Answer: If we have
already a strong favourite in mind, today’s question will appear to be
deceptively simple. But for the following reason, caution is justified.
All the spiritual virtues and qualities exist in synergy. We cannot
practise any one spiritual virtue in full integrity without practising
the others. The virtues work in co-operation. They reinforce one
If, for example, we say that hospitality is the greatest human quality,
we would readily understand that in order to be hospitable, one would
have to show love, caring, sharing, generosity, kindness, and so on.
But we could also maintain that love creates hospitality.
I suspect that a common answer would be divine love, which is usually
viewed as the foundational virtue and the supreme good in the spiritual
lexicon. The holy books affirm this truth.
Those of an intellectual bent would say that reason or the rational
soul is the greatest human quality because it distinguishes humans from
animals and makes civilization possible. Others would say that the
greatest human quality is faith because it grants eternal life. The
list of greatest human qualities goes on.
Today’s question is likely to be interpreted as applying only to the
individual, but in a broader perspective, the question can be applied
also to humanity as a collective. To make this point clearer, we should
think of our worst collective vice.
To wage war and to destroy others is arguably the worst human vice. On
that basis, our greatest collective human quality would be to live in
peace with one another as members of one human race. Our greatest human
quality would be to demonstrate the oneness of humanity and to work
strenuously to usher in the great age of peace as promised in all the
‘Abdu’l-Bahá (1844-1921), the son and successor of Bahá’u’lláh
(1817-1892), the Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith, said:
“Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues. Without
truthfulness progress and success, in all the worlds of God, are
impossible for any soul. When this holy attribute is established in
man, all the divine qualities will also be