About

Humble living is a well-known common trope among religions. Most of the founding figures and saints of various religions were wandering ascetics of some sort or another, who turned their backs on wealth and material possessions. There is nothing inherently wrong with money—these religious figures were specifically reacting against the pursuit of money which, when taken to an extreme, corrupts people and leads to toxic selfishness. It is our attachment to material wealth that is dangerous. Some amount of money is necessary for survival, especially in our world today, but we must remember to see it as a means rather than an end to pursue.

Click here to read more about this common thread.

Quotations

The New Testament
Christian scripture
Christianity

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."

The New Testament
Christian scripture
Christianity

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

The Qur'an
Islamic scripture
Islam

“The servants of the Lord of Mercy[…]are those who are neither wasteful nor niggardly when they spend, but keep to a just balance."

The Qur'an
Islamic scripture
Islam

“Believers, many rabbis and monks wrongfully consume people’s possessions and turn people away from God’s path. [Prophet], tell those who hoard gold and silver instead of giving in God’s cause that they will have a grievous punishment."

The Hebrew Bible
Jewish scripture
Judaism

Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless."

Shoghi Effendi
Baha'i leader
Baha'i

“Do not grieve, dear brother, for being poor, for you are rich instead in faith and in spirit. This is a divine wealth for which the richest of the world will crave for in vain. True we must work hard, earn money and keep our family in happiness and prosperity, but we must always realize that our lives must be devoted to things higher and more sublime. We must remember what great souls, whose lives still inspire hundreds and thousands, were of the poorest in the world.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Baha'i leader
Baha'i

“Jesus Himself was poor. He did not belong to the rich. He passed His time in the desert, traveling among the poor, and lived upon the herbs of the field. He had no place to lay His head, no home. He was exposed in the open to heat, cold and frost—to inclement weather of all kinds—yet He chose this rather than riches. If riches were considered a glory, the Prophet Moses would have chosen them; Jesus would have been a rich man.”

Chuang Tzu
Daoist sage
Daoism

“Someone who believes wealth is the most important thing cannot give up their income; someone who seeks pre-eminence cannot give up the hunt for fame; those who love power cannot hand it over to others. Those who cling to things like these are usually fearful. Letting them go just once causes such agony that they will not consider even once doing so, although it would show them the folly of their ways. These are people bearing the punishment of Heaven. Hatred and kindness, taking and giving, correction and instruction, life and death, these eight things are tools of reform. However, only the one who abides by the great change and who does not stand in its way can use them. So it is said, to correct is to reform. If the heart cannot accept this, then the gate of Heaven is not opened."

Confucius
Founder of Confucianism
Confucianism

“It is a shameful matter to be poor and humble when the Way prevails in the state. Equally, it is a shameful matter to be rich and noble when the Way falls into disuse in the state."

Aṅguttara Nikāya
Buddhist text
Buddhism

“When he thinks, ‘With wealth acquired by energetic striving…righteously gained, I enjoy my wealth and do meritorious deeds,’ he experiences happiness and joy.”

Rig Veda
Hindu scripture
Hinduism

“One may amass wealth with hundreds of hands but one should also distribute it with thousands of hands. If someone keeps all that he accumulates for himself and does not give it to others, the hoarded wealth will eventually prove to be the cause of ruin.”

The Dhammapada
Buddhist scripture
Buddhism

“There is no satisfying the senses, not even with a shower of money. ‘The senses are of slight pleasure and really suffering.’ When a wise man has realized this, he takes no pleasure, as a disciple of the Buddhas, even in the pleasures of heaven. Instead he takes pleasure in the elimination of craving.”

The Analects
Confucian Text
Confucianism

“If one is guided by profit in one’s actions, one will incur much ill will." (4:12)

The Analects
Confucian Text
Confucianism

“It is a shameful matter to be poor and humble when the Way prevails in the state. Equally, it is a shameful matter to be rich and noble when the Way falls into disuse in the state." (8:12-13)

Chuang Tzu
Daoist sage
Daoism

“Value life. If you value life then you will put profit into perspective.”

Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah
medieval Muslim theologian
Islam

“When there is money in your hand and not in your heart, it will not harm you even if it is a lot; and when it is in your heart, it will harm you even if there is none in your hands.”