Rain in the Qur'an
is indeed one of the most important factors for life on the earth. Rain
is a prerequisite for the permanence of life in a region. Rain, which
carries great importance for all living things including human beings,
is mentioned in various verses of the Qur'an where substantial
information is given about the formation of rain, its proportion and
effects. The fact that it was not possible for any of this information
to have been discovered at the time of the revelation of the Qur'an
shows us that the Qur'an is the word of Allah.
Now, let us examine the information given in the Qur'an about rain.
The Proportion of Rain
In the eleventh verse of Surat az-Zukhruf, rain is defined as water sent down in due measure. The verse is as follows:
He who sends down (from time to time) water from the sky in due
measure, and We raise to life therewith a land that is dead. Even so
will you be raised (from the dead)". (Surat az - Zukhruf, 11)
"measure" mentioned in the verse has to do with a couple of
characteristics of rain. First of all, the amount of rain that falls on
the earth is always the same. It is estimated that in one second, 16
million tones of water evaporates from the earth. This number is equal
to the amount of water that drops on the earth in one second. This means
that water continuously circulates in a balanced cycle according to a
"measure". Another measure related with rain is about its falling speed.
The minimum altitude of rain clouds is 1200 meters. When dropped from
this height, an object having the same weight and size as a rain drop,
would continuously accelerate and fall on the ground with a speed of 558
km/h. Certainly, any object that hits the ground with that speed would
cause big damage. If rain happened to fall in the same way, all
harvested lands would be destroyed, residential areas, houses, and cars
would be damaged, people would not be able to walk around without taking
necessary precautions. What is more, these calculations are made just
for clouds of 1200 meters high, whereas there are also rain clouds at an
altitude of 10.000 meters. A rain drop falling from such a height could
normally reach a very destructive speed.
But this is not how it
works; no matter from how high they fall, average speed of rain drops is
only 8-10 km/h when they reach the ground. The reason for this is the
special form they take. This special form increases the friction effect
of the atmosphere and prevents acceleration when the rain drops reach a
certain speed "limit". (Today parachutes are designed by using this
This is not all about the "measures" of rain. For
instance, in the atmospheric layers where it starts to rain, the
temperature may fall so low as 400 C degrees. Despite this, rain drops
never turn into ice particles. (This would certainly mean a fatal threat
for the living things on the earth).
The reason is that the water in the atmosphere is pure water. As known, pure water hardly freezes even in very low temperatures.
The Formation of Rain
rain forms remained a great mystery for people for a long time. Only
after air radar were discovered, could it have been possible to learn by
which stages rain formed.
The formation of rain takes place in
three stages: First, the "raw material" of rain rises up in the air.
Later, clouds are formed and lastly, rain drops appear.
stages are clearly defined in the Qur'an in which precise information
was given about the formation of rain centuries in advance; "It is Allah
Who sends the Winds, and they raise the Clouds: then does He spread
them in the sky as He wills, and break them into fragments, until you
see rain-drops issue from the midst thereof: then when He has made them
reach such of his servants as He wills behold, they do rejoice!"
Now, let us look at the three stages mentioned in the verse;
1st Stage : "It is Allah Who sends the winds..."
air bubbles formed by the foaming in the oceans continuously burst and
cause water particles to be ejected towards the sky. These particles
which are rich in salt, are then carried away by winds and move upwards
in the atmosphere. These particles which are called aerosols form clouds
by collecting around themselves the water vapour - that again ascends
from the seas - as tiny drops, by a mechanism called "water trap"
2nd Stage :" ... and they raise the Clouds: then does He spread them in the sky as He wills, and break them into fragments ...."
clouds form from the water vapor that condenses around the salt
crystals or the dust particles in the air. Because the water drops in
these are very small (with a diameter between 0.01 and 0.02 mm), the
clouds are suspended in the air and they spread in the sky. Thus the sky
is covered with clouds.
3rd Stage: ".... until you see rain-drops issue from the midst thereof."
particles that surround salt crystals and dust particles thicken and
form rain drops. So, the drops which become heavier than air depart from
the clouds, and start to fall on the ground as rain.
conclusion to be arrived here is that: Every stage in the formation of
rain is told in the verses of the Qur'an. Furthermore, these stages are
explained in the order they take place... Just like in many other
natural phenomena in the world, it is again the Qur'an that provides the
most correct explanation about this phenomenon as well, and more, that
has announced these facts to people centuries before they were
discovered by science.
Life Given to a Dead Land
the Qur'an, a lot of verses call our attention to a particular function
of rain, which is "giving life to a dead land". It is stated in a verse
".... We send down pure water from the sky. That with it We
may give life to a dead land, and slake the thirst of things We have
created,- cattle and men in great numbers". (Surat al-Furqan, 48- 49)
In addition to furnishing the earth with water, rain also has a fertilization effect.
drops that reach the clouds after being evaporated from the seas,
contain certain substances "that will give life" to a dead land. These
"life-giving" drops are called "surface tension drops". Surface tension
drops form on the top level of the sea surface which is called the micro
layer by biologists. In this layer, which is thinner than one tenth of a
millimeter, there are many organic leftovers caused from the pollution
of microscopic algaes and zooplanktons. Some of these leftovers select
and collect within themselves some elements which are very rare in sea
water such as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and some heavy metals
like copper, zinc, cobalt and lead.
These "fertilizer" laden
drops are lifted up into the sky by the winds and after a while they
drop on the ground inside the rain drops. Seeds and plants on the earth
find numerous metallic salts and elements essential for their growth
here in these rain drops. This event is informed in another verse of the
Qur'an as follows:
"And We send down from the sky rain chartered
with blessing, and We produce therewith gardens and grain for harvests."
(Surah Qaf, 9)
Salts that fall with rain are small examples of
some fertilizers (calcium, magnesium, potassium etc.) used for
increasing fertility. The heavy metals found in these types of aerosols,
on the other hand, are other elements that increase fertility in the
development and production of plants.
Forests also develop and
are fed with the help of these sea-originated aerosols. In this way, 150
million tons of fertilizer falls on the total surface of lands every
year. If there was not a natural fertilization like this, there would be
very little vegetation on the earth, and the ecological balance would
What is more interesting is that this truth, which
could only be discovered by modern science, was informed by Allah in the
Qur'an centuries ago.