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

Work

All government employees, whether of high or low rank, should, with perfect integrity, probity and rectitude, content themselves with the modest stipends and allowances that are theirs.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 344)


BAHA‘O‘LLAH‘S solution of the social question provides for new laws, but the different social classes are preserved. An artisan remains an artisan; a merchant, a merchant; a banker, a banker; a ruler, a ruler; the different degrees must persist, so that each can render service to the community. Nevertheless, every one has the right to a happy, comfortable life. Work is to be provided for all and there will be no needy ones to be seen in the streets. The vocational labor adjustment provided by BAHA‘O‘LLAH precludes there being people too poor to have the necessaries of life on the one hand, nor the idle rich on the other.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 83-84)


Bahá’u’lláh enjoins work on all. No one need ever be ashamed of his job.
(Shoghi Effendi, Unfolding Destiny, p. 462).


[Bahá’u’lláh exalts] work, performed in the spirit of service, to the rank of worship.
(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 281-282)


Bahá’u’lláh has even said that occupation and labor are devotion. All humanity must obtain a livelihood by sweat of the brow and bodily exertion, at the same time seeking to lift the burden of others, striving to be the source of comfort to souls and facilitating the means of living. This in itself is devotion to God. Bahá’u’lláh has thereby encouraged action and stimulated service. But the energies of the heart must not be attached to these things; the soul must not be completely occupied with them. Though the mind is busy, the heart must be attracted toward the Kingdom of God in order that the virtues of humanity may be attained from every direction and source.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 186)



Concerning the means of livelihood, thou shouldst, while placing thy whole trust in God, engage in some occupation. He will assuredly send down upon thee from the heaven of His favour that which is destined for thee. He is in truth the God of might and power.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 267)


Concerning the retirement from work for individuals who have reached a certain age, Shoghi Effendi in a letter written on his behalf stated that “this is a matter on which the International House of Justice will have to legislate as there are no provisions in the Aqdas concerning it”.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 192)


Every Bahá’í has a duty to work and earn his living, and in choosing a career a Bahá’í should consider not only its earning capacity but also the benefit of the work to his fellowmen. All over the world Bahá’ís are rendering outstanding services in this way.
(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 513)


Every man of discernment, while walking upon the earth, feeleth indeed abashed, inasmuch as he is fully aware that the thing which is the source of his prosperity, his wealth, his might, his exaltation, his advancement and power is, as ordained by God, the very earth which is trodden beneath the feet of all men. There can be no doubt that whoever is cognizant of this truth, is cleansed and sanctified from all pride, arrogance, and vainglory.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 44)


Every person must have an occupation, a trade or a craft, so that he may carry other people’s burdens, and not himself be a burden to others.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 3)


However, one of the most important attributes for one who earns his living is to be content and resigned to whatever God has ordained for him. ‘The source of all good,’ Bahá’u’lláh states, ‘is trust in God, submission unto His command, and contentment in His holy will and pleasure.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 2, p. 281)


If a man is successful in his business, art, or profession he is thereby enabled to increase his physical wellbeing and to give his body the amount of ease and comfort in which it delights.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 62)


In one of His Tablets, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá states that “if a person is incapable of earning a living, is stricken by dire poverty or becometh helpless, then it is incumbent on the wealthy or the Deputies to provide him with a monthly allowance for his subsistence … By ‘Deputies’ is meant the representatives of the people, that is to say the members of the House of Justice.” (Bahá’u’lláh, Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Notes, p. 193).


In relation to your specific queries, the decision concerning the amount of time a mother may spend in working outside the home depends on circumstances existing within the home, which may vary from time to time. Family consultation will help to provide the answers.
(Universal House of Justice, Compilation on Women)


In the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, it is incumbent upon every soul to acquire a trade and an occupation. For example, I know how to weave or make a mat, and you know some other trade. This, in itself is an act of worship, provided that it is conducted on the basis of utmost honesty and faithfulness. And this is the cause of prosperity.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Star of the West, Vol. 19, No. 7, p. 219)


It is necessary for all to learn a craft, through which the people may earn their living. This commandment is universal.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 3)


It is the commandment of the Blessed Beauty, may my life be a sacrifice at His Threshold, that whosoever engageth in a craft, should endeavour to acquire in it utmost proficiency. Should he do so, that craft becometh a form of worship.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 3)


Let them be content with their wages, and seek distinction in truthfulness, straightforwardness, and the pursuit of virtue and excellence; for vanity in riches is worthy of none but the base, and pride in possessions beseemeth only the foolish.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 344)


Mothers can now be the primary agents for empowering individuals to transform society. They alone can inculcate in their children the self-esteem and respect for others essential for the advancement of civilization. It is clear, then, that the station of mothers, increasingly denigrated in many societies, is in reality of the greatest importance and highest merit.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1995 Aug 26, Girl Child A Critical Concern)


Perfection in worldly things is a joy to the body of a man but in no wise does it glorify his soul.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 62-63)


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)


Service to humanity is a primary motivation for those
employed by Bahá’í institutions. In addition, the attitude that work is a form of worship is one of Bahá’u’lláh’s
healing remedies for mankind which should permeate Bahá’í institutions.
(Universal House of Justice, Guidance for Bahá’í Radio, p. 14)


So far from acting thus, he should content himself with his salary and allowances, seek out the way of righteousness, and dedicate his life to the service of state and people. Such must be the conduct and bearing of the Bahá’ís. Whoso transgresseth these bounds shall fall at length into manifest loss.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 344)


The best of men are they that earn a livelihood by their calling and spend upon themselves and upon their kindred for the love of God, the Lord of all worlds.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Persian Hidden Words, 82)


The best of men are they that earn a livelihood by their
calling and spend upon themselves and upon their kindred for the love of God, the Lord of all worlds.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 2, p. 281)


The delicate balance between the claims of the Cause of God and the claims of one’s profession is an intensely personal matter which can only be resolved eventually in the heart and soul of each individual. Many Bahá’ís have become, and are, distinguished in their professions and at the same time have rendered and are rendering great services to the Cause and it is obviously possible to achieve distinction in one’s profession and calling and to serve the Cause of God at the same time. The House of Justice realizes, however that circumstances can conspire at critical times in the fortunes of the Faith, to require individuals to make the heart- searching decision of sacrificing one’s own prospect for the apparent good of the Cause. Here again, the history of the Cause provides many examples of believers who have willingly forgone promotion in, or even the continued practice of, their professions in order to meet the needs of the Faith. As in all difficult decisions facing individual officer, such as a Counsellor or Board member, or even one or two friends of his own choosing. Even then, however, the eventual decisions rests with the individual himself.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 31-32)


The most despised of men in the sight of God are those who sit idly and beg. Hold ye fast unto the cord of material means, placing your whole trust in God, the Provider of all means. When anyone occupieth himself in a craft or trade, such occupation itself is regarded in the estimation of God as an act of worship; and this is naught but a token of His infinite and all-pervasive bounty.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 26)


The work done by the individual in trade, craft, art or profession is the core of his life and not merely the source of his living. Work performed in the spirit of service can today be accounted as an act of worship. The obligation to work is essentially a moral obligation and one not discharged by possession of wealth.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1947 Feb, A Bahá’í Declaration of Human Obligations and Rights)


They should … content themselves with the salaries they are receiving, taking pride, rather, in the degree of sagacity, competence and judgement that they can bring to their work. If a person content himself with a single loaf of bread, and perform his duties with as much justice and fair-mindedness as lieth within his power, he will be the prince of mortals, and the most praiseworthy of men. Noble and distinguished will he be, despite his empty purse! Pre-eminent will he rank among the free, although his garb be old and worn!
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 343)


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.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 359-360)


Thou hast asked regarding the means of livelihood. Trust in God and engage in your work and practice economy; the confirmations of God shall descend and you will be enabled to pay off your debts. Be ye occupied always with the mention of Bahá’u’lláh and seek ye no other hope and desire save Him.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 375)


Thus the right to work, the right to contribute to society, takes on a spiritual dimension, and the responsibility to be productive applies to everyone. This attitude toward work profoundly influences the Bahá’í approach to social and economic development.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1993 Feb 12, Human Rights Extreme Poverty)


To engage in some profession is highly commendable, for when occupied with work one is less likely to dwell on the unpleasant aspects of life.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 175)


To the extent that work is consciously undertaken in a spirit of service to humanity, Bahá’u’lláh says, it is a form of prayer, a means of worshipping God.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1995 Mar 03, The Prosperity of Humankind)


True reliance is for the servant to pursue his profession and calling in this world, to hold fast unto the Lord, to seek naught but His grace, inasmuch as in His Hands is the destiny of all His servants.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 155)


We have enjoined upon all to become engaged in some trade or profession, and have accounted such occupation to be an act of worship. Before all else, however, thou shouldst receive, as a sign of God’s acceptance, the mantle of trustworthiness from the hands of divine favour; for trustworthiness is the chief means of attracting confirmation and prosperity.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 335)


With reference to Bahá’u’lláh’s command concerning the engagement of the believers in some sort of profession: the Teachings are most emphatic on this matter, particularly the statement in the Aqdas to this effect which makes it quite clear that idle people who lack the desire to work can have no place in the new World Order. As a corollary of this principle, Bahá’u’lláh further states that mendicity should not only be discouraged but entirely wiped out from the face of society. It is the duty of those who are in charge of the organization of society to give every individual the opportunity of acquiring the necessary talent in some kind of profession, and also the means of utilizing such a talent, both for its own sake and for the sake of earning the means of his livelihood. Every individual, no matter how handicapped and limited he may be, is under the obligation of engaging in some work or profession, for work, especially when performed in the spirit of service, is according to Bahá’u’lláh a form of worship. It has not only a utilitarian purpose, but has a value in itself, because it draws us nearer to God, and enables us to better grasp His purpose for us in this world. It is obvious, therefore, that the inheritance of wealth cannot make anyone immune from daily work.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 192)


With reference to Bahá’u’lláh’s command concerning the engagement of the believers in some sort of profession: the Teachings are most emphatic on this matter, particularly the statement in the Aqdas to this effect which makes it quite clear that idle people who lack the desire to work can have no place in the new World Order. As a corollary of this principle, Bahá’u’lláh further states that mendicity should not only be discouraged but entirely wiped out from the face of society. It is the duty of those who are in charge of the organization of society to give every individual the opportunity of acquiring the necessary talent in some kind of profession, and also the means of utilizing such a talent, both for its own sake and for the sake of earning the means of his livelihood. Every individual, no matter how handicapped and limited he may be, is under the obligation of engaging in some work or profession, for work, specially when performed in the spirit of service, is according to Bahá’u’lláh a form of worship. It has not only a utilitarian purpose, but has a value in itself, because it draws us nearer to God, and enables us to better grasp His purpose for us in this world. It is obvious, therefore, that the inheritance of wealth cannot make anyone immune from daily work.
(Shoghi Effendi, Principles of Bahá’í Administration, p. 12-13)


Ye are the trees of My garden; ye must give forth goodly and wondrous fruits, that ye yourselves and others may profit therefrom. Thus it is incumbent on every one to engage in crafts and professions, for therein lies the secret of wealth, O men of understanding! For results depend upon means, and
the grace of God shall be all-sufficient unto you. Trees that yield no fruit have been and will ever be for the fire.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 2, p. 281)


You ask about the admonition that everyone must work, and want to know if this means that you, a wife and mother, must work for a livelihood as your husband does… . You will see that the directive is for the friends to be engaged in an occupation which will be of benefit to mankind. Home-making is a highly honourable and responsible work of fundamental importance for mankind.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 625-626)


You should also endeavour to engage in some useful occupation, or by training yourself to have such an occupation, as work in itself another means at our disposal, in accordance with our Teachings, to draw nearer to God, and to better grasp His purpose for us in this world.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 282)