Rain is one of the most important factors for the permanence of life on earth. It is a prerequisite for the continuation of activity 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. This information, which never could have been known by the people of the time, shows us that the Qur’an is the word of Allah.
In Surah Zukhruf, rain is defined as water sent down in “due measure.” The verse is as follows:
وَالَّذِي نَزَّلَ مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء بِقَدَرٍ فَأَنشَرْنَا بِهِ بَلْدَةً مَّيْتًا كَذَلِكَ تُخْرَجُونَ
This “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 evaporate 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 1,200 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 great damage. If rain happened to fall in the same way, all harvested lands would be destroyed, residential areas, houses, and cars would be damaged, and people would not be able to walk around without taking extra precautions. What is more, these calculations are made just for clouds at a height of 1,200 meters; there are also rain clouds at altitudes 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 what height they fall, the 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”.
This is not all about the “measures” of rain. For instance, in the atmospheric layers where it starts to rain, the temperature may fall as low as 400 C below zero. Despite this, rain drops never turn into ice particles. (This would certainly mean a fatal threat to the living things on the earth.) The reason is that the water in the atmosphere is pure water. As is well-known, pure water hardly freezes even at very low temperatures.
These stages are clearly defined in the Qur’an centuries ago where precise information is given about the formation of rain:
اللَّهُ الَّذِي يُرْسِلُ الرِّيَاحَ فَتُثِيرُ سَحَابًا فَيَبْسُطُهُ فِي السَّمَاءِ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ وَيَجْعَلُهُ كِسَفًا فَتَرَى الْوَدْقَ يَخْرُجُ مِنْ خِلَالِهِ فَإِذَا أَصَابَ بِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ إِذَا هُمْ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ
Countless 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 vapor, which 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…”
The 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.”
Water 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.
Every stage in the formation of rain is told in the verses of the Qur’an. Furthermore, these stages are explained in the right sequence. Just as with 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
In the Qur’an, many verses call our attention to a particular function of rain, which is “giving life to a dead land”:
وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ الرِّيَاحَ بُشْرًا بَيْنَ يَدَيْ رَحْمَتِهِ وَأَنْزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً طَهُورًا
لِنُحْيِيَ بِهِ بَلْدَةً مَيْتًا وَنُسْقِيَهُ مِمَّا خَلَقْنَا أَنْعَامًا وَأَنَاسِيَّ كَثِيرًا
“And it is He, Who drives the winds to be the harbingers of His mercy: then He sends down pure water from the sky.
In addition to furnishing the earth with water, which is an inevitable need of living beings, rain also has a fertilization effect.
وَنَزَّلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً مُبَارَكًا فَأَنْبَتْنَا بِهِ جَنَّاتٍ وَحَبَّ الْحَصِيدِ
A barren land can be furnished with all the essential elements for plants in a 100-year period just with these fertilizers dropped with the rain. Forests also develop and are fed with the help of these sea-based aerosols. In this way, 150 million tons of fertilizer falls on the total land surface every year. If there were no natural fertilization like this, there would be very little vegetation on the earth, and the ecological balance would be impaired.
What is more interesting is that this truth, which could only be discovered by modern science, was revealed by Allah in the Qur’an centuries ago.