Selections From the Writings of `Abdu'l-Bahá
95: O handmaids of the Lord! The spiritual assemblage ...
O handmaids of the Lord! The spiritual assemblage that ye established in that illumined city is most propitious.
Ye have made great strides; ye have surpassed the others,
have arisen to serve the Holy Threshold, and have won
heavenly bestowals. Now with all spiritual zeal must ye
gather in that enlightened assemblage and recite the Holy
Writings and engage in remembering the Lord. Set ye
forth His arguments and proofs. Work ye for the guidance
of the women in that land, teach the young girls and the
children, so that the mothers may educate their little ones
from their earliest days, thoroughly train them, rear them to
have a goodly character and good morals, guide them to all
the virtues of humankind, prevent the development of any
behaviour that would be worthy of blame, and foster them
in the embrace of Bahá'í education. Thus shall these tender
infants be nurtured at the breast of the knowledge of God
and His love. Thus shall they grow and flourish, and be
taught righteousness and the dignity of humankind, resolution
and the will to strive and to endure. Thus shall they
learn perseverance in all things, the will to advance, high
mindedness and high resolve, chastity and purity of life.
Thus shall they be enabled to carry to a successful conclusion
whatsoever they undertake.
Let the mothers consider that whatever concerneth the
education of children is of the first importance. Let them
put forth every effort in this regard, for when the bough is
green and tender it will grow in whatever way ye train it.
Therefore is it incumbent upon the mothers to rear their
little ones even as a gardener tendeth his young plants. Let
them strive by day and by night to establish within their
children faith and certitude, the fear of God, the love of the
Beloved of the worlds, and all good qualities and traits.
Whensoever a mother seeth that her child hath done well,
let her praise and applaud him and cheer his heart; and if the
slightest undesirable trait should manifest itself, let her
counsel the child and punish him, and use means based on
reason, even a slight verbal chastisement should this be
necessary. It is not, however, permissible to strike a child, or
vilify him, for the child's character will be totally perverted
if he be subjected to blows or verbal abuse.