The Kitáb-i-Aqdas - The Most Holy Book
Index term: receives Huqúqu'lláh, under powers and duties; House of Justice, Universal (International)
n125.
Should anyone acquire one hundred mithqáls of gold, nineteen mithqáls thereof are God's and to be rendered unto Him
This verse establishes Huqúqu'lláh, the Right of God, the offering of a fixed portion of the value of the believer's possessions. This offering was made to Bahá'u'lláh as the Manifestation of God and then, following His Ascension, to 'Abdu'l-Bahá as the Centre of the Covenant. In His Will and Testament, 'Abdu'l-Bahá provided that the Huqúqu'lláh was to be offered "through the Guardian of the Cause of God". There now being no Guardian, it is offered through the Universal House of Justice as the Head of the Faith. This fund is used for the promotion of the Faith of God and its interests as well as for various philanthropic purposes. The offering of the Huqúqu'lláh is a spiritual obligation, the fulfilment of which has been left to the conscience of each Bahá'í. While the community is reminded of the requirements of the law of Huqúq, no believer may be approached individually to pay it.
A number of items in Questions and Answers further elaborate this law. The payment of Huqúqu'lláh is based on the calculation of the value of the individual's possessions. If a person has possessions equal in value to at least nineteen mithqáls of gold (Q&A 8), it is a spiritual obligation to pay nineteen percent of the total amount, once only, as Huqúqu'lláh (Q&A 89). Thereafter, whenever one's income, after all expenses have been paid, increases the value of one's possessions 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 (Q&A 8, 90).
Certain categories of possessions, such as one's residence, are exempt from the payment of Huqúqu'lláh (Q&A 8, 42, 95), and specific provisions are outlined to cover cases of financial loss (Q&A 44, 45), the failure of investments to yield a profit (Q&A 102) and for the payment of Huqúq in the event of the person's death (Q&A 9, 69, 80). (In this latter case, see note 47.)
Extensive extracts from Tablets, Questions and Answers, and other Writings concerning the spiritual significance of Huqúqu'lláh and the details of its application have been published in a compilation entitled Huqúqu'lláh.