Wealth is a mighty barrier

Wealth worldly wealth is a mighty barrier between man and God.

 

251. Wealth, worldly wealth, is a mighty barrier between man and God and a test of man’s true faith: In the Bahá’í Writings it is stated that wealth is a mighty barrier between God and man. Man tends to get sidetracked concentrating on his riches and tends to leave matters of God on the wayside as he goes through life. CHARITIANITY: Matthew 6:19 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth 6:20 “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,” 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

“O peoples of the world! Whatsoever ye have offered up in the way of the One True God, ye shall indeed find preserved by God the Preserver, intact at God’s Holy Gate.”

(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 46)

“O YE THAT PRIDE YOURSELVES ON MORTAL RICHES!”

“Know ye in truth that wealth is a mighty barrier between the seeker and his desire, the lover and his beloved. The rich, but for a few, shall in no wise attain the court of His presence nor enter the city of content and resignation. Well is it then with him, who, being rich, is not hindered by his riches from the eternal kingdom, nor deprived by them of imperishable dominion. By the Most Great Name! The splendor of such a wealthy man shall illuminate the dwellers of heaven even as the sun enlightens the people of the earth!”

(Bahá’í Faith, Baha’u’llah, The Persian Hidden Words)

This concept of wealth being a great barrier between God and man is also found in the teaching of the other religions: CHRISTIANITY: 1 Peter 1:18 “Know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers.” Matthew 19:24 “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” The thing one really needs to realize here is that the eye of a needle spoken of by Jesus is a doorway found in the city wall of old Jerusalem that existed in the day of Jesus. What one needs to realize here is that it was not impossible for a camel to go through the eye of the needle, it was just very hard for a camel to go through the eye of the needle. The bible tells us our worldly wealth is not something we can trust or something that will save us: JUDAISM: Psalms 49:6 “They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;” Psalms 49:7 “None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:” Psalms 49:8 “(For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)” This concept is also found in the Bahá’í Faith:

“It is not surprising, under these circumstances, that office is the common avenue to wealth, and that cases are frequent of men who, having started from nothing, are found residing in magnificent houses, surrounded by crowds of retainers and living in princely style. ‘Make what you can while you can’ is the rule that most men set before themselves in entering public life. Nor does popular spirit resent the act; the estimation of any one who, enjoying the opportunity, has failed to line his own pockets, being the reverse of complimentary to his sense. No one turns a thought to the sufferers from whom, in the last resort, the material for these successive ‘madakhils’ has been derived, and from the sweat of whose uncomplaining brow has been wrung the wealth that is dissipated in luxurious country houses.”

The Bab: (Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. xxviii)

“Soon will your swiftly-passing days be over, and the fame and riches, the comforts, the joys provided by this rubbish-heap, the world, will be gone without a trace.”

(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 3)

JUDAISM: Ecclesiastes 5:15 “As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.” Psalms 49:14 “Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.” Psalms 62:10 “If riches increase, set not your heart upon them.”

“Our vanishing life, will be gone, and we shall pass, empty-handed, into the hollow that is dug for those who speak no more; wherefore must we bind our hearts to the manifest Beauty, and cling to the lifeline that faileth never.”

(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 266)

“Man’s highest station, however, is attained through faith in God in every Dispensation and by acceptance of what hath been revealed by Him, and not through learning; inasmuch as in every nation there are learned men who are versed in divers sciences. Nor is it attainable through wealth; for it is similarly evident that among the various classes in every nation there are those possessed of riches.”

(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 89)

JUDAISM: Proverbs 8:10 “Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.” Proverbs 8:19 “My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold;” Proverbs 10:2 “Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.” Proverbs 10:20 “The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.” Proverbs 11:4 “Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.” Psalms 37:16 “A righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.” In the Bahá’í Writings wealth is also considered a great test to man’s faith:

“True knowledge, therefore, is the knowledge of God, and this is none other than the recognition of His Manifestation in each Dispensation. Nor is there any wealth save in poverty in all save God and sanctity from aught else but Him — a state that can be realized only when demonstrated towards Him Who is the Dayspring of His Revelation.”

(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 89)

“O SON OF BEING! Busy not thyself with this world, for with fire We test the gold, and with gold We test Our servants.”

(Bahá’í Faith, Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)

CHRISTIANITY: 1 Peter 1:7 “The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” Matthew 16:26 “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

“O SON OF MAN! Thou dost wish for gold and I desire thy freedom from it. Thou thinkest thyself rich in its possession, and I recognize thy wealth in thy sanctity therefrom. By My life! This is My knowledge, and that is thy fancy; how can My way accord with thine?”

(Bahá’í Faith, Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)

“His wealth avails him not, neither what he has earned; he shall roast at a flaming fire and his wife, the carrier of the firewood, upon her neck a rope of palm-fibre.”

(H. M. Balyuzi, The Bab – The Herald of the Days, p. 86)

CHRISTIANITY: 1 Timothy 6:9 “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.” 1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is the root of all evil:”

What is it all about? This want and seemingly need some people have for amassing great wealth comes down to this:

“IT is better to guide one soul than to possess all that is on earth, for as long as that guided soul is under the shadow of the Tree of Divine Unity, he and the one who hath guided him will both be recipients of God’s tender mercy, whereas possession of earthly things will cease at the time of death. The path to guidance is one of love and compassion, not of force and coercion. This hath been God’s method in the past, and shall continue to be in the future! He causeth him whom He pleaseth to enter the shadow of His Mercy. Verily, He is the Supreme Protector, the All-Generous.”

(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 75)

“O Ali! If God guide, through thee, one soul, it is better for thee than all the riches!”

(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of the Divine Plan, p. 11)

“It is better then all the riches in the world to bring one soul to Him in the eyes of the Creator, and that is, what it all comes down to. God has not said that there are mansions prepared for us if we pass our time associating with the rich, but He has said there are many mansions prepared for the servants of the poor, for the poor are very dear to God. The mercies and bounties of God are with them.”

(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 33)

CHRISTIANITY: 1 Timothy 6:17 “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;”

“The rich are mostly negligent, inattentive, steeped in worldliness, depending upon their means, whereas the poor are dependent upon God, and their reliance is upon Him, not upon themselves. Therefore, the poor are nearer the threshold of God and His throne.”

(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 33)

“In the estimation of them that have fixed their eyes upon the merciful Lord, the riches of the world and its trappings are worth as much as the eye of a dead body, nay even less.”

(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 20)

CHRISTIANITY: Matthew 19:23 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

“Consider how base a nature it reveals in man that, notwithstanding the favors showered upon him by God, he should lower himself into the animal sphere, be wholly occupied with material needs, attached to this mortal realm, imagining that the greatest happiness is to attain wealth in this world. How purposeless! How debased is such a nature!”

(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 185)

CHRISTIANITY: Revelations 3:17 “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” Matthew 6:19 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:” Matthew 6:20 “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:” Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

“When a rich man believes and follows the Manifestation of God, it is a proof that his wealth is not an obstacle and does not prevent him from attaining the pathway of salvation. After he has been tested and tried, it will be seen whether his possessions are a hindrance in his religious life.”

(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 216)

“The Báb, in His Tablet addressed to Muhammad Shah, states that He foretold, in a letter to two divines in Yazd, the date of the death of Manuchihr Khan, eighty-seven days before it occurred. And He mentions that Manuchihr Khan had offered Him all that he possessed, even taking off his rings and placing them before Him.” “Manuchihr Khan had come to realize that his wealth was the product of oppression. The Báb accepted both his repentance and his wealth, then returned to him his riches for his use until his death, which occurred in the month of Rabi’u’l-Avval 1263 A.H. (February-March 1847 A.D.)”

(H. M. Balyuzi, The Bab – The Herald of the Days, p. 116)

18. “They will say: ‘Glory to Thee! not meet was it for us that we should take for protectors others besides Thee: but Thou didst bestow, on them and their fathers, good things (in life), until they forgot the Message: for they were a people (worthless and) lost.”’

(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah  25)

55. “Let not their wealth nor their (following in) sons dazzle thee: in reality Allah’s plan is to punish them with these things in this life and that their souls may perish in their (very) denial of Allah.”

(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah   9)

58. “Say ‘In the Bounty of Allah, and in His Mercy — in that let them rejoice”: that is better than the (wealth) they hoard.”’

(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah  10)

29. “And O my People! I ask you for no wealth in return: my reward is from none but Allah: but I will not drive away (in contempt) those who believe: for verily they are to meet their Lord, and ye I see are the ignorant ones!”

(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah  11)

109. “Nor did We send before thee (as Messengers) any but men, whom We did inspire — (men) living in human habitations. Do they not travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those before them? But the home of the Hereafter is best, for those who do right. Will ye not then understand?” 18. “For those who respond to their Lord, are (all) good things. But those who respond not to Him — even if they had all that is in the heavens and on earth, and as much more, (in vain) would they offer it for ransom. For them will the reckoning be terrible: their abode will be Hell — what a bed of misery!”

(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surahs 12 and 13)

46. “Wealth and sons are allurements of the life of this world: but the things that endure, Good Deeds, are best in the sight of thy Lord, as rewards, and best as (the foundation for) hopes.”

(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah  18)

81. “Eat of the good things We have provided for your sustenance, but commit no excess therein, lest My Wrath should justly descend on you: and those on whom descends My Wrath do perish indeed!”

(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah  20)

4. “As to those who believe not in the Hereafter, We have made their deeds pleasing in their eyes; and so they wander about in distraction.”5. “Such are they for whom a grievous Penalty is (waiting): and in the Hereafter theirs will be the greatest loss.”

(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah  27)

34. “Never did We send a Warner to a population, but the wealthy ones among them said: “We believe not in the (message) with which ye have been sent.” 35. “They said: ‘We have more in wealth and in sons, and we cannot be punished.”’ 36. “Say: ‘Verily my Lord enlarges and restricts the provision to whom He pleases, but most men understand not.”’ 37. “It is not your wealth nor your sons, that will bring you nearer to Us in degree: but only those who believe and work Righteousness — these are the ones for whom there is a multiplied Reward for their deeds, while secure they (reside) in the dwellings on high!”

(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah  34)

“Those who are rich in this world would have little reward in the Hereafter except those who spend their money here and there (in Allah’s Cause), and they are few in number.”

(Hadith, Bukhari Vol 3, Book 41, # 573)

“The rich are in fact the poor (little rewarded) on the Day of Resurrection except him whom Allah gives wealth which he gives (in charity) to his right, left, front and back, and does good deeds with it.”

(Hadith, Bukhari Vol 8)

“Allah’s Apostle said, ‘Whoever is made wealthy by Allah and does not pay the Zakat (charity) of his wealth, then on the Day of Resurrection his wealth will be made like a bald-headed poisonous male snake with two black spots over the eyes. The snake will encircle his neck and bite his cheeks and say, ‘I am your wealth, I am your treasure.’”

(Hadith, Bukhari Vol 2, Book 24, # 486)

“One should not neglect the world, at the same time he should have no hankering for wealth, he should get rid of covetousness. Lust and greed are the two enemies of God realization.” “Wealth itself does not stand in the way of God realization if the mind is not addicted to it.” (ZOROASTER, Hymns of Atharvan pp. 214 and 453)

“Detachment is the highest good. So long as the mind hankers for worldly goods, love of God does not find a place there.” “One who desires worldly objects cannot love Mazda with his whole heart. (ZOROASTER, Hymns of Atharvan pp. 666 and 776)

“The wicked acquire cattle, the wicked acquire horses, the wicked acquire sheep and corn; but the wicked tyrant does not acquire a store of good deeds.” “Seek ye for a store of good deeds, O Zarathushtra, men and women! for a store of good deeds is full of salvation, O Zarathustra!”

(Zoroaster, The Zend-Avesta, Avesta Fragments)

Denkard. Zoroaster, “Be it known that, whosoever pursues his calling according to the law, his profession is one for acquiring enduring wealth and not for acquiring transitory wealth. He whose calling is to acquire transitory wealth and to avoid enduring wealth, — that pursuer of his calling by the wrong path, lives a grumbler, morose, restless and discontented. The enduring wealth that keeps the body in order and the soul strengthened is owing to good behavior; and the increase of transitory wealth is owing to the absence of it (good behavior) (and) to evil behavior. The thing that gives to the soul deliverance of every kind and turns away all sin is righteousness.”

Denkard. Zoroaster, “Man has the worst desires, who thinks it right to amass the riches of this world.” “Be it known that the wealth most worthy of attention is (righteousness) for the obtaining of immortality.”

Denkard. Zoroaster, “In this world there is nobody whatever to whom lordship and riches (are) reverential. (2) He who (is) happy is (so) owing to straightforwardness, while he who (is) unhappy is (so) through every path of avarice.” “One should not be proud and greedy of material wealth and (its) excesses;”

13. “The knowledge of the sacred law is prescribed for those who are not given to the acquisition of wealth and to the gratification of their desires; to those who seek the knowledge of the sacred law the supreme authority is the revelation (Sruti).”

(Hindu, Laws of Manu chapter 2)

17. “Let him avoid all (means of acquiring) wealth which impede the study of the Veda; (let him maintain himself) anyhow, but study, because that (devotion to the Veda-study secures) the realization of his aims.”

(Hindu, Laws of Manu chapter 4)

176. “Let him avoid (the acquisition of) wealth and (the gratification of his) desires, if they are opposed to the sacred law, and even lawful acts which may cause pain in the future or are offensive to men.”

(Hindu, Laws of Manu chapter 4)

24. “Riches destroy a fool, but not those who are seeking the other shore. The fool destroys himself by his craving for riches, as he destroys others too.”

(Buddhist, Dhammapada – Sayings of the Buddha 1 (tr. J. Richards))

1. “Though little he recites the Sacred Texts, But puts the precepts into practice, Ridding himself of craving, hatred and delusion, Possessed of right knowledge with mind well-freed, Cling to nothing here or hereafter, He has a share in religious life.”

(Buddhist, Dhammapada – Sayings of the Buddha 3 (tr. J. Richards))

“Cultivate a mind that is independent of material circumstances. And why? Because, all sensuous conditions and material circumstances are only manifestations of mind and are alike dream-like and imaginary.” (Buddha, Diamond Sutra)

“Be no son of the House, the world,” “Adam, look upon the world which is a completely unreal thing. It is a unreal thing, in which you can put no trust.” (Sabeanism, Instruction of Adam)

“The mana rejoiceth in its treasure And in the glory of Life Which resteth on it. I have acknowledged Thee (O) Elect Righteous One, For Thou settest my soul free From transitory things.” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 93)