A Tablet of Abdu’l-Baha to the Spiritual Assembly of ‘Ishqábád on the Education of Girls

What follows is my provisional translation (in other words, not official or authorized; see here for more) of a Tablet of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the original text of which has been published in Táríkh-i-‘Ishqábád, pp. 44–45

Delivered through the pilgrim Arbáb, upon him be the Glory of God


To the members of the Spiritual Assembly, upon them be the Glory of God, the All-Glorious

O my dear friends! It would be fair to say that the Spiritual Assembly of ‘Ishqábád hath shown due servitude—that it hath endeavored fittingly and served with readiness. Hence, my hope is such that it may receive supreme favors and enjoy perpetual confirmations, and this will certainly be so.

O friends! The establishment of schools for girls is among the most important of all affairs, one found in the decisive Texts of the Forgiving Lord. It is of immeasurable significance, and the people of understanding regard it as absolutely necessary, for it is the basis of the education of humanity and the foundation of the success and prosperity of all mankind. Consider that these girls will eventually become mothers, and that the life and salvation of children, their deliverance and welfare, depend on the excellent character and abundant perfections of these mothers. If the mother is well-rounded, wise, knowledgeable, faithful, and perceptive, she will suckle her children at the breast of God’s love and enable them to recognize Him, laying the foundation for true education and rearing her little ones from a tender age with the perfections and virtues of humanity.

Children are indeed like unto pliable branches: however you train them, they will be brought up in that way. Should they grow and develop in accordance with virtue, they will become straight boughs, but if from childhood they should be raised neglectfully, they will assuredly become crooked branches in the end. Observe: if the mother is a believer, the children will likewise become believers, even if the father should disbelieve. Yet if the mother is a disbeliever, the children are deprived of belief, even if the father should believe with the utmost certainty and assurance—except in rare cases, but the rule resteth with the majority.

Therefore, mothers and fathers must look after their little girls with the utmost care. These girls, moreover, should receive a complete education at school from skilled female instructors, that they may be familiarized with every discipline, and nurtured with the knowledge of what is necessary to live one’s life and conduceth to the happiness and well-being of one’s family. Thus, the Spiritual Assembly of ‘Ishqábád must take the lead in this vital matter, that through the aid and bounty of God they may lay a foundation that shall yield eternal success and prosperity.

Upon you be the Glory of the All-Glorious.

A typescript of the original Persian text of this Tablet appears below. 

به واسطۀ جناب زائر ارباب علیه بهاءالله
اعضاء محفل روحانی علیهم بهاءالله الابهی

ای یاران عزیز من، محفل روحانی عشق‌آباد انصاف این است که دادِ خدمت و عبودیّت بداد؛ همّتِ شایان دارد و خدمتِ رایگان فرماید. لهذا امید چنان است که توفیقات کلیّه یابد و مظهر تائیدات صمدانیّه گردد و یقین است که چنین شود. ای یاران، تأسیس مکتب بنات از امّهات امور است و از نصوص قاطع ربّ غفور؛ اهمّیت بی‌پایان دارد و لزوم قطعی در نزد اهل عرفان زیرا اساس تربیت بشر است و پایۀ فلاح و نجاح نوع انسان. ملاحظه فرمائید این بنات عاقبت امّهات گردند و حیات و رستگاری فرزندان و نجات و کامکاری کودکان منوط و مشروط به حسن آداب و وفور کمالات اين امّهات است اگر مادر کامل و دانا و عالم و مؤمن و بینا اطفال را از ثدی محبّت اللّه شیر دهد و به عرفان الله فائز نماید و تأسیس تربیت صحیحه کند و کودکان را از صِغَر سنّ به کمالات و فضائل انسانی پرورش دهد و فی الحقیقه اطفال مانند شاخۀ ترند، هر نوع تربیت نمائی پرورده گردند اگر به کمالْ نشو و نما نمایند شاخۀ مستقیم و راست گردند و اگر از کودکی مهمل تربیت شوند البتّه عاقبت اغصان معوّجه گردند. ملاحظه نمائید اگر امّهات مؤمناتند اطفال نیز مؤمن شوند ولو پدر منکر باشد و اگر امّهات منکرات باشند اطفال محروم از ایمانند ولو پدر در نهایت ایقان و اطمینان الّا ما ندر و الحکم علی الأغلب.

پس باید دختران صغیر را پدران و مادران کبیر نهایت مواظبت نمایند و در مکاتِب به واسطۀ استادهای ماهر زنانه تربیت تامّ نمایند تا به هر فنّی آشنا گردند و بر آن چه لزوم زندگانی انسان و سبب سعادت و آسایش دودمان است اطلاع یابند و پرورده گردند. لهذا محفل روحانی عشق‌آباد باید در این امر مهمّ سبقت گیرد تا به عون و عنایت حق تأسیسی نماید که سبب فلاح و نجاح ابدی است.

و علیکم البهاء الأبهی.

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