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The Bahá'í religion accepts all other faiths as true and valid, and accepts the divine nature of the missions of Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, the Buddha, Jesus and the Prophet Muhammad.
Founded by a young Iranian called Bahá'u'lláh who stated that a messenger who was the latest in a long line of prophets including Moses, Muhammad and Jesus Christ would soon arrive, Bahá'ís believes all prophets and divine manifestations are a further stage in the revelation of God. Whilst Bahá'u'lláh himself stated that he was not God's final messenger, Bahá'ís believe he was the most recent Divine Manifestation of God.
At the core of Baha’i faith is the belief that all human beings are equal, possessing a soul that lives forever, and that as members of a single race, all mankind will soon be united in a single global community – despite their differences. With death, Bahá'ís believe a person's soul is released from its physical bonds and enters the spiritual world.
The Bahá'í faith is one of the youngest of the world's major religions and was founded in Iran in the 19th century. Rooted in Islam, today it is totally independent of it origin religion. There are an estimated 6 million Bahá'ís in the world practicing their faith across 235 countries, including Great Britain.
Whilst flexible and relaxed in order to allow for people of all religions to accommodate their cultural practices as part of a Baha'I funeral, there are some basic laws with Bahá'ís must adhere to. The first of which is that the recently departed must be buried no more than one hour's travel time from the place of death, so as to discourage persons of faith from becoming attached to any particular earthly site. The body is washed and wrapped in a white shroud, and where possible, a ring inscribed with the words, “I came forth from God, and return unto Him, detached from all save Him, holding fast to His Name, the Merciful, the Compassionate” is placed on a finger of the deceased. The body is then placed in a coffin for interment, and cannot be cremated or embalmed unless required by law.
Because the burial must happen quickly, memorial services are normally held within two or three days after the death having occurred. The ceremonies are urged to be simple and dignified, with just one requirement – that [LINK THROUGH INSERTED] the Prayer for the Dead be recited as a forerunner for any other prayers the family may wish to have read.