Arts and Crafts
Category: Bahá’í
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Arts and Crafts is compiled by the Research Department from Extracts from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi.

Arts and Crafts

Compilation

Bahá’u’lláh, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi


© Bahá’í International Community


Extracts from the Writings Concerning Arts and Crafts

I. From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

— 1 —

Blessed are those who have fixed their gaze on the realm of glory and have followed the commandments of the Lord of Names. Blessed is he who in the days of God will engage in handicrafts. This is a bounty from God, for in this Most Great Dispensation it is acceptable in the sight of God for man to occupy himself in a trade which relieveth him of depending upon charity. The craft of every craftsman is regarded as worship.

Bahá’u’lláh, from a Tablet — translated from the Persian

— 2 —

One of the names of God is the Fashioner. He loveth craftsmanship. Therefore any of His servants who manifesteth this attribute is acceptable in the sight of this Wronged One. Craftsmanship is a book among the books of divine sciences, and a treasure among the treasures of His heavenly wisdom. This is a knowledge with meaning, for some of the sciences are brought forth by words and come to an end with words.

Bahá’u’lláh, from a Tablet — translated from the Persian

— 3 —

God grant that thou wilt exert thine utmost to acquire perfections, as well as proficiency in a craft.

Bahá’u’lláh, from a Tablet — translated from the Persian

— 4 —

The one true God, exalted be He, loveth to witness handiworks of high craftsmanship produced by His loved ones. Blessed art thou, for what thy skill hath produced hath reached the presence of thy Lord, the Exiled, the Wronged. Please God every one of His friends may be enabled to acquire one of the crafts, and be confirmed in adhering to what hath been ordained in the Book of God, the All-Glorious, the All-Wise.

Bahá’u’lláh, from a Tablet — translated from the Persian and Arabic

— 5 —

Teach ye your children so that they may peruse the divine verses every morn and eve. God hath prescribed unto every father to educate his The children, both boys and girls, in the sciences and in morals, and in crafts and professions….

Bahá’u’lláh, from a Tablet — translated from the Arabic

— 6 —

It is incumbent upon the children to exert themselves to the utmost in acquiring the art of reading and writing…. Writing skills that will provide for urgent needs will be enough for some; and then it is better and more fitting that they should spend their time in studying those branches of knowledge which are of use.

As for what the Supreme Pen hath previously set down, the reason is that in every art and skill, God loveth the highest perfection.

Bahá’u’lláh, from a Tablet — translated from the Persian

— 7 —

The fifth Ṭaráz concerneth the protection and preservation of the stations of God’s servants. One should not ignore the truth of any matter, rather should one give expression to that which is right and true. The people of Bahá should not deny any soul the reward due to him, should treat craftsmen with deference, and, unlike the people aforetime, should not defile their tongues with abuse.

In this Day the sun of craftsmanship shineth above the horizon of the occident and the river of arts is flowing out of the sea of that region. One must speak with fairness and appreciate such bounty….

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas”, p. 38

— 8 —

The third Tajallí is concerning arts, crafts and sciences. Knowledge is as wings to man’s life, and a ladder for his ascent. Its acquisition is incumbent upon everyone. The knowledge of such sciences, however, should be acquired as can profit the peoples of the earth, and not those which begin with words and end with words. Great indeed is the claim of scientists and craftsmen on the peoples of the world. Unto this beareth witness the Mother Book on the day of His return….

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas”, p. 51

— 9 —

At the outset of every endeavour, it is incumbent to look to the end of it. Of all the arts and sciences, set the children to studying those which will result in advantage to man, will ensure his progress and elevate his rank. Thus the noisome odours of lawlessness will be dispelled, and thus through the high endeavours of the nation’s leaders, all will live cradled, secure and in peace.

The Great Being saith: The learned of the day must direct the people to acquire those branches of knowledge which are of use, that both the learned themselves and the generality of mankind may derive benefits therefrom….

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas”, p, p. 16 & 69

— 10 —

The purpose of learning should be the promotion of the welfare of the people, and this can be achieved through crafts. It hath been revealed and is now repeated that the true worth of artists and craftsmen should be appreciated, for they advance the affairs of mankind. Just as the foundations of religion are made firm through the Law of God, the means of livelihood depend upon those who are engaged in arts and crafts. True learning is that which is conducive to the well-being of the world, not to pride and self-conceit, or to tyranny, violence and pillage.

Bahá’u’lláh, from a Tablet — translated from the Persian


II. From the Writings and Utterances of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

— 11 —

Every person must have an occupation, a trade or a craft, so that he may carry other people’s burdens, and not himself be a burden to others.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet — translated from the Persian

— 12 —

Thou hast written regarding thy meeting with… He hath written that he desireth to teach thee one of the crafts and show thee affection and consideration. We beseech God that this purpose may be attained, and thou wilt learn such a skill, for according to the divine ordinances, every person must acquire a craft.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet — translated from the Persian

— 13 —

He must study every day from morning till noon, so that he may learn how to read and write. From noon till about sunset he should acquire a craft. The children must both learn to read and acquire an art or skill.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet — translated from the Persian

— 14 —

It is necessary for all to learn a craft, through which the people may earn their living. This commandment is universal.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet — translated from the Persian

— 15 —

It is the commandment of the Blessed Beauty, may my life be a sacrifice at His Threshold, that whosoever engageth in a craft, should endeavour to acquire in it utmost proficiency. Should he do so, that craft becometh a form of worship.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a Tablet — translated from the Persian

— 16 —

Another friend asked, “In the Tablets it is stated that we must be severed and detached. In another place it is stated that we must learn a trade or profession. Do not these two statements contradict each other?” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá replied, “In the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, it is incumbent upon every soul to acquire a trade and an occupation. For example, I know how to weave or make a mat, and you know some other trade. This, in itself is an act of worship, provided that it is conducted on the basis of utmost honesty and faithfulness.

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