22. A brief enumeration of the basic crafts.



It 102 should be known that the crafts practiced by the human species are numerous, because so much labor is continually available in civilization. They are so numerous as to defy complete enumeration. However, some of them are necessary in civilization or occupy a noble (position) because of (their) object. We shall single these two kinds out for mention and leave all others.

Necessary (crafts) are agriculture, architecture, tailoring, carpentry, and weaving. Crafts noble because of (their) object are midwifery, the art of writing, book production, singing, and medicine.

Midwifery is something necessary in civilization and a matter of general concern, because it assures, as a rule, the life of the new-born child. The object of (midwifery) is new­born children and their mothers.

Medicine preserves the health of man and repels disease. It is a branch of physics. Its object is the human body.

The art of writing, and book production, which depends on it, preserve the things that are of concern to man and keep them from being forgotten. It enables the innermost thoughts of the soul to reach those who are far and absent.103 It perpetuates in books the results of thinking and scholarship. It makes four 104 out of the (three) orders of existence (as it constitutes a special order of existence) for ideas.

Singing is the harmony of sounds and the manifestation of their beauty to the ears.

All these three crafts call for contact with great rulers in their privacy and at their intimate parties. Thus, they have nobility that other (crafts) do not have. The other crafts are, as a rule, secondary and subordinate. (The attitude toward them, however,) differs according to the different purposes and requirements.

God is "the Creator, the Knowing One." 105