The Qur'an on Formation of Clouds and Rain

The Qur'an on Formation of Clouds and Rain

Allah says: And it is He who sends the winds as good tidings before His mercy until, when they have carried heavy rainclouds, We drive them to a dead land and We send down rain therein and bring forth thereby [some] of all the fruits. Thus will We bring forth the dead; perhaps you may be reminded (7:57))

Allah says: And We have sent the fertilizing winds and sent down water from the sky and given you drink from it. And you are not its stockers.” (15:22)

Modern science has affirmed the scientific points mentioned in these verses of the Qur’an. The winds carry water particles which are rich in salt up into the atmosphere. These particles which are called “aerosols”, function as water traps and form cloud drops by collecting around the water vapor themselves. The clouds are formed from water vapor that condenses around the salt crystals or dust particles in the air. Because the water droplets in these clouds are very small (with a diameter between 0.01 and 0.02 mm), the clouds are suspended in the air, and spread across the sky.(1)

Thus, the sky is covered in clouds. The water particles that surround salt crystals and dust particles thicken and form raindrops, so drops that become heavier than the air leave the clouds and start to fall to the ground as rain.

Allah says: Do you not see that Allah drives clouds? Then He brings them together, then He makes them into a mass, and you see the rain emerge from within it. And He sends down from the sky, mountains [of clouds] within which is hail, and He strikes with it whom He wills and averts it from whom He wills. The flash of its lightening almost takes away the eyesight. (24:43)

Rain clouds are formed and shaped according to definite systems and stages. The formation stages of cumulonimbus, a type of rain cloud, are:

  • Being Driven Along: Clouds are carried along, that is, they are driven along, by the wind.

  • Joining: Then, small clouds (cumulus clouds) driven along by the wind join together, forming a larger cloud.

  • Stacking: When the small clouds join together, updrafts within the larger cloud increase. The updrafts near the center of the cloud are stronger than those near the edges. These updrafts cause the cloud body to grow vertically so the cloud is stacked up. This vertical growth causes the cloud body to stretch into cooler regions of the atmosphere, where drops of water and hail formulate and begin to grow larger and larger. When these drops of water and hail become too heavy for the updrafts to support them, they begin to fall from the cloud as rain, hail, etc.

A cloud becomes electrified as hail falls through a region in the cloud of super-cooled droplets and ice crystals. As liquid droplets collide with a hailstone, they freeze on contact and release latent heat. This keeps the surface of the hailstone warmer than that of the surrounding ice crystals.

When the hailstone comes in contact with an ice crystal, an important phenomenon occurs. Electrons flow from the colder object toward the warmer object. Hence, the hailstone becomes negatively charged. The same effect occurs when supercooled droplets come in contact with a hailstone and tiny splinters of positively charged ice break off. These lighter positively charged particles are then carried to the upper part of the cloud by updrafts. The hail falls towards the bottom of the cloud, thus the lower part of the cloud becomes negatively charged. These negative charges are then discharged as lightning. We conclude from this that hail is the major factor in producing lightning.(2)

Allah says: And the thunder exalts [Allah] with praise of Him – and the angels [as well] from fear of Him – and He sends thunderbolts and strikes therewith whom He wills while they dispute about Allah; and He is severe in assault (13:13)

Allah says: And indeed, for you in grazing livestock is a lesson. We give you drink from what is in their bellies – between excretion and blood – pure milk, palatable to drinkers (16:66)

Maurice Bucaille (3) said: From a scientific point of view, physiological notions must be called upon to grasp the meaning of this verse. The substances that ensure the general nutrition of the body come from chemical transformations which occur along the length of the digestive tract. These substances come from the contents of the intestine. On arrival in the intestine at the appropriate stage of chemical transformation, they pass through its wall and towards the systemic circulation. This passage is effected in two ways: either directly, by what are called the ‘lymphatic vessels,’ or indirectly, by the portal circulation. This conducts them first to the liver, where they undergo alterations, and from here they then emerge to join the systemic circulation. In this way, everything passes through the bloodstream. The constituents of milk are secreted by the mammary glands. These are nourished, as it were, by the product of food digestion brought to them via the bloodstream. Blood therefore plays the role of collector and conductor of what has been extracted from food, and it brings nutrition to the mammary glands, the producers of milk, as it does to any other organ. Here the initial process which sets everything else in motion is the bringing together of the contents of the intestine and blood at the level of the intestinal wall itself. This very precise concept is the result of the discoveries made in the chemistry and physiology of the digestive system. It was totally unknown at the time of Prophet Muhammad and has been understood only in recent times. I consider that the existence in the Qur’an of the verse referring to these concepts can have no human explanation on account of the period in which they were formulated.