Monday, December 5, 2011

Waaqeffannaa, the African Traditional Faith System

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  1. omowalejabali Well-Known Member

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    The following is an excerpt of an article by Fayyis Oromia,

    Religion is the belief in and worship of God or gods, or it is a set of beliefs concerning the origin and purpose of the universe. It is commonly regarded as consisting of a person’s relation to God or to gods or spirits. The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith system, but it is more than a private belief and has a public aspect. Most religions have organized behaviors, congregations for prayers, priestly hierarchies, holy places and scriptures. Faith is the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. The word faith can refer to a religion itself. As with trust, faith involves a concept of future events or outcomes, and is used conversely for a belief “not resting on logical proof or material evidence.” Faith is often used in a religious context, as in theology, where it almost universally refers to a trusting belief in transcendent reality, or else in a Supreme Being and/or this being’s role in the order of transcendent spiritual things. So faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true. It is the belief and the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared, based on the declarer’s authority and truthfulness.

    Waaqeffannaa (Amantii Oromoo), the traditional faith system of the Oromo people, is one version of the monotheistic African Traditional Religion (ATR), where the followers of this faith system do believe in only one Supreme Being. African traditional religion is a term referring to a variety of religious practices of the only ONE African religion, which Oromo believers call Waaqeffannaa (believe in Waaqa, the supreme Being), an indigenous faith system to the continent of Africa. Even though there are different ways of practicing this religion with varieties of rituals, in truth, the different versions of the African religion have got the following commonalities:

    - Believe in and celebrate a Supreme Being, or a Creator, which is referred to by a myriad of names in various languages as Waaqeffataa Oromo do often say: Waaqa maqaa dhibbaa = God with hundreds of names and Waaqa Afaan dhibbaa = God with hundreds of languages; thus in Afaan Oromoo (in Oromo language) the name of God is Waaqa/Rabbii or Waaqa tokkicha (one god) or Waaqa guraachaa (black God, where black is the symbol for holiness and for the unknown) = the holy God = the black universe (the unknown), whom we should celebrate and love with all our concentration and energy
    - No written scripture (ATR’s holy texts are mostly oral), but now some people are trying to compose the written scripture based on the Africans’ oral literature.
    - Living according to the will of the Supreme Being and love also those who do have their own way of surviving by following other belief systems, which are different from that of the Waaqeffannaa. It includes keeping both safuu (virtues) and laguu (vices); i.e. to love safuu as well as to hate and abhor cubbuu (sin).
    - Correspondence with the Supreme Being in times of a great need (i.e. in times of natural calamities, unexplained deaths) and try to walk always on the karaa nagaa (on the way of peace = on the way of righteousness, on the road of truth).
    - Having a devout connection with ancestors; in case of Oromo, the ancestors are always blessed and celebrated for the good inheritance we got from them, but not worshiped as some people want to misunderstand.

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