Huqúqu'lláh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Huqúqu'lláh (Arabic: ﺣﻘﻮﻕ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ‎, "Right of God"), sometimes called the Law of Huqúq is a socio-economic and spiritual law of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, a charter document of the Bahá'í Faith, written by Bahá'u'lláh. In its most basic form, it states that Bahá'ís should make a 19% voluntary payment on any wealth in excess of what is necessary to live comfortably, after the remittance of any outstanding debt. The money is then disbursed to social and economic development projects, or similar philanthropic purposes.

History[edit]

Gradual implementation[edit]

See also: Gradualism in Bahá'í laws and Timeline of the institution of Huqúqu'lláh

Bahá'u'lláh wrote down the law of Huqúqu'lláh in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas in 1873, but he did not accept any payments initially. In 1878 he appointed the first trustee of the Huqúqu'lláh, who had the responsibility of receiving the Huqúq from the Bahá'ís in Iran. Later this was expanded to the Bahá'ís of the Middle East. In 1985 information about the Huqúq was distributed worldwide and in 1992 the law was made universally applicable. As the number of payments increased, deputies and representatives to receive the payments have been appointed. In 1991 the central office of Huqúqu'lláh was established at the Bahá'í World Centre in Haifa, Israel.[1][2]

Recipients[edit]

During the lifetime of Bahá'u'lláh, the offerings were made directly to him, and following his death, to `Abdu'l-Bahá. In his Will and Testament, `Abdu'l-Bahá provided that Huqúqu'lláh be offered after him "through the Guardian of the Cause of God".[3] Since the election of the Universal House of Justice, it is to this institution that payments are made.[1][4]

Trustees[edit]

  • Hájí Sháh-Muhammad Manshádi, Amínu’l-Bayán (’trustee of the Bayán’; d. 1881)
  • Hájí Amín (Abdu’l-Hasan Ardikání), Amín-i-Iláhi (‘trustee of God’; 1881-1928)
  • Hájí Ghulám-Ridá, Amín-i-Amín (‘trustee of the trustee’; 1928–38)
  • Valíyu'lláh Varqá (1938–55)
  • `Alí-Muhammad Varqá (1955-2007)[2]

Purpose[edit]

The Huquq'ullah is not meant to be a donation, but is rather meant to be a claim by God for support of the interests of all people. It is partly used to equalize wealth across different parts of the world.[4] The payment of the Huquq'ullah is also meant to increase the spiritual link between the religion's central institutions and the individual.[4] This offering is to be considered separate from giving to the various Bahá’í funds and takes precedence over them.[2] Furthermore, the Huquq'ullah should not be solicited by anyone, and no payments of it can be accepted unless the individual was doing so "with the utmost joy".[5]

Calculation[edit]

The payment of Huqúqu'lláh is based on the calculation of the value of the individual’s possessions, which includes one’s merchandise, property and income, after all necessary expenses have been paid. If a person has possessions or wealth in excess of what is necessary equal in value to at least nineteen mithqáls of gold[1][6][7] (2.2246 ounces or 69 grams[7]) it is a spiritual obligation to pay nineteen percent of the total amount,[1] once only, as Huqúqu'lláh. Thereafter, whenever an individual acquires more possessions or wealth from income by the amount of at least nineteen mithqáls of gold, one is to pay nineteen percent of this increase, and so on for each further increase.[2]

Certain categories of possessions are exempt from the payment of the Huqúqu'lláh, such as one’s residence, necessary household furnishings, business or professional equipment and furnishings, and others.[1][2] Bahá'u'lláh has left it to the individual to decide which items are considered necessary and which are not. Specific provisions are outlined to cover cases of financial loss, the failure of investments to yield a profit and for the payment of the Huqúqu'lláh in the event of the person’s death.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Smith, Peter (2008). An Introduction to the Baha'i Faith. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 164. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Smith, Peter (2000). "Huqúqu'lláh". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. pp. 189–190. ISBN 1-85168-184-1. 
  3. ^ Smith, Peter (2000). "Covenant". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. pp. 114–5. ISBN 1-85168-184-1. 
  4. ^ a b c Hatcher, W.S.; Martin, J.D. (1998). The Bahá'í Faith: The Emerging Global Religion. San Francisco: Harper & Row. p. 198. ISBN 0-87743-264-3. 
  5. ^ Taherzadeh, Adib (1988). The revelation of Baha'u'llah. Vol 4 : Mazra'ih & Bahji 1877-92. UK: George Ronald. p. 253. ISBN 9780853981442. 
  6. ^ Agarwal, Sanjay (2010). Daan and Other Giving Traditions in India: The Forgotten Pot of Gold. AccountAid India. p. 103. ISBN 8191085402. 
  7. ^ a b Stockman, Robert H. (2012). The Baha’i Faith: A Guide For The Perplexed. A & C Black. pp. 186–189. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]