“Thus may each one of you be even as a candle casting its light, the center of attraction wherever people come together; and from you, as from a bed of flowers, may sweet scents be shed.” –‘Abdu’l-Bahá

A Life of Generous Giving 

Just as a candle’s purpose is to provide light, the human soul was created to give generously. We fulfil our highest purpose in a life of service, in which we offer our time, energy, knowledge, and financial resources.

The impulse to give springs forth from the love of God. As this love fills our hearts, generosity comes to characterize the pattern of our conduct; when we serve others for the love of God, we are neither motivated by the hope of recognition and reward nor by fear of punishment. A life of service to humanity implies humility and detachment, not self-interest and ostentation.

Shoghi Effendi has written: “We must be like the fountain or spring that is continually emptying itself of all that it has and is continually being refilled from an invisible source. To be continually giving out for the good of our fellows undeterred by fear of poverty and reliant on the unfailing bounty of the Source of all wealth and all good–this is the secret of right living.”


“To give and to be generous are attributes of Mine; well is it with him that adorneth himself with My virtues.”

—  Bahá’u’lláh


Exploring this topic

This collection of pages examines the Bahá’í teachings on a life of generous giving. The articles and resources section includes materials offering a more in-depth exploration of the subject.

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