Climbing over the rocks, I found a stable platform and sat down to observe a geese couple by the lake. I sat at a 2-3 feet distance from the female goose who was sitting on a nest of seaweed and other grassy padding – perhaps she was resting on some of her eggs? The male goose was paddling in the lake nearby, but I could feel his close eye on me. I had brought along some bread to feed the birds, and just as I moved in to give some to the female goose, she hissed at me without budging from her spot. Within seconds the male goose splashed out of the lake, climbed onto the rocks, outstretched his neck, and came charging at me, “You best stay away from her!”. From the corner of my eye, I could see the female goose just sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying herself, “Yeah! That’s right, you show that human whose boss”, I could almost hear her cheer.
I was baffled.
This goose had some serious gheerah (protective/honor jealousy males have for their females against the gaze of others) for his “wife”! But how can this goose, whose brain was smaller than the size of my fist, have such a strong sense of gheerah and responsibility to protect his “wife”, and moreover, fulfill that responsibility by taking it seriously?! A true gentle
In the Qur’an [Surah An Nisa (4): ayah 24], Allah (swt) says, in reference to the reason as to why men should delve into marriage:
“The reason and motivation for why you should get married, Allah (swt) says, is because you want to bring women into your fort. Do you know what a fort is? It’s a military base that is protected from all outside attacks. محصنين “MuHsineena” with a ص not a س . “MuHSin” is also where you keep your cavalry, because a “HiSaan” in arabic, is a horse. So the man is described as the owner of a fort, who will bring the female, the woman he is going to marry, into that fort. Meaning that he is going to protect her, he is going to take care of her. Everything is taken care of inside the fort; so if there is a major attack on the fort from the outside, you can survive inside for months without having to go out because all supplies are available. There is this sheltered environment. That is the motivation for why you should get married. And then He (swt) says, “Ghayra MusaafiHeen”, not just to get your lusts and desires out of the way. If that’s the reason then it means your not in the right state of mind yet.” [Short transcription paraphrased of Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan’s lecture on Shame]
SubHaanAllah, truly in the creation and nature around us are signs if we would only reflect.
Here is a video of feeding the male goose after he realized I wasn’t a threat (notice, how he quickly swallows the bread without letting the female have some – perhaps this great “husband” knew something about her health that I didnt?): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzwpfWDnKGY&feature=youtu.be