A Compilation from the Bahá'í Writings
By Bahá’u’lláh, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Compiled by Darren Hiebert
Revision: 11 July 1998
It behoveth the people of Bahá’, throughout these days [Ayyám-i-Há], to provide good cheer for themselves, their kindred and, beyond them, the poor and needy, and with joy and exultation to hail and glorify their Lord, to sing His praise and magnify His Name...
(Kitáb-i-Aqdas, paragraph 16, p. 25)
We have made it lawful for you to listen to music and singing. Take heed, however, lest listening thereto should cause you to overstep the bounds of propriety and dignity. Let your joy be the joy born of My Most Great Name, a Name that bringeth rapture to the heart, and filleth with ecstasy the minds of all who have drawn nigh unto God. We, verily, have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may be lifted up unto the realm on high; make it not, therefore, as wings to self and passion. Truly, We are loath to see you numbered with the foolish.
(Kitáb-i-Aqdas, paragraph 51, p. 38)
They who recite the verses of the All-Merciful in the most melodious of tones will perceive in them that with which the sovereignty of earth and heaven can never be compared.
(Kitáb-i-Aqdas, paragraph 116, p. 61)
Teach your children the verses revealed from the heaven of majesty and power, so that, in most melodious tones, they may recite the Tablets of the All-Merciful in the alcoves within the Mashriqu’l-Adhkárs. Whoever hath been transported by the rapture born of adoration for My Name, the Most Compassionate, will recite the verses of God in such wise as to captivate the hearts of those yet wrapped in slumber.
(Kitáb-i-Aqdas, paragraph 150, p. 74)
Thou beholdest, O my God, how every bone in my body soundeth like a pipe with the music of Thine inspiration, revealing the signs of Thy oneness and the clear tokens of Thy unity.
(Prayers and Meditations, p. 111)
Purge Thou mine ear, O my Lord, that I may hearken unto the verses sent down unto Thee, and illuminate my heart with the light of Thy knowledge, and loose my tongue that it may make mention of Thee and sing Thy praise.
(Prayers and Meditations, p. 142)
Intone, then, before the face of the peoples of earth and heaven, and in a most melodious voice, the anthem of praise, for a remembrance of Him Who is the King of the names and attributes of God.
(Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 283)
Intone, O My servant, the verses of God that have been received by thee, as intoned by them who have drawn nigh unto Him, that the sweetness of thy melody may kindle thine own soul, and attract the hearts of all men.
(Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 295)
Praise be to Thee for having enabled me to turn my face towards Thee, for having set my soul ablaze through remembrance of Thee, for having aided Me to proclaim Thy Name and to sing Thy praises.
(Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 310)
He [the wayfarer in the Valley of Unity] beholdeth in his own name the name of God; to him, “all songs are from the King,” [Mathnaví of Rúmí] and every melody from Him.
(The Seven Valleys, p. 18)
O My friend, listen with heart and soul to the songs of the spirit, and treasure them as thine own eyes.
(The Seven Valleys, p. 37)
Moreover We have repeatedly enabled thee to hearken unto the warblings of the birds of heaven and to incline thine ear to the songs of the nightingales pouring forth their melodies upon the branches.
(Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 197)
Thus should it be among the children of men! The diversity in the human family should be the cause of love and harmony, as it is in music where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord.
(Paris Talks, p. 53)
The art of music is divine and effective. It is the food of the soul and spirit. Through the power and charm of music the spirit of man is uplifted. It has wonderful sway and effect in the hearts of children, for their hearts are pure, and melodies have great influence in them. The latent talents with which the hearts of these children are endowed will find expression through the medium of music. Therefore, you must exert yourselves to make them proficient; teach them to sing with excellence and effect. It is incumbent upon each child to know something of music, for without knowledge of this art the melodies of instrument and voice cannot be rightly enjoyed. Likewise, it is necessary that the schools teach it in order that the souls and hearts of the pupils may become vivified and exhilarated and their lives be brightened with enjoyment.
(Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 52) His holy Tablets, [Bahá’u’lláh] specifically proclaimed that music, sung or played, is spiritual food for soul and heart.
The musician’s art is among those arts worthy of the highest praise, and it moveth the hearts of all who grieve. Wherefore, O thou Shahnáz, play and sing out the holy words of God with wondrous tones in the gatherings of the friends, that the listener may be freed from chains of care and sorrow, and his soul may leap for joy and humble itself in prayer to the realm of Glory.
(Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #74, pp. 118-119)
I hope that in the assemblies thou mayest sing praises with a sweet melody and thus become the cause of joy and gladness to all.
(Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #77, p. 120)
Endeavor your utmost to compose beautiful poems to be chanted with heavenly music; thus may their beauty affect the minds and impress the hearts of those who listen.
(Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 59)
They must conduct themselves(in these Feasts) with the greatest dignity and consideration, chant divine verses, peruse instructive articles, read the Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, encourage and inspire each other with love for the whole human race, invoke God with perfect joy and fragrance, sing the verses, glorifications and praises of the Self-subsistent Lord and deliver eloquent speeches.
(Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 468)
Thank thou God that that art instructed in music and melody, singing with pleasant voice the glorification and praise of the Eternal, the Living. I pray to God that thou mayest employ this talent in prayer and supplication, in order that the souls may become quickened, the hearts may become attracted and all may become inflamed with the fire of the love of God!
(Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 512)
For instance, a musical and melodious voice imparteth life to an attracted heart but lureth toward lust those souls who are engulfed in passion and desire.
(Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 687)