I wondered if the casebook writer was playing a joke…

This is the funniest case I have read in law school so far.

terra nullius

“As a lowly chauffeur in defendant’s employ he became in a trice the protagonist in a breath-bating drama with a denouement almost tragic.”

“Somewhere on that thoroughfare of escape they indulged the strategem of separation ostensibly to disconcert their pursuer and allay the ardor of his pursuit.”

“To hold thus under the facts adduced herein would be tantamount to a repeal by implication of the primal law of nature written in indelible characters upon the fleshy tablets of sentient creation by the Almighty Law-Giver, ‘the supernal Judge who sits on high’.”

“There are those who stem the turbulent current for bubble fame, or who bridge the yawning chasm with a leap for the leap’s sake or who ‘outstare the sternest eyes that look outbrave the heart most daring on the earth, pluck the young sucking cubs from the she-bear, yea, mock the lion when he roars for prey’ to win…

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Song Analysis “Not For You” Pearl Jam

Song Analysis – “Not For You” – Pearl Jam

Restless soul, enjoy your youth
Like Muhammad hits the truth
Can’t escape from the common rule
If you hate something, don’t you do it too…too…
Small my table, it sits just two
Got so crowded, i can’t make roo
Oh, where did they come from? Stormed my room!
And you dare say it belongs to you…to you…
This is not for you
This is not for you
This is not for you
Oh, not for you…ah, you…
…scream…my friends…don’t call me…
…friends, no they don’t scream…
…my friends don’t call…my friends don’t…
All that’s sacred comes from youth
Dedication, naive and true
With no power, nothing to do
I still remember, why don’t you…don’t you…

This is not for you
This is not for you
This is not for you
Oh, never was for you…f#$% you…
This is not for you…
Oh, this is not for you…yeah, you…
This is not for you…
Oh, not for you…
Oh,

Vocalist Eddie Vedder about “Not for You”:

I believe…that there is something sacred about youth, and the song is about how youth is being sold and exploited. I think I felt like I had become part of that too. Maybe that’s why sometimes I have a hard time with the TV end of music and much of the media and the magazines. When I pick up a magazine, I just count how many pages of ads before the first article starts. You go one, two…up to fifteen to twenty or more. And then in the back you have phone sex ads. So I’ve pretty much had it. I don’t want to be the traveling medicine show where we go out and do the song and dance and someone else drops the back of the wagon and starts selling crap. I don’t want our music to sell anything—or anyone else use it. There are a lot of middlemen, somewhere between the band and the audience. I know you need some people to help facilitate things for the live show, and I’m not saying that I don’t appreciate these people but…In the last ten or fifteen years, there have been a lot of changes in music, and somehow the percentages being charged [by the concert industry] got out of hand. We also don’t want to be part of all the marketing tools or whatever, but believe me, we have been. [That happened] on the first album and that’s probably why we are where we are now, but it was hell and I feel awful about it and I’m not going to do it anymore.[2]

He also noted that writing a song like “Not for You” felt like therapy because instead of writing about a character, he was able to express what he himself was feeling.

In another interview, Vedder stated:

These attitudes out there…that it’s the industry’s music… And it’s not. It’s mine. And it’s yours. Whoever’s listening to it. It’s mine and it’s yours. And everybody in between, they’re the distributors. I think that something like a music channel can be very powerful. Sometimes they think they’re the ones who decide what’s heard. I think that’s a dangerous situation. And, I think, what’s more dangerous is that they think it belongs to them. That’s probably what “Not for You” is about.[3]

This song caught my attention because Eddie Vedder mentions Muhammad, peace be upon him, in the second verse. I even had the typical American Muslim reaction. I thought, “Does this mean Eddie Vedder is Muslim (hands open in prayer)?“  The answer is fairly clear – No. Then what is Vedder trying to say? He says, “Like Muhammad hits the truth. Can’t escape from the common rule. If you hate something, don’t you do it too…too…” He’s saying that Muhammad (S) taught the Golden Rule, usually stated in English as “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” And he’s being historically accurate because Muhammad (S) said, “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”(An-Nawawi’s Forty Hadith 13 (p. 56))[1]. Also, he said in a similar vein, “If anyone harms (others), God will harm him, and if anyone shows hostility to others, God will show hostility to him.” (Sunan of Abu-Dawood, Hadith 1625). Interestingly, he didn’t say in the song that this is something Jesus (peace be upon him) said. It’s ingenious that he quotes Muhammad (S) and not Jesus (pbuh). Can you see why? Most of his audience already knows that Jesus (pbuh) said this, but many of them likely do not realize that Muhammad (S), a man often reviled by Christians, said words to the same effect. This allows Vedder to make two points at once – one, regardless of who said it, treat people how you hope to be treated by them; two, if you focus on the moral teachings of different religions, you will see universal themes repeat over and over. These two ideas go hand in hand because Muslims and Christians, as well as people of all faiths and non-faiths, ought to treat each other with reciprocity because equality is a universal human value.

In addition, Pearl Jam is talking about the absurdity of the music industry. He describes how he attempts to have an intimate moment with a woman, not necessarily sexual, but part of a relationship, only to have it invaded by rude people. There is this inevitable conflict between his identity as a rock star and his role as a human being. I wonder if the couple at the table is a metaphor also for his relationship with his fans. This is something I’ve seen in U2’s lyrics as well where you can shift perspective and suddenly a song about a man and a woman becomes a song about a rock star and a fan. He wants to connect with the fan directly, even intimately, but all these barriers, middlemen, and pitfalls come in the way.

 

When he says, “This is not for you,” he’s referring to all those middlemen – agents, promoters, managers, perhaps critics, and others. He’s not dissing his fans, even though some might interpret it that way. He makes it clearer that his fans aren’t his enemies.

Look closely at the lines, “All that’s sacred comes from youth/ Dedication, naive and true.” This is his expression of his love for his fans. They are full of passion, innocent, sincere. Don’t think I skipped the line, “All that’s sacred comes from youth.” That is an immensely profound line. In fact, in another time, in another culture, thinkers could write volumes on that one line alone. There’s even a subtle yet poignant sense of guilt. I think he feels guilty that he’s taking money from these kids who he finds so honest in their devotion to him. The best he can do is to try to be the musician that he would want to see as a fan. And if he can do that, he will be paying back the young fans who pay him.

 

[1] “Religious Tolerance” http://www.religioustolerance.org/islam.htm/

[2] Hilburn, Robert. “All Revved Up (As Usual)”. Los Angeles Times. November 20, 1994.

[3]Chiam, Lynn. “Pearl Jam Interview”. Singapore’s BIGO (Before I Get Old). April 1995.

 

 

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Towers of Steel

“See the sun rise over her skin
She feels like water in my hand
Freeway like a river cuts through this land
Into the side of love
Like a burning spear
And the poison rain
Brings a flood of fear
Through the ghost-ranch hills
Death valley waters
In the towers of steel
Belief goes on and on ”

U2, Heartland, Rattle and Hum, 1988

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Zabihah.com, An Excellent Resource for Eating Islamically

Zabihah.com, www.zabihah.com,  is a great website if you are looking for places to get zabihah food. If you have used yelp, you will find its format very familiar. It gives you tons of useful information about restaurants, groceries and restaurant/groceries. Most importantly, it gives customer reviews written by real Muslim customers. You can find addresses and phone numbers for the locations listed. You can even get an idea of the prices as the site uses a scale with $ being cheap and $$$$ being expensive.

There’s a terrific review for a local favorite of mine, Mediterranean Oasis, http://www.zabihah.com/d/Naperville+7701+Mediterranean-Oasis-Mart/. It has a rating of 4.9 out of 5.0, based on 12 reviews.

Here’s one review I particularly liked:

★★★★★ Arguably the best halal meat store in Chicagoland – big selection of groceries and meats including the widest selection of halal cold cuts and deli meats that I have ever seen: turkey breast, salamis, pastrami, etc. There’s a small restaurant counter that is better than most full-fledged middle eastern restaurants. Single biggest reason to move to Naperville.  (M.A. Hussain, Lincolnwood, IL).

Before you go out to eat, check out zabihah.com. It’s a real timesaver.

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How to Eat in Islam

Read “How to Eat in Islam” by Stylish Muslimah, http://stylishmuslimah.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-to-eat-in-islam.html. (The original author is Pixie of the “I Love Hishma” blog.) There are three points that I would emphasize. First, wash your hands before a meal. This is crucial to prevent disease and to promote good health. Second, if you are unsure of what a food is, you should ask. It does not hurt to ask. Why jeopardize your good deeds and your health? You need to know if the food you are eating is halal. Third, after you finish eating, rinse out your mouth. This is especially beneficial for the health of your teeth. Food particles left behind in your mouth can lead to the growth of bacteria and plaque. Read the whole article, http://stylishmuslimah.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-to-eat-in-islam.html, and put into practice. You’ll be glad that you did.

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What is Logos?

In the beginning was Reason, and Reason was with God, and Reason was God. 2 It was with God in the beginning. 3 Through it all things were made; without it nothing was made that has been made. 4 In it was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1

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Defining Halal and Haram

Halal means “allowed,” “lawful,” and/or “permissible.” It comes from a verb meaning, “untie, unbind, unfasten, unravel, solve, decipher.”

The milk of a cow is an example of a halal food.

Haram means “prohibited,” “unlawful,” and/or “sacred.” It comes from a verb meaning “to be forbidden, to be unlawful.”

Note that the meaning of haram depends greatly on context. When Muslims refer to Masjid al-Haram or the Haram Shareef, they are using the word in the sense of being sacred, referring to the masjid surrounding the Ka’aba in Mecca.

Bacon, meat from the side, back, or belly of a pig, is an example of a haram food. There is a clear daleel (piece of evidence) supporting the claim that pork is haram is Islam. Quran 2:173 says, “He [Allah] has only prohibited to you dead meat, and blood, and the flesh of swine and that on which any name hath been invoked besides that of God.” (Hussaini and Sakr, 17, following Yusuf Ali). “Swine” refers exclusively to the animal known in contemporary English as the pig.

When Muslims refer to pork as haram (pronounced with a longer second vowel than above), they mean that pork is prohibited. They do NOT mean that pork is sacred to Muslims.

References:

Mohammad M. Hussaini and Dr. Ahmad H. Sakr, Islamic Dietary Laws and Practices, Chicago: IFANCA, 1983,9.

R. Harmsen, “Halal and Haram.” http://rudhar.com/etymolog/halal.htm, 2011

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Why Do We Fast?

 

Abu Hurairah relates that the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Allah, the Lord of Honor and glory says: All other deeds of man are for himself, but his fasting is purely for Me and I shall reward him for it. The fast is a shield. When any of you is fasting he should abstain from loose talk and noisy exchanges. . . [T]he breath of one who is fasting is purer in the sight of Allah than the fragrance of musk. One who fasts experiences two joys: he is joyful when he breaks his fast, and he is joyful by virtue of his fast when he meets his Lord” (Bukhari and Muslim).”

Allah declares that fasting is purely for Him, Subhana wa Ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted). All other deeds that man does, he does for himself. There is a mystery about fasting that sets it apart from other forms of ibadah. Hajj is always public. Salat earns more merit if it is done in public (for men). Zakat can be done relatively privately, yet it involves multiple people including the donor, the recipient, and often intermediaries to ensure it is properly distributed. Yet fasting is inherently private. The only ones who can be certain that you are fasting are you and Allah (SWT).

The fast is a shield. Fasting should prevent us from committing sins. Unfortunately, the way many of us fast, fasting does not perform this function. We think that if we have gone without food and drink, we have succeeded. We need to push beyond this and realize that fasting should raise us higher. I think the problem is that we are satisfied with too little progress. We are so proud of ourselves when we complete a day of fasting or a night of Taraweeh. Why is it in Shawwal, we struggle to do more than 4 rakahs of Isha? Why are the six fasts of Shawwal so much harder to do than the 30 fasts of Ramadan? I think it is because we have lost the appreciation of excellence in religion. We just want to be good enough Muslims. The idea of becoming the best Muslims in the world does not even occur to us.

Still, I do not want to leave on a sour note. We should reflect on how the fasting that Muslims do inspires awe from people of other religions, even religions that themselves teach fasting. The lesson in this is that if we dedicate ourselves to Islam, there is no limit to our spiritual progress.

http://www.islamicfinder.org/articles/article.php?id=400&lang=

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Foundations of Islamic Ethics of Food

1. Allah (SWT)* created the universe for us to use. Whatever is in the world is ready for our use except those things Allah has forbidden. Humanity has found remarkably ingenious ways to use the creation of Allah for our collective benefit. Biologists have engineered microscopic bacteria that make insulin for diabetics. Physicists have used the gravity of planets to move observers to collect data to advance human knowledge.

2. The purpose of eating is to nourish our bodies which require inputs of matter and energy. It is not wrong to take pleasure in food, so long as we do not go to extremes. We need to eat to live. We do not live merely to experience the pleasure of food.

3. We ought to purchase food from money that we have earned honorably. According to the Noble Messenger, Muhammad (S)**, “No one eats better food than what he eats out of the work of his own hand.” (Sahih Bukhari). Allah, in His infinite grace, has provided us an unlimited variety of ways to earn money in a permissible manner. We can practice medicine, work as engineers, advocate for clients in court, teach classes, serve food, or do one of the many jobs that observant Muslims perform all around the world. We must not steal, gamble, distribute intoxicants, or prostitute ourselves. The sins that accrue from these negative choices can undo the rewards we reap from our good deeds. A Muslim who steals incurs the sin of theft but additionally incurs the sin of eating prohibited food because the food he purchased was bought with dirty money.The lists of permissible and prohibited careers is not comprehensive. For example, I did not mention business management, but in general, that career would be considered permissible. On the other side, I did not mention exotic dancing, but that would be considered prohibited.

At your next meal, take a moment to thank Allah for providing you with the means of survival. Also, reflect for a moment on how you paid for the food you are eating. We should strive to be as grateful as possible and as obedient as possible to Our Merciful Lord, Allah.

(SWT)* = “Subhana wa Ta’ala” (Glorified in the Highest)

(S)** = “Salla allahu alaihi wa sallam (May the peace of Allah be upon him)

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New, Faster Way to Get to This Blog

You can now access this blog at http://www.asad123.com. This domain is mine. If you don’t like change, I understand. You can still access it at http://www.asad123.wordpress.com. Please add me to your feed.

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