Tag Archives: Religion of Rift Valley Women

Religion of Rift Valley Women


Majid Ali, M.D.

Once mothers worshipped differently. They helped their children to make sense of life – of people and things around them. When the children grew up, the mothers helped them understand their rightful place in the tribe as well as their responsibilities. That was their religion. That was the first religion of women of the Rift valley in East Africa. That was the beginning of authentic religion.

Then appeared the great nontheistic, monotheistic, and polytheistic religions of the world ushered by men. These men of fought ferociously hard among themselves to prove whose Gods were more powerful than whose gods. These fights also generated a distinctive tenet of the religion of early men which the religion of Rift Valley women did not have: fear.

On the subject of fear, here is some text from my article entitled Africa – the Mother of Medicine: ” female dieties were assigned crucial roles of life-givers, life-sustainers, and nurturers while male dieties were often warriors and destroyers; and (4) the transition from primarily matriarchal to patriarchal social mores occurred in Egypt and Greece long after the evolution of far more insightful, humane, just, and enlightened thought in earlier African times. (for more on the subject, see the related article entitled “Africa – the Mother of Medicine” at this site.

Men also, for unknown reasons, found it necessary to separate people into two orders, one higher for themselves and the other lower for women. Also, for reasons I do not understand, women submitted to those two orders. However, women for reasons that are easy to understand never completely surrendered their first religion to the later religions of their men.

The writers on comparative religions of the world now usually dismiss the religion of Rift Valley women as “primal” – not quite real, let alone authentic. These writers have little, if any, interest in Rift Valley religion.

It is interesting that mothers of our time are not any more impressed by the superiority claims of their men in matters of religion than the Rift valley women were of the religious claims of their men.

Suggested Reading:

Africa – the Mother of Medicine

Pathways of the Soul of Sufi Women of Early Africa

Majid Ali, M.D.

I recognize the Sufi way to be the continuity of the maternal and tribal instincts of African women of the Rift Valley. Some scholars think that the word Sufi is derived from the Arabic root word of tausuff (meaning purity of the spirit). Other scholars claim the Sufism as recognized in the modern use of the time is Persian in origin. Clearly, these linguistic issues developed a very long time after the sensibilities and sensitivities of African women of the Rift Valley of earlier (pre-historic) times. They recognized what I call Pathways of the Soul at some deep intuitive visceral levels.

I recognized this much earlier African origin of Sufism during the writing of my article entitled “Africa: the Mother of Medicine”. In African mythology, nearly all deities with destructive portfolios (earth quacks, floods, lightening, and others) were males, while all deities with protective roles (rain, crops, and fertility) were females. Below is some text from that article.