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

Poverty

According to what I have heard, thou hast experienced a great financial loss. Do not feel sorry, for thou wilt be compensated. I hope that whatever thou hast lost will come back to thee. But this material loss is not a very grave one; it is for a time and shall pass away. Alhamdallah! [Praise be to God!]—that thou hast a share in the Kingdom of God and art receiving gifts from the treasury of the Holy Spirit. Do not feel sorry; do not brood over the loss; do not sit down depressed; do not be silent; but, on the contrary, day and night be engaged in the commemoration of thy Lord in the greatest joy and gladness.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 132)


Bahá’u’lláh hath been made manifest to all mankind and He hath invited all to the table of God, the banquet of Divine bounty. Today, however, most of those who sit at that table are the poor, and this is why Christ hath said blessed are the poor, for riches do prevent the rich from entering the Kingdom.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 195)


Blessed is the lowly one who held to the rope of My might, and the poor who took shelter under the shade of the canopy of My wealth!
(Bahá’u’lláh, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 129)


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. 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. 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)


If thou art a believer, thy faith shall be sufficient for thee above all things that exist on earth, even though thou possess nothing.
(The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 123)


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. 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. Blessed are the learned that pride not themselves on their attainments; and well is it with the righteous that mock not the sinful, but rather conceal their misdeeds, so that their own shortcomings may remain veiled to men’s eyes.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 314-315)


In like manner, it is related that on a certain day, one of the companions of Sadiq complained of his poverty before him. Whereupon, Sadiq, that immortal beauty, made reply: “Verily thou art rich, and hast drunk the draught of wealth.” That poverty-stricken soul was perplexed at the words uttered by that luminous countenance, and said: “Where are my riches, I who stand in need of a single coin?” Sadiq thereupon observed: “Dost thou not possess our love?” He replied: “Yea, I possess it, O thou scion of the Prophet of God!” And Sadiq asked him saying: “Exchangest thou this love for one thousand dinars?” He answered: “Nay, never will I exchange it, though the world and all that is therein be given me!” Then Sadiq remarked: “How can he who possesses such a treasure be called poor?”
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Iqan, p. 131-132)


... Show the world that in spite of the utmost suffering, poverty, sickness, you have something which gives you comfort, strength and peace—that you are happy—serene—satisfied with all that is in your life.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Star of the West, Volume 9, p. 86)


Smallness of numbers, lack of skilled teachers, and modesty of means should not discourage or deter them. They must remember the glorious history of the Cause, which, both East and West, was established by dedicated souls who, for the most part, were neither rich, famous, nor well educated, but whose devotion, zeal and self-sacrifice overcame every obstacle and won miraculous victories for the Faith of God.... Let them dedicate themselves—young and old, men and women alike—and go forth and settle in new districts, travel, and teach in spite of lack of experience, and be assured that Bahá’u’lláh has promised to aid all those who arise in His Name. His strength will sustain them; their own weakness is unimportant.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 220)


The Spirit breathing through the Holy Scriptures is food for all who hunger. God Who has given the revelation to His Prophets will surely give of His abundance daily bread to all those who ask Him faithfully.” (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 57)


The eradication of poverty cannot be conceived in terms of improving the material wealth of the poor alone. It is a larger undertaking rooted in relationships that define the interactions between individuals, communities and nations and it is inextricably linked to the extremes of both poverty and wealth.
(Bahá’í International Community’s Oral Statement to the 50th Session of the Commission for Social Development)


The essence of wealth is love for Me; whoso loveth Me is the possessor of all things, and he that loveth Me not is indeed of the poor and needy. This is that which the Finger of Glory and Splendour hath revealed.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 156)


There were times when the Prophet [Mohammed] Himself had not a morsel of food in the house, and there were times when He had to pawn His armour.
(H.M. Balyuzi, Muhammad and the Course of Islam, p. 54)


This matter of teachers requires the greatest condition; that is, they should never stain themselves with the world, they should not look for the least pecuniary reward from any soul; nay, rather they should bear the utmost poverty and with the perfect wealth of nature [a state wherein man can dispense with things and be happy in their absence], through the bounty of God, may they associate with the people. They should seek no reward nor recompense. Freely have thy received, freely should they give. His Holiness Christ sayeth: “When ye leave the city, clean off from your shoes the dust thereof.” The holiness of the teachers must reach this degree. Thus may they utter with eloquence, while in ecstasy and great joy, and guide the people to the manifest light.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 359-360)


This poverty and these riches, this abasement and glory, this dominion, power, and the like, upon which the eyes and hearts of these vain and foolish souls are set,—all these things fade into utter nothingness in that Court! Even as He hath said: “O men! Ye are but paupers in need of God; but God is the Rich, the Self-Sufficing."[1] By ‘riches’ therefore is meant independence of all else but God, and by ‘poverty’ the lack of things that are of God.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Iqan, p. 131-132)