Quran on Formation of Clouds and Rain

Allah says:

(And it is He Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His Mercy (rain). Till when they have carried a heavy-laden cloud, We drive it to a land that is dead, then We cause water (rain) to descend thereon. Then We produce every kind of fruit therewith. Similarly, We shall raise up the dead, so that you may remember or take heed.) (7:57)

Allah says:

(And We send the winds fertilizing (to fill heavily the clouds with water), then cause the water (rain) to descend from the sky, and We give it to you to drink, and it is not you who are the owners of its stores [i.e. to give water to whom you like or to withhold it from whom you like].) (15:22)

Modern science has affirmed the scientific points mentioned in this verse of the Quran. 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.

An image of the atmosphere including its clouds and winds

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.29 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:

(See you not that Allah drives the clouds gently, then joins them together, then makes them into a heap of layers, and you see the rain comes forth from between them; and He sends down from the sky hail (like) mountains, (or there are in the heaven mountains of hail from where He sends down hail), and strikes therewith whom He wills, and averts it from whom He wills. The vivid flash of its (clouds) lightening nearly blinds the sight.) (24:43)
A cumulonimbus cloud
A cumulonimbus cloud. This picture has been taken by NASA satellite. It is as though an invisible hand is pushing the cumulus clouds to the place of convergence

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

Rain clouds

(A) 1st Stage (b) 2nd Stage (c) 3rd Stage

  • 1st stage: Being driven along: Clouds are carried along, that is, they are driven along, by the wind.
  • 2nd stage: Joining: Then, small clouds (cumulus clouds) driven along by the wind join together, forming a larger cloud.
  • 3rd stage: Stacking: When the small clouds join together, updrafts within the larger cloud increase. The updrafts near the centre 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.

Model for forked lighting
Model for forked lighting. (a) The negative charge concentrated at the bottom of the cloud becomes large enough to overcome the air's resistance and develops a «leader» pointing towards the ground . (b) An upward flow of positive charges form the ground concentrates elevated points (c). The downward flow of negative charges meets the upward flow of positive charges and a strong electric current the upward flow of positive charges and a strong electric current known as return stroke carries the positive charges into the cloud.

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 super-cooled 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.30

Allah says:

(And thunder glorifies and praises Him, and so do the angels because of His Awe. He sends the thunderbolts, and therewith He strikes whom He wills, yet they (disbelievers) dispute about Allah. And He is Mighty in strength and Severe in punishment.) (13:13)