Monday, 10 September 2007

Diamonds, Millions and Human Worth

Amanullah De Sondy – Thought for the Day, BBC Radio Scotland,
Wednesday 11th October 2006

The Lesotho Promise, one of the world’s largest diamonds was sold for a staggering six point 7 million pounds, in the Belgian city of Antwerp two days ago. The six hundred and three carat white gem, which weighs one hundred and twenty grams, was found in Lesotho this summer.

What intrigued me was that the precious gem was modelled and showcased by Lesotho black women. All of this in the city of Antwerp where Vlaams Belang, the anti-immigration party, which also calls for the de-recognition of Islam as an official religion, has its stronghold. Despite the party’s position slipping from first to second in recent local elections, they still have a third of the city’s vote.

Sitting watching this news unravel many questions came to mind. How do we decide what is worthy and what is not? While the diamond found in Lesotho is highly valued it seems that the value of diverse people is not. Are we in a state where we have placed a greater value over our real treasures? What are our real treasures? The diamonds new owner said that the cutting and processing stage was a delicate one, which could quite easily end in disaster. In the same way I feel that if we do not appreciate and take time to unearth the priceless treasures in our own lives, and the lives of others, we might lose sight of what is of real value.

Diamonds and glamour walk hand in hand said the news reporter, so is it all about what we add to our bodies that gives us our worth? This question struck a chord in relation to the recent debate over Muslim women and the veil. Diamonds or veils - nothing can be priced higher than our human worth. In the Islamic tradition what is of importance is the way these material additions are utilised to deepen Muslim spirituality and in turn helping others release their own priceless treasures.

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