Is Equalizing the Means of Livelihood a New Principle?
Abdul Baha: Former religious book have not spoken about this problem.
""He has set forth the solution and provided the remedy for the economic question. No religious Books of the past Prophets speak of this important human problem," `Abduíl-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 455
Abdul Baha: "We ordered that the zakat be paid as has been revealed in the Quran."
Abd al-Hamid Ishraq Khawari, Ganjiniy-i Hudud wa ahkam, chap. 12, p. 149
Is Usury Good or Bad? Does Abdul Baha Hate Bahaullah's Favors to the People?
Bahaullah: We made usury legal as a favor to Godís servants.
"So, as a favor to [Godís] servants, we made loans with interest like all other forms of deals which people make with each-other. The profit gained [by lending] money, is now permissible, pure, and clean, because this order has been revealed from the Sky of Ordinance, so that the people of earth can be engrossed in remembering/speaking about the Beloved of the World, with utmost peace, tranquility, happiness, and pleasure," `Abd al-Hamid Ishraq Khawari, Ganjiniy-i Hudud wa ahkam, chap. 24, p. 202.
Abdul Baha: Even though usury is allowed no one is allowed to engage in such an act because I hate it.
"From now on do not give loans with interest to anyone because `Abduíl-Baha dislikes interest even though it is legitimate. Only give [loans] without interest and take no loan with interest from anybody," `Abd al-Hamid Ishraq Khawari, Ganjiniy-i Hudud wa ahkam, chap. 24, p. 204
Helping the Needy a Legal Obligation or Voluntary?
Abdul Baha: The wealthy must voluntarily help the poor.
"The wealthy must have mercy on the poor, but out of free will not by force. It is useless if force is used," Abd al-Hamid Ishraq Khawari, Payam-i malakut, p. 148.
Abdul Baha: Helping the needy must be enforced by law.
"For instance, a wealthy person who has great wealth must not allow another person to remain in a state of poverty and must consider his needs so that he reaches peace. This must be enforced by law and the wealthy must give the surplus of their wealth to the needy themselves," `Abd al-Hamid Ishraq Khawari, Payam-i malakut, p. 135.
Equalization of Means of Livelihood or Paying Thousands of Tons of Gold to the UHJ?
Abdul Baha: Remedying the means of livelihood for humans is necessary.
Abd al-Hamid Ishraq Khawari, Payam-i malakut, p. 134.
Bahaullah: After 20 times of adultery, pay 34 tons of gold to the UHJ and after 100 times, 8,000 times the weight of earth.
"God hath imposed a fine on every adulterer and adulteress, to be paid to the House of Justice nine mithqals of gold, to be doubled if they should repeat the offence . . . Although the term translated here as adultery refers, in its broadest sense, to unlawful sexual intercourse between either married or unmarried individuals (see note 36 for a definition of the term), ĎAbduíl-Baha has specified that the punishment here prescribed is for sexual intercourse between persons who are unmarried . . . In relation to the application of the fine, Bahaullah clearly specifies that each succeeding fine is double the preceding one; thus the fine imposed increases in geometrical progression," Bahaullah, The Kitabi Aqdas, pp. 200-202.
Equalization of the Means of Livelihood or Depriving Some of Any Livelihood at All?
When the Bahai kingdom materializes thieves and excommunicated individuals (No one is allowed to speak or interact with these individuals) are kicked out of the community and are deprived of means of livelihood.
"Exile and imprisonment are decreed for the thief, and, on the third offence, place ye a mark upon his brow so that, thus identified, he may not be accepted in the cities of God and His countries," Bahaullah, The Kitabi Aqdas, pp. 35-36.
Must There Be Complete Equality between All People?
Abdul Baha: There must be complete equality between all people.
"There is equality between people and complete brotherhood. Justice implies that the rights of humankind be protected and preserved and all have equal rights," `Abd al-Hamid Ishraq Khawari, Payam-i malakut, p. 30
Abdul Baha: Complete equality is not possible in the community because people have different ranks and are from different classes.
"We must strive for the eternal salvation of humankind. In this respect, laws are needed so [social] classes [and differences] remain and [at the same time] the members of the community be in complete peace. Because a community is like a [military] camp that needs generals, majors, lieutenants, and privates. All members cannot be generals or privates. There must be [different] classes and different ranks are needed," `Abd al-Hamid Ishraq Khawari, Payam-i malakut, p. 138.
Has God Made Distinctions between People?
Abdul Baha: God has created people without any differences or distinctions.
"The God of the world created all [humans] from clay and created everyone from one element, created all from one progeny, created all in one land, and created [all] under the shadow of one sky, has created them with common emotions, and did not put any differences. He created everyone the same and gives all sustenance, nurtures all, protects all, and is kind to all. He has put no differences in any grace or mercy," `Abd al-Hamid Ishraq Khawari, Payam-i malakut, p. 42.
Abdul Baha: People have different degrees of intelligence.
"Remedying the means of livelihood for humans is necessary. [This does not] mean equality . . . Humans cannot be all the same because they are different in creation. Some have first-degree intelligence, others have medium intelligence, and others are completely deprived of it. Is it possible for someone who has very high intelligence to be equal to someone who has no intelligence at all," `Abd al-Hamid Ishraq Khawari, Payam-i malakut, p. 134.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
Is the Equalization of the Means of Livelihood for All Humanity a new principle?
All previous religions and most economic movements, have in one form or another, strived to achieve this goal and to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor. Wishing for this to happen will bear no fruit unless an efficient method is implemented to achieve this goal. The methods put forward by the Bahai creed are mostly similar to methods already legislated in Islam or proposed by advocators of economic movements. Thus the claim that this principle is novel is baseless.
Did the leaders of Bahaíism act upon this principle?
We showed a number of Bahai laws which go against this principle. These, are all a confirmation of the superficiality of this slogan in Bahaism.
Is this principle rational and logical?
Equalizing the means of livelihood and narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor is definitely logical and a wish all humanity and religions had. In the Bahaíi creed, it is claimed that the only method which can be used to reach this goal is the one put forward by Bahaullah. A quick analysis of this method shows that it lacks a means to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor and at most can only help the extremely poverty-stricken.
Equalization of Livelihood for All Humanity: Introduction
Is This A New Principle
Did the Founders Follow This Principle?
Is This Principle Logical And Rational?
Summary and Conclusion