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Synopsis And Codification Of The Laws And Ordinances Of The Kitab-i-aqdas


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56 To Engage In Some Occupation #33






It is obligatory for men and women to engage in a trade or profession.
Baha'u'llah exalts engagement in such work to the rank of worship of
God. The spiritual and practical significance of this law, and the mutual
responsibility of the individual and society for its implementation are
explained in a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi:


With reference to Baha'u'llah's command concerning the engagement
of the believers in some sort of profession: the Teachings are
most emphatic on this matter, particularly the statement in the
Aqdas to this effect which makes it quite clear that idle people
who lack the desire to work can have no place in the new World
Order. As a corollary of this principle, Baha'u'llah further
states that mendicity should not only be discouraged but entirely
wiped out from the face of society. It is the duty of those who
are in charge of the organization of society to give every
individual the opportunity of acquiring the necessary talent in
some kind of profession, and also the means of utilizing such a
talent, both for its own sake and for the sake of earning the
means of his livelihood. Every individual, no matter how
handicapped and limited he may be, is under the obligation of
engaging in some work or profession, for work, especially when
performed in the spirit of service, is according to Baha'u'llah a
form of worship. It has not only a utilitarian purpose, but has a
value in itself, because it draws us nearer to God, and enables us
to better grasp His purpose for us in this world. It is obvious,
therefore, that the inheritance of wealth cannot make anyone
immune from daily work.


In one of His Tablets, 'Abdu'l-Baha states that if a person is incapable
of earning a living, is stricken by dire poverty or becometh helpless,
then it is incumbent on the wealthy or the Deputies to provide him with a
monthly allowance for his subsistence.... By 'Deputies' is meant the
representatives of the people, that is to say the members of the House of
Justice. (See also note 162 on mendicancy.)

In response to a question concerning whether Baha'u'llah's injunction
requires a wife and mother, as well as her husband, to work for a
livelihood, the Universal House of Justice has explained that
Baha'u'llah's directive is for the friends to be engaged in an occupation
which will profit themselves and others, and that homemaking is a highly
honourable and responsible work of fundamental importance to society.

Concerning the retirement from work for individuals who have reached a
certain age, Shoghi Effendi in a letter written on his behalf stated that
this is a matter on which the International House of Justice will have to
legislate as there are no provisions in the Aqdas concerning it.





Next: 57 The Kissing Of Hands Hath Been Forbidden In The Book #34

Previous: 55 And From This He Hath Exempted Women As A Mercy On His Part #32



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