Bahai Temple

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Location map of the houses of prayer: Green States with a house of prayer, • Cities with a house of prayer, red Former first house of prayer in Turkmenistan, at that time the Russian Empire, light green Planned or under construction houses of prayer.
The Bahai Temple in Ashgabat, at that time the Russian Empire
European Baha'i temple in Langenhain near Frankfurt / Main
Dome top with calligraphy
Calligraphy of the Greatest Name
One of the nine towers of the Bahai Temple in the United States

As a Bahai Temple ( Arabic مشرق اﻻذكار, DMG mašriq al-aḏkār , Baha'i transcription Mashriqu'l-Adhkár " Place of origin of the praise of God ") the sacred buildings of the Baha'i are called. The German-speaking Baha'i congregations usually use the term Haus der Andacht , a literal translation of House of Worship . Baha'i temples are found worldwide in the United States , Samoa , Australia , Panama , Germany , India , Uganda , Chile , Cambodia, and Colombia .

Idea, purpose and design

Believers of all religions gather in these sacred buildings for prayer and meditation . Neither pictures, statues nor musical instruments can be found here. The focus of the prayer is the holy scriptures of all world religions , which are recited in the original language or translation without sermon, interpretation or commentary. The founder of the Baha'i religion, Bahāʾullāh , has determined that the “ Word of God ” itself should work. Every visitor can take part in the readings by arrangement.

Sung prayers in all human languages ​​and spiritual traditions are welcome in the temples . The acoustics of the central domed structure carry the human voice. No other sounds should disturb individual reflection and meditation.

In the top of the dome, the apex, an Arabic calligraphy of the Greatest Name can be seen, an expression of praise : "O glory of the all-glorious!".

Another feature is common to all temples: Nine gates on all sides symbolize the openness for followers of the various religions.

Otherwise, the houses of worship are characterized by their architectural diversity, which deliberately represents different styles and symbols of different cultures.


The foundation stone for the first Baha'i Temple was laid in December 1902 in the presence of leading representatives of public life in Ashgabat . Ashgabat was then part of the Russian Empire and is now the capital of Turkmenistan . The house was completed around 1908. After the October Revolution , the house was expropriated by the Soviet authorities in 1928. However, the Baha'i congregation continued to use the building as a house of prayer until 1938. In 1938 the building was completely expropriated and converted into an art gallery, badly damaged by an earthquake in 1948 . The heavy annual rains weakened the structure further, so that the building had to be demolished in 1962 to protect the adjacent houses. As ancillary facilities, the house had a hospital, a school and a hostel for travelers.

The foundation stone for the first Baha'i Temple in America was laid by 'Abdul-Baha' on March 1, 1912 in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette ( Illinois ). The inauguration of this house on Lake Michigan did not take place until May 2, 1953. The first ancillary facility, an old people's home, began work in 1959.

In January 1961 the first African Baha'i Temple was built in Kampala (Uganda) , in September 1961 at Mona Vale (about 35 km north of Sydney , Australia) the first House of Worship of the Antipodes and in July 1964 the first European Baha'i Temple in Hofheim am Taunus ( Langenhain district ) inaugurated. In 1987 the state of Hesse declared this building near Frankfurt am Main a cultural monument .

The first Bahai temple in Latin America was inaugurated in April 1972 on Cerro Sonsonato (north of Panama City ) and the first temple in Oceania in 1984 in Tiapatu (9 km south of Apia ) on Samoa. The lotus blossom-shaped temple in New Delhi , also known as Lotus Temple is known, was finally inaugurated in December 1986 and won numerous awards for its architecture.

The Bahai Temple in Chile was finally completed in 2016, the temple in Cambodia followed in 2017 and the temple in Colombia was inaugurated in 2018.

Outbuildings and planning

The Baha'i Temple is generally intended to be the central building of an entire building complex. In the future, facilities are to be built in this complex that will serve social, humanitarian, educational and scientific purposes. ʿAbdul-Baha 'describes this complex as "one of the most important institutions in the world" and Shoghi Effendi describes it as the tangible expression of the connection between "Baha'i devotion and servitude", in which "relief for the sufferer, livelihood for the poor, refuge for the traveler, comfort for the bereaved and education for the ignorant ”. According to the Kitab-i-Aqdas , a Mashriqu'l-Adhkar is to be established in every town and village. Therefore, numerous National Spiritual Councils have already acquired building plots. Shoghi Effendi has purchased a site for a house of prayer on Mount Carmel for Israel . The place of the future Bahai Temple there has been marked by an obelisk since August 1971 . A model of this future Bahai temple can already be viewed in the Bahji country house in the Bahai World Center .

See also


  • Julie Badiee: An Earthly Paradise, Bahá'í Houses of Worship around the World . Ed .: George Ronald. Oxford 1992, ISBN 0-85398-316-X .
  • Julie Badiee: Mashriqu'l-Adhkár . Ed .: National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States. Evanston, IL 2009 ( online ).
  • Peter Smith: A Concise Encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith . Ed .: Oneworld Publications. Oxford, UK 2000, ISBN 1-85168-184-1 .
  • Bahai World Center (Ed.): The Bahai World, Vol. XIII-XIX . Haifa 1976.

Web links

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