The Great Being saith: The heaven of divine wisdom is illumined with the two luminaries of consultation and compassion. Take ye counsel together in all matters, inasmuch as consultation is the lamp of guidance which leadeth the way, and is the bestower of understanding.
Consultation is one of the basic laws and bedrock of Bahá’í Administration. Shoghi Effendi, has written:
Consultation, frank and unfettered, is the bedrock of this unique Order.The nature of Bahá’í consultation is frank and loving, detached and sincere. One offers his views dispassionately, and never imposes it to others and the consulting body.
Consultation gives direction to where the affairs of the family, the community, and the institutions are heading. But more importantly, it promotes harmony within these units and between them. Through spaces of consultation, mutual trust is strengthened among the members of the community and love is developed between the individuals and the institutions.
The Universal House of Justice has stated:
“…Bahá’í consultation is to be undertaken with the utmost love, sincerity, and unity. Its participants must come together in a prayerful attitude, seeking assistance from the Realm of Glory, expressing their thoughts freely, surrendering all attachment to their individual opinions, and giving fair-minded and careful consideration to the views of others, in an effort to reach consensus. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá advises us that should it be found, in the course of coming to a decision, that discussion has become prolonged or given rise to disputation, consultation should be deferred and taken up at a more propitious time. Be confident that, as you engage in Bahá’í consultation among families or in small groups, your sincere efforts to abide by these principles will, through the power of the Covenant and with Divine assistance, enable you to resolve a great majority of the issues that confront you. Of course, it must be remembered that the purpose of consultation need not always be to arrive at a particular or final decision. Often the aim may simply be to engage in an exchange of views so as to help clarify a certain matter and bring about unity of vision.”