Do Baha’is Drink Alcohol?

Baha’is do not drink alcohol. This can have a big impact on their social lives, depending on the degree to which their social groups depend on this drug for entertainment or release. Baha’is feel that alcohol is an unhealthy and often degrading crutch that too many people depend on in society. Baha’is do recognize that this law is hard for new believers at first, but once a person lives without drinking for a while they often find it liberating.

For a Baha’i, the only wine is the spiritual wine: that which pours forth in the form of their Holy Writings and Divine Teachings. For a Baha’i, the true intoxication is to be whole-heartedly in love with God and His universe. While this may sound silly to some, to a Baha’i who has devoted his life to the service of humanity, who has offered up his soul for the regeneration of the world, who has sacrificed his ego for the benefit of all mankind; the love of God is the underlying motivation. How many people want to be part of some Great Cause, something bigger than themselves, to leave some legacy or imprint on the world? How many people want to feel complete, whole, and hopeful for the future of the world? To a Baha’i, this is the most cherished wine imaginable, and to sacrifice all this so one can keep drinking a beer once in a while seems ludicrous. As Abdu’l-Baha wrote in a prayer, “O my Lord! Lift Thou the veil from before his sight. Rain down Thy plenteous bounties upon him, intoxicate him with the wine of love for Thee, make him one of Thy angels whose feet walk upon this earth even as their souls are soaring through the high heavens. Cause him to become a brilliant lamp, shining out with the light of Thy wisdom in the midst of Thy people.” (SWA, p. 121).

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