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Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era

  • Author:
  • J. E. Esslemont

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980 edition
  • Pages:
  • 286
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Pages 143-144

The Ethics of Wealth

According to the Bahá’í teachings, riches rightly acquired and rightly used are honorable and praiseworthy. Services rendered should be adequately rewarded. Bahá’u’lláh says in the Tablet of Tarazát:—“The people of Baha must not refuse to discharge the due reward of anyone, and must respect possessors of talent, … One must speak with justice and recognize the worth of benefits.” 144
With regard to interest on money, Bahá’u’lláh writes in the Tablet of Ishráqát as follows:—
Most of the people are found to be in need of this matter; for if no interest be allowed, affairs (business) will be trammeled and obstructed. … A person is rarely found who would lend money to anyone upon the principle of “Qar-i-hasan” (literally “good loan,” i.e. money advanced without interest and repaid at the pleasure of the borrower). Consequently, out of favor to the servants, We have appointed “profit on money” to be current, among other business transactions which are in force among people. That is … it is allowable, lawful and pure to charge interest on money … but this matter must be conducted with moderation and justice. The Pen of Glory has withheld itself from laying down its limits, as a Wisdom from His Presence and as a convenience for His servants. We exhort the friends of God to act with fairness and justice, and in such a way that the mercy of His beloved ones, and their compassion, may be manifested toward each other. …

The execution of these matters has been placed in charge of the men of the House of Justice, in order that they may act in accordance with the exigencies of the time and with wisdom.