What is Equalization of the Means of Livelihood and Did the Founders of the Baha’i Creed Follow this principle?

The Equalization of the Means of Livelihood for All Humanity means that universal wealth must be distributed in such a way that all people—rich or poor—live in peace and tranquility.

Did the Founders of the Baha’i Creed Follow this principle?

1- Confiscating the wealth of all non-Bābīs:

Bab had given orders to confiscate the wealth of all who didn’t believe in him:

“The fifth chapter of the fifth unit which is about the decree of taking the property of those who do not believe in [the religion] of Bayan and giving it back if they become believers in this religion, except in the lands where taking [property] is not possible.”

Reference: The Bāb, Farsi Bayān, unit 5, chap. 5.

2- All kinds of outrageous fines for Bābīs

In the book of Bayān, for every misdemeanor committed, an outrageous fine has to be paid to the Bāb. For instance:

“You have been prohibited in the Bayān from having more than nineteen books. If you do so, you will be fined 19 mithqāls of gold.”

Reference: The Bāb, Arabic Bayān, unit 11, chap. 7.

“He who deliberately saddens another [follower of the Bāb], must pay a fine of nineteen mithqāls of gold, or else silver, or else must repent to God nineteen times.”

Reference: The Bāb, Farsi Bayān, unit 7, chap. 18.

“It has been destined in the sixth chapter to remember God’s Oneness nineteen times [every day] from the beginning of night to the end of day. If you do not perform this [deliberately] after you have been informed, a fine of 19 mithqāls of fine diamonds will be imposed.”

Reference: The Bāb, Lauḥ haykal al-dīn, chap. 6, p. 3.

After the aforementioned decree, he continues to order the remembrance of himself, and other figures every day for nineteen times and imposes the following fines if such an act is not performed: nineteen mithqāls of gold, five mithqāls of red rubies, and five mithqāls of yellow rubies. The Bab’s writings are replete with fines of this form.

3- Loans with Interest and Usury

Usury has been prohibited in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam:

“If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest.”

Reference: Exodus, 22:25

“Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit.”

Reference: Leviticus, 25:36–37

“And for taking interest, which was forbidden, and for consuming the people’s money unjustly, we have prepared for the disbelievers among them a painful retribution.”

Reference: Quran 4:161

Now let us see what Mr. Bahā’u’llāh says:

“We see many people who are in need of [these kinds of loans]. If there is no profit [in the loan] the affairs will not move forward. It is very rare that someone becomes successful in tolerating and heeding someone who is the same gender as himself, his countryman, or brethren, and gives them a loan without interest. So, as a favor to [God’s] servants, we made loans with interest like all other forms of deals which people make with each-other. The profit gained [by lending] money, is now permissible, pure, and clean, because this order has been revealed from the Sky of Ordinance, so that the people of earth can be engrossed in remembering/speaking about the Beloved of the World, with utmost peace, tranquility, happiness, and pleasure.”

Reference: `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Ganjīniy-i ḥudūd wa aḥkām, chap. 24, p. 202.

Bahā’u’llāh’s justification for allowing interest is “If there is no profit [in the loan] the affairs will not move forward.” Didn’t God know this when He prohibited this act in all other religions?

He further claims that lending with interest is a favor from God so that people would become engrossed in remembering him with peace and tranquility. The only thing that is clear is having a loan with interest neither brings peace nor tranquility.

Abdul Baha says:

“From now on do not give loans with interest to anyone because `Abdu’l-Bahā dislikes interest even though it is legitimate. Only give [loans] without interest and take no loan with interest from anybody.”

Reference: `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Ganjīniy-i ḥudūd wa aḥkām, chap. 24, p. 204.

Again, there is a clear contradiction between Bahā’u’llāh and his son. It is not clear why `Abdu’l-Bahā, who is only allowed to interpret Bahā’u’llāh’s laws, directly orders his followers to disobey his father’s orders and deprives them of the “favor to [God’s] servants.”

Courtesy: Twelve Principles – A Comprehensive Investigation on the Bahai Teachings


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