Right of God

As to the Huququ'lláh: This is the source of blessings, and the mainspring of God's loving-kindness and tender love vouchsafed unto men.

Bahá'u'lláh, from a previously untranslated Tablet.

Beseech ye God that He may enable everyone to discharge the obligation of Huquq, inasmuch as the progress and promotion of the Cause of God depend on material means. If His faithful servants could realize how meritorious are benevolent deeds in these days, they would all arise to do that which is meet and seemly.

Bahá’u’lláh, Huqúqu’lláh, #1

If one spontaneously offereth Huquq with the utmost joy and radiance it will be acceptable, and not otherwise. The benefit of such deeds reverteth unto the individuals themselves.

Baha’u’llah, The Compilation of Compilation, vol. I, Huqúqu'lláh

If one spontaneously offereth Huquq with the utmost joy and radiance it will be acceptable, and not otherwise. The benefit of such deeds reverteth unto the individuals themselves. This measure hath been ordained in view of the necessity for material means, for "averse is God from putting aught into effect except through its means."

Bahá’u’lláh, Huqúqu’lláh, #27

It is clear and evident that the payment of the Right of God is conducive to prosperity, to blessing, and to honour and Divine protection. Well is it with them that comprehend and recognize this truth and woe betide them that believe not.

Bahá’u’lláh, Lights of Guidance, p. 304

Nothing that existeth in the world of being hath ever been or ever will be worthy of mention. However, if a person be graciously favoured to offer a penny-worth -- nay even less -- in the path of God, this would in His sight be preferable and superior to all the treasures of the earth. It is for this reason that the one true God -- exalted be His glory -- hath in all His heavenly Scriptures praised those who observe His precepts and bestow their wealth for His sake.

Bahá’u’lláh, Huqúqu’lláh, #1

Render thou thanks unto God, for He hath graciously enabled thee to observe the injunction set forth in His Most Holy Book, inasmuch as thou hast arisen to fulfil the obligation of Huqúq, and God hath accepted thy goodly deed. Know thou, moreover, that those who faithfully serve the All-Merciful will be enriched by Him out of His heavenly treasury.

Bahá’u’lláh, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 513

To demand the Huqúq is in no wise permissible. This command was revealed in the Book of God for various necessary matters ordained by God to be dependent upon material means. Therefore, if someone, with utmost pleasure and gladness, nay with insistence, wisheth to partake of this blessing, thou mayest accept. Otherwise, acceptance is not permissible.

Bahá’u’lláh, Huqúqu’lláh, #9

I entreat Thee by the transcendent glory of Thy Cause and the supreme potency of Thy Word to grant confirmation unto him who desireth to offer what Thou hast prescribed unto him in Thy Book and to observe that which will shed forth the fragrance of Thine acceptance. Verily Thou art the All-Mighty, the All-Gracious, the All-Forgiving, the All-Generous.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Huqúqu’lláh, 60

Thou hast asked about material means and prayer. Prayer is like the spirit and material means are like the human hand. The spirit operateth through the instrumentality of the hand. Although the one true God is the All-Provider, it is the earth which is the means to supply sustenance. "The heaven hath sustenance for you" but when sustenance is decreed it becometh available, whatever the means may be. When man refuseth to use material means, he is like a thirsty one who seeketh to quench his thirst through means other than water or other liquids. The Almighty Lord is the provider of water, and its maker, and hath decreed that it be used to quench man's thirst, but its use is dependent upon His Will. If it should not be in conformity with His Will, man is afflicted with a thirst which the oceans cannot quench.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, translated from Persian Tablet, Compilation of Compilations, vol II, p. 23

As you are aware, the obligation of believers to pay ?uqúqu’lláh is set out in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, and it is offered to the Head of the Faith, now the House of Justice. Disbursement of these funds is decided by the House of Justice and is presently directed to the vital task of raising the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, which is the essential prerequisite for the enduring resolution of the afflictions humanity is now experiencing. The House of Justice ensures that detailed accounts of ?uqúqu’lláh income and expenditures are maintained by the International Board of Trustees of ?uqúqu’lláh and its Office of ?uqúqu’lláh in the Holy Land. It monitors the functioning of the Institution of ?uqúqu’lláh and is well satisfied that matters are being handled with the highest level of integrity. Such an assurance from the House of Justice is, of course, sufficient for members of the Bahá’í community. At this time the House of Justice sees no need to present information on ?uqúqu’lláh accounts to external audiences; if a situation arises in the future where there is public controversy over this issue, it will take whatever action it deems appropriate at that time.

Universal House of Justice, 25 July 2006, to an individual believer

In light of this, it is certainly advisable for a believer to make the necessary arrangements for payment of Huququ’lláh prior to his or her death, in order to avoid complications or confusions which could arise. It should be noted that the question of a legal wording to include provision in a will for the payment of Huququ’lláh after a believer has died is dependent upon so many factors, that it would be preferable to seek legal advice so that wording which is appropriate and in accordance with the laws governing inheritance can be used. Obviously, unless the believer leaves a clear accounting of his or her property and payment of Huququ’lláh to date, if any, it will not be possible for anyone to calculate accurately what remains to be paid at the time of death. While the application of the principles involved in payment of Huququ’lláh may well require subsidiary legislation by the House of Justice in the future, at the present time it falls to the executor or administrator of an estate to apply them to the extent possible, using his or her best judgment and taking into account the information available. Finally, while the payment of Huququ’lláh is each individual's own responsibility, a believer may be referred to the nearest Representative of the Trustee of Huququ’lláh, who could advise him or her in the light of any specific circumstances.

Universal House of Justice, to an individual, 1 July 1996

In one of His Tablets Bahá’u’lláh refers to this Law as ranking in importance immediately after the two great obligations of recognition of God and steadfastness in His Cause, and yet the introduction and implementation of this Law are characterized by kindness, forgiveness, tolerance and magnanimity. Although it deals with the material things of this world, it is placed among those spiritual obligations resting on the individual soul, such as prayer and fasting, the fulfillment of which is a direct responsibility of each believer towards God, not subject to the sanctions or impositions of His institutions in this world. It is, indeed, a clear expression of the priorities with which Bahá’u’lláh views the duties of mankind. First comes the spiritual, and then the material-however important in practice the latter may be.

Universal House of Justice, A Wider Horizon, Selected Letters 1983-1992, p. 171

It seems fitting, then, that the sacred law [the Law of Huququ'lláh, the Right of God] which enables each one to express his or her personal sense of devotion to God in a profoundly private act of conscience that promotes the common good, which directly connects the individual believer with the Central Institution of the Faith, and which, above all, ensures to the obedient and the sincere the ineffable grace and abundant blessings of Providence, should, at this favorable juncture, be embraced by all who profess their belief in the Supreme Manifestation of God.

The Universal House of Justice, A Wider Horizon, Selected Letters 1983-1992, p. 91

We agree that Bahá’í children should be taught from an early age to contribute to the funds of the faith and that, when they do so, there is no objection to their contribution to Huqúqu'lláh. However, we feel that it is going too far to encourage them to pay Huqúqu'lláh from their allowances, since this can confuse them in their understanding of the Right of God. The law of Huqúqu'lláh should certainly be taught in children's classes and the children should learn that the payment of Huqúqu'lláh is one of the responsibilities of maturity that comes to them at the age of 15.

Universal House of Justice to the trustee of Huqúqu'lláh, Dr. Ali-Muhammad Varqá, 28 June 1993

Your understanding that the obligation to pay Huququ'llah arises during one's lifetime and is normally to be carried out with lifetime giving is correct, although at the same time it is true that there may be cases where a believer dies without having made provision in his or her will for payment of the unpaid portion of Huququ'llah, if any. The event of death does not remove from a believer the obligation to pay Huququ'llah. Whatever portion is due to be paid is therefore a debt due from the believer's estate at the time of his or her death. The cost of the funeral and burial, the payment of the debts of the deceased, and the payment of whatever portion of Huququ'llah remains due are prior charges on the estate which must be met before arriving at the amount of the property which has to be divided in accordance with the provisions of the law of inheritance. Thus, whether or not a person makes a will or, having made a will, whether he or she makes provision in it for the payment of Huququ'llah, the Huququ'llah should be paid, like all debts, before the rest of the state is divided.

Universal House of Justice, to an individual, 1 July 1996

Should anyone offer Huqúq with utmost joy and radiance, manifesting a spirit of resignation and content, his offering shall be acceptable before God.

Compilations, Huqúqu’lláh, #40

The concept that a portion of one's possessions is the right of God and belongs to Him may be appreciated by observing nature and examining certain physical laws. It has already been stated that the laws which exist in the physical world are also present in the spiritual worlds of God, and that religious teachings are the spiritual counterparts of physical laws. For instance, we may observe that the law of Huququ'lláh finds its parallel in the vegetable kingdom. We observe that the blossoms, the flowers and the fruits do not originate from the tree. They are the hidden properties of the soil. The tree brings out all these potentialities which the earth possesses. The earth is the producer of everything and the entire substance of the tree comes from it. The earth produces the root, the trunk, the branches, the leaves and the fruits. It also provides all the nourishment for its growth and fruition. Having established the fact that the tree owes its existence to the creative power of the earth, we note that each year the tree sheds it leaves upon the earth. It gives back to its creator, as a matter of course, a portion of its wealth. The fallen leaves do not benefit the earth. They act as a fertilizer and therefore their benefit reverts to the tree itself. This physical process is similar to the law of Huququ'lláh, and, as Bahá’u’lláh has stated, 'the benefit of such deeds [payment of the Huquq] reverteth unto the individuals themselves'.

Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 4, p. 254-255

The efforts of enemies of the Cause to undermine the friends’ faith is continually seen in new forms, and, in recent days, reports have reached us that Bahá’ís in many parts of the country are receiving email messages purporting to present certain “facts” about the law of Huqúqu'lláh—the Right of God. Be aware that this email campaign is utterly false and misleading and does not proceed from any of the Faith’s legitimate institutions. Should you receive such a message, we advise you to simply delete it from your email inbox and certainly not open any attachments or links that may have accompanied it.

NSA of the USA, to the American Bahá’í community January 27, 2015