Meteorology in the Quran

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أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُزْجِى سَحَاباً ثُمَّ يُؤَلِّفُ بَيْنَهُ ثُمَّ يَجْعَلُهُ رُكَاماً فَتَرَى الْوَدْقَ يَخْرُجُ مِنْ خِلاَلِهِ وَيُنَزِّلُ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مِن جِبَالٍ فِيهَا مِن بَرَدٍ فَيُصِيبُ بِهِ مَن يَشَآءُ وَيَصْرِفُهُ عَن مَّن يَشَآءُ- يَكَادُ سَنَا بَرْقِهِ يَذْهَبُ بِالاٌّبْصَـرِ  

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 lightning almost takes away the eyesight.

کیا تم نے نہیں دیکھا کہ اللہ ہی بادلوں کو چلاتا ہے، اور ان کو آپس میں ملا دیتا ہے، پھر ان کو تہ بہ تہ کردیتا ہے، پھر تم دیکھتے ہو کہ بادل میں سے مینہ نکل (کر برس) رہا ہے اور آسمان میں جو (اولوں کے) پہاڑ ہیں، ان سے اولے نازل کرتا ہے تو جس پر چاہتا ہے اس کو برسا دیتا ہے اور جس سے چاہتا ہے ہٹا دیتا ہے۔ اور بادل میں جو بجلی ہوتی ہے اس کی چمک آنکھوں کو خیرہ کرکے بینائی کو اُچکے لئے جاتی ہے

(Surah An-Nur: 43)

Water is the main ingredient for life. All living things, from tiny microscopic creature to huge whales, need water to survive. They consume it in different ways and in different quantity. Rainfall is a natural source of water, and fortunately it is renewable, a big blessing of Allah subhana’watalah. This ayah explains the complete process of rain. Let’s break the ayah to understand the process in detail, it ll be divided in the sequence that is explained by Allah swt:


Formation of Clouds:

It is further sub-divided into following stages:

  1. Gentle driving of Clouds:

 اللَّهَ يُزْجِى سَحَاباً

Allah drives clouds

اللہ ہی بادلوں کو چلاتا ہے

The word سحاب is from root word س ح ب , means clouds which are carried and spread along by winds on sky. Generally it is theCumulusClouds initial stage of all kinds of clouds. This is called “gentle driving”. Allah tells us that He drives the clouds from the beginning, when they are formed and are still weak. So the wind play primary role in their movement. 

سحب بمعنی گھسیٹنا اور کھینچنا۔ بادِل کیلئے اِس لفظ کا اِستعمال عام ہے تاہم اِس کا اِطلاق اُس بادِل پر ہوتا ہے، جسے ہوائیں اُٹھا کرآسمان پر پھیلا دیتی ہیں۔ گویا ہر بادِل کی یہ اِبتدائی شکل ہے۔ اللہ سبحانہ وتعالٰی نے اِس آیت میں واضح فرمایا کہ اِن بادِلوں کو وہ چللاتا ہے ۔

2.       Joining of Clouds:

ثُمَّ يُؤَلِّفُ بَيْنَهُ

then joins them together

پھر مللاپ ڈالتا ہے اُسکے درمیان

It means, He brings them together after they have been scattered. This joining makes a large cloud from the small scattered cumulonimbus clouds.

چھوٹے  چھوٹے  بادلوں کے ٹکڑے آپس میں مِل کر ایک  بڑے بادِل کا مجموعہ بن جاتے ہیں۔

 3.         Stacking on each other:

ثُمَّ يَجْعَلُهُ رُكَاماً

then He makes them into a mass

پھر ان کو تہ بہ تہ کردیتا ہے

cumulonimbus-cloudThe word  رُکاما is from the root word ر ک م, it means piling up on top of one another. So the clouds heaped up in layers and become a massive cloud. When the clouds join together, their updrafts (upward movement) increase in the center, so it allows clouds to stack up vertically, due to which updraft remain weak on the edges. Cumulonimbus, from the Latin cumulus (“heap”) and nimbus (“rainstorm”, “storm cloud”), is a dense towering vertical cloud

 رَکَمَ بمعنی ایک چیز کے اُوپر اُسی چیز کی تہہ لگانا اور اِس طرح جو چیز بہت سی مقدار میں جمع ہو جائے یا ڈھیر لگ جائے تو وہ رُکامَ یا مَرکُوم ہے۔سحابُٗ مرکوم بمعنی گاڑھا بادِل، جب یہ بادِل ایک بڑے گاڑھے بادِل کی شکل اِختیار کرتے ہیں تو اِن میں ہوا کے دباوٗ سے اُوپر کی جانب حرکت پیدا ہوتی ہے۔ 

How Rain is produced:

فَتَرَى الْوَدْقَ 
يَخْرُجُ مِنْ خِلاَلِهِ 

and you see the rain emerge from within it

پھر تم دیکھتے ہو کہ بادل میں سے مینہ نکل (کر برس) رہا ہے

 The word  الودَق means the rain, it is from root word ودق, it is the pouring rain, that occurs slowly but continuously for long time. Cumulonimbus clouds often produce intense rain, a heavy downpour. Rain-Drizzling-Down-A-WindowCompare dropping a feather to the dust particle. The dust particle take longer then the feather to reach the surface of ground, and even slightest movement of air can suspend it. But as the water particles that surround salt crystals and dust particles thicken together and form raindrops, the drops that become heavier than the air leave the clouds and start to fall to the ground.

  لگاتار بارش کو عربی میں وَدَق کہا جاتا ہے۔ ایسی بارش عموماً آہستہ آہستہ اور بہت دیر تک جاری رہتی ہے۔ جب آبی بخارات کا وزن ہوا سے زیادہ ہو جائے تو یہ بارش کے قطرات بنجاتے ہیں۔ پھر یہ بادِلوں سے نِکل کر زمین پر بہنے لگتے ہیں اور اِنکا مسلسل بہنا بارش کی صورت  اِختیارکر لیتا ہے۔

يَخْرُجُ مِنْ خِلاَلِهِ means,  from the gaps between them (clouds). This is how it was understood by Ibn `Abbas and Ad-Dahhak. `Ubayd bin `Umayr Al-Laythi said: “Allah sends the scatterer (wind), which stirs up that which is on the surface of the earth. Then he sends the generator (wind), which forms the clouds. Then He sends the joiner (wind) which brings them together. Then He sends the fertilizer (wind) which fertilizes or `seeds’ the clouds.” This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir. [1]

How Hail and Snow are produced:

وَيُنَزِّلُ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مِن جِبَالٍ فِيهَا مِن بَرَدٍ

And He sends down from the sky, mountains [of clouds] within which is hail,
اور آسمان میں جو (اولوں کے) پہاڑ ہیں، ان سے اولے نازل کرتا ہے

The word جبل means mountain, and it’s from root word ج ب ل, its plural is جِبال . Any kind of mountain whether small, huge, high or low. In a similarsnowlar way, the word برد  means coolness or hail, its root word is ب ر د  According to grammarians, there would be 2 meanings for the word جِبال in this ayah. Some says mountains here is used as metaphor for clouds while other thinks مِن that is used after جبال describe the place from which hail/ice is coming [2] . And Allah knows best.

Hail, can only form in thunderstorms or Cumulonimbus clouds. Hail is a form of solid precipitation. It is distinct from sleet, though the two are often confused for one another. It consists of balls or irregular lumps of ice, each hail-cross-sectionof which is called a hailstone [1]. When raindrops move due to strong updrafts (upward movements) well above freezing level, they change into hailstone. Eventually when hailstones become too heavy for updrafts to support, they fall on the ground.

Hail and snow are formed by different processes and thus look quite different, although both are composed of ice.

Are the rain and hail blessings always?

When Quran mentions the clouds, rainfall, hail and His other favours, it also mentions what issues they could cause. It is stated as:

فَيُصِيبُ بِهِ مَن يَشَآءُ وَيَصْرِفُهُ عَن مَّن يَشَآءُ

and He strikes with it whom He wills and averts it from whom He wills.

تو جس پر چاہتا ہے اس کو برسا دیتا ہے اور جس سے چاہتا ہے ہٹا دیتا ہے۔

It means, with what He sends down from the sky of different kinds of rain and hail, it is His mercy towards them, and if He wills He can withholds those blessings or hidden harm of those blessings could afflict the earth and its living beings. As we know, rain is generally consider as blessing for Earth, specially to produce more greenery and fruits. But too much good is sometime effect adversely. Excessive rain can cause diseases, flood, hygiene issues for animals, plants and humans. Similarly, hail takes off the blossom of fruits and plants, severe hail storms are also safety hazards for lives. As per ayah, rain and hail could strike as a punishment and destroy their crops, fruits, houses. But He averts it from whomever He wills as a mercy towards them or make it a blessing for them and they get benefits out of it.

This shows the ultimate of His Power and the Magnificence, where He sets harm and benefit, as well as death and life of men beside each other and even He has interwoven them.

What causes Lightning?

In the end of ayah, another beautiful phenomenon is described.

يَكَادُ سَنَا بَرْقِهِ يَذْهَبُ بِالاٌّبْصَـرِ

The flash of its lightening almost takes away the eyesight. 

اور بادل میں جو بجلی ہوتی ہے اس کی چمک آنکھوں کو خیرہ کرکے بینائی کو اُچکے لئے جاتی ہے

The word برق is from root word ب ر ق and it means lightning. The Ayah tell us that clouds have lightning, the vivid flash nearly blinds the sight. If the eyes follow it and try to look at it the intensity of its lightning almost takes away their sight. It draws attention to the connection of the precipitation with the flash of lightning along with the downfall of rain and hailstones.

As per animated_storm_lightning_strikesscientists, lightning is a bright flash of electricity produced by a thunderstorm clouds. When they meet, the warm air goes up. It makes thunderstorm clouds. The cold air has ice crystals. The warm air has water droplets. During the storm, the droplets and crystals bump together and move apart in the air. This rubbing makes static electrical charges in the clouds. Just like a battery, these clouds have a “plus” end and a “minus” end. The plus, or positive, charges in the cloud are at the top. The minus, or negative, charges are at the bottom. When the charge at the bottom gets strong enough, the cloud lets out energy. Have you ever rubbed your feet across carpet and then touched a metal door handle? If so, then you know that you can get shocked. Lightning works in the same way.

Quran Miracles and Science:

Meteorologists have only recently come to know the details of cloud formation, structure, and function by using advanced equipment like planes, satellites, computers, balloons, etc. These facts were explored in the Noble Quran more than 1400 years ago. No doubt Quran is a divine book and it is sent from Allah subhana’watallah to mankind for his guidance. It has all the modern science facts, even those which are not discovered by human intelligence. And the reason is human intelligence has no comparison with the miraculous revelation of Lord, Who has created everything. 

One has to understand that all the signs of Allah are in front of us, but without the faith and true conviction we are unable to see with our eyes. 


Written and Compiled by Admin

Related Sources:

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Tafsir Lectures of Ustadza Farhat Hashmi


Science Facts:



Quran Miracles

The Quran Foundation



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