Education is of three kinds: material, human, and spiritual. Material education aims at the growth and development of the body, and consists in securing its sustenance and obtaining the means of its ease and comfort. This education is common to both man and animal. Human education, however, consists in civilization and progress, that is, sound governance, social order, human welfare, commerce and industry, arts and sciences, momentous discoveries, and great undertakings, which are the central features distinguishing man from the animal. As to divine education, it is the education of the Kingdom and consists in acquiring divine perfections. This is indeed true education, for by its virtue man becomes the focal centre of divine blessings and the embodiment of the verse “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness” [Genesis 1:26]. This is the ultimate goal of the world of humanity.


تربيت بر سه قسم است: تربيتِ جسمانی ، تربيتِ انسانی ، و تربيتِ روحانی. امّا تربيتِ جسمانی به جهتِ نشو و نمایِ اين جسم است و آن تسهيلِ معيشت و تحصيلِ اسبابِ راحت و رفاهيّت است که حيوان با انسان در آن مشترکند. و امّا تربيتِ انسانی عبارت از مدنيّت است و ترقّی يعنی سياست و انتظام و سعادت و تجارت و صنعت و علوم و فنون و اکتشافاتِ عظيمه و مشروعاتِ جسيمه که مدارِ امتيازِ انسان از حيوان است. و امّا تربيتِ الهيّه تربيتِ ملکوتيست و آن اکتساباتِ کمالاتِ الهيّه است و تربيتِ حقيقی آنست زيرا در اين مقام انسان مرکزِ سنوحاتِ رحمانيّه گردد و مظهرِ (نَعْمَلَنَّ اِنْسَاناً عَلَی صُورَتِناَ وَ مِثَالِنَا) [تورات، کتاب پیدایش، فصل ۱، آیۀ ۲۶] شود و آن نتيجۀ عالم انسانی است

حضرت عبدالبهاء

This is a passage from Some Answered Questions, a collection of table talks given by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in ‘Akká from 1904 to 1906 and compiled by Laura Dreyfus-Barney, an American Bahá’í resident in Paris. An interesting thing to note is a mixture of two languages toward the end of this selection, where ‘Abdu’l-Bahá quotes from the Arabic translation of Genesis 1:26 in the middle of a Persian sentence. The word used and translated repeatedly as “education” in this excerpt, tarbíyat, may be familiar to those who have read about the Tarbíyat-i-Banát, a girls’ school established in Ṭihrán in 1911 which came to be so recognized for the caliber of its instructors and curriculum that it attracted children beyond just Bahá’í families.

Original Sources

  • The source for the original Persian text can be found here
  • The source for the English translation can be found here

Further References