take counsel together ¶30
Bahá’u’lláh has established consultation as one of the fundamental principles of His Faith and has exhorted the believers to “take counsel together in all matters.”1 He describes consultation as “the lamp of guidance which leadeth the way” and as “the bestower of understanding.” Shoghi Effendi states that the “principle of consultation … constitutes one of the basic laws” of the Bahá’í Administrative Order.2
In Questions and Answers, number 99
, Bahá’u’lláh outlines an approach to consultation and stresses the importance of achieving unanimity in decision-making, failing which the majority decision must prevail. The Universal House of Justice has clarified that this guidance concerning consultation was revealed before Spiritual Assemblies had been established and was in answer to a question about the Bahá’í teachings on consultation. The House of Justice affirms that the emergence of Spiritual Assemblies, to which the friends may always turn for assistance, in no way prohibits them from following the procedure outlined in Questions and Answers. This approach may be used by the friends, should they wish, when they desire to consult on their personal problems.
1 Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh : Lawḥ-i-Maqsúd, p. 168
2 August 30 1933 : Lights of Guidance, p. 43, no. 151