A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Poor

Do not grieve, dear brother, for being poor, for you are rich instead in faith and in spirit. This is a divine wealth for which the richest of the world will crave for in vain. True we must work hard, earn money and keep our family in happiness and prosperity, but we must always realize that our lives must be devoted to things higher and more sublime. We must remember what great souls, whose lives still inspire hundreds and thousands, were of the poorest in the world.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 124)


Even this earth’s happiness does not depend upon wealth. You will find many of the wealthy exposed to dangers and troubled by difficulties, and in their last moments upon the bed of death there remains the regret that they must be separated from that to which their hearts are so attached. They come into this world naked, and they must go from it naked. All they possess they must leave behind and pass away solitary, alone. Often at the time of death their souls are filled with remorse; and worst of all, their hope in the mercy of God is less than ours. Praise be to God!
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 33)


Fear the sighs of the poor and of the upright in heart who, at every break of day, bewail their plight, and be unto them a benignant sovereign. They, verily, are thy treasures on earth. It behoveth thee, therefore, to safeguard thy treasures from the assaults of them who wish to rob thee. Inquire into their affairs, and ascertain, every year, nay every month, their condition, and be not of them that are careless of their duty.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 50-51)


God has not said that there are mansions prepared for us if we pass our time associating with the rich, but He has said there are many mansions prepared for the servants of the poor, for the poor are very dear to God. The mercies and bounties of God are with them.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 33)


He admonished all that we must be the servants of the poor, helpers of the poor, remember the sorrows of the poor, associate with them; for thereby we may inherit the Kingdom of heaven.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 33)


If ye meet the abased or the down-trodden, turn not away disdainfully from them, for the King of Glory ever watcheth over them and surroundeth them with such tenderness as none can fathom except them that have suffered their wishes and desires to be merged in the Will of your Lord, the Gracious, the All-Wise.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 314-315)


In the course of one of His talks to His companions ‘Abdu’l-Bahá states that a poor man who is patient and forbearing is better than a rich man who is thankful. However, a poor man who is thankful is more praiseworthy than the one who is patient, while more meritorious than all is the rich man who expends his wealth for others.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 2, p. 281)


Jesus Himself was poor. He did not belong to the rich. He passed His time in the desert, traveling among the poor, and lived upon the herbs of the field. He had no place to lay His head, no home. He was exposed in the open to heat, cold and frost—to inclement weather of all kinds—yet He chose this rather than riches. If riches were considered a glory, the Prophet Moses would have chosen them; Jesus would have been a rich man.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 33)


O ye rich ones of the earth! Flee not from the face of the poor that lieth in the dust, nay rather befriend him and suffer him to recount the tale of the woes with which God’s inscrutable Decree hath caused him to be afflicted. By the righteousness of God! Whilst ye consort with him, the Concourse on high will be looking upon you, will be interceding for you, will be extolling your names and glorifying your action.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 314-315)


Please God, the poor may exert themselves and strive to earn the means of livelihood. This is a duty which, in this most great Revelation, hath been prescribed unto every one, and is accounted in the sight of God as a goodly deed. Whoso observeth this duty, the help of the invisible One shall most certainly aid him. He can enrich, through His grace, whomsoever He pleaseth. He, verily, hath power over all things....
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 202-203)


Praise be to God! Our hope is in the mercy of God, and there is no doubt that the divine compassion is bestowed upon the poor. Jesus Christ said so; Bahá’u’lláh said so.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 33)


Regarding your question concerning helping the poor: The Bahá’ís should not go so far as to refrain from extending charity to the needy, if they are able and willing to do so. However, in this, as in many other things, they should exert moderation. The greatest gift that we can give to the poor and the down-trodden is to aid to build up the divine institutions inaugurated in this day by Bahá’u’lláh as these institution, and this World Order when established, will eliminate the causes of poverty and the injustices which afflict the poor. We should, therefore, do both, support our Bahá’í Fund, and also be kind and generous to the needy.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 124-125)


So, my comrades, you are following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. Your lives are similar to His life; your attitude is like unto His; you resemble Him more than the rich do. Therefore, we will thank God that we have been so blessed with real riches.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 34)


The rich are mostly negligent, inattentive, steeped in worldliness, depending upon their means, whereas the poor are dependent upon God, and their reliance is upon Him, not upon themselves. Therefore, the poor are nearer the threshold of God and His throne.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 33)


They who are possessed of riches, however, must have the utmost regard for the poor, for great is the honor destined by God for those poor who are steadfast in patience. By My life! There is no honor, except what God may please to bestow, that can compare to this honor. Great is the blessedness awaiting the poor that endure patiently and conceal their sufferings, and well is it with the rich who bestow their riches on the needy and prefer them before themselves.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 202)


We know that to help the poor and to be merciful is good and pleases God, but knowledge alone does not feed the starving man, nor can the poor be warmed by knowledge or words in the bitter winter; we must give the practical help of Loving-kindness.’ (‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London p 60)


What could be better before God than thinking of the poor? For the poor are beloved by our heavenly Father. When His Holiness Christ came upon the earth those who believed in him and followed him were the poor and lowly, showing the poor were near to God.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity, p. 36)


When Jesus Christ appeared, it was the poor who first accepted Him, not the rich. Therefore, you are the disciples of Jesus Christ; you are His comrades, for He outwardly was poor, not rich.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 33)


While Bahá’u’lláh was in Baghdad, still in possession of great wealth, He left all He had and went alone from the city, living two years among the poor. They were His comrades. He ate with them, slept with them and gloried in being one of them. He chose for one of His names the title of The Poor One and often in His Writings refers to Himself as Darvish, which in Persian means poor; and of this title He was very proud.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 33)


You must be thankful to God that you are poor, for Jesus Christ has said, “Blessed are the poor.” He never said, “Blessed are the rich.” He said, too, that the Kingdom is for the poor and that it is easier for a camel to enter a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter God’s Kingdom. Therefore, you must be thankful to God that although in this world you are indigent, yet the treasures of God are within your reach; and although in the material realm you are poor, yet in the Kingdom of God you are precious.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 32-33)


… there is no doubt that the divine compassion is bestowed upon the poor.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 33)