April 4, 2014

How to be detached and severed from all things and at the same time learn a trade or profession

Another friend asked, "In the Tablets it is stated that we must be severed and detached. In another place it is stated that we must learn a trade or profession. Do not these two statements contradict each other?"

‘Abdu'l-Bahá replied,

"In the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh, it is incumbent upon every soul to acquire a trade and an occupation. For example, I know how to weave or make a mat, and you know some other trade. This, in itself is an act of worship, provided that it is conducted on the basis of utmost honesty and faithfulness.

“And this is the cause of prosperity. Yet, in spite of being so occupied, if the heart is not chained and tied to this world, and is not troubled by current events, neither hindered by wealth from rendering service to mankind, nor grieved because of poverty, - then this is human perfection. Otherwise in a state of poverty, to manifest generosity and in a state of weakness to claim justice - this can easily be said, but it is not a proof of man's attainments and alertness." 
('Abdu'l-Bahá from an article written by Dr. Z. Baghdadi entitled "`Abdu'l-Bahá in America", published in "Star of the West", Vol. 19, No. 7, p. 219; The Compilation of Compilations, Vol. I, The Arts and Crafts)