Remembering Uzza

28 Those Ordered Killed During Mecca’s Longest Night

(3.0 draft)

UzzaBob: Did the Prophet at least keep his promise not to kill anybody?

Uzza: No. You did not mock Muhammad if you had no protectors and you valued your life. Remember Badr. And you did not leave Islam for the same reason. Those ordered killed on sight had done one or the other or both.

Gerry: Who were these doomed individuals?

Uzza: One was a fellow by the name of Khatal. He had once been Muhammad's collector of God’s fee for purifying your property, the Zakat , the obligatory charity, but later abandoned Islam and returned to Mecca. He was one of six men and four women put to death on Muhammad's orders. Two of the four women killed were singers in Khatal’s household who, years earlier as young girls, had sang satirical songs about him. This may, in part, explains Muhammad's pathological aversion to women singers.

Archie: This guy had issues.

Gerry: Obligatory charity How can charity be obligatory? Isn't charity, by definition, voluntary?

Uzza: In your world, perhaps.

Archie: Yeah, not in your bizarro world where logic is illogical, wrong is right, good is bad.

Uzza: Bizarro world. I don't understand.

Gerry: Bizarro was superman's opposite. He lived on a "bizarro world" where up was down, left was right, go meant stop, goodbye meant hello... Bizarro is a term often used to describe a person or perhaps a god who uses a twisted form of logic.

Uzza: That is not the world people like me and like my father before me have embraced.

Archie: Sorry, I didn't mean you personally.

Bob: Who decided how much of this Zakat you paid?

Uzza: Muhammad. He even wrote a letter before he died for people in the newly conquered territories detailing how much Zakat was owed on livestock such as cattle and goats. You even paid Zakat on goods you intended to trade.

Gerry: A sales tax.

Uzza: I guess so.

Bob: And who did you pay this Zakat to?

Uzza: To Muhammad directly or via Zakat collectors like the unfortunate Khatal.

Archie: What happened to you if you did not contribute to the voluntary charity?

Uzza: You could expect a visit from a deputation of holy warriors who would make you an offer you could not refuse.

Archie: That's extortion!

Uzza: If you say so, but Islamists would not agree.

Gerry: Extortion is "obtaining something through force or threats". Archie has a point.

Uzza: A voluntary charitable contribution demanded by God and enforced by those who believe in him cannot be extortion.

Archie: Did you just say voluntary?

Uzza: Nowhere in the Koran does Allah make charity mandatory. It was Muhammad’s idea and may explain why, after his death, some believers thought they could avoid paying the Zakat, but they thought wrong.

Archie: I get it. Charity was not extortion until the Prophet made it so.

Uzza: You can believe that if you want. It doesn’t matter. The Zakat is compulsory under the Sharia. Get used to it, for you will soon be paying it, and gladly.

Bob: Will we still have to pay income tax, if we pay the Zakat?

Uzza: Probably. The Zakat may have made the Ayatollahs into billionaires but the Iranians still have to pay regular income tax. They do, I believe, get to deduct what the clergy extorts, I mean collects in God's name.