Quran and Modern Science ::CLOUDS AND THE PROCESS OF RAIN

43- Do not you see that God drives the clouds, then joins
them together, then piles them on each other, then you see
the rain comes forth from between them. And He sends
down hail from the sky, where there are mountains of it.
And strikes those with it whom He will and diverts it from
whomever He wills. The vivid flash of its lightning nearly
blinds the sight.
24-The Light, 43

Water is life. The greater portion of water that is the basic need for the
living beings on earth is in continuous motion and transformation. The
uninterrupted sequence of these successive transformations is referred
to as cycling. Water is always present in the air. It goes without saying
that this state of water differs from its state in the seas and rivers. The
formation of clouds by water in the state of vapor, the transformation
of these clouds into rainwater and their falling upon the earth as precipitation are the result of God’s impeccable cycling system. More than
1400 years ago, the Quran began to draw our attention to the facts that
today can be established only by the help of satellites. Scientists studied
types of clouds and established that they were the consequence of well-designed systems and stages. Meteorologists examined the cumulonimbus clouds. The stages they described tallied with the process described
in the sura The Light, verse 43.

1- Clouds move thanks to winds: The fact that the wind is the
primary cause in the process of the formation of clouds that generates
rain is depicted in the sura, The Romans, verse 46 (In the previous
chapter, we saw the role played by wind in the formation of clouds).

2- Joining: Then the small clouds combine to form a single large
3- Piles them on each other: 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. 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.


Meteorologists have acquired what they know about the formation,
structure and function of clouds only in recent years by the help of
satellites, computers and balloons. It is significant to read about the
formation of clouds in the Quran. Today’s data are obtained through
the use of instruments and satellites that have a panoramic view of
clouds from above, otherwise, it would be impossible for men living
on the surface of the earth to have an insight into the updraft in the
clouds during their formation and the precipitation emerging from
this cloud expanding vertically.
In the verse above, the simile of “mountain masses” is an apt one,
since the cumulonimbus rain clouds at an altitude of 5-6 km present
a formation like a mountain.
While the verse reveals knowledge unavailable at the 1450 years ago, there is no mention whatsoever of the misconceptions of the
time. Up until the 1600s the western world was dominated by the
meteorological lore of ancient Greece, itself a hotchpotch of correct
and wrong data. It was believed that the atmosphere was made up of
two different types of vapor, namely the dry and the moist; that thunder was the outcome of the collision of dry clouds with their neighbors, and that the flash of lighting was produced by the kindling of
the dry vapor. In the verse in question no such false information has
been provided, while a description is made of the flash of lightning,along with the downfall of rain and hailstones, establishing a link
between them. The lightning flash in atmospheric electricity is the
total observed luminous phenomena accompanying a lightning discharge, which is a series of electric processes by which change is transferred within the atmosphere along a channel of high ion density
between electric charge centers of opposite sign. The water droplets
within the clouds are a source of electricity. The water droplets falling
down as a result of gravitation break down into yet smaller droplets
with positively charged electricity while the surrounding atmosphere
is negatively charged. The electric charge of droplets increases at each
division into smaller units. Along with the emergence of the electrical
charge as a consequence of disintegration of water droplets, the ice
crystals at the upper portion of the cloud gain positive electricity
charge, thus separating from the atmosphere with negative charge and
increasing the electrical charge of the cloud. This process results in an
electric arc, i.e., a flash of light. The verse draws attention to the connection of the precipitation with the flash of lightning, leaving out the
wrong information that attributes this process to the kindling of
clouds. Describing the meteorological process that creates rain accurately, while eliminating the false ideas predominant at the time successfully, cannot be explained as pure coincidence or the genius of a

12- It is He who shows you the lightning for fear and hope,
and raises heavy clouds.
13-The Thunder, 12

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