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Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era

  • Author:
  • J. E. Esslemont

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980 edition
  • Pages:
  • 286
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Pages 150-151


Education—the instruction and guidance of men and the development and training of their innate faculties—has been the supreme aim of all the Holy Prophets since the world began, and in the Bahá’í teachings the fundamental importance and limitless possibilities of education are proclaimed in the clearest terms. The teacher is the most potent factor in civilization and his work is the highest to which men can aspire. Education begins in the mother’s womb and is as unending as the life of the individual. It is a perennial necessity of right living and the foundation of both individual and social welfare. When education on right lines becomes general, humanity will be transformed and world will become a paradise. 151
At present a really well educated man is the rarest of phenomena, for nearly everyone has false prejudices, wrong ideals, erroneous conceptions and bad habits drilled into him from babyhood. How few are taught from their earliest childhood to love God with all their hearts and dedicate their lives to Him; to regard service to humanity as the highest aim in life; to develop their powers to the best advantage for the general good of all! Yet surely these are the essential elements of a good education. Mere cramming of the memory with facts about arithmetic, grammar, geography, languages, etc., has comparatively little effect in producing noble and useful lives.
Bahá’u’lláh says that education must be universal:—
It is decreed that every father must educate his sons and daughters in learning and in writing and also in that which hath been ordained in the tablet. He who neglects that which hath been commanded (in this matter), if he be rich, it is incumbent on the trustees of the House of Justice to recover from him the amount required for the education of his children; otherwise (i.e. if the parent be not capable) the matter shall devolve upon the House of Justice. Verily We have made it (the House of Justice) an asylum for the poor and needy.

He who educates his son, or any other children, it is as though he hath educated one of My children.—Tablet of Ishráqát.

Men and women must place a part of what they earn by trade, agriculture or other business, in charge of a trustworthy person, to be spent in the education and instruction of the children. That deposit must be invested in the education of the children, under the advice of the trustees (or members) of the House of Justice.—Tablet of the World.