Giving highlights and correcting the misconception of African Religion. African Religion as a universal religion.
Planned Officials of Neterian (African Religion)
From traditional oral deliberations: giving African Religion modern international platform among other worldly religions:
Partnership in giving Neterian secretariat
Partnership begs for helping hand in setting up the monumental secretariat, which should develop and spread to the Neterian message universally. Religion, being the most important socio-political tool in the modern world, demands African religion to physically come on the bargaining table in human global ethics.
My most exciting, ambitious, and intellectual-cum-spiritual contribution to the Black Race in addressing the call for African Renaissance, has been in heading a group of African scientists in authoring and compiling the too-long overdue spiritual manual for addressing African spiritual world, whereby I was the Executive Chairman. The grand project brought into existence the KA, Holy Book of Neter, commonly referred to as the “African Bible.” The sacred book is published by African Comb Books Ltd. I am the Executive Director of Comb Books Ltd.
In one of the ancient African Languages, NETER means the power that made the earth, heavens, the sea, the sky or the universe, animals, bids, insects, man and all that is and all that shall be. Neterian Worship, therefore, means the worship of that Creator Being.
In the same language, KA means that force, which cannot be destroyed and continues to exist after the change and decay of the human body through death. If NETER means GOD and KA means Soul, the KA, Holy Book of Neter can be simplified to mean – The Soul of God.
How KA was written and the source of the material:
Although African Religion has got many customary faces, a close look at those faces tell a single story that they are faces of the same religious body. Many outsiders, highlighted by colonial agents, had a common habit of thinking that, actually, there are many religions in Africa. That is not true. There is only one religion in Africa, which is expressed, like songs, in many tunings and rhythms. To the African, God is one, and his agents are both the dead living and spirits. The superior agents are called gods, which are capable of manifesting themselves in human forms but with special attributes. What African call gods are what European expressions call angels. Jesus, Mohammed, Abraham, Jacob, Virgin Mary and others, in African understanding, are ancestors.. Christians, too, worship ancestors.
The authors of KA ignored customary variations and expressions. They centered on the authentic commonest expressions. A lot has been written and published about African Religion, and oral deliberations of African Religion are very much alive in Africa today. So, it was not difficult for the compilers to make reference to these venues. In other words, all that the authors did was beat out the seeds from the husks and throw away the husks. They beat out the seeds through scholarly scrutiny. Besides, each member of the Executive Committee responsible for writing the book, had been born and brought up in the traditional curriculum. In simple language, KA is made out of the refined part of African traditional African values. For example, themes dealing with engagement, gender, conception and child birth, girl-right and boy-right, polygamy, divorce, and so on, are treated in the same way across the African communities. Foreigners are quick to say that all Africans behave the same; however, they find it difficult to believe that, that common behaviour is primarily supported by a common religion.
The contents of the books are not derived from fiction, but from practically documented views of African thought and action.
KA: Holy Book of Neter
KA, which is illustrated by abstract black-and-white drawing by David G Maillu, begins with an intense introduction to explain the difference between African Religion, Christianity, Islam and other worldly religions. The highlight of the differences is that, first, African Religion is not founded on an individual person as in Christianity and Islam where Jesus and Mohammed form the foundation. Second, the Supreme God of African Religion is not associated neither with gender nor human features. It is faceless absolute Force in charge of all creations and is neither female nor male. Thirdly, in African Religion there is no original sin as presented in Christianity. Human beings are born innocent, and there is neither paradise nor hell; hence, no final judgment. The Religion believes that evil doers are punished while they live for their evils but not after death. The Religion believes in life after death in spirit form. All that is expected of the individual is to do his best as an agent of God and leave the rest to God after death.
As a whole, the book is a spiritual reference book cutting across the human cultural expressions. It bears the history, wisdom and spiritual dimensions of the people. It is presented in a form equivalent to the Bible. It comprises 10 books, with each book addressing a different subject. Each book is divided into chapters, which are further sub-divided into verses. These books are:
- The book of Prayers
- The book of Law The book of Initiation
- The book of Messages
- The book of Parables
- The book of Prophecies
- The book of Kings and Queens
- The book of the Beginning
- The book of Proverbs
- The book of Songs of Slaves
The following is a brief introduction of the contents of each book out of the ab ove 10 books:
The book of Prayers
Contains a cross-section of spiritual reflections and expressions of people in various situations, moods, and needs. It is useful during public addresses and occasions for reading and reciting and helps to focus minds to express their prayers in certain emphasis, particularly for people who fail to get right words in certain memories. The prayers are of different sizes. The following is an example of some of them. This particular one, short, is dedicated to the naming-of-child ritual, which is a great occasion in African culture:
Book of Prayers, Chapter 7 verse 1 to 3
1.God, we thank you so much for this new child. The birh of this child is the solid promise of your divine continuation of life in us. 2. God, now we want to give this divine message an earthily name. Bless the choice of our name. In the name we give this child let the fulfillment of your promise to be and to the world be accomplished. 3. God, and let the name of this child be a bridge between you and us.
The book of Law
This is a design set of moral rules made by man’s authority for the proper regulation of a community for the correct conduct of life; because a community without proper laid down rules on how to live can be likened to a vehicle without a steering wheel. This is the book which contains the 57 most ancient African divine laws defining how to live and obtain the best out of life. The 57 principal laws are the ones out of which Moses obtained the Biblical Ten Commandments.
The 7 beginning commandments are:
The kook of law, Chapter 22 verse 1 to 7
Do not swear neither in the name of God nor in the name of your ancestors in vain lest their wrath turn against you for destruction.
Make sure that only good reigns and bad is avoided within the neighbourhood
Do only what people appreciate and what pleases God
Be just and truthful, away from unjust and untruthful
Give food to the hungry who look upon you
Clothe those who are naked before you when you can afford clothes
Give support to the aged when they need it
The book of Initiation
Is the longest book out of the 10 books. It contains what commonly has been the traditional curriculum for preparing growing up persons, both physically and spiritually, to be morally upright and responsible. It touches on the cross section of social life; for example: God’s reason for creation, childhood, youth, price of pain, love, rituals, sex, free will, courtship, marriage family, parenthood, widow, the rich and the poor, infidelity, divorce, impotence, oaths, life and death, dream and so on. The following is an example of a short deliberation:
Book of Initiation Chapter 18 verse 1 to 3
1. Sex is a sword of life which can be used to protect and perpetuate the sanctity of life. But the same sword can be used to defame and destroy that sanctity. 2. Elders must instruct every child on all the basics of sex and the responsibility of bearing that sex. 3. The candidate should be taught on how to give sex the best protection from evil forces. Misuse of sex is defamatory and it is punishable by the forces supported by God.
The book of messages
This book addresses 14 various subjects of great concern to the heart. Each theme is handled independently. It can, therefore, be studied or read out during functions where it is relevant and topical. The first address, for example, is a statement of a father to his daughter which is meant to sensitize and caution the daughter against the deceptive world of adult people. It is the expression of his love and concern for her welfare. It sets her free from his homestead to face the world for which she had been born and brought up. The address opens like this:
1. My dear daughter, I want to share with you a piece of knowledge. The journey from childhood to adulthood has come to an end for you. Now you have got to drop the clothes of childhood because you have become a mature woman. 2. I want you to look and feel around yourself and see what this new body you have acquired bears and says to you. 3. You are now a full woman like your mother. 4. All your childhood toys and clothes are left behind your mother’s backyard. 5. Go forward like a responsible woman, gathering all the best tools of adulthood and womanhood. 6. Stop thinking about your mother’s bosom. 7. Do not attempt to go back to dress yourself in childhood. Such clothes do not fit you any longer and will only embarrass you in public. 8. You have arrived at a different season of life to live new and different experiences…(up to verse 35)
The book of Parables
This book carried specific parables, or stories designed craftily to teach moral lesson. Talking in parables is an African genre that is as old as African culture is. It is one of the most impressive and effective ways of putting messages across.
Chapter I verse 1 opens like this:
There was a young man who loved his parents very much because they had done everything possible to make him successful and happy. 2. His wish was to pay back their love for him satisfactorily, but he did not know how to do it. He went about asking his peers how to do it, but they gave him contradicting piece of advice which left him more and more confused…
The book of Prophecies
This book presents special prophetic expressions. Prophecy is the power of telling what will happen in the future by people who are gifted in seeing into the future. There is not a single community in Africa that does not believe in the existence of prophecy. God’s special; way of speaking with his people is through prophecies. The beginning of the this book says:
The book of Prophecies Chapter 1 verse 1 t0 6
1.In the horizon of time I look and see: then become frightened in the eye of man. 2. My nights become nightmares woven into the dreams and visions of what I see. 3. I see the struggles, fights and wars of good and bad whereby, often times, bad rapes good and that rape leaves good pregnant. 4. So comes the birh of a new generation and the onset of other generations in which I see merriment in the grief of man. 5.Generations of people who are poor-sighted, half-deaf, and people who stammer when they talk. 6.They walk and wander bearing loads of woes. And whenever and wherever they go they woo laughter.
The book of Kings and Queens
This is a presentation featuring 6 special 4 Kings and 2 Queens from the archives of African history. It beginning from the recent past presenting King Menelik of 1844 AD.going back to King Akhnaton of 1372 to 1354 BC. to King Menelik II In the African understanding of the arm of God that takes care of the functional business of his human creation, these chosen examples of great people indestructible social landmarks in the life of African people. Their history is invaluable to all African generations. The two Queens include the discovery of Queen Hatchepsut alias the biblical Queen of Sheba, something which will take many people by surprise. The research of where the biblical Queen of Sheba who paid King Solomon a visit came from, has failed many scholars.
The book of the Beginning
Is the African interpretation of the beginning of the creation of the universe, world and human, and how the human being and other living things relates to the Creator. It starts like this:
The book of the beginning Chapter 1 verse 1 to 7
1.In the beginning there was absolutely nothing in the universe except God himself. 2 God was the Force without limits. 3. A Force which existed in waves.4. A Force which had always been there blowing and blowing. 5. Blowing up and down, forward and backwards and sideways.6. Blowing in folding and unfolding waves. 7. As the waves beat over and over against themselves in different strengths, different forms and different sounds, it created heat.
The book of Proverbs
Contains specially selected 777 proverbs addressing the African thought and expression in different dimensions, covering the subjects: God, marriage, love, life, happiness, sex, self, fortune, wisdom, truth, spirit, and general. The first 10 proverbs are:
The book of proverbs, Chapter 1 to 10
1. Believe in God undermines egotism (God)
2. Every marriage has a return ticket (marriage)
3. Too much self-love attracts hate (love)
4. Death is a lifetime burden
5, The fence of happiness is unhappiness
6. Each sex has its rituals
7. You may not know yourself better than you are known
8. Stolen things bring misfortune
9. Wisdom is ageless
It is truth that supports divinities
The book of Songs of Slaves
The “songs” are in memory of the abominable act of slave trade subjected to the Black community for nearly 500 years by Europeans and Arabs, the scale of which surpassed anything of its own kind and its impact on Africa. The 23 poetic, which form the chapters, are the lamentation of how that past has influences the present and future of the communities concerned. The following are examples of the deliberations:
The book of Songs of Slaves, Chapter 2
1. I see masters drink from cups of triumph
Their hearts tuned with fireworks of emotions
Celebration of colonizers in Hispaniola
Celebrating their new visions
And new dreams of new lands
Upon which they’ll break ground
To plant and grow countless
Slave labour beasts
(Chapter 4 verse 3):
Listen to the weeping spirits
At the alter of oppression, and
Listen to the lamentation of the maimed
Sacrificed to material gods.
Listen to the waiting voices of men
Castrated in Arabia.
Listen to the wailing mothers
Being sold on market places
To merchants of slave trade
Separated from their children
‘Why the Sacred Book has been Missing
African disciplines – philosophy, literature, art, science, history, economics, medicine, law, religion and so on – have, for ages, remained exercised, disseminated and restored orally. To have had no published books in these disciplines does not mean, whatsoever, that they did not exist. That Sacred Book was always enshrined in the minds of the people as long as the oral culture ruled Africa. But now Africa has come of age the culture of oral tradition to live in the culture of publishing. The new age has demanded that all that holy materials used in the religious deliberations should be collected, edited and published for consumption by the present literate communities.
The compilers of KA do not claim to be compared with the Moses, Mohammed or Buddha. They claim to be only gatherers of African holy works. But, since African Religion is a living religion because God is alive and lives with people always, more collectors and collections, in due course, shall be added to the new text.
In Africa, there was never a time in the course of man when there was a spiritual vacuum that could have forced God to send a messenger or messiah to fill in that vacuum. God has always been in the company of man and man’s activities. Bringing the Holy Book into existence, therefore, did not need any messiah. All that it needed was the people themselves inspired by God to do the job.