“Contributing to the Fund should constitute an integral part of the spiritual life of every Baha’i and be regarded as the fulfillment of a fundamental spiritual obligation. We urge all the friends to give deep thought to the importance of supporting the Cause financially and to the effect Baha’i activities have on the condition of the entire human race.” -Universal House of Justice, Sept. 18, 1991
Based on this guidance, contributions to the Funds are akin to the acts of fasting, obligatory prayer and teaching the Faith in that they are all, as this guidance points out, integral parts of the “devotional life of the individual.” Contributing enhances and strengthens the bond between the individual and the faith. It provides a sense of ownership, and it provides a sense of ownership in the various activities of the Cause of God benefiting all of mankind. This sacrificial action takes on an even greater potency if you consider the following words from a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, September 25, 1934.
“Contributions to the Fund constitute a practical, effective way whereby every believer can test and measure the character of his faith, and to prove in deeds the intensity of his devotion and attachment to the Cause.”
Why is it a spiritual obligation? It is an act of faith. Like the gardener, how do you see growth-- you plant seeds even when you cannot see them bloom and you may never see their fruit or their blossoms. Contributing, like planting, is an act of faith. What blossoms do we sow? A new model for a spiritual living; a new economy based on justice; a way to empower the three protagonists- individual, the community and the institutions.