Association for Bahá’í Studies Conference

Encouraging the arts during the ministry of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: the services of master calligrapher Mishkín-Qalam

How did ‘Abdu’l-Bahá promote the arts in the early years of His ministry? What kind of projects lent themselves to incorporating the arts? ‘Abdu’l-Bahá held the master calligrapher, titled Mishkín-Qalam, in the highest esteem. He was the first visual artist of note among the Eastern believers. In His book Memorials of the Faithful, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá praises both his artistic attainments and spiritual qualities. He involved Mishkín-Qalam in several of the most significant enterprises of His ministry, including the interment of the remains of the Báb and the construction of the first House of Worship, thus enabling the artist to advance and flourish in his chosen profession while serving the community.