Ḥuqúqu’lláh—The Right of God


4. Disbursement of Ḥuqúqu’lláh Funds

Extracts from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

It is the binding command of God that in every locality whatever hath been or will be made available for the Ḥuqúqu’lláh should be submitted to His Holy Presence. Any instructions issued in this respect should be observed accordingly, so that all matters may be well-ordered.


And now concerning the poor, thou hast written to ask whether it is permissible to pay them out of the Right of God. This is conditional upon permission having been granted. In each locality where the Right of God is being received, details of it must be submitted to His exalted presence together with a statement describing the position of the needy ones. Verily He doeth what He willeth and ordaineth what He pleaseth. If permission were to be given universally it would lead to strife and give rise to trouble.


Extract from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

According to the explicit text of the Most Holy Book the amounts offered for the Ḥuqúq should be deposited in a place and be disbursed, as necessary. However thou shouldst not require anyone there to offer the Ḥuqúq unless someone is prepared to do so willingly and of his own free choice.


Extract from a Letter Written by Shoghi Effendi

In accordance with the explicit text of the Will and Testament, Ḥuqúqu’lláh should be expended on teaching the Cause of God in countries throughout the East and the West, establishing institutions, building Bahá’í Temples and promoting benevolent undertakings and the general weal.

(15 January 1933, to an individual believer, translated from the Persian) [107]

Extracts from Letters Written by and on Behalf of the Universal House of Justice

‘Abdu’l-Bahá in one of His Tablets has stated: “Disposition of the Ḥuqúq, wholly or partly, is permissible, but this should be done by permission of the authority in the Cause to whom all must turn.” The provision in His Will and Testament that the Ḥuqúqu’lláh “is to be offered through the Guardian of the Cause of God...” is clearly in accord with this principle. In another Tablet ‘Abdu’l-Bahá referred to the Universal House of Justice as “the authority in the Cause to whom all must turn” and it is clear that in the absence of the Guardian it is the supreme and central institution of the Cause. Moreover, before ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’u’lláh had revealed the following: “There is a prescribed ruling for the Ḥuqúqu’lláh. After the House of Justice hath come into being, the law thereof will be made manifest, in conformity with the Will of God.” In accordance with these explicit texts it is clearly within the jurisdiction of the Universal House of Justice to decide about the receipt and disbursement of Ḥuqúqu’lláh at the present time.

(2 March 1972, written by the Universal House of Justice to the Hands of the Cause residing in the Holy Land) [108]

Concerning the Ḥuqúqu’lláh, … the disposition of the Ḥuqúqu’lláh is a prerogative reserved to the Center of the Faith. The Universal House of Justice is invested with a number of “powers and duties” enumerated in its Constitution such as “preservation of the Sacred Texts”, “advanc[ing] the interests of the Faith”, “propagat[ing] and teach[ing] its Message”, and so forth. The funds collected from the payment of Ḥuqúqu’lláh are expended in pursuit of these purposes, as the House of Justice deems appropriate.

(18 July 1994, written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer) [109]

You have asked as to where and how the House of Justice reports on its uses of the funds received through payment of Ḥuqúqu’lláh. The House of Justice does not issue an accounting of the current expenditure of these funds. However, there is no secret as to the uses to which the funds are put. The Sacred Texts affirm that the Ḥuqúqu’lláh is to be paid to the Authority in the Faith to whom all must turn, and indicate that these funds may be “expended for the relief of the poor, the disabled, the needy, and the orphans, and for other vital needs of the Cause of God”. Decisions concerning such factors as the timing, the methods of disbursement and the amount rest with the House of Justice.

In these days, as during the ministry of Shoghi Effendi, all funds received by the Head of the Faith are used to promote the interests of the Faith at the World Centre and worldwide. The Institution of Ḥuqúqu’lláh Newsletter, issue no. 6, mentions that the funds are spent for such purposes as, “promotion of the teaching and proclamation of the Faith worldwide; care, maintenance and restoration of Bahá’í Holy Places; building up of the Bahá’í World Administrative Centre; support of the work of the many Bahá’í institutions and agencies; erection and restoration of Bahá’í Houses of Worship; establishment and support of new institutions; charitable and benevolent undertakings; and support of the worldwide manifold interests of the Faith.”

The effective utilization of Ḥuqúqu’lláh and other funds available to the House of Justice is manifest in the great developments taking place at the World Centre and throughout the Bahá’í world community, many of whose national budgets must be subsidized by the House of Justice, owing to the fact that the vast majority of the world’s Bahá’ís are poor and cannot adequately support their national funds….

The Ḥuqúqu’lláh, as its name “The Right of God” implies, has a special character which distinguishes it from all other Bahá’í funds. Its nature and purpose, and the blessings with which payment of it has been endowed can be read in the compilation which has been issued on the subject….

In accordance with Bahá’í principle, contributions to the various Bahá’í funds, as well as payments of the Right of God, are offered confidentially and are receipted…. You may rest assured that at the Bahá’í World Centre a method of financial management has been instituted to keep scrupulous accounts and also to prevent any significant incidence of extravagance or, God forbid, malfeasance from occurring undetected and unchecked. It is a method that maintains both the confidentiality of individual contributions and the integrity of the use of all funds entrusted to the House of Justice.

(16 February 1998, written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer) [110]

As to the specific concern that prompted your inquiry, the use of funds from Ḥuqúqu’lláh, the disbursement of which is entirely at the discretion of the Head of the Faith, entails a wide range of applications that will eventually address various needs of society in ways that will also contribute toward the solution of economic problems. However, it is much too early in the worldwide observance of the Law, and is not possible in the current state of the Bahá’í community or of society, for the House of Justice to elaborate on these details. For the time being, the Ḥuqúqu’lláh is used principally for the work of the Bahá’í community, which, of course, includes its initial efforts at social and economic development.

(8 September 1999, written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer) [111]

As you are aware, the obligation of believers to pay Ḥuqúqu’lláh is set out in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, and it is offered to the Head of the Faith, now the House of Justice. Disbursement of these funds is decided by the House of Justice and is presently directed to the vital task of raising the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, which is the essential prerequisite for the enduring resolution of the afflictions humanity is now experiencing.

The House of Justice ensures that detailed accounts of Ḥuqúqu’lláh income and expenditures are maintained by the International Board of Trustees of Ḥuqúqu’lláh and its Office of Ḥuqúqu’lláh in the Holy Land. It monitors the functioning of the Institution of Ḥuqúqu’lláh and is well satisfied that matters are being handled with the highest level of integrity.

Such an assurance from the House of Justice is, of course, sufficient for members of the Bahá’í community. At this time the House of Justice sees no need to present information on Ḥuqúqu’lláh accounts to external audiences; if a situation arises in the future where there is public controversy over this issue, it will take whatever action it deems appropriate at that time.

(25 July 2006, written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer) [112]

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