GUIDELINES FROM THE INCIENTS
The Nyahbinghi Order is the most ancient order of Rastafari, as from the earliest times, when cherubim and seraphim chanted songs of praise around the Rainbow Circle Throne of the Almighty Omnipotent Majesty Emperor HAILE SELASSIE I unto this present day, I n I brethren and sistren of JAH RAS TAFARI Emperor HAILE SELASSIE I Theocracy Reign Order of the Nyahbinghi do uphold this Ivine Order and trust that this message of truth transcend all boundaries as waters cover the seas. With these aspirations I n I the Patriarchs of Nyahbinghi in Jamaica do see it necessary to document the following guidelines so that I n I brothers and sisters be aware of some of the commitments one has to abide by to be in the true covenant of Nyahbinghi. Righteousness exalteth a nation but sin is a reproach to all people.
The Nyahbinghi creed is opened with the reciting of the following Psalms, while all must stand with due respect to H.LM. 1) Psalm 1, 2) Psalm 121, 3) Psalm 122, 4) Psalm 133, 5) Psalm 24 followed by the Creed.
CONCERNING THE FLAG OR EMBLEM
The lyahbinghi flag is the ancient Ethiopian flag, which consists of Red at the bottom, Gold in the middle and on the uppermost, Green. The Gold in the middle carries a Lion bearing the flag of Ithiopia. The Lion is the Imperial symbol of Ethiopia and represents I and I Ivine Majesty HAILE SELASSIE I, the Lion of Judah. The flag should be held high at all times and should not be torn or abused. It must be present at all gatherings and homes and be borne whenever representing I&I Ivine Majesty Emperor HAILE SELASSIE I.
CONCERNING THE TABERNACLE
The Tabernacle consists of twelve outer posts which represent 1) the twelve patriarchs 2) the twelve gates of New Jerusalem 3) the twelve Tribes of Israel 4) the twelve Apostles. The centre post, the largest of all, represents I n I Ivine Majesty Emperor HAILE SELASSIE I who is the head of the Nyahbinghi Order. Roof of the Tabernacle should take the shape of an umbrella. Portraits of H.I.M. decorate the Tabernacle. No weapons, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or outrageous behaviour are allowed inside. It must be viewed by all as being assembled around the Throne of JAH RAS TAFARI HAILE SELASSIE I.
CONCERNING THE ALTAR OF THE TABERNACLE
The altar which stands in the centre of the Tabernacle consists of six outer posts surrounding the centre post of the Tabernacle representing the book of the Seven Seals / Seven Golden Candlesticks. The priests administrate around this altar which is laid with an altar covering of Red, Gold and Green. Herbs, Prophecy, Portraits of H.LM. and fruits are placed upon the altar. The Nyahbinghi daughters are not permitted to administrate around this altar. The inner section of the altar should not be used for a sleeping room and can be used for a library or, storing things pertaining to the Tabernacle.
CONCERNING THE NYAHBINGHI MAN
The Nyahbinghi Man must abide by the laws of His Imperial Majesty. He should abide with one Queen as a perfect example set by His Imperial Majesty HAILE SELASSIE I. The use of flesh, drugs, alcohol and all harmful articles of food must be forbidden by all. The Nyahbinghi Man is nonviolent, non-abusive and non-partisan. He must be free from all criminal activities as a true son of JAH RAS TAFARI. Whoredom, adultery, fornication and all sinful acts are an abomination to the Most High. It is the duty -of every Nyahbinghi to see to it that love and harmony be maintained on every gathering. Intimate relations with whites is strictly’ forbidden. A Nyahbinghi Man should not abide with a woman who is not of Rastafari livity. It is the duty of every Nyahbinghi Man to properly maintain his children and raise them in the order of righteousness. It is wrong for a Nyahbinghi Man to trim and comb his children, this is an abomination.
CONCERNING THE NYAHBINGHI DAUGHTERS
The Nyahbinghi daughters, like the sons must abide by JAH Ivine laws. As H.I.M. is the Head of the Nyahbinghi Order the Nyahbinghi Queen must recognize her King as her Head. During her monthly issue (a period of seven days) the Nyahbinghi Queen does not attend Issemble or congregate among the brethren. She must be loyal to her King Head in all things concerning righteousness. She must abide within her home and not be a “busybody”. If there is a misunderstanding between her and her King Man, the matter should be brought before the Priest or Council of Elders who will deal with the matter privately and constructively. A Nyahbinghi Queen is not permitted to play the drums at an Issemble but is permitted to use the Shaka or Timbrel. She is not permitted to administrate around the altar or to prophecy before the congregation. During reasoning she can make suggestions and participate in governmental administration as in the taking of minutes, writing of letters or any other works she is capable of doing, as seen by the brethren. She must be attired in modest apparel at all times and must not wear pants or explosive garments. Her head must be covered during an Issemble or when congregating with brethren or outside her gates. During Issemble the daughters are responsible for the teaching of the children with special emphasis on H.LM. HAILE SELASSIE I, the Amharic language, Black History and other aspects of Rastafari Ivine livity. When the Nyahbinghi Queen brings forth a Prince, she should stay away from Issemble for a period of 3 months. When she brings forth a Princess, she should stay away for a period of 4 months. Eating of abominable flesh must be strictly forbidden by all. The wearing of jewellery is not forbidden but the piercing of the flesh (e.g. ears, nose, etc.) is against the will of JAH. The plaiting of locks is forbidden as it is written in the book of I Peter 3:3, whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of(e.g. braids, weaves, etc.) the hair.
CONCERNING THE PRIESTHOOD
A Priest of the Nyahbinghi Order is ordained by JAH RAS TAFARI. This is thus revealed by the individual’s works and Ivine livity over a number of years. He must be a man of -Ivine livity with the prophecy as a guideline. The Priests administrate around the altar of the Tabernacle and leads the congregation in prayer as well as-the sanctification of the new born sons and daughters of the lyahbinghi Order. The Nyahbinghi Priest can have his Queen as did Aaron, Zadok, etc., but must be one of Ivine qualities, abiding by JAR laws. The Nyahbinghi Priest must be one of justice who carries out his works without partiality. He must maintain an ‘Ital, Livity’ making sure he does not defile the temple of the living JAR with abominable flesh. The signature of the Nyahbinghi Priest must be affixed to all official documents of the Order of the Nyahbinghi.
CONCERNING THE FIRE KEY
The Fire Key is lighted with the reciting of seven Psalms: 1) Psalm 68; 2) Psalm 2; 3) Psalm 83; 4) Psalm 94; 5) Psalm 20; 6) Psalm 11; 7) Psalm 9. It is the duty of every brethren to prepare wood for this fire, which is consuming fire for all evildoers irrespective of race, colour or creed. No garbage, waste or refuse should be thrown in the Nyahbinghi fire. The fire should bum unceasingly during the days of the Nyahbinghi grounding. The Fire must not be disturbed; no food should be cooked or roasted on this Fire at no time. Both sons and daughters can gather around this fire for warmth or to pour out the judgment on mystery Babylon.
CONCERNING THE NYAHBINGHI DRUMS
The Nyahbinghi drums are played only by capable Rastafari brethren during the hour of chanting. A ‘bald head’ or non-Rastafarian is not permitted to play the drums. Rings must be removed from the fingers of any such player of drums, namely the Fundeh and Repeater so as to protect the skins of the drums. Players of instruments must be in one accord at all times ensuring perfect harmony. The three types of drums are: 1) Bass 2) Fundeh 3) Repeater. The Bass carries the two beat or heart beat 1, 2 in accord with the Fundeh that says ‘Do Good’ or 1, 2. The Repeater repeats the beats in accordance with the Bass and Fundeh.
CONCERNING THE NYAHBINGHI GROUND
The Nyahbinghi ground consists of a Tabernacle, Lion quarters, lioness quarters, a store room, where food is provided for all at no cost, and sanitary conveniences for both male and female. No flesh should be cooked or consumed on a Nyahbinghi ground. The use of alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and sexual intercourse is strictly forbidden; self discipline must be maintained. Strangers are not permitted the use of cameras and/or recording equipment unless authorized by the House. All man must uncover their heads at a Nyahbinghi. All heads of females must be covered, and the wearing of pants and exposive garments are forbidden. Everyone must be properly attired. If a person is afflicted with any form of contagious disease or open wounds, he or she is not permitted to be among the congregation. Workshop for art and crafts, and school for the youths are vital structures of the Nyahbinghi Centre.
The Nyahbinghi Order in Jamaica celebrates for 7 days and nights the following events:
1. 7 January Ethiopian Nativity of Christ
2. 2l April Visit of H.I.M. to Jamaica 1966
3. 25 May All African Liberation Day
4. 23 July Birth of HAILE SELASSIE I 1892
5. 11 September Ethiopian New Year
6. 2 November H.LM. Coronation 1930
These days are revered as hola days and are free from commercial activities. Other celebrations honoured by the House will take the form of public programme in Parks or Community Centres. These include February – Black History Month, May 5th – Ethiopian Liberation Day, August 17th – Birth of Marcus Garvey. The Nyahbinghi Order also participates in lectures on Rastafari in Colleges, Schools, Universities, Television and Radio programmes in its aim of spreading the message to the four corners of the earth. Participants in these Educational programmes are chosen by the House to ensure that the right information is disseminated.
The Nyahbinghi House (Jamaica) meets every 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month for general reasoning. At these meetings various topics are discussed and decisions taken. The meetings are opened with Hola Chants, Prayers followed by an opening remark by an Ilect of the Priesthood. This is followed by an update by the Ilect of Records on past reasonings after which matters arising from old and new issues are discussed. Representative of the Priesthood, Ilects of Records and Treasury must be present at these reasonings, and if there is a need for intensive planning and work to be done, then these meetings are held every Sunday. Contributions towards the House Treasury are received at these meetings and the House reserves the right to dismiss or disallow any individual from attending these meetings. Discipline, tolerance and Iverstanding must prevail at all times to ensure perfect harmony. Everyone has the right to make suggestions and have their opinions heard at these reasonings which are open to all sons and daughters of Rastafari but one voice must be heard at all times. As words without works is in vain, the fruit of all reasoning must be progressive works.