholarly opinion on the topic. If you go to psychedelic experience, the page is still not perfect, but it is a lot closer to encyclopedic than when I started—and reflects my own view less! Conversely, I have been slowly but steadily adding a lot of sources and content to Baha'i House of Worship. I was even thinking I'd like to get it to Feature Article status.
Anyway, I'll stop there. Yes, hopefully I will get to adding that in due time. As you say, there are good sources on Queen Marie's own page. Feel free to incorporate them yourself if you want them included sooner. I'm happy to switch them over to sfn after, which is a bit more mindless than doing content. Again, despite our differences of opinion, I appreciate your hard work and your desire to inform our readers as well as possible. Gazelle55 (talk) 01:20, 1 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry, was probably overreacting there. I'll see where that can fit into the article and add some material from the other page soon. Gazelle55 (talk) 19:22, 1 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just to close the loop on this, I couldn't find a way to fit it naturally on this page but if someone else sees a way go ahead. The problem is that since it's not totally clear whether she converted, it will take more than a quick note to talk about her neutrally, and having a longer explanation on this page is probably WP:UNDUE. So instead, I added it to History of the Baháʼí Faith. I also copied the sentence about the Samoan king there. Gazelle55 (talk) 19:51, 13 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Symbol of Baha’i Faith

The symbol of the Baha’i Faith is the nine-pointed star, not the five-pointed star stated in the article. 2600:6C4E:1200:16A5:CC5D:B828:13F:DECE (talk) 02:28, 24 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

please check the citations. The five pointed star is more officially 'the' symbol. The nine pointed star is used more casually but it is mentioned on the symbols page. Smkolins (talk) 02:51, 24 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

“controlled-infiltrated Sect”

I removed the term “controlled-infiltrated Sect” (sic) and replaced it with “sect” and hyperlinked “relatively new religion” to New Religious Movement. I understand there is something contention around the NRM thing but that’s not really what I’m commenting on. Feel free to remove the word “sect”. I considered removing it entirely and still am. What exactly could that mean other than conspiratorial accusations of heresy? How is “controlled-inflated sect” anything other than subjective/vandalism? I very well might be missing something, so let me know or reword at will. I’m watching the page. -.+ThAYYta+.- (talk) 00:46, 17 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's well documented in the note and makes it much more convoluted to read with such inclusions, aside from very pov content being mingled with sources. Also there was a fair bit of discussion bring this to a concensus how this is described. Smkolins (talk) 00:50, 17 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Page layout

Warburg. Baha'i (2001)

Warburg wrote a small, 75 page overview of the Baha'i Faith for an Italian publisher (2001). Glancing over the table of contents, I think she does a better job of laying out topics compared to this wiki page. Here is what she has (shortening some headings):

  • Emergence and historical development
    • Declaration of the Bab
    • Rise of the Babi movement
    • Exile in Baghdad and declaration of Baha'u'llah
    • Development under Baha'u'llah
    • Abdu'l-Baha and expansion in the West
    • Shoghi Effendi and the routinization of leadership
    • Establishment of the Universal House of Justice
  • Baha'i beliefs and rituals
    • Fundamental doctrines
    • The Baha'i year
    • Baha'i festivals
    • Rituals
      • Prayer
      • Fast
      • Collective rites
    • Pilgrimage
    • Baha'i symbols
    • Economic rituals
    • Huququ'llah
  • Baha'is in the world
    • Number and distribution of Baha'is worldwide
    • Baha'i temples
    • Baha'i World Centre
    • Baha'i mission strategies
    • Social development projects
    • Working through international organizations
  • Schism, opposition, and persecution
    • Schisms since the Bab
    • International disputes and opposition
    • Persecutions
    • [Situation in Iran]

Cuñado ☼ - Talk 17:02, 21 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Warburg's wouldn't work exactly as laid out. I don't like the phrase "rituals", for example. Here's is a proposal combining the current structure with improvements from Warburg's example.

  • Fundamental beliefs
    • Progressive revelation
    • Social principles
  • Historical development
    • Declaration of the Bab
    • Rise of the Babi movement
    • Exile in Baghdad
    • Declaration of Baha'u'llah
    • Development under Baha'u'llah
    • Abdu'l-Baha and expansion in the West
    • Guardianship of Shoghi Effendi
    • Establishment of the Universal House of Justice
  • Practices
    • Prayer
    • Fast
    • Exhortations and prohibitions
    • Marriage
    • Burial
    • The Baha'i calendar
    • Symbols
    • Huququ'llah
  • Baha'is in the world
    • Number and distribution of Baha'is worldwide
    • Places of worship
    • Baha'i World Centre
    • Baha'i teaching plans
    • Social development projects
    • United Nations
  • Opposition
    • Attempted schisms
    • Polemics
    • Persecution
    • Situation in Iran

Cuñado ☼ - Talk 17:02, 21 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • That would be a pretty top-to-bottom significant re-write. I see a lot of good in the goal of it. I've been trying to write up a brief and updated reconsitution on the "Number and distribution…" part. A lot of interesting things to put together for these. And agreed on the word 'rituals'. 'practices'? Smkolins (talk) 17:59, 21 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hmm, I'd say I'm neutral overall, leaning against until a clearer rationale is given. What problems with the current organization are you trying to solve? Currently, most of the headings seem simple and neutral, though I'll admit there are problems with some, like having "Symbols" under "Social practices". I'm also unclear why you selected progressive revelation and social principles as the fundamental teachings of the Baha'i Faith. Aren't the Baha'i view of God and the soul, this life as a test, the afterlife, mysticism, virtues and developing spiritual qualities, etc. also some of the most fundamental teachings? Gazelle55 (talk) 22:36, 22 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good point, I didn't clarify something. Under the main heading of ==Fundamental beliefs== I was planning on overviewing the main beliefs before stepping into the subsection. The heading ===Progressive revelation=== could combine and shorten the three topics currently as "God", "religion", and "Human beings". In general I would like to follow the weight of subjects as they appear in several reliable sources, currently I'm looking at Warburg, MacEoin, Smith, Stockman, and Hartz. The main change I'm looking at is incorporating Warburg's section headings of "Baha'is in the world", "Opposition", and "historical development", which I think are better and more natural than what this page currently has. The "progressive revelation" is not a big deal I could just ditch that. Cuñado ☼ - Talk 23:33, 22 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay, that makes more sense now. I'm okay with most of the changes though I find the current headings of "God", "Religion", and "Human beings" are easier to understand for readers who aren't familiar, rather than grouping it together under "Progressive revelation". I'm fine with changing "History" to "Historical Development" and having those new sub-headings, though I'd think that rather than ending with "Establishment of the Universal House of Justice" we should have at least one section for the 60 years since, especially the widespread use of the Ruhi Institute materials. The broader "Opposition" section makes sense to me, though I might suggest changing "Polemics" to "Criticism" to include both polemical and non-polemical critiques. Gazelle55 (talk) 22:39, 25 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Stockman. A Guide for the Perplexed (2013)

My thinking is that if the page is going to redone thanks to the FA nomination it's an idea to start fresh and starting from the outlines of major newer overall sources can be very useful, allowing tweaking. I wouldn't mind seeing a table of the TOC of a few major introductory reviews like this Warburg text (I've not seen,) and Stockman's Guide to the Perplexed. Here's the Guide to the Perplexed TOC layers with adapted brief wording:

  • Baha'i Teachings
    • Unity
      • Unity as process
      • Importance of education
      • Unity in diversity
      • Consultation
      • Unity and the need for organization
      • Incompatibility of unity and partisanship
      • Electoral process
      • Infallibility, covenant and dissent
      • Engaging society
    • Divinity and relationship to creation
      • Unknowable Essence, Primal Will, Creation
      • The Manifestation
      • Progressive Revelation
      • Prophetology
      • Revelation
      • Religions
    • Path to individual transformation
      • Prayer
      • Fasting
      • Study
      • Pilgrimage
      • Law and faith
      • Marriage
      • Family
    • An ever-advancing civilization
      • Work is worship
      • The Mashriqu'l-Adhkár
      • Teaching, social action, and public discourse
      • Global civilization
      • Lesser Peace
      • Social reform
  • Development of the Baha'i Community
    • The Bab and Babi community (1844-1853)
      • Declaration
      • Writings & growth
      • Maku
      • Day of Resurrection
      • Chiriq
      • Trial and execution
    • Ministry of Baha'u'llah(1853-1892)
      • Siyah Chat
      • Exile
      • Baghdad & Major works
      • Declaration at Ridvan
      • Istanbul
      • Acre
      • Houses
      • Developments in Iran and countries
      • Ascension
    • Ministry of Abdu'l-Baha(1892-1921)
      • Opposition
      • Expansion in the West
      • Development in Iran
      • Knitting together East and West
      • Houses of worship
      • Devotion & Persecution
      • Iranian constitutional Revolution
      • Freedom, travel to the West, and the Tablets of the Divine Plan
      • WWI and aftermath
    • Ministry of Shoghi Effendi(1921-1963)
      • Immediate aftermath of the death of Abdu'l-Baha
      • Priorities of the guardianship and building the administrative order
      • Interpretation and translations
      • Developments in Palestine
      • Developments East and West from WWII
      • Ten Year Crusade
      • Persecution
      • Chief stewards
    • Earlier developments under the Universal House of Justice (1963-1996)
      • Plans and minorities
      • Baha'i scholarship
      • Systematic persecution in Iran
      • Plans up to the Holy Year 1992 (this and next couple sections can certainly be aided by McMullen's 2015 The Baha'is of America - The growth of a religious movement, perhaps helping earlier parts too not because its about America but because it's an outline of the Plans especially during the House's ministry)
      • Plans after the Holy Year 1992 -6
      • Education, scholarship, and arts
    • Recent era under the Universal House of Justice (1997...)
      • Continued merging from obscurity
      • 1st Framework of plans
      • Scholarship, education & external affairs ( and then after Perplexed)
      • 2nd Framework of plans ( 2018's Religion and Public Discourse in an Age of Transition: Reflections of Bahá'í Thought and Practice, and 2022's The World of the Baha'i Faith can certainly help especially here)

Smkolins (talk) 02:48, 23 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm working on a table but realized it's not really a fair comparison (yet) because for Guide to the Perplexed above I pushed down to chapter sub-headings while merging some of them. So I'm backing that out and including the chapter TOC for The World of the Baha'i Faith. I may post this later when i have more time - very busy day ahead. Smkolins (talk) 11:44, 23 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How's this? (BTW I'm not objecting to Warburg's list as modified by Cuñado, I'm trying to provide a broader review, a sense of the worthiness of a rethink on this, not particularly advocating specifically on using Perplexed or The World perse.)

The World of the Baha’i Faith Baha’i Faith: Guide to the Perplexed(a simple chapter list here mostly but I feel it's a bit underselling the content/categories, but something between here and what's listed above) Warburg 2001 source
* Leadership and Authoritative Texts * Baha'i Teachings *Fundamental beliefs
** The Báb ** Unity **Progressive revelation
** The Writings and Teachings of the Báb ** Divinity and relationship to creation **Social principles
** Bahá’u’lláh ** Path to individual transformation *Historical development
** The Writings of Bahá'u'lláh ** An ever-advancing civilization
** ‘Abdu’l-Bahá * Development of the Baha'i Community **Declaration of the Bab
** The Writings and Utterances of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá ** The Bab and Babi community (1844-1853) **Rise of the Babi movement
** Shoghi Effendi Rabbani ** Ministry of Baha'u'llah(1853-1892) **Exile in Baghdad
** The English Language Writings of Shoghi Effendi ** Ministry of Abdu'l-Baha(1892-1921) **Declaration of Baha'u'llah
** The Writings of Shoghi Effendi in Persian ** Earlier developments under the Universal House of Justice (1963-1996) **Development under Baha'u'llah
** The Universal House of Justice ** Recent era under the Universal House of Justice (1997...) **Abdu'l-Baha and expansion in the West
** The Writings of the Universal House of Justice *** 2nd Framework of plans (going beyond what is in Perplexed, see above) **Guardianship of Shoghi Effendi
* Theology **Establishment of the Universal House of Justice
** Theology and Philosophy *Practices
** God, Revelation, and Manifestation **Prayer
** Progressive Revelation **Fast
** Interfaith Relations **Exhortations and prohibitions
** Science and Religion **Marriage
* Humanity **Burial
** Oneness and Unity **The Baha'i calendar
** The Physical and Spiritual Dimensions of Human Nature **Symbols
** Unity in Diversity: African Americans and the Bahá’í Faith **Huququ'llah
** The Equality of the Sexes *Baha'is in the world
** Mysticism **Number and distribution of Baha'is worldwide
** Progress of the soul: life after death **Places of worship
** Spirituality and Spiritual Practices **Baha'i World Centre
* Society **Baha'i teaching plans
** Artistic Expression **Social development projects
** Economics: The Prosperity of the World and the Development of Nations **United Nations
** Education *Opposition
** Environment and Sustainability
** Governance **Attempted schisms
** Law **Polemics
** Marriage and Family Life **Persecution
** Peace **Situation in Iran
** Work and Business
* Contemporary Bahá’í Community
** The Covenant and Covenant-breaking
** The Bahá’í Administrative Order
** Constructive Agency
** Consultation
** A Culture of Learning
** Devotional Life
** Religious Persecution of Bahá’ís Under the Islamic Republic of Iran
* History and Spread of the Bahá’í Community
** The History of the Bábí and Bahá'í Faiths
** Arab Middle East
** Europe
** Iran
** Latin America and the Caribbean
** North America
** Northeast Asia
** Oceania
** South Asia
** Southeast Asia
** Sub-Saharan Africa

Smkolins (talk) 22:34, 23 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for compiling this, Smkolins. I think we'll want significantly less sections than The World of the Baha'i Faith has, though we can still probably glean some useful ideas from its organization. Gazelle55 (talk) 06:14, 13 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Order of sections for the pages of other major religions

So one key aspect of deciding the organization is deciding the order of sections. Here is basically the order used for the other three main Abrahamic religions (I'm paraphrasing some section names to make them comparable):

  • Judaism: History, beliefs, texts, demographics, practices, leadership, persecution, criticism
  • Christianity: Beliefs, practices, texts, history, demographics, criticism, persecution
  • Islam: Beliefs, practices, history, demographics, criticism (and no section for texts!)

As you can see, there isn't much of a consensus. So what follows is just my thoughts and could be combined with some of the suggestions above. I think it would be good to keep beliefs, practices, and texts together (you could say that these together are the Baha'i teachings). I like having history first (except for the etymology) because the various leaders are mentioned a lot in other sections and I think it's a bit unclear with history later like it is now. And I think we should add a section for administration rather than having that mashed together with the "Universal House of Justice" part of the history section. So perhaps something like this: Etymology > History > Beliefs > Texts > Practices > Administration > Demographics > Persecution > Criticism? As for what sub-sections to have, I think we can take inspiration from the books whose sections are laid out above.

I'm thinking it's very unlikely this article will keep FA status so I see this as a longer-term question to work on. At the very least, I won't personally have much time for the next while. Gazelle55 (talk) 06:14, 13 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think my suggestions here didn't engage properly with what was already suggested by other editors above. I'll look in more detail at the ideas above when I have a chance and try to synthesize that with the way the other Abrahamic religion pages are organized. My main thought with my suggestions above was that we want headings that are simple, neutral, and understandable to people not familiar with the Baha'i Faith at all, arranged in an order so that earlier sections don't reference stuff from the later sections too much. Open to suggestions on the details. Gazelle55 (talk) 17:41, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Recent rewording

Cuñado, I appreciate you trying to turn the list under "Social principles" into prose, but I am wondering about the source for the second sentence here, specifically for the claim "and other progressive ideas for the early 20th century."

When ʻAbdu'l-Bahá first traveled to Europe and America in 1911–1912, he gave public talks that articulated the basic principles of the Baháʼí Faith.[34] These included preaching on the equality of men and women, race unity, the need for world peace, and other progressive ideas for the early 20th century. Published summaries of the Baháʼí teachings often include a list of these principles, and lists vary on wording and what is included.[35]

I would argue that this should be attributed in the text (e.g., "according to Peter Smith", if it is coming from the source of the previous sentence). The article Progressivism probably needs some work but you can see there that the meaning of the term has changed over time, and it's not clear which sense you're referring to if any in particular. Also a couple other issues, which I hope to get to soon myself. Gazelle55 (talk) 21:38, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As I understand the primary criticisms of the article facing FA is that nuance gets in the way of message. I would say there are many sources that speak to the progressivism of 'Abdu'l-Baha's efforts - race issues, women's issues, war issues - but pounding away with a bunch of resources clutters this. I'd argue it's broadly demonstrated. Do we really need to document it over and over, labeling each scholar? I could go back to the 19th century and the progression of the Baha'i Faith in more ways which Abdu'l-Baha was distilling down into speeches. Do we really need to do that? Smkolins (talk) 22:24, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Looking at the definition of progressive: 1) favoring or advocating progress, change, improvement, or reform, as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are, especially in political matters. 2) making progress toward better conditions; employing or advocating more enlightened or liberal ideas, new or experimental methods, etc.
There are further definitions about "progressive parties" in politics.
Overall I think the meaning is clear and accurate (especially with the reference to the early 20th century), but as always, be bold and make any improvements you want.
Smith's Concise Encyclopedia has a better approach under the heading "Baha'i Principles", page 70. Cuñado ☼ - Talk 02:06, 30 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Regarding the first point, no I didn't mean to say we need to attribute everything to a given source. We can use WP:WIKIVOICE for things that express a consensus of reliable sources. I was referring only to the point about progressive for the early 20th century.
Regarding the definition of progressive, yes, thanks for sharing this. I'm not trying to be pedantic or bring up obscure issues about the etymology of the word. But the narrative of history that we are progressing through stages of social progress (as opposed to just technological progress) in a more-or-less linear fashion is not a universally shared one. In fact many of my professors, fairly or not, were quite dismissive of this as a now-refuted "evolutionist" view of history. So to insert a line in Wikivoice that assumes this narrative without citing a source doesn't seem NPOV to me. More specifically to the Baha'i Faith, I can recall both Warburg and MacEoin having reservations about the idea that the Baha'i Faith was far "ahead of its time" on social issues (though no doubt there are elements of truth to the idea). For now I'd be fine with just having a source on that sentence. If I can find the sources disputing this account, then we'll have to attribute in text to show the debate between sources (or relegate the matter to a footnote to keep the text uncluttered). Hopefully will have time to get to this soon. Thanks, Gazelle55 (talk) 17:13, 31 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]