What is the Baha’i perspective on money and wealth?

“Man’s merit lieth in service and virtue and not in the pageantry of wealth and riches.” ~ Baha’u’llah

As Baha’is, making money is not forbidden, they are just warned not be attached to their wealth. The writings of the Faith clearly state that a man’s true worth is not found in his pocketbook, as Baha’u’llah wrote, “Man’s merit lieth in service and virtue and not in the pageantry of wealth and riches.” (TB p. 138).  Wealth is not a measure of a successful life, but it does have a benefit to humanity when it falls into the hands of those who would use it for good. As the writings state, “Wealth is most commendable, provided the entire population is wealthy. If, however, a few have inordinate riches while the rest are impoverished, and no fruit or benefit accrues from that wealth, then it is only a liability to its possessor. If, on the other hand, it is expended for the promotion of knowledge, the founding of elementary and other schools, the encouragement of art and industry, the training of orphans and the poor — in brief, if it is dedicated to the welfare of society — its possessor will stand out before God and man as the most excellent of all who live on earth and will be accounted as one of the people of paradise.” (Abdu’l-Bahá, SDC, p. 24).

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