By Imam Vernon M. Fareed
Slavery was without doubt one of the most horrendous atrocities that has ever occurred since the human person has been on this earth! The slave-masters and all of those who created that mechanism for human exploitation and free labor had one plan in mind, but the GREAT CREATOR had another one in mind. The Holy Qur’an (the sacred scripture of Muslims) says: “they strategize and God strategizes, but God is the best of strategic planners.” So no matter what evil man plans – God is always ahead of him in having a plan in place to override his scheme. Some would perhaps question why God would allow such atrocity to happen in the first place! When you think about the many attributes that God has, logic says that man has to see expressions of HIS POWERS, and so the Creator gives the human being limited free will to scheme, lie, commit evil, etc. There is no doubt that man is going to stray from the destiny intended for him by his Creator and commit evil. God then expresses His Power and demonstrates that HE is the All-Powerful, the All-Knowing, The Most Merciful or whatever the situation calls for. The end result is that He proves HIMSELF to be “THE GOD,” and that there is no force greater than HIM!
The human person is never going to fully understand all of the workings and ways of the Creator, so that’s just life, but people of faith trust Him and accept that He is ONE in charge of everything in creation.
So, back to the issue of slavery and the horrible treatment that African-American people experienced during that period – God brought some good out of it! Scientists tell us that diamonds are produced from coal and they also tell us that gold was originally meteorites. Both of these are precious commodities, and they both are produced under extreme pressures and circumstances. The diamond is produced from coal after millions of years of pressure, and in the same manner “diamond people” are produced out of pressure. One might question, why are so many of the African-American people ill-prepared for the challenges of life and leadership? There are several answers to this perplexing situation; 1. Not all diamonds have been discovered 2. Not all diamonds have been cut and polished to obtain its brilliance and excellent quality 3. Some diamonds are used as tools for cutting other material and likewise some people are used strictly for that purpose 4. Not all diamonds exhibit the same value, brilliance, hardness, etc., so they will not all have the same usage.
If the African-American people come to see themselves as the diamonds that they have been created, they will be able to make tremendous contributions to society – as some are already doing. The fact of the matter is that the Creator has brought a lot of good out of a bad situation, and people have a responsibility to make good choices in their lives. A big part of the problem that African-Americans are now experiencing as a people is due to the choices they make. You can display yourself as a “diamond in the rough” or as “a diamond smooth and polished with brilliance (of intelligence), it’s your choice!