Some Baha’i Writings on Education

Kazakh painter Lyazzat Serzhan created this painting in celebration of the Bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah.
Successful Education Will Cultivate Virtue | Mining the Gems of Virtues | Baha’i Writings Relating to Moral Education

…Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom. ~Baha’u’llah

….favour character and conduct above the sciences and arts. Good behaviour and high moral character must come first…. ~Baha’u’llah

Upon the reality of man…He hath focused the radiance of all of His names and attributes, and made it a mirror of His own Self. Alone of all created things man hath been singled out for so great a favor, so enduring a bounty. ~Baha’u’llah

Strain every nerve to acquire both inner and outer perfections, for the fruit of the human tree hath ever been and will ever be perfections both within and without. It is not desirable that a man be left without knowledge or skills, for he is then but a barren tree. Then, so much as capacity and capability allow, ye needs must deck the tree of being with fruits such as knowledge, wisdom, spiritual perception and eloquent speech. ~Baha’u’llah

Man is even as steel, the essence of which is hidden: through admonition and explanation, good counsel and education, that essence will be brought to light. If, however, he be allowed to remain in his original condition, the corrosion of lusts and appetites will effectively destroy him. ~Baha’u’llah

…Arts, crafts and sciences uplift the world of being, and are conducive to its exaltation. 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….

In truth, knowledge is a veritable treasure for man, and a source of glory, of bounty, of joy, of exaltation, of cheer and gladness unto him. Happy the man that cleaveth unto it, and woe betide the heedless. ~Baha’u’llah

…..to train the character of humankind is one of the weightiest commandments of God, and the influence of such training is the same as that which the sun exerteth over tree and fruit. Children must be most carefully watched over, protected and trained; in such consisteth true parenthood and parental mercy. ~`Abdu’l-Baha

Every child is potentially the light of the world—and at the same time its darkness; wherefore must the question of education be accounted as of primary importance. ~ Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Children are even as a branch that is fresh and green; they will grow up in whatever way ye train them. Take the utmost care to give them high ideals and goals, so that once they come of age, they will cast their beams like brilliant candles on the world……, will set their hearts on achieving everlasting honour and acquiring all the excellences of humankind. ~Abdu’l-Baha

…..the happiness and greatness, the rank and station, the pleasure and peace, of an individual have never consisted in his personal wealth, but rather in his excellent character, his high resolve, the breadth of his learning, and his ability to solve difficult problems.
~`Abdu’l-Baha, Secret of Divine Civilization

Whatsoever passeth beyond the limits of moderation will cease to exert a beneficial influence. ~Baha’u’llah

Give them (the children) the advantage of every useful kind of knowledge. Let them share in every new and rare and wondrous craft and art. Bring them up to work and strive, and accustom them to hardship. Teach them to dedicate their lives to matters of great import, and inspire them to undertake studies that will benefit mankind. ~ Selections from the Writings of `Abdu’l-Baha

The education and training of children is among the most meritorious acts of humankind and draweth down the grace and favour of the All-Merciful, for education is the indispensable foundation of all human excellence and alloweth man to work his way to the heights of abiding glory.

The education of each child is compulsory…. In addition to this wide-spread education each child must be taught a profession, art, or trade, so that every member of the community will be enabled to earn his own livelihood. Work done in the spirit of service is the highest form of worship….

And among the teachings of Baha’u’llah is the equality of women and men. The world of humanity has two wings -one is women and the other men. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible.
~ Selections from the Writings of `Abdu’l-Baha

Children are the most precious treasure a community can possess, for in them are the promise and guarantee of the future. They bear the seeds of the character of future society which is largely shaped by what the adults constituting the community do or fail to do with respect to children. They are a trust no community can neglect with impunity. An all-embracing love of children, the manner of treating them, the quality of attention shown them, the spirit of adult behavior toward them – – these are all among the vital aspects of the requisite attitude. Love demands discipline, the courage to accustom children to hardship, not to indulge their whims or leave them entirely to their own devices. An atmosphere needs to be maintained in which children feel that they belong to the community and share in its purpose.”

~ Universal House of Justice to the Bahaís of the World, 2000