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.

  • Nooshfar Afnan

    Nooshfar Afnan has been writing about the Chinese contemporary art scene and beyond for various international art publications such as ArtAsiaPacific, ARTOMITY and frieze magazine since 2010. She has a master’s degree in art history from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada and has worked for various public and private art institutions in Canada. Together with her husband and their children, she has been living in Beijing since 2005.


45th Annual Conference

In the Footsteps of ʻAbdu’l-Bahá: Contributing to the Discourses of Our Time


The views expressed in this recording are those of the presenter and do not necessarily represent the views of the Association for Bahá’í Studies, nor the authoritative explications of Bahá’í writings.