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Bahá'í Faith and education

The theme of education in the Bahá'í Faith is given emphasis. Its literature gives a principle of universal and compulsory education, which is identified as one of key principles alongside monotheism and the unity of humanity.

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We have always needed guidance in order to understand our purpose, our direction, and our nature as human beings. Due to our inherent nature of being imperfect, humans are not able to discover such things as mentioned above. Inevitably, if we need an instructor to educate children, junior youth, youth, and even adults; then if we are thinking in terms of culture and lifestyle in the social realm of existence, then we need a kind of educator that has innate knowledge of all things. If we look to the time that prophet Muhammad revealed Himself, we learn that people were barbarous, uneducated, worshiped idols, and disunited, hence they needed the power and potency only from One such as Muhammad can diffuse in that culture and life His time. After His ministry, it became clear that through the influence of Muhammad's teachings and instructions, that old way of life changed, also it brought people closer to Whom they intended to worship, and the Prophet cause all aspects of art, science, math and literacy to advance. This is what all the Prophets have done in the world throughout the ages and centuries, if we but strive to comprehend with keen insight. Today, the Manifestation of God (Who acts as a mirror reflecting the light and will of God) is Baha’u’llah. His teachings are a culmination, not the end, of all the prophecies of the past faiths. An urgent need for today is unity of the world, and this is possible through the guidance of the teachings of Baha’u’llah for today. Of course, Baha’u’llah has brought us so many teachings to guide humanity in our ultimate purpose of contributing to an ever-advancing civilization. It is common today for people to not want to talk about a subject such as this. Because it known to be controversial, religion has become corrupted from what it really was intended to accomplish. Such complications were raised due to the people in power manipulating the massed to believe a certain way about the scripture of their faith, otherwise they would be in danger of converting to another religion if they were seeking without bias. Also, if this was allowed then the people in power [priests, rulers, etc.] would lose their position. But, the teachings of Baha’u’llah say that we must seek the truth with our own sight and understanding. Also, He teaches that all of the major religions of the world are directed by one God, and no other God but Him. He hath been and will always be. The growth of the world has been possible through the Influence of His all persuasive might and majesty, of wisdom and understanding. Therefore, if I am a true believer then I will not favor one religion from another because they are all connected. The problems arise due to those people who are power thirsty and manipulate the people in the ways of their whimsical desire and appetites. In sum, the purpose of mentioning all of this is to impress upon the people that we should strive to not go with this stream of suspicion, fear, and apathy when dealing with such topics. Religion is not for war and disunity; it is in fact for the opposite. That we all need to turn to the teachings of our current Manifestation, for understand what we must do for this time of our life. If we are supposed to advance civilization then we need to deepen our understanding through the teachings of Baha’u’llah and not divorcing other teachings from other religions, because it has to be in perspective. Eventually, we will all witness the power of unity in the world and what it is capable of achieving, but not until we all truly desire to know how to do it, since it is the responsibility of all the peoples.

Contributed by Sarv Mithaqiyan

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