The Kitáb-i-Aqdas - The Most Holy Book
Index term: Life
k62.
Should anyone intentionally destroy a house by fire, him also shall ye burn; should anyone deliberately take another's life, him also shall ye put to death. Take ye hold of the precepts of God with all your strength and power, and abandon the ways of the ignorant. Should ye condemn the arsonist and the murderer to life imprisonment, it would be permissible according to the provisions of the Book. He, verily, hath power to ordain whatsoever He pleaseth.
k106.
It hath been enjoined upon you to pare your nails, to bathe yourselves each week in water that covereth your bodies, and to clean yourselves with whatsoever ye have formerly employed. Take heed lest through negligence ye fail to observe that which hath been prescribed unto you by Him Who is the Incomparable, the Gracious. Immerse yourselves in clean water; it is not permissible to bathe yourselves in water that hath already been used. See that ye approach not the public pools of Persian baths; whoso maketh his way toward such baths will smell their fetid odour ere he entereth therein. Shun them, O people, and be not of those who ignominiously accept such vileness. In truth, they are as sinks of foulness and contamination, if ye be of them that apprehend. Avoid ye likewise the malodorous pools in the courtyards of Persian homes, and be ye of the pure and sanctified. Truly, We desire to behold you as manifestations of paradise on earth, that there may be diffused from you such fragrance as shall rejoice the hearts of the favoured of God. If the bather, instead of entering the water, wash himself by pouring it upon his body, it shall be better for him and shall absolve him of the need for bodily immersion. The Lord, verily, hath willed, as a bounty from His presence, to make life easier for you that ye may be of those who are truly thankful.
k138.
Let none, in this Day, hold fast to aught save that which hath been manifested in this Revelation. Such is the decree of God, aforetime and hereafter -- a decree wherewith the Scriptures of the Messengers of old have been adorned. Such is the admonition of the Lord, aforetime and hereafter -- an admonition wherewith the preamble to the Book of Life hath been embellished, did ye but perceive it. Such is the commandment of the Lord, aforetime and hereafter; beware lest ye choose instead the part of ignominy and abasement. Naught shall avail you in this Day but God, nor is there any refuge to flee to save Him, the Omniscient, the All-Wise. Whoso hath known Me hath known the Goal of all desire, and whoso hath turned unto Me hath turned unto the Object of all adoration. Thus hath it been set forth in the Book, and thus hath it been decreed by God, the Lord of all worlds. To read but one of the verses of My Revelation is better than to peruse the Scriptures of both the former and latter generations. This is the Utterance of the All-Merciful, would that ye had ears to hear! Say: This is the essence of knowledge, did ye but understand.
k140.
O people of the Bayán, I adjure you by your Lord, the God of mercy, to look with the eye of fairness upon this utterance which hath been sent down through the power of truth, and not to be of those who see the testimony of God yet reject and deny it. They, in truth, are of those who will assuredly perish. The Point of the Bayán hath explicitly made mention in this verse of the exaltation of My Cause before His own Cause; unto this will testify every just and understanding mind. As ye can readily witness in this day, its exaltation is such as none can deny save those whose eyes are drunken in this mortal life and whom a humiliating chastisement awaiteth in the life to come.
k150.
Teach your children the verses revealed from the heaven of majesty and power, so that, in most melodious tones, they may recite the Tablets of the All-Merciful in the alcoves within the Mashriqu'l-Adhkárs. Whoever hath been transported by the rapture born of adoration for My Name, the Most Compassionate, will recite the verses of God in such wise as to captivate the hearts of those yet wrapped in slumber. Well is it with him who hath quaffed the Mystic Wine of everlasting life from the utterance of his merciful Lord in My Name -- a Name through which every lofty and majestic mountain hath been reduced to dust.
n40.
the teachers
In a Tablet, 'Abdu'l-Bahá compares teachers who are involved with the spiritual education of the child to the "spiritual father" who "endoweth his child with everlasting life". He explains that this is the reason that "teachers are listed among the heirs" in the "law of God".
Bahá'u'lláh specifies the conditions under which the teacher inherits and the share he or she receives (Q&A 33).
n86.
Should anyone intentionally destroy a house by fire, him also shall ye burn; should anyone deliberately take another's life, him also shall ye put to death.
The law of Bahá'u'lláh prescribes the death penalty for murder and arson, with the alternative of life imprisonment (see note 87).
In His Tablets 'Abdu'l-Bahá explains the difference between revenge and punishment. He affirms that individuals do not have the right to take revenge, that revenge is despised in the eyes of God, and that the motive for punishment is not vengeance, but the imposition of a penalty for the committed offence. In Some Answered Questions, He confirms that it is the right of society to impose punishments on criminals for the purpose of protecting its members and defending its existence.
With regard to this provision, Shoghi Effendi in a letter written on his behalf gives the following explanation:

In the Aqdas Bahá'u'lláh has given death as the penalty for murder. However, He has permitted life imprisonment as an alternative. Both practices would be in accordance with His Laws. Some of us may not be able to grasp the wisdom of this when it disagrees with our own limited vision; but we must accept it, knowing His Wisdom, His Mercy and His Justice are perfect and for the salvation of the entire world. If a man were falsely condemned to die, can we not believe Almighty God would compensate him a thousandfold, in the next world, for this human injustice? You cannot give up a salutary law just because on rare occasions the innocent may be punished.

The details of the Bahá'í law of punishment for murder and arson, a law designed for a future state of society, were not specified by Bahá'u'lláh. The various details of the law, such as degrees of offence, whether extenuating circumstances are to be taken into account, and which of the two prescribed punishments is to be the norm are left to the Universal House of Justice to decide in light of prevailing conditions when the law is to be in operation. The manner in which the punishment is to be carried out is also left to the Universal House of Justice to decide.
In relation to arson, this depends on what "house" is burned. There is obviously a tremendous difference in the degree of offence between the person who burns down an empty warehouse and one who sets fire to a school full of children.
n87.
Should ye condemn the arsonist and the murderer to life imprisonment, it would be permissible according to the provisions of the Book.
Shoghi Effendi, in response to a question about this verse of the Aqdas, affirmed that while capital punishment is permitted, an alternative, "life imprisonment", has been provided "whereby the rigours of such a condemnation can be seriously mitigated". He states that "Bahá'u'lláh has given us a choice and has, therefore, left us free to use our own discretion within certain limitations imposed by His law". In the absence of specific guidance concerning the application of this aspect of Bahá'í law, it remains for the Universal House of Justice to legislate on the matter in the future.
n91.
This is My bidding unto you; hold fast to it as an assistance to yourselves.
While marriage is enjoined in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bahá'u'lláh clarifies that it is not obligatory (Q&A 46). Shoghi Effendi, in a letter written on his behalf, also declared that "marriage is by no means an obligation", and he affirmed that "in the last resort, it is for the individual to decide whether he wishes to lead a family life or live in a state of celibacy". If a person has to wait a considerable period of time before finding a spouse, or ultimately must remain single, it does not mean that the individual is thereby unable to fulfil his or her life's purpose, which is fundamentally spiritual.