Characteristics of African Religion

Topics: God, Human, Rama Pages: 6 (1778 words) Published: May 25, 2013
Characteristics of African religion

A Supreme being:
Throughout most of Africa there is belief of a supreme being, described by one or more names, either in terms of activities or place of abode. African people relate to or worship God through praying, singing and dancing, making sacrificial offerings, dedications and invoking blessings. In many respects, the attitude given toward the supreme creator resembles the respect given to African rulers. According to African tradition certain procedures have to be observed in order to gain access to a person of authority. For an ordinary person such contact can actually only take place through approved mediators or councillors. While it may occur that there is no cult devoted specifically to the Supreme being, in the African understanding God is above all worshiped through obedience to the specific imperatives and in everyday relationships during the normal course of events. Although the supreme being is not generally thought of as a judge in personal and ethical matters, he may withhold rain or cause crop failure, which will inevitably lead to hunger. This applies to Batswana Religion since the Zulu people had already established a belief in a Supreme being prior to the arrival of the first missionaries in Natal. The name Modimo is today commonly used for god. In the traditional religious orientation of the Batswana, Madimo was never conceived as a person. Madimo was known as the beginning and the cause of human, animal and even world existence, but not as a human being and even less as a father.

A Realm Of Spirits:
There are Three categories in this feature: Ancestoral spirits : Nature Spirits : Deities In South and southern Africa this common feature refers only to the ancestors. Often the people believe that only those who have married and have produced offspring to remember them become ancestors when they die. The relationship between the living family members and those who have died is a reciprocal one : the ancestors have the respect and honour of the living by being included and being remembered in family functions and in decision making processes and on the other hand living family members rely on ancestors for protection. In addition to ancestral spirits practitioners in east, central and west Africa also acknowledge a belief in nature spirits. All of nature and life are permeated with spiritual power. The people also believe the ancestors who are in spirit form may reveal themselves to the living through certain animals. In West Africa spirits that are in other countries vague and undefined assume a more explicit form as deities. The Batwana tended to associate the ancestors with divinity.

A unified community:
African people are trained from birth to live complete lives, and are fully aware that they are not born in isolation but as part of a community. Life entails maintaining relationships with : the extended family

: The clan or tribe
: The ancestors
: Nature
: God
Rituals play an important role in the life of both the individual and the community. Life affirming rites are performed to assist the people to move successfully through the various stages of their lives. These centre primarily on birth, puberty and death. Family rituals ensure the continued support and protection of the ancestors.

Central beliefs and tennets of islam

Belief in allah:
The most important statement in Islam is Shahaadah meaning witness or testimony and it declares that there is no god but Allah and I testify that Muhammed is Gods messenger. God refers to any concept or object that is worshipped. No sun, moon, or fire, or saint, or ruler, or desire or passion must be elevated to that status which is of Allah alone. This is the most reprehensible act...
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