The Station of Work is Exalted
"Work done in the spirit of service is the highest form of worship...."
('Abdu'l-Baha on Divine Philosophy, p. 83; also, Education, Page: 313)
"O people of Baha! It is incumbent upon each one of you to engage in some occupation - such as a craft, a trade or the like. We have exalted your engagement in such work to the rank of worship of the one true God. Reflect, O people, on the grace and blessings of your Lord, and yield Him thanks at eventide and dawn. Waste not your hours in idleness and sloth, but occupy yourselves with what will profit you and others. Thus hath it been decreed in this Tablet from whose horizon hath shone the day-star of wisdom and utterance. The most despised of men in the sight of God are they who sit and beg. Hold ye fast unto the cord of means and place your trust in God, the Provider of all means." (Baha'u'llah: The Kitab-i-Aqdas, Page: 30)
"The twelfth Glad-Tidings
. . . When anyone occupieth himself in a craft or trade, such occupation itself is regarded in the estimation of God as an act of worship; and this is naught but a token of His infinite and all-pervasive bounty."
(Baha'u'llah: Tablets of Baha'u'llah, Page: 26)
"True reliance is for the servant to pursue his profession and calling in this world, to hold fast unto the Lord, to seek naught but His grace, inasmuch as in His Hands is the destiny of all His servants."
(Baha'u'llah: Tablets of Baha'u'llah, Page: 155)
"It was in the course of these epoch-making journeys and before large and representative audiences, at times exceeding a thousand people, that Abdu'l-Baha expounded, with brilliant simplicity, with persuasiveness and force, and for the first time in His ministry, those basic and distinguishing principles of His Father's Faith, which together with the laws and ordinances revealed in the Kitab-i-Aqdas constitute the bed-rock of God's latest Revelation to mankind. The independent search after truth, unfettered by superstition or tradition; the oneness of the entire human race, the pivotal principle and fundamental doctrine of the Faith; the basic unity of all religions; the condemnation of all forms of prejudice, whether religious, racial, class or national; the harmony which must exist between religion and science; the equality of men and women, the two wings on which the bird of human kind is able to soar; the introduction of compulsory education; the adoption of a universal auxiliary language; the abolition of the extremes of wealth and poverty; the institution of a world tribunal for the adjudication of disputes between nations; the exaltation of work, performed in the spirit of service, to the rank of worship; the glorification of justice as the ruling principle in human society, and of religion as a bulwark for the protection of all peoples and nations; and the establishment of a permanent and universal peace as the supreme goal of all mankind -- these stand out as the essential elements of that Divine polity which He proclaimed to leaders of public thought as well as to the masses at large in the course of these missionary journeys."
(Shoghi Effendi: God Passes By, Pages: 281-282)
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: (Aqdas Notes: p. 192)
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
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.
(Aqdas Notes: p. 192)