One of the goals of life for Baha’is is to become detached. The idea of detachment for Baha’is does not mean that they give up all possessions and retreat from the world. Baha’u’llah wrote, “Seclude not yourselves in your churches and cloisters. Come ye out of them by My leave, and busy, then, yourselves with what will profit you and others.” (SLH, p. 69). Baha’u’llah clearly called humanity to work in this world to help make it a better place.
Baha’is believe that detachment is a state of mind, not a condition of the material world. As a Baha’i, money is earned as a means to an end; it is a way to effect change—but the accumulation of treasure purely for personal aggrandizement is prohibited. Money is seen as a very dangerous temptation, and Baha’is know that to be wealthy can be a difficult test for many people. As Baha’u’llah wrote, “O ye that pride yourselves on mortal riches! Know ye in truth that wealth is a mighty barrier between the seeker and his desire, the lover and his beloved. The rich, but for a few, shall in no wise attain the court of His presence nor enter the city of content and resignation. Well is it then with him, who, being rich, is not hindered by his riches from the eternal kingdom, nor deprived by them of imperishable dominion. By the Most Great Name! The splendor of such a wealthy man shall illuminate the dwellers of heaven even as the sun enlightens the people of the earth!” (HW).