Black Spirituality Religion : Why are some black people so uninformed about African Traditional Religions

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by Sekhemu, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Much has been bantered around with respect to the morality and spiritual validity of African Traditional Religions.

    We all know that most black americans are either Christian or Muslim. However when many of the cross paths (No pun intended) with practitioners of ATR's, there is often a fear on the part of the Christian or Muslim, that this person is practicing a heathen or Demonic religion.

    Who taught our people to think this way, and why does it continue to this day?
     
  2. Ralfa'il

    Ralfa'il Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I think we must first define what ARE Traditional African Religions.

    For the Hausa of Nigeria and Wolof of Senegal, ISLAM is a traditional African religion.

    For the Falasha of Ethiopia, strick monotheism is their tradition.

    Other tribes are established in Christianity.
     
  3. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    brain washing, pure and simple.
    ATR are a step along the path to mental freedom.
    i sometimes get the feeling that black people are afraid of freedom.
     
  4. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Without going too far off the topic, Islam was introduced to the Wolof by the Mauretanians about 500 years ago, and Islam was brought to the Hausa at the end of the 15th century by a teacher and Missionary named Muhommad Al Magli. So obviously Islam was not an indigenous religion to either group.

    But back to my question. Why are so many of our people uninformed about ATR's and why do so many of us see them the way we do. Is it fear, ignorance, jealousy, or all of the above?
     
  5. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Hmmmmm :thinking: definately food for thought.
     
  6. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I have another question, how do we show people that this can be a healthy alternative for spiritual development?
     
  7. Ralfa'il

    Ralfa'il Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    James

    Correct me if I'm wrong......

    But weren't our people PRACTICING ATRs when they were captured and forced into slavery?

    If so, how can we expect that returning to these same practices and beliefs will somehow liberate us?




    Sek


    I don't know where you got your information from, but the Wolof and many other black West Africans were Muslim LOOOOOOOONG before 500 years ago.

    Hell, the great Muslim West AFrican kingdoms of Mali, Ghana, and Songhai were at their peek at around 1000 years ago, so Islam would have had to been established in West Africa long before that.



    We must stop letting Hollywood and misinformed leaders tell us who and what we were in Africa mmuch less what and how we worshipped.

    Pretty soon you're gonna have bruthaz running around barefoot because somebody told them Africans didn't "traditionally" wear shoes.
    And once again a REAL African will have to come along and correct us.
     
  8. Ralfa'il

    Ralfa'il Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    A History of Ancient Mali

    After the kingdom of Ancient Ghana, the next great West African Empire to emerge was the kingdom of Ancient Mali. Ancient Mali and Ghana shared a number of different features, however they also were extremely distinct from each other in many ways as well. For example, unlike Ghana, a great deal more information and written records about the kingdom of Mali still exist. With the resources that have endured a much better understanding of Mali can be established. Like Ghana, however, most of the information that is known about Mali comes from Islamic scholars and travelers. In fact, some of the same the Muslim historians and scholars that have written about Ghana have also provided a written record of Mali. For example, Ibn Khaldun, a Muslim scholar working out of Islamic Spain in the 15th century, wrote about both Ghana and Mali. Islamic scholars must have paid a great of attention to Mali because its rulers converted to Islam, and subsequently spread it throughout Africa. The richness of the historical record of Mali allows a history of this great civilization to be reconstituted.

    The geographical boarders of Mali where similar to former boards of Ghana. The similarities exist because Mali was once a feudal territory that rose to fill void after Ghana had fallen at the hands of the Susu. In his Kitab al-'Ibar Ibn Khaldun indicates that Mali occupied Ghana's former boarders. He writes, "Much later the population of Mali grew to such an extent that it became dominate over all over this region (i.e. the area formerly ruled by Ghana)…" (Khaldun 1). Early in the early history of Mali, during the reign of Al-Malik al-Nasir, Mali extended its boards west to the Atlantic Ocean. To the north, Mali occupied the upper portions of the Sahara. To the south, Mali extended down the Niger River past the city of Djenne, which is located on marshy land in the middle of the Niger River, it is referred to as an island. To the East, the kingdom stretched to a city called Takrur; this included much of the Sahara. Originally the kingdom of Mali started expanding from the top of the Niger River. Starting from the city of Timbuktu Mali steadily conquered the lands that lay down steam. These areas included the towns of Djenne, located on series of mashes and lakes that lies close to the Niger River, and Kawkaw, thought to be the modern-day city of Gao. Controlling the Niger River and the cities that lie on its banks were important for trade and travel. The Niger was a central artery of commerce for both west and north African trade routs. The importance of the Niger can also be seen in the fact that Mali's capital city, which change many times, was often located on that river. Mali's control of the Niger River, and these important cities helped it to grow and prosper.

    Trade and military power were important elements that held together the government of Mali. Like Ghana, Mali was organized and into a series of feudal states ruled by a king. A substantial cavalry helped enforced the rule of the king. Mali's horsemen were armed with steel armor and weapons, which included chain mail, spears, and iron swards. The record indicates that Mali enjoyed a great number of rulers with a clear line of descent. Descent ran either through the son of the king, indicating an Islamic patrimonial influence, or through the kings sister's son or brother, indicating that some of the traditional matrilineal customs still remained. Ibn Khaldun implies that the first important king of Mali was Birmindana, however is was most likely because he was the first to convert to Islam. The next important king of Mali, according to Ibn Khaldun was Mari-Djata, who conquered the Susu and extended Mali's boarders. Most of the kings that follow used the surname "Mansa," which means "Sultan." The most notable and powerful of these kings was Mansa Musa. In addition, many of the following kings made the hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. The empire was split into twelve different districts; a Sultan who ruled each district was responsible to the king. In addition there was two generals who commanded Mali's vast armies, one in northern half of the kingdom and the other in the southern half. Although the kingdom of Mali was feudal, the king still exercised great power. To highlight his power, Mahumd kati in Tarik al-Fattash tells a fanciful story of the how the king Mali-Koi literally changed the geography of the desert. Mahmud Kati writes that while Mali-Koi was on a hajj he used his power to command thousands of servants to build a small river for his queen in the middle of the Sahara. The ability of the king to rule effectively came from his wealth and military power.

    Without great wealth the empire of Mali and the legitimacy of the king would be in parallel. For example, according to Abdurrahman in Tarikh as-Sudan, there was a period were Mali fell into decadence and weakness because of flawed economic maneuvers by the king. Starting in the 14th century the king of Mali began to wildly spend the kingdom's wealth. According to Ibn Khaldun these expenditures were on frivolous things. "He told me that his king had ruined the empire, exhausted the royal treasury and brought the state close to collapse…he…spent [it] in debaucheries and foolishness…" writes Ibn Khaldun (5). To make matters worse, he even sold off a large ceremonial piece of gold cheaply to a group of Egyptian traders. The kingdom was weakened and opened up to outside invaders. Abdurrahamn and Ibn Khaldun disagree on when this period of instability ended, but it is clear that it had grave effects on Mali's empire. Abdurraham and Ibn Khaldun both indicate that following the reign of the king that caused the weakening of Mali, internal and external uncertainty remained. Attacks from the outside continued and internal clashes came to the surface. According to Abdurrahamn, Mali split into three realms, each with a sultan claiming to be the king of Mali. In addition, the two military leaders declared themselves independent. After a period of some time, and the consolidation of the king's strength, Mali regained some of its prestige and power.

    The religion and culture of the kingdom of Ancient Mali was a mix of the newer Islamic faith and traditional African practices. As indicted above most of the kings of Mali had "confessed" Islam, Birmindana was the first to convert to Islam. The expectance of Islam helped to advance the government and economics of Mali. The presence of Islam helped introduced a large and highly structured bureaucracy, which aided the spread the power of the king. Despite the prevalence of Islam many traditional African practices still remained. According to Ibn Bnattuta the inhabitance of Mali did not follow strict Islamic law. For example, Ibn Bnattuta was appalled by the way that women do not cover themselves in proper Islamic fashion (i.e. they did not where the veil or even cover much of their bodies with clothing). Furthermore, the king of Mali was treated as a traditional African king, one that is removed from the people and though of as divine. For example, the king did not walk directly on the soil because it is thought that the king's feet will burn the ground. Also, the people of Mali were not allowed to see the king perform even the most mundane tasks, such as eating or speaking.

    The richness of the historical record of Mali allows a history of this great civilization to be reconstituted. Founded out of the ruins of Ancient Ghana, Ancient Mali expanded down the Niger River capturing several cites and sizing control of the river itself. The cities that Mali ruled over included Timbuktu, Dejenne, and Kawkaw (modern-day Goa). The capture of these cities and the Niger River allowed Mali to control tarns-Saharan trade routs along with trade to North Africa. The control of trade and large cavalry allowed Mali to build an impressive feudal empire, but the senseless spending of a king in 14th century nearly brought Mali to destruction. Despite internal clashes, and attacks from the outside Mali survived. In addition to an impressive government and economy, Mali boasted a thriving culture that included a mix of traditional African customs and Islamic practices. Eventually, Songhai, a province of Mali would rise to become the next great power in western Africa. There is no question, however, that Mali was one of greatest African civilizations to exist.



    http://shakti.trincoll.edu/~aweiss/mali.htm


    Now that was ANCIENT Mali, how traditional can we get?
     
  9. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I get my facts from chancellor Williams' Destruction of Black civilization.

    Islam was brought to Africa, it is not a traditional religion, no different than Christianity.

    However, I am asking you, if you are going to add to the building of this thread please stick to the topic of this thread, we don't need all the diversions.
     
  10. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Once again, you are determined to change the topic. We all know that African civilizations in the western Sudan were predominantly Muslim, but before they became Muslim they practiced another form of religion, that was indigenous to Africa and unlike Islam or Christianity.

    Once again. Why do so many of our people have the mindset they do when it comes to people who Practice ATR's, and why are so many of us uninformed? Do you intend to answer this question or keep sidetracking the thread?
     
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