Remembering Uzza

If Islam was explained to me in a pub

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Critics Are for Killing

Uzza: It was at Badr that Muhammad first informed his followers of the concept of life in the grave after he was seen shouting at dead Meccan corpses that had been thrown down a well after the battle. He explained that dead people cannot talk but they can hear.

Archie: That sounds a lot like zombies.

Uzza: It does, when you think of it. Islam teaches that our existence has four stages: life in the womb, life in the world, life in the grave where the undead can be found, and the afterlife. Islam teaches that when a person dies, his zombie essence, to use your expression, sinks into the ground. Even Muhammad will not escape life in the grave.

Bob: After all he did for God; I almost feel sorry for the guy.

Uzza: Do not! Muhammad is more fortunate than most as he is visited many times a day by angels who bring him the blessings of the living. Whenever you hear a person say "SALLALLAHU 'ALAIHI WA SALLAM" − in English, "May the blessings and the peace of Allah be upon him" − whenever Muhammad's name is mentioned, an angel, some say, visits him in his grave to tell him that so-and-so sends his blessing.

Archie: “Many times a day...” If every Muslim sends only one blessing on any given day, that's more than a billion and half visits a day. That is [taking out a cellphone to do a quick calculation], that is more than 17,000 long-winded “bless you”s every second of every day.

Uzza: That may be why some say that the angels tell Allah that so-and-so has sent his blessings on Muhammad and for a god like Allah, who sees and hears everything, listening to a billion conversations simultaneously, even a million what you called “bless you”s per second, would not escape His attention, especially when bestowed on the apple of His eye[79].

Gerry: But why bother asking Allah to bless his pet prophet who should not have any trouble getting into Paradise, being His latest and greatest?

Uzza: Because a verse in the Koran tells the believers to do just that[80]. They do it not to help Muhammad get into Paradise − as you pointed out, he does not need anyone’s help to get there − but to help themselves. Muhammad said that for every blessing bestowed on him, Allah forgives the blesser ten sins[81].

Archie: That would explain why all those TV preachers can't complete a sentence without sending the Prophet their blessing.

Uzza: [laughing] I should not laugh, but that is funny.

Gerry: What about the ordinary undead, Uzza? Do they get daily visits to relieve the boredom of years, thousands of years for many, below ground with nothing to do, nothing to read?

Uzza: If a person dies a believer and is literally in Allah’s good books, they are provided with a spacious grave, a cave below ground complete with curtains and a bed. Every day an angel will visit them to open the curtains and show them Paradise, their destination on Judgment Day.

Archie: And the unbelievers? I can’t wait to hear about their hole-in-the-ground.

Uzza: An unbeliever’s grave will be a cramped space with walls constantly closing in on them, making every breath a laboured one. And every day an angel will come to visit them and open the curtains to show them where they will spend an eternity on fire, Hell!

Gerry: Psychological and physical torture combined to achieve maximum terror. Who would have thought of that?


Uzza: Muhammad said that we would faint in terror if we could hear the screams of those being tormented in their graves.

Archie: That is insane!

Bob: Aren't sadists insane people?

Uzza: GOD IS NOT A SADIST, and neither is Muhammad. And neither is insane.

Archie: Could have fooled me.

Uzza: Muhammad was a product of his time and what he revealed was simply what people believed then. What is insane is that suicide bombers are encouraged by Islamists − and we let them − to believe that martyrs skip the life-in-the-grave part and go directly to heaven to enjoy all it has to offer because Allah said that those who die in His Cause are with him in Paradise well provided for[82], not in the grave[83].

Archie: That has to be a real incentive for believers who are into instant gratification, houris and all.

Uzza: That is not funny!

Archie: No, it isn't!

Bob: So, the Jews were not spooked by the Prophet admitting to the existence of zombies.

Uzza: The idea of life in the grave has its roots in Jewish folklore. Muhammad admitted as much to his child-bride Aisha who said she heard the story about people tortured in their graves from some old Jewish women, only to be told by her husband that they were telling the truth[84].

Bob: If the Jews were not spooked by zombies, why be scared by the believers attacking and plundering another caravan, which you said is what they did all the time?

Uzza: Badr was different. A rag tag bunch of believers had defeated the equivalent of regular army troops. It was a real confidence booster and that confidence was reflected in what Muhammad did next, which made the Jews apprehensive.

Archie: Real nasty things, I'll bet.

Uzza: The victory at Badr, and the prestige and plunder that came with it, emboldened Muhammad to silence his most vocal and persistent critics: the poets. The first poet to be killed was al-Nadr. The Meccans had praised his verses as superior to those of Muhammad. When he spotted al-Nadr among the prisoners captured at Badr, Muhammad had him beheaded on the spot.

Archie: And they call him the Prophet of Mercy[85]. What garbage!

Uzza: Next to die was the poetess Asma bint Marwan[86]. She was stabbed to death while sleeping with an infant suckling at her breast.

Bob: Holy shit! That’s really horrible!

Archie: Yeah, and it took one fucked-up holy shit to do something like that.

Gerry: Don’t you mean “unholy” shit?

Archie: NO!

Uzza: The Jewish poet Abu Afak was also killed while he slept[87]. After every murder the assassins would go to the Mosque to inform Muhammad and be praised for what they had done at his insistence. Two other poets of note who were killed on his orders or urging were Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf[88] and Abu Rafi[89].

Archie: I'll bet if cartoonists had existed they would have suffered the same fate.

Uzza: Islamists consider Muhammad the personification of the perfect human being whose every action is to be emulated as closely as possible. He used targeted assassination to silence his critics and advance Allah's Cause. Therefore, from an Islamist's point of view, they are simply doing what Muhammad would do if he were still here to those who made fun of his perfection or Allah’s revelations.

Bob: I thought only God was perfect?

Uzza: That Muhammad is considered the most perfect of human beings does not mean he is as perfect as God. However, when you question the perfection of what Islamic scriptures proclaim is the greatest prophet of all times sent to correct the errors of those who came before, you are impugning God's choice as His last and greatest spokesperson. When Muhammad had his critics killed, it was not because he was insulted but because they had insulted God.

Gerry: So, a tradition that started with the Prophet murdering his critics was not because he was thin-skinned but to protect God's reputation for perfection.

Archie: I don't buy it.

Uzza: [getting angry] Muhammad was not yet born when Hypatia of Alexandria was set upon by crazed monks. Cheered on by Cyril, the Christian bishop of the city who she had criticized, "they dragged her from her carriage and into the cathedral, where they stripped her; gauged her eyes out, skinned her alive, and tore her to pieces with jagged tiles ripped from the mosaics"[90]. What does your god tell you about not complaining about the speck in another man's eye while ignoring that large piece of wood in your own?

Gerry: [calmly] If I remember my history, Hypatia died in the fifth century, the beginning of the Dark Ages.

Uzza: And that is where we are going back to, thanks to your stupidity. At least Muhammad knew exactly what he was doing, and Islamists are following his example and achieving the promised victories.

Gerry: What could we have done differently when our politicians were falling over themselves to prove that they were the most tolerant and passing laws to prove it?

Uzza: God's first instruction to Muhammad was to read and he would be successful. And he did, and what he was told to read was the Koran[91].

Bob: But I thought the Prophet could not read or write?