Bahá’u’lláh tells us to care for the poor. To do this, we can look to the example of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, who served and took care of the poor all His life. We must also remember not to encourage mendicancy—that is, people whose profession is begging.
Prayers/readings for study
Let truthfulness and courtesy be your adorning. (Bahá’u’lláh)
Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá)
- Many stories of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá are very effective in conveying His kindness to the poor.
- Lua and the Sick Man. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá asks Lua Getsinger to take care of a sick man. Ruhi Book 3, Lesson 5.
“Know ye that the poor are the trust of God in your midst. Watch that ye betray not His trust, that ye deal not unjustly with them and that ye walk not in the ways of the treacherous. Ye will most certainly be called upon to answer for His trust on the day when the Balance of Justice shall be set, the day when unto everyone shall be rendered his due, when the doings of all men, be they rich or poor, shall be weighed.” (Bahá’u’lláh, Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 189)
“O SON OF MAN! Bestow My wealth upon My poor, that in heaven thou mayest draw from stores of unfading splendor and treasures of imperishable glory. But by My life! To offer up thy soul is a more glorious thing couldst thou but see with Mine eye.” (Bahá’u’lláh, Arabic Hidden Words, no.57)
“O SON OF MY HANDMAID! Be not troubled in poverty nor confident in riches, for poverty is followed by riches, and riches are followed by poverty. Yet to be poor in all save God is a wondrous gift, belittle not the value thereof, for in the end it will make thee rich in God, and thus thou shalt know the meaning of the utterance, “In truth ye are the poor,” and the holy words, “God is the all-possessing,” shall even as the true morn break forth gloriously resplendent upon the horizon of the lover’s heart, and abide secure on the throne of wealth.” (Bahá’u’lláh, Arabic Hidden Words, no.54)
Photo: Helping Hands, by Valerie Everett.