Business

Nabil of Qa‘in’s means of livelihood was his business partnership with me. That is, I provided him with a capital of three krans [almost 8 cents] with it he bought needles, and this was his stock-in-trade. The women of Nazareth gave him eggs in exchange for his needles and in this way he would obtain thirty or forty eggs a day: three needles per egg. Then he would sell the eggs and live on the proceeds. Since there was a daily caravan between ‘Akká and Nazareth, he would refer to Aqa Rida each day, for more needles. Glory be to God! He survived two years on that initial outlay of capital; and he returned thanks at all times. You can tell how detached he was from worldly things by this one fact: the Nazarenes used to say it was plain to see from the old man’s manner and behavior that he was very rich, and that if he lived so modestly it was only because he was a stranger in a strange place—hiding his wealth by setting up as a peddler of needles.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Memorials of the Faithful, p. 51)


In New York City a young supporter of tax-reform asked, ‘What message shall I take to my friends?’ The Master laughed with delighted humour: ‘Tell them to come into the Kingdom of God. There they will find plenty of land – and there are no taxes on it!’ (Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 176)


‘Abdu’l-Bahá believed in using medicine as well as spiritual healing. As there was no hospital in Akka, He hired a doctor by the name of Nikolaki Bey. He gave teh doctor a regular salary to look after the very poor, and He asked the doctor not to tell who paid for the service. But always, the poor turned to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for help. For instance, there was a poor, crippled woman named Na‘um who used to come to ABdu’l-Bahá every week for a gift of money. One day, a man came running; “Oh Master!” he said, “Poor Na‘um has the measles, and everybody is keeping away from her. What can be done?” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá immediately sent a woman to take care of her; He rented a room, put His own bedding in it, called the doctor, sent food and everything she needed. He went to see that she had every attention. And when she died in peace and comfort, He arranged a simple funeral and paid all the expenses Himself.” (Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway)


Haji Muhammad-Baqir was a well-known merchant, foremost among the believers in faith, certitude and enthusiasm, and was serving the Cause with devotion and self-sacrifice. This man attained the presence of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdad. There He wrote a letter to Him and begged for wealth and prosperity. In answer, this exalted and wonderful Tablet was revealed for him. In it Bahá’u’lláh stated that his request would be granted and that the doors of prosperity and wealth would be opened for him from every direction. He warned him, however, to be on his guard and not to allow riches to become a barrier and make him heedless. Now you are here to attain the presence of Bahá’u’lláh and
in the future you will witness that this man will be overtaken with fear to such an extent that he will renounce God and His Cause. Not long after, he will make substantial losses, following which he will write a letter to Bahá’u’lláh and repent. God will then turn his losses into profit and he will become again highly successful in his business and will emerge as the foremost merchant in Constantinople and Tabriz. However, this time he will wax prouder than before, more heedless and deprived... This time he will lose all his possessions, will be unable to continue trading and will become helpless in arranging his affairs. It is then that he will repent and return, and will be content to live as a poor man. He will spend the days of his life in the service of the Cause of God. His end will be blessed and he will receive great confirmations from God.’ He then said to me: ‘Remember all these things, for they will come to pass, and you shall witness them.’
(Adib Taherzadeh, Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, v2, p. 277-278)