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1. Is the Principle of Compulsory Universal Education New?


All mankind should attain knowledge and acquire education. This is a characteristically new teaching of Bahā’u’llāh in this dispensation.[1]

Shia Islam:

The Prophet, Muḥammad, says: “Acquiring knowledge is compulsory for every man and woman.”[2]


The Prophets have come to nurture and educate mankind.[3]

[1] “Bahā’u’llāh declares that all mankind should attain knowledge and acquire an education. This is a necessary principle of religious belief and observance, characteristically new in this dispensation,” `Abdu’l-Bahā, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 455.

[2] Al-Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār (Beirut: Mu’assisat al-Wafā, 1404 AH), vol. 1, p.170.

[3] “The honored prophets have come to nurture and educate mankind, to turn men into the manifestation of light, inform them about the truth of secrets, and to elevate the human world materialistically and spiritually,” `Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Egypt), vol. 1, p. 99.

2. Is Education the Same for All or Dependent on Capacity?


All humankind must receive the same education with the same guidelines and the same methods.[4]


Everyone cannot be a scientist. Only educate people according to their capacity and needs![5]

[4] “It is necessary that the guidelines and laws of education be the same [everywhere] so that all humankind are given the same education. This means education and nurturing must be the same in all schools. All elements and methods must be the same,” `Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Tehran), vol. 2, p. 148.

[5] “Among other teachings and principles Bahā’u’llāh counsels the education of all members of society. No individual should be denied or deprived of intellectual training, although each should receive according to capacity. None must be left in the grades of ignorance, for ignorance is a defect in the human world. All mankind must be given a knowledge of science and philosophy—that is, as much as may be deemed necessary. All cannot be scientists and philosophers, but each should be educated according to his needs and deserts,” `Abdu’l-Bahā, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p.108.

3- Loving Laws That Promote Ignorance or Claiming That All People Must Be Educated?


There must be universal compulsory education.

The Bāb in the Bayān:

Destroy all non-Bābī books,[6] teach nothing but the Bayān,[7] and do not own more than nineteen books.[8]


A single letter from the Bayān is more dear to me than everything that is in the skies and the earth.[9]

[6] “Chapter six of the sixth unit which is about destroying all books but those that have been written or will be written about this order (meaning the Bab’s creed),” The Bāb, Farsi Bayān, unit 6, chap. 6.

[7] “Teaching a book other than the book of Bayān is not allowed unless it has in it what is related to theology (kalām). [Teaching] those [sciences] which have been invented such as logic (manṭiq), principles [of Jurisprudence] (uṣūl), and other [sciences], is not permitted for those who have faith,” The Bāb, Farsi Bayān, unit 4, chap. 10.

[8] “You have been prohibited in the Bayān from having more than nineteen books. If you do so, you will be fined 19 mithqāls of gold,” The Bāb, Arabic Bayān, unit 11, chap. 7.

[9] “I [swear by] He who in His hand is my soul and my essence, a single letter from the Bayān is dearer to me than everything that is in the heavens and the earth,” Asad-Allāh Fāḍil Māzandarānī, Asrār al-āthār khuṣūṣī, vol. 5,p. 333.

4- Will Education Dispel Ignorance?

Reason and common-sense:

Education will dispel ignorance.


If you have all the knowledge on earth but do not become a Baha’i you are ignorant.[10]

[10] “If today, someone grasps all of the knowledge on earth but stops at the word ‘yes’ (meaning does not become a Baha’i), the Lord will not pay attention to him (ladī l-Ḥaqq madhkūr na) and he will be considered as the most ignorant amongst the people,” Bahā’u’llāh, Iqtidārāt wa chand lauḥ dīgar, p. 111; “From now on nobody is to be called knowledgeable, except those who have decorated themselves with the garment of this New Affair (meaning those who have become Baha’is),” Bahā’u’llāh, Badī`, pp. 138–139.

5. The Criterion for Being a True Prophet: Good Nurturing and Education of People


A prophet who cannot nurture people is not a prophet.[11]

The result of `Abdu’l-Bahā being nurtured by his father:

My enemies are “senile like arrogant fools and not seashells full of gems. They are ecstatic from the smell of garbage like dung beetles.”[12]

[11] “Prophets are public teachers. If we want to see that prophets are teachers we must independently seek the truth. If [prophets] nurture the souls and take them from the depths of ignorance to the peaks of knowledge, then they are surely true prophets,” `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Payām-i malakūt, pp. 203–204.

[12] `Abdu’l-Bahā, Makātīb (Egypt), vol. 1, pp. 442–443.

6. Are Baha'is Allowed to Attend Non-Baha'i Schools?


You are absolutely prohibited from sending your children to non-Baha’i schools for they will be a cause of humiliation and disgrace to the faith.[13]

`Abdu’l-Bahā Sends Shoghi to attend the best non-Baha’i schools in Palestine.[14]

[13] “It is absolutely prohibited for the children of the friends to go to the schools of others (meaning non-Baha’is) for this is [a cause of] humiliation for the Cause of God and they will be completely deprived of the Blessed Beauty’s graces. Because they will be educated/nurtured elsewise and they will disgrace the Baha’is,” `Abdu’l-Bahā, Makātīb (probably Tehran), vol. 5, p. 170.

[14] “It was here that Shoghi Effendi had a very significant dream which he recounted to me and which I wrote down.  He said that when he was nine or ten years old, living with his nurse in this house and attending school in Haifa, he dreamed that he and another child, an Arab schoolmate, were in the room in which 'Abdu'l-Baha used to receive His guests in the house in Akka . . . Shoghi Effendi entered the best school in Haifa, the College des  Freres, conducted by the Jesuits . . . 'Abdu'l-Baha decided to send him to Beirut where he attended another Catholic school as a boarder . . . 'Abdu'l-Baha Who then had arrangements made for Shoghi Effendi to enter the Syrian Protestant College, which had a school as well as a university,” Rūhīyyih Rabbani, The Priceless Pearl, pp. 1617.

7. Must Foreign Languages Be Taught at Schools?


Teach foreign languages at school.[15]


Reduce all languages to one and only teach that language at school! [16]

[15] “And further, as well as in the ideals of character, instruction in such arts and sciences as are of benefit, and in foreign tongues,” Helen Bassett Hornby, Lights of Guidance: A Bahā’ī Reference File, chap. VIII, no. 494.

[16] “Languages must be reduced to one common language to be taught in all the schools of the world.,” Bahā’u’llāh, Tablets of Bahā’u’llāh Revealed After the Kitāb-i-Aqdas, p. 90.


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