July 2005: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 4

MASJID TUCSON United Submitters International

PO Box 43476 Tucson AZ 85733-3476 USA

Tel/Fax: (520) 323 7636

Masjid Tucson site: http://www.masjidtucson.org

Masjid Tucson e-mail: info@masjidtucson.org

Happiness is
Submission to God Alone

ISSN 1089-053X


Trained Dogs And Falcons

Cont’d from page 3

It’s generally agreed that birds will bond with their owners to the point where some degree of communication is possible. But it’s not a relationship of love and trust, as you might find with a dog. In dog training, you use praise and food to teach; in falconry, it’s all food. By controlling the amount of food, the times the bird is fed, and the fact that it must look to its owner to receive food, the hawk will learn to do what is expected in order to receive that food.

To begin, the falconer attaches a short leather cord to the bird’s feet and holds that in his hand while he teaches the bird to stand on his gloved fist where it’s fed tidbits of meat. He then teaches the hawk to jump from its perch onto the gloved fist to receive the meat, gradually widening the distance until the bird will fly 50 feet or more from its perch to the falconer’s fist. All to be fed.

Eventually, the trainer moves to an open field. You can do some practice with a line attached to the bird, but for it to really do its job, it must fly free. How do you keep a wild bird from simply flying away? Well, sometimes you don’t. A bird that was captured as an adult is more likely to flee when given the chance. But if the training is done correctly, the bird has learned that the simplest way of obtaining food is to fly to its handler. So they perch in trees or fly in slow circles around their handlers and come when called. A partnership has been formed. And when the hawk captures the rabbit or quail, it must surrender it to the human. Hunting is the natural instinct of these birds, but giving up what they catch must seem very strange. This is a gift from God. Only God subdues the wild bird to the will of a human being. …"Glory be to the One who subdued this for us. We could not have controlled them by ourselves. [43:13]

Hunting today is mostly for sport and show, but one amazing use of hawks in modern

times is at airports. Flocks of flying birds are sometimes sucked into jet engines causing the plane to crash. After one such accident at JFK in New York, officials decided to try an experiment. For over ten years now, hawks have been used to chase off other birds from the area at the end of runways, and there hasn’t even been a near miss in all that time.

In ancient times and in some places today, hunting with falcons is all about survival. Human beings are quite ill-equipped to catch game—we’re not fast, not strong, not agile. We think we’re smart, using our superior intellect to train these birds and dogs to do our bidding. But it’s all a blessing from God that He allowed us to use other creatures to help us in this endeavor.

…You train them according to God’s teachings. You may eat what they catch for you, and mention God’s name thereupon…. [5:4]