Waaqa – God
Waaqa as a supereme Being is believed to be a creator of all nature. He is the creator of all things in the universe, including every thing having life and without life. Waaqa is the only one who can do or undo things on earth. The believers (waaqeffataas) consider him to be an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. Waaqa is not alpha and omega for He has no beginning or end, i.e He is not limited in space and time. Waaqa is believed to be a supereme instance of love, wisdom and peace. His plan and will for human being is always good. Waaqa has got different names among different nations and peoples; his identity and character can not be wholly comprehended by a human mind, but He is all in all a supreme Being of righteousness. That is why waaqeffataas call and adore him as a divine supereme Being with hundred names, unsearchable and clean.
Waaqeffannaa is a system of faith believing in Waaqa tokkicha (One GOD) by considering him as a source of life. It is the faith of Cushitic people including the Oromo who have exercised since many thousand years. The followers of this faith, who decided to lead their life according to the law and will of Waaqa, are named individually as waaqeffataa for male and waaqeffattu for female. They are mostly characterized by the love and respect they do have for human being; by their abhoring of all evil things including hatred towards persons and peoples as well as by their attempt to refrain from committing sin like stealing, lying and murder. Their motto is to realize in their life, what they believe to be the will of Waaqa for them. They believe that keeping the values, the culture, the assets, the virtues and the wisdom of Waaqeffannaa is their obligation.
According to Waaqeffanna, for every nature, there is a given Ayyaana (Spirit) from Waaqa. Ayyaana is considered as a mediator between Waaqa and nature , as well as it is accepted as a manifestation of Waaqa’s will in them .Ayyantu (both male and female are called ayyantu) is a person who can communicate with the Ayyaana and give a leadership to the believers in keeping the values, assets, norms and virtues of Waaqeffanna.
This day of blessing and celebration, also called Nabi/ Booranticha, is the day of blessing for adult men, especially for fathers. This ceremony has got its own norms and rituals, which are used for the blessing or the celebration of the family heads and community heads as a symbol for the remembrance as well as the celebration of the blessed Oromo forefather, the Boranticha, who was the good example in living according to the plan and will of Waaqa during his life time.
Ateetee is the day of blessing for the married women, which is celebrated once in a year. It is a blessing with earnest wish for fertility and peace in their life as well as the celebration for the success of the prayer they already did. On this day of the blessing and celebration, women gather together, bless each other and pray to Waaqa, so that He blesses them in their daily life and in their duty among their respective family and community.
Irreecha is Thanksgiving Day for the believers of Waaqeffanna. It is the day, when people adore Waaqa for every good thing they recieved and do pray for their future needs. Beside the yearly national Irrechaa celebrations in may and september, there are different occasions similar to this, which are only locally observed specially by waaqeffatas, be it in Galma regularly or otherwise. During all these occasions, Waaqa is praised for the good past and He is asked to provide future blessing.
Ammachiisa is the day for blessing of new born babies and for giving names to them. The naming proces is said to be moggaasa maqaa. According to the Waaqeffannaa culture, there is certain norm or regulation of giving names to the new born. At the birthday of the baby, certain Ayyantu (the one with special gift from Waaqa) gives guidance in calculating the good relation of the day/hour of birth with the name to be given, so that a baby will have good luck in life. The name to be chosen is believed to have a meaning regarding the timing and it usually reflects the need for peace, love, joy, prosperity, etc. Such naming ceremony can take place in two ways: either by taking the baby to Galma Ayyantu (to the holy house of worshiping Waaqa) or by preparing a special place/house for the ceremony to take place.
Gannii, also called Jaarii loonii is the day of blessing and celebration for the reproductivity of cattle, the main property of the Oromo society. It is celebrated once in a year in the month of December. On this day, cattle get the blessing and be anointed, so that they can be fertile and healthy. It is an indirect prayer for prosperity. How the ritual takes place is not to be described here, but important is that after this ceremony, the young people of the community go to play a game called qillee and horse riding which shows that it is a blessing day also for the owners of the blessed cattle.
Galata fi kadhata
Believers of Waaqeffanna make their prayer, which usually includes both galata (praising Waaqa) for all good things they received in the past and kadhata (putting their request forward) regarding their present or future needs. Every nation has got its way of prayer and its way of thanksgiving. Oromo people usually pray for peace, health and prosperity as well as they do thank Waaqa when these needs are fulfilled. This collective prayer can vary from nation to nation. What is common in Waaqeffannaa societyty is that the believers thank Waaqa every morning, before they have their breakfast, for the good night they had and pray that He leads them on the new day. They do the same in the evening, i.e they give thanks to Waaqa before they go to sleep for the good day they experienced and pray to provide them with a well secured peaceful night.
Let Marabba be to Waaqaa
What we tried to summarize here is just a very short look in to the basic principles and practices of Waaqeffanna, which need to be understood before we deal with this faith system of the Oromo people. But it doesn’t mean that all parts of the culture, the values, the norms and the virtues of Waaqeffanna are included. The readers are encouraged to have this as start and go on for searching to know the extra wisdoms in Waaqeffanna’s way of life by reading the hitherto written articles on Waaqeffanna, by trying to understand nature, which is considered to be the holy book of Waaqeffannaa, i.e by striving to know Waaqa through reading his creation and by observing the life style of Waaqeffannaa believers.
Let marabbaa (the adoring) be to Waaqa and let his further blessing be with us in a form of peace and prosperity!