The Arts: A Ladder for the Soul
"One of the names of God is the Fashioner. He loveth craftsmanship." These words of Bahá'u'lláh accord an eminence to the practice of arts and crafts that is unprecedented in any religious dispensation. His writings also allude to the central role of artists in society, stating that "...the true worth of artists and craftsmen should be appreciated, for they advance the affairs of mankind." The distinction and significance of a number of professions are extolled, but Bahá'u'lláh's specific mention of artists and craftsmen as advancing the affairs of mankind opens a revolutionary perspective on their role in society.
`Abdu'l-Bahá reiterated His Father's teachings concerning the arts, saying, "It is the commandment of the Blessed Beauty [Bahá'u'lláh],...that whosoever engageth in a craft, should endeavor to acquire in it utmost proficiency. Should he do so, that craft becometh a form of worship."
`Abdu'l-Bahá also counselled parents to educate their children to become accomplished practitioners of the arts, as seen in the following passage: While the children are yet in their infancy feed them from the breast of heavenly grace, foster them in the cradle of all excellence, rear them in the embrace of bounty. Give them 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. The mention of education in the arts in close proximity to phrases such as "matters of great import" and "studies that will benefit mankind" indicates that, in the Bahá'í view, the arts are not at the periphery of our existence but are rather at the very heart of it.
Excerpted from Bahá'ís and the Arts: Language of the Heart
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“Arts, crafts and sciences uplift the world of being, and are conducive to its exaltation.”— Bahá’u’lláh
“All Art is a gift of the Holy Spirit.”— `Abdu'l-Bahá