Before I got serious about this way of life, I resisted anything that had anything to do with religion.
Thats because I felt like if Christianity the way it was taught to me was wrong, then the whole topic was contaminated.
Later on, I was blessed to have a number of enlighteners who corrected my miseducation.
They helped me to renew and strengthen my sense of spirituality.
They used African spirituality books to teach me the truth about the African origins of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. And they were patient enough with me to let me find my own path as I explored Kemetic science, Santeria, and Ifa.
Thanks to them and the books they suggested to me, I have found my way into the blessings of my creator. I understand the truth about who I am, how I came to be, the world around me, and my place in that world!
I would never have achieved all that I have without the knowledge that I found in the pages of the African spirituality books below.
Your journey may lead you to one or more of the spiritual systems below – or to none at all. But this is your path, and your relationship with your Creator. Not anyone elses!
So even though your path may not look like mine, walk your path unapologetically with knowledge, wisdom, and understanding – qualities that can only be gained through right knowledge.
Here are the 43 best African spirituality books for beginners, and Elders alike. As I find more and read more, I will be adding on to the list![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Christianity Before Christ
From the same scholar that brought you Introduction to African Civilizations, John Jackson reveals the truth about the origins of Christianity.
From the inside cover of the book:
“Nothing is new or original in Christianity. That is the important thesis demonstrated in Christianity Before Christ. The least important features, as well as the most important components, were all well developed in cultures that flourished before the time that Christ is alleged to have walked the parched paths of Roman Palestine. The information presented in this book is absolutely crucial if Atheists and other free thinkers are to understand the nature of the beast that threatens not only their liberties and rights as citizens in a secular republic, but also threatens to return world civilization itself back to the pre-scientific levels of the ancient cultures from which Christianity derived all its odd details. Every Atheist needs to know what is in this book!”
The Africa Study Bible
The Africa Study Bible teaches Christianity and its most important events from a truly African perspective. 350 contributors from over 50 countries give their unique African perspective in this all-in-one course in biblical content, theology, history, and culture, with special attention to the African context.
- Book Introductions explain each book’s content and connect biblical themes to African contexts.
- Proverbs and Stories relate Scripture with wisdom from Africa.
- African pastors and theologians writing notes for Africans about traditions of Africa as it relates to the Bible.
The African Origins of Western Civilization, Religion, and Ethics Philosophy
Dr. Muata Ashby’s book sets the stage with discussions of Kemetic (Ancient Egyptian) civilization, and how the original teachings of the great Shepsu led to the rise of other traditions like Ayurveda on the Indian Subcontinent and, of course, Christianity.
Other topics discussed include:
- Akhnaton, Moses, and the concept of monotheism (a belief in one God)
- An overview of Islam (as a Western religion)
- The general principles and sacred scriptures – called the Shetaut Neter – that laid the foundation for Christianity
- The relationship between the Ankh and the Cross
This is a long and thorough read ( about 600 pages) , but worth it. I got more from this one book than I got from almost a dozen others!
The Mystical Journey From Jesus to Christ: Origins, History and Secret Teachings of Mystical Christianity
Another jewel from Dr. Muata Ashby.
One reviewer had this to say:
“This author is one of the best I ever read when it comes to the Egyptian religion as well as the history on all religions. The most important thing is that he is just not a scholar who sits back and researches and formulates ideas he practices and actually teaches the system as a way of life, not many could say that. I recommend this book to all Christians who want to take the journey to be one with Christ. This book will put you on the path to experiencing the oneness in everything and is not bassed off of just having belief or faith.”
This book is more about finding the God within yourself – or how you can evolve from Jesus to Christ – using the original mantras, principles, and parables that Christian stories are based on.
African Spirituality books On Islam
The Supreme Wisdom Lessons by Master Fard Muhammad: to His Servant, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad for The Lost-Found Nation of Islam in North America
This is required reading for all members of the Nation of Islam, so it is wise to start here if your path is guiding you toward the NOI. Written for the benefit of Registered Muslims in the Nation of Islam and members of the 5% Nation of Gods and Earths as well as those interested in joining or studying intensely the teachings of either. This edition, kept secret for years, now includes Supreme Mathematics and much more!
This book is more than dogma, and includes facts about the Nation that you will not come across anywhere else.
The Holy Quran
It only makes sense that you read the Holiest of texts in Islam if you plan on becoming a serious disciple. Muslims are so serious about the Qur’an that they start by memorizing the the last Juz’ (portion of the Qur’an) when they are children.
Most Muslims over time will memorize at least a few short Surahs if by no means other than repetition in reading it for each prayer. One would have to have pretty severe memory damage not to remember 3–4 sentences that you repeat 5 times a day possibly 4 times each prayer (if you only use al-fatiha and 1 other Surah) for up to 20 times a day.
The point is that not only will you be required to read this text anyway, you will be required to memorize many verses for prayer.
Since the Quran is the foundation of many newer systems, it deserves a place on our list of African spirituality books!
History of the Nation of Islam
Transcripts from an interview with The Messenger of Allah himself. There is no better scroll that will help you understand how the NOI was formed, grew, and became the nation that it is today. This scroll also includes interpretations from The Hon Elijah Muhammad (PBUH).
Q: You may recall when I asked this question that related to the manner of race and color, I had asked you whether a white man can become a Muslim, and had said to me by nature he could not?”
A: He could not. (Pg. 58)
A: When we say that the white man can’t be a Muslim, it don’t mean that he can’t believe it, it means that by nature he cannot believe it.” (Pg. 64)
The Lost-Found Nation of Islam in America
This is another important book if you are beginning your journey into the Nation of Islam. This was actually the first book I read all the way through about the NOI, and it helped me develop a newfound respect for their achievements.
In the book’s intro, the author writes:
“”The organization has undergone many changes since the publication of (my) first book in 1984 (From Black Muslims to Muslims: The Transition from Separatism to Islam, 1930-1980) … The book detailed fifty years of the Nation of Islam’s birth, development, and change… None of us in the academic community knew or were aware of the black nationalist passion burning in the heart of Minister Louis Farrakhan. It was he who stepped in and forced the death grip from the throat of his spiritual father, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. In 1977, Minister Louis Farrakhan resurrected/found the Nation of Islam and began to breathe life into a dying movement.”
Both ebook and physical copies are available.
Message To The Black Man
Probably the most well known of all African Spirituality books on the NOI. In fact, it is impossible to have a list of books related to the Nation and not include Message to the Black Man. This book definitely needs to be on your shelf – whether you are a Black man or you know one!
Here are just a few topics covered in the book:
- Help self: what must be done with the Negroes
- The Bible and the holy Qur’an: which one contains words of God?
- Prayers to pray
- A sound economic plan
- Clarification of confusion surrounding Muslims
And so much more!
Hebrew Israelites and Judaism
Hiding The Hebrews: Did America Kidnap The Lost Tribes of Israel?
You can read this for free by clicking ‘Get the Ebook’ below!
This is a fast read that presents undeniable, facts-based truths. I loved the layout, the authors writing style (Minister Fortson is a Sci-Fi writer as well believe it or not), and some powerful questions are posed that will send you down rabbit-holes of research.
If you have an hour and you are a quick reader, you can get through this one in almost one sitting.
78 5-STAR reviews cant be wrong. I put my stamp on this one.
The Black Hebrew Awakening And The Coming Gentile Apocalypse
You can read this for free by clicking ‘Get the Ebook’ below!
Another fast read from Minister Fortson. The research and scripture based facts presented in this book pose strong arguments for the original Hebrews coming out of Africa – not the Middle East.
For instance, Dutch, Portuguese, and English maps dated back to 1710 show that Judah was located on the Western Coast of Africa, which was also designated as the “slave coast”. Then around the 1750s, Judah suddenly disappeared from all maps thereafter. But how did Judah get to the Western Coast of Africa in the first place.
Definitely an eye opener, and this is a free ebook so you have no excuse not to add this to your reading list!
The Lost Books of the Old Testament: The History of Ancient Jewish Apocrypha Not Included in the Bible
You can read this for free by clicking ‘Get the Ebook’ below!
The Roman Catholic Church removed these 14 Books out of the 1611 King James Bible. The Apocrypha is a selection of old books which were included in the 1611 version of the King James Bible in between the Old and New Testament.
It was later removed in 1885 A.D. A portion of these apocrypha books have been called deuterocanonical books by the Catholic church and Church of the East. The word ‘Apocrypha’ literally means ‘hidden.’ Fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls dating back to before 70 A.D. contained parts of the apocrypha books in Hebrew, including Sirach and Tobit.
If your spiritual walk is leading you towards the Hebrew Israelite nations, then understanding scripture is as important as understanding your ABCs.
Hebrews to Negroes – Wake Up Black America
Tired of wondering why we as a black race cannot seem to get ahead? Tired of wondering and asking yourself “Why is life so hard?” or “Why has my whole life been a struggle?”. Tired of getting up every morning to go to work like a “robot” or “slave” with no end in sight? Ever wonder why it seems that Satan is controlling what we see on T.V.?
The book “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” touches on subjects too controversial for most authors to reveal to the people. This book will expose the truths that have been hidden by the powers that be in America. Since the European and Arab slave traders stepped foot into Africa, blacks have been told lies about their heritage.
This was all by Satan’s design for he is the father of lies. There is an old stereotypical expression that says “If you want to hide something from a Black person, put it in a book.” Well, this is THE BOOK that ALL Black people must read!
For A Sign And A Wonder: Handy Scriptural References To Aid The Newly Awakened Israelite
Use this guide next to your Bible (both canon and non-canonical) to help you gain a deeper understanding of the scripture. I find myself reaching for this book more frequently than almost any other related to Hebrew studies.
Here’s the CONDENSED TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Chapter 1: What Color Were The People Of The Bible?
Chapter 2: Choosing The Seed: Abraham, Isaac & Jacob
Chapter 3: Israel’s Purpose
Chapter 4: Blessings of The Most High To Israel
Chapter 5: Why The Most High Cursed Israel
Chapter 6: Covenant Curses
Chapter 7: The Gospel Of The Kingdom
Chapter 8: A Parable For The Awakening
Chapter 9: The Curse Reversed: The Regathering
Chapter 10: The Curse Lifted: Israel Redeemed
Chapter 11: Israel’s Enemies & Oppressors
Chapter 12: Esau Have I Hated
Chapter 13: Mystery Babylon The Great
Chapter 14: The Fate Of Gentile Nations
Chapter 15: Sharing The Truth
APPENDIX 1: The Curses In Action
APPENDIX 2: The Curious Case Of Ham
APPENDIX 3: Them Which Say They Are Jews
5 Percenters (The Nation of Gods and Earths)
Knowledge of Self: A Collection of Wisdom on the Science of Everything in Life
Some people might disagree with this, but this is the best book I have read for beginners with the Nation of Gods and Earths. While the book doesn’t go in on the history of the organization as much as others, it takes the words of the members themselves to explain and illustrate the 5 Percenter culture.
One of the concepts you will learn is that the term “Five Percenter” stems from the NGE worldview. They say that 10% of the world knows the truth – that the Black man is God – yet conceal it from the 85% so that they can control this vast, ignorant majority.
Members of the Nation of Gods and Earths, the remaining five percent, know that the Black man is God and work to spread that truth. Members of the NGE are also known as “Poor Righteous Teachers.”
This is a very easy to read scroll that you can appreciate, even if you are not planning on becoming one of the ‘True and Living’.
Supreme Lessons of the Gods and Earths: A Guide for 5 Percenters to Follow As Taught by Clarence 13x Allah
A compilation of all the lessons originally taught by Father Clarence 13x Allah in an easy-to-understand study guide. It includes Daily Mathematics, 12 Jewels, Supreme Alphabet, Student Enrollment (1-10), Lesson “C” (1-36), Lost-Found Muslim Lessons 1 and 2, and the Actual Facts. These lessons are the lost lessons of the Nation of Islam.
If your spiritual walk takes you to the Five Percenters, this will be required reading and memorization.
Why I Am a Five Percenter
This is an excellent overview of Five Percenter history, culture, and the testament of one of its most well known members.
Michael Muhammad Knight has studied Islam at a madrassa in Pakistan, the Allah School in Harlem, and Harvard University. His work has been censored, boycotted, confiscated, and threatened with legal action – so you know he is dropping truth!
In this book, he analyzes what his duty to this group entails as he becomes more and more a part of it, and addresses the issues of race, gender, feminism, colonialism, and what exactly makes one an outsider or an insider.
The United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors are one of the lesser known groups who had a major impact on African Spirituality in the United States during the 1990s.
The Nuwaubian Nation or Nuwaubian movement was a religious organization founded and led by Dwight York. York began founding Black Muslim groups in New York in 1967. He changed his teachings and the names of his groups many times, incorporating concepts from Judaism, Christianity, Moorish Science, and many esoteric beliefs.
Teacher’s Guide to the Nuwaubian Language
Before you can truly understand the teachings of the Nuwaubian nation, you must understand the language.
While this guide was produced for teachers, it is instrumental in helping any new initate learn the language.
This is not a book, but a CD – Rom. Its one of the very few resources out there that help you learn the language the way it was created.
A very important historical addition to any scholarly library.
The Devil’s Hidden Messages From A-Z Kindle Edition
Dr. Malachai Z. York is considered the founder of the Nuwaubian way, and this book contains his teachings on the matrix – the traps that the government (aka the ‘devils’ of the world) have laid for those seeking to live a free and righteous life.
I included this book because it was the firs I read on the subject and it woke me up to the fact that we are all born into bondage.
This is also a great starting point for beginners since many of Dr. York’s books are out of print, expensive, or extinct, while The Devil’s Hidden Messages can still be found and read for free!
What Is Nuwaupu? (Right Knowledge Series, 1)
100 pages written by Dr. York himself gives new initiates insights into the prayers, cultures, traditions, and practices that govern the Nuwaupu way of life.
If you are looking for a proper introduction, I suggest you start here instead of sensationalized mainstream interpretations!
This book is still affordable, but wont be for much longer since almost all his works are out of print.
Other Nuwaubian Nation Books
The Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America Official Reprint
Almost every system of African spirituality has its holy book – and this is the one you must have in your possession if you are interested in becoming a member of the Moorish Science movement.
Also known as the ‘Circle 7 Koran’, this scroll was divinely prepared by Noble Drew Ali for Initiates and Disciples.
The opening chapters focus on the origins of mankind and the world around us, the teachings of Jesus, and the teachings of other scholars like Matheno and Elihu.
The latter part of the Koran contains the teachings of the Prophet on marriage, gratitude, social duties, and the origins of Christianity and Asiatic nations.
If you dont buy any other scroll on Moorish Science, you must buy this one!
The Foundations of A Nation Volume One: The Circle 7 Holy Koran: Noble Drew Ali & The Moorish
I included this scroll because you can check it out for free with a Kindle trial, its a quick read, and it gives new initiates an introduction to the history of Noble Drew Ali and his Moorish Science Temple along with a collection of his writings.
This book is part of a series by the Department of Supreme Wisdom dealing with the theosophical and cultural foundations of the Nation of Islam, so you can trust that the authors did their research.
While most of the information in this book can be found online, having it all in one ebook saves you time and gives you what you need to know in a digestible format.
Moorish Jewels- Emerald Edition
I included this scroll because you can check it out for free with a Kindle trial, and its better than most collections of Moorish knowledge for beginners.
The Emerald Edition covers a wide range of subjects including Astrology, History, Music, Film, Etymology, and the teachings of Noble Drew Ali – the Patriarch of Moorish Science.
Again, this scroll is free with a Kindle Unlimited trial, so you have no excuse not to check it out!
Kemetic Spirituality Books
The Egyptian Book of the Dead : The Book of Coming Forth by Day
I mentioned earlier that almost every system of African spirituality has its own holy book, and for Kemetic (Ancient Egyptian) spirituality, this is it!
The book was originally mis-translated to mean a book that helps the dead gain entrance to the afterlife.
This is incorrect – and the correct translation of the ‘Pert Em Heru’ is the book of coming forth by day.
In other words, this is a book of enlightenment!
If white so-called Egyptologists couldn’t even get the title right, chances are they got the rest of the translation wrong too.
Thats why I recommend you start with Dr. Muata Ashby’s translation and interpretation. This was the first African spirituality book I read related to Kemetic teachings, and the illustrations, diagrams, and explanations are perfect for new initiates.
This is a beast of a book at 300+ pages that you will find yourself reaching for again and again.
Maat The 11 Laws Of God
When this scroll was written back in 2003 it quickly became one of the most important African spirituality books in circulation.
Metu Neter – Vol 1. Pg. 17-19:
Let’s begin by making clear that the Laws of God bear no resemblance to man’s laws. They are not injunctions or commandments to be obeyed. They are not rules, prohibitions, or regulations prescribed to govern the behavior of man. Neither are they conventions that sages have met and agreed upon.
They are Principles that explain the nature and interaction of the forces and principles that influence man’s life—his/her thinking, feelings, actions and destiny. The observance of these Principles will enable the individual to live in harmony with these principles and forces, thus gaining access to God’s wisdom and spiritual power—all else that is needed or is important in life will follow. They apply to the 11 spheres of spiritual influence operating in man’s spirit and the world.
The Kybalion A Study of The Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece
“The Principles of Truth are Seven; he who knows these, understandingly, possesses the Magic Key before whose touch all the Doors of the Temple fly open.” — The Kybalion.
The Seven Hermetic Principles, upon which the entire Hermetic Philosophy is based, are as follows:
- THE PRINCIPLE OF MENTALISM.
- THE PRINCIPLE OF CORRESPONDENCE.
- THE PRINCIPLE OF VIBRATION.
- THE PRINCIPLE OF POLARITY.
- THE PRINCIPLE OF RHYTHM.
- THE PRINCIPLE OF CAUSE AND EFFECT.
- THE PRINCIPLE OF GENDER.
These Seven Principles are broken down in this important scroll.
There is an audiobook version available – so no excuses not to get this knowledge!
The Meaning of Hotep: A Nubian Study Guide
So much information on the Metu Neter (the ‘words of the Gods’) and the many Gods and Goddesses of the African pantheon are presented in this study guide that you will need to read through this more than once!
One reader said “I could be studying this information for ten years, and still find something new to learn. Great informative book.”
Hotep is a word associated with recognizing that there is a Creative Force eminent in all things. Hotep deals with the commemoration of the ancestors, some of whom are great figures that stand out in history, such as Imhotep, the world’s first known multigenius and true father of medicine; Ptahhotep, the author or the world’s oldest book of instruction; Neithhotep, the First Dynasty queen and wife of Pharoah Mena; and Amenhotep, who designed the Ipet-Isut Temple in the west.
This study guide is a must have for anyone calling themselves ‘woke’!
Mejat Wafa Medu Neter Conversation & Phrase Book: Pocket Medu Neter Conversation Book
Why is a language book on a list of African spirituality books?
Because you cannot honestly practice any spiritual system if you cannot speak the language! The Mejat Wafa Medu Neter Conversation & Phrase Book teaches the language of Kemet (so-called Egypt) in easy to understand language that is familiar to our modern syntax.
There is also information on the origins of modern terms. For instance:
The people of Kemet were religious people, so it is no wonder that the origin of the words used at the end of prayers by Christians, Muslims and Jews, Amen, Ameen, and Aman, respectively, are in fact ancient Egyptian. They are derived from the name of the ancient Egyptian god Amun, whose name as stated in the Book of the Dead means “he who is not seen by human eyes”.
Kemetic is the formal orthodox language of the Pan-African Alliance, and is required study for anyone interested in Kemetic spiritual systems.
Roots of Nubian Christianity Uncovered: The Triumph of the Last Pharaoh
This book will not only help you understand Nile valley history and religion, it will also help you gain a deeper understanding of Christianity.
The Roots of Nubian Christianity Uncovered highlights the themes of cultural complexity and multiple religious identities in late antique Nubia. Read this book and it will become clear to you that like other forms of African Christianity that have been shaped by African traditional religions and culture, Nubian Christianity was fundamentally African.
This book does an excellent job at addressing the debate between so-called Pagan philosophies and Christianity in ways that both beginners and experienced thinkers can appreciate.
Yoruba, Voodoo, Santeria, and Obeah
Black Gods: Orisa Studies in the New World
This is a great African spirituality book for those interested in learning more about the Yoruba system (properly called Ifa).
I found this book very easy to understand and you will be able to easily see the interconnected relations between the Orisa – the spiritual forces that exist in the world around you.
One reader who reviewed the book had this to say:
“John Mason celebrates the African-ness of Santeria and Lukumi; (not all practitioners respect those origins). This book is my first recommendation to the neophyte of African Religious Traditions, and I’ve recommended this book to college kids in “Comparative Religion” classes. Too often African Spirituality is treated in a condescending manner; this is THE book that elevates Ifa/Orisa to its rightful place of esteem. John Mason’s literary style is clean, honest, and profound.”
The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts
This was the book that I constantly referenced in my podcasts titled African Spirituality: Orisha And Yoruba Philosophy that you can listen to here.
Here is what one reviewer had to say:
“Great book and reference material. I love this book, It gave you a lot of information and history into the Yoruba religion. I love that it had references that you could then look up for yourself, I loved the pictures and the detailed charts as well as prayers for each orisha! This book will be one of my go to’s from now on.”
This is a fully illustrated book with some nice charts and graphs that really help you understand the concepts behind the Yoruba spiritual system.
Creole Religions of the Caribbean: An Introduction from Vodou and Santeria to Obeah and Espiritismo
“This text successfully dispels the misrepresentations and negative stereotypes societies throughout history have placed on these religions. The authors provide a great deal of research and analysis that is sure to aid both scholars and enthusiasts.”-Journal of Folklore Research
At more than 300 pages, this book is a definitive guide to the religions of the Carribean that have evolved from Ifa, Igbo, and other West African religions.
There is so much misinformation regarding religions like Vodou (thanks to western media and ignorance), and so few people even know the fundamentals of Obeah that this title deserves a place among your African spirituality books.
Ödïnanï: The Igbo Religion
The Igbo people are one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa. There are about 32 million of us (I am Igbo by heritage) and Igbo are native to Nigeria.
Before the arrival of Christianity, the Igbo people practiced a religion called Ödïnanï.
Ödïnanï venerates the God of the Earth and Its Hosts of spirits (Anï). Ödïnanï or Omenana describes this method of venerating or worshiping God.
Note that worship of God describes the ways we choose to commune with the manifest God (Chineke) and, through It, with the Godhead (Chukwu) – the Source.
The God is the same as the ‘God’ concept in other religions, but the rituals or methods for approaching It differ.
This is one of the very few books written on the subject, so it should be added to your collection of African spirituality books!
The Igbos and Israel: An Inter-cultural Study of the Oldest and Largest Jewish Diaspora
General African Spirituality Books
How many of these African spirituality books have you read? Did we forget a title that you think should be on this list?
Add your reviews and your suggestions in the comments below!