The Story of ‘Abdu’l-Baha's Model Farming Community
  • Author: Paul Hanley
  • Product Code:ADASI
  • ISBN: 978-1-61851-246-8
  • Publisher: Baha'i Publishing
  • Pages: 336
  • Availability:  In stock
  • Weight: 20 oz
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Soft Cover
eBook - ePub 7454010b   DOWNLOAD HELP

In 1901, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá purchased land in what is now Jordan that would become the village of ‘Adasíyyih. Through His guidance and unending inspiration, Bahá’í pioneers from Iran would soon settle there and transform a degraded parcel of land—which ‘Abdu’l-Bahá reportedly described as the most inhospitable place on Earth—into the site of a thriving farm and prosperous community whose residents embodied the Bahá’í teachings.

The story of ‘Adasíyyih is offered within the context of the extensive agricultural activities of the Central Figures of the Bahá’í Faith and the early Bahá’í communities They nurtured. It was this farming village—along with several others in the region of the Galilee—that produced a surplus of crops, which enabled ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to keep famine at bay for so many people during World War I, a feat that would earn Him a knighthood from the British Empire and a title that He would never use. In time, ‘Adasíyyih would become a model village for Jordanians, and Jordan’s royalty would become frequent guests.

Author Paul Hanley’s extensive research, along with his deep interest in agricultural systems, provides a fascinating glimpse of this remarkable history and the lessons that can be gleaned from it and applied to current community building and agroecological efforts.

“This wide-ranging book is far more than its title implies, as it traces the importance of agriculture and nature in the Bahá’í Faith from its origins to the present. It tells how the central figures of the Faith were deeply interested in agriculture, and explains in detail ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s central role in establishing the beautiful Holy Places at the Bahá’í World Center, while also guiding ‘Adasíyyih, a remote village near the Sea of Galilee, to become an outstanding example of both regenerative agriculture and community-building in the first part of the 20th century. In a world facing enormous challenges to food security with climate change, water shortages and economic unsustainability, Paul Hanley demonstrates how community agriculture can become a central focus of our spiritual, social and economic transformation.” – Dr. Arthur Lyon Dahl, President, International Environment Forum

"Hanley weaves some of the important writings of Bahá’u’lláh into the story, pointing out the references to nature, agriculture and gardens. A theme throughout the book is how food is a source of life and of fellowship, of feasting and nourishing, of caring for others and for maintaining good health. And supporting it all, the importance of the farmer. Much of the book is devoted to ‘Adasíyyih itself: why ‘Abdu’l-Bahá choose it, how He purchased the land, divided it up, brought farmers to create a farm out of the scrubland, the methods He used to create productive and thriving farmland, the phases of its development it, the trials and difficulties faced by the villagers to make it so and how He nurtured and guided the Bahá’í community to maturity. And how all this averted the starvation of thousands during the World War One – a thrilling story!" – Wendi Momen, MBE, PhD

"Paul Hanley's remarkably comprehensive work delves into the historical significance of agriculture in the lives of the Central Figures of the Bahá’í Faith from its inception. Through numerous references, Hanley sheds light on the pivotal role of farming and its practitioners in fostering societal peace. He meticulously examines ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s oversight in Adasiyyih, rooted in an extensive understanding of modern agroecology. Through various regenerative practices, a once barren landscape was transformed into a flourishing economy, turning a modest farming village into a model for the world." – Winnona Merritt, author of Food, Farmer and Community: Agriculture and the Reconstruction of the World

"Adhering to care and detail, accomplished author, Paul Hanley, brings us the perfect example of a holistic farming system located in ‘Adysiyyih, Jordan. The project’s technical advisor is the perfect exemplar of the Baha’i teachings, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, who integrates social, spiritual, economic and agronomic components into this extraordinary agriculture endeavor." – Neil Whatley, Independent Agronomist, Alberta, Canada

"This book offers a groundbreaking and meticulously researched exploration of the village of ‘Adasíyyih and its pivotal role in the history of the Bahá’í Faith. With a scholarly yet accessible approach, the author weaves together a narrative that highlights the spiritual and social principles of the Bahá’í Faith and demonstrates an early, visionary effort at rural development within the challenging contexts of the Ottoman Empire and the developing nation of Jordan." – Behzad Fareid, DDS

Average rating 10 out of 10 ( based on 2 reviews )

Truly Remarkable Story

Review by Dawn Egerton on 6/19/2024

Drawing on many sources, 'Adasiyyih paints a vivid picture of the Central Figures of the Faith demonstrating their “special regard” for agriculture. We learn of the development of several agricultural villages in the Holy Land along with background on the farmers and the state of agriculture in Iran. Paul Hanley gathers a treasury of stories that depict the innovative and insightful approaches to agriculture, community building, land reclamation, among other themes, transforming this arid and challenging landscape into a model farm established with the wisdom and guidance of 'Abdu'l Baha.


Review by Angelina Diliberto Allen on 6/7/2024

Many of us got our first glimpse of the village of 'Adasíyyih in the film commissioned by the Universal House of Justice called "The Exemplar" (minute 17:30 – 18:49), where in those few minutes of the film we learned that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá guided a community of farmers in how to make sound moral decisions based on the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, and that years later, the grain grown by these farmers saved thousands of lives during the famine that struck the Levante region in the aftermath of WWI. It is a miraculous story of which we have had little information until now. Author Paul Hanley’s book ‘Adasíyyih details the history of ‘Adasíyyih by first taking the reader through the spiritual foundation that rests at the heart of the story of ‘Adasíyyih as well as a detailed analysis of the practical methods applied in the success of the farming community. A reader cannot help but appreciate how ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s methods are an allegory for the cultivation of the spiritual life of a community.

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