Lessons from Geese
Cont’d from page 1
All geese species are migratory. Thus, we see that emigration may indeed be a life-saving movement! This reminds us of the following Quranic teaching: O you who believe, you shall reverence GOD and seek the ways and means to Him, and strive in His cause, that you may succeed (5:35).
God the Most Wise also has set a precedent for us all. When the disbelievers tried to burn Abraham, Lot believed with him and said, “I am emigrating to my Lord. He is the Almighty, the Most Wise” (29:26). Those who emigrated for the sake of GOD, because they were persecuted, we will surely make it up to them generously in this life, and the recompense of the Hereafter is even greater, if they only knew. This is because they steadfastly persevere, and in their Lord they trust (16:41-42).
There is also an interesting contrast mentioned in 4:97-100 for our reflection on “those who could but didn’t want to” (See also 9:20). Thus, while GOD guides the geese towards spring, He guides those who seek his approval to the paths of peace, leads them out of darkness into the light by His leave, and guides them in a straight path (5:16). God be glorified.
Have they not seen the birds above them lined up in columns and spreading their wings? The Most Gracious is the One who holds them in the air. He is Seer of all things (67:19).
Depending on the species, the young develop sufficiently to begin flying as early as 40 to 85 days after hatching! And while the young learn to fly, the seniors’ flight feathers and other plumage undergo their yearly renewal. By the time the brood is 2 or 3 months old,
both the youths and the seniors are ready for their greatest flight migrating to winter quarters. This system of God repeats itself yearly throughout the entire life of the goose. Their life span in the wild is up to 10 years (but they may survive twice as long in captivity). Do you realize that they spend almost their entire life flying! Shouldn’t we too be spending our entire life striving in the cause of God, never wavering nor tiring? God be glorified.
On taking off, geese need more space or more of a headwind than do ducks, and geese typically run a few steps along the ground or over the water before attaining their minimum flight speed. So if time allows, the geese toss their heads a few times before takeoff to warn other birds in the vicinity of their imminent departure.
Now, bear this in mind: God has endowed the geese with navigational knowledge long before man! This knowledge enables them to fly regardless of night or day. Experiments with various birds in planetariums have proved their star-navigational ability beyond doubt. On clear days, the geese evidently use the position of the sun while on starry nights, they use the constellations as guidelines for navigation. Thus, they need not rely on any specific landmarks at all for their movements. Also, note that this recent scientific discovery has already been written down for believers in the Quran over 1400 years ago in 16:16: and landmarks, as well as the stars; to be used for navigation.
Do you not realize that everyone in the heavens and the earth glorifies God, even the birds as they fly in a column? Each knows its prayer and its glorification. God is fully aware of everything they do (24:41).
Geese - Flying in Formation
They fly as a flock in a 'V' formation, like the shape of a wedge, sometimes at elevations of several thousand feet.
Most interestingly, by flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. Now, this is teamwork!
This orderly formation in flight provides maximum visibility and even prevents air turbulence, caused by any member of the flock, from obstructing other flock members. And as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the birds immediately following! Here it goes to show that people who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are travelling on the thrust of one another.
The Quran clearly says the believing men and women are allies of one another. They advocate righteousness and forbid evil, they observe the Salats and give the obligatory Zakat, and they obey God and the messenger. These will be showered by God’s mercy. God is Almighty, Most Wise (9:71). Therefore, O you who believe, you shall be steadfast, you shall persevere, you shall be united, you shall observe God, that you may succeed (3:200). O you who believe, do not betray God and the messenger, and do not betray those who trust you, now that you know (8:27). God be glorified.
Should any goose fall out of formation, it will suddenly feel the drag and resistance of trying the difficult journey alone. It will quickly get into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front. So, if we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are going for God loves those who fight in His cause united in one column, like the bricks in one wall (61:4). Therefore, you shall obey GOD and His messenger, and do not dispute among
Cont'd on page 3