Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Story of Creation (11) – Clouds, Rain, and Water Cycle in the Holy Quran.


1.   The Types of Raining Clouds
2.   The “Forecastable” Winds and the Heavy Clouds
3.   Characteristics of Rain:
  • High Pressure on first rain
  • Being Acidic water
  • Being melted from Ice
  • Being shattered into smaller drops
  • Carrying seeds and bacteria
4.    Thunderstorm Clouds
5.    Water Cycle and its Balance
6.    Ways of water inside Earth
7.    Storing water inside Earth, Aquifer Depth
1.    The Types of Raining Clouds


There are 2 main types of clouds that can be rainy clouds:

A- Nimbostratus Clouds
Nimbostratus clouds belong to the Low Cloud (surface to 2000m up) group. They are dark gray with a ragged base. Nimbostratus clouds are associated with continuous rain or snow. Sometimes they cover the whole sky and you can't see the edges of the cloud. [1]
Nimbostratus Formation

Nimbostratus will occur along warm fronts where the slowly rising warm air mass creates nimbostratus and stratus clouds, which are preceded by higher-level clouds such as cirrostratus and altostratus. Often, when an altostratus cloud thickens and descends into lower altitudes, it will become nimbostratus. [2]


Also in Quran, the holy book of Almighty God, explains two ways only to form a rainy clouds, where the following verse describes the formation of Nimbostratus clouds:

الله الذي يرسل الرياح فتثير سحابا فيبسطه في السماء كيف يشاء ويجعله كسفا فترى الودق يخرج من خلاله فاذا اصاب به من يشاء من عباده اذا هم يستبشرون

Allâh is He Who sends the winds, so they raise clouds, and spread them along the sky as He wills, and then break them into fragments (make them Kesafan, One Piece, all together), until you see rain drops come forth from their midst! Then when He has made them fall on whom of His slaves as He wills, lo! they rejoice!  [30:48]

The meaning of Kesafan:

الكِسْفَةُ: القطعة من الشيء. وقال الأخفش: من قرأ: "كِسْفاً من  لسماء" جعله واحداً. ومن قرأ: "كِسَفاً" جعله جميعاً.

The process explained as following:
  • Winds causing to raise clouds in the sky, then
  • Spreading the clouds all over the sky, then
  • Make it [Kesafan] which translated as divided in fragments, although the meaning of [Kesafan] could be make them all as one piece (Not into pieces) or a cover (from sun light), which means a very condensed layer and in one flat shape, then
  • Finally, rains fall through it.
All these steps explain the process of Nimbostratus clouds formation process that was explained above.


B- Cumulonimbus Clouds

Quoted from Wikipedia: Cumulonimbus Cloud

Cumulonimbus (Cb) is a low to middle level cloud with considerable vertical development (family D2) that is tall, dense, and involved in thunderstorms and other inclement weather. Cumulonimbus originates from Latin: Cumulus "accumulated" and nimbus "rain". It is a result of atmospheric instability. These clouds can form alone, in clusters, or along a cold front in a squall line. 

Cumulonimbus clouds usually form from cumulus coop at a much lower height, thus making them, like cumulus clouds, grow vertically instead of horizontally, thus giving the cumulonimbus its mushroom shape. [3]


The second type is explained in the following verse:

الم تر ان الله يزجي سحابا ثم يؤلف بينه ثم يجعله ركاما فترى الودق يخرج من خلاله وينزل من السماء من جبال فيها من برد فيصيب به من يشاء ويصرفه عن من يشاء يكاد سنا برقه يذهب بالابصار

See you not that Allâh drives the clouds gently, then joins them together, then makes them into a heap of layers [Rukaman], and you see the rain comes forth from between them. And He sends down from the sky hail (like) mountains, and strike therewith whom He wills, and averts it from whom He wills. The vivid flash of its (clouds) lightning nearly blinds the sight. [24:43]

The meaning of Rukaman:

الرَّكْمُ: جمعك شيئاً فوق شي حتى تَجْعله رُكاماً مركوماً كركام الرمل والسحاب ونحو ذلك من الشيء المُرْتكِم بعضه على بعض. رَكَمَ الشيء يَرْكُمُه إذا جَمَعه وأَلقى بعضه على بعض، وهو مَرْكُومٌ بعضُه على بعض. [و] كلُّ شيءٍ ضممتَ* بعضَه إلى بعضٍ فقد ألّفته تأليفاً.

The process explained as following:
  • Winds is not raising clouds as before, but pushing clouds to join together, then
  • Clouds start forming heaps over each other’s [Rukaman]
  • Finally, rain falls from mountains of hail (freezing droplets)
This process explains the Formation of Cumulonimbus clouds with giving indications that height of these clouds is compared with height of mountains (i.e. thousands of meters), and the water inside these clouds on top levels are hail (Iced droplets) and this exactly what is shown in the below table [4] and next figure [5] regarding the Cumulonimbus clouds.

2.    The “Forecastable” Winds and the Heavy Clouds


Quoted from New World Encyclopedia

1- Mesoscale winds

Synoptic winds occupy the higher boundary of what is considered "forecastable" wind. Winds at the next lowest level of magnitude typically arise and fade over time periods too short and over geographic regions too narrow to predict with any long-range accuracy. These mesoscale winds include such phenomena as the cold wind outflow from thunderstorms. This wind frequently advances ahead of more intense thunderstorms and may be sufficiently energetic to generate local weather of its own. [6]

2- Heavy weighted Clouds

Quoted from: How much does a cloud weigh?

NOAA found that dry air has a density of about 1.007 kilograms/cubic meter (kg/m3) and the density of the actual cloud droplets is about 1.003 kg/m3. In the final calculations, the 1 km3 cumulus cloud weighs a whopping 2.211 billion pounds (1.003 billion kilograms)! However, remember that air also has mass, so the cloud floats because the weight of the same volume of dry air is even more, about 2.220 billion pounds (1.007 billion kilograms). So, it is the lesser density of the cloud that allows it to float on the dryer and more-dense air. [7]


The following verse describes the “Mesoscale” wind that comes before the raining clouds and how it drives the heavy clouds to the destination land:

وهو الذي يرسل الرياح بشرا بين يدي رحمته حتى اذا اقلت سحابا ثقالا سقناه لبلد ميت فانزلنا به الماء فاخرجنا به من كل الثمرات كذلك نخرج الموتى لعلكم تذكرون

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)

It’s not the only verse that talks about the Heavy weight of the Clouds, but in the following verses too:
هو الذي يريكم البرق خوفا وطمعا وينشئ السحاب الثقال

He it is Who shows you the lightning, a fear and a hope, and raises the heavy clouds. [13:12]

وَالذَّارِيَاتِ ذَرْوًا (1) فَالْحَامِلاتِ وِقْرًا (2)

By (the winds) that scatter dust. (1) And (the clouds) that bear heavy weight (of water) (51:1-2)

3.    Characteristics of Rain

1- High Pressure on first rain


Quoted from: Rainy Clouds

Nimbostratus (Ns): The dark, rain carrying cloud of bad weather. It is to blame for most of the winter rains and some of the summer ones. It covers the sky and blocks the sun. You have to fly in a plane through the cloud to realize how deep and solid this cloud can be.

Cumulonimbus (Cb): The cloud that produces showers and thunderstorms. The rain comes and goes with these clouds. Big Cb clouds have lumps that look like cows' udders, called mamma. In the US if you see a mamma this might mean a possible tornado. [8]


As described above the falling of Rain is as milking Cows’ udders, and this describes the first pressure of Rain fall then the reduction of this pressure, till another cell starts to release its water into rain.

The following verse describes the rain:

ويا قوم استغفروا ربكم ثم توبوا اليه يرسل السماء عليكم مدرارا ويزدكم قوة الى قوتكم ولا تتولوا مجرمين

And, O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord, then turn unto Him repentant; He will cause the sky to rain abundance [Medrara] on you and will add unto you strength to your strength. Turn not away, guilty! [11:52]

The word: Medrara, which is explained below is mainly used to describe the milking of cow or sheep where it comes so much in the beginning then it slows later on:

دَرَّ اللبنُ والدمع ونحوهما يَدِرُّ ويَدُرُّ دَرّاً ودُرُوراً؛ وكذلك الناقة .ذا حُلِبَتْ فأَقبل منها على الحالب شيء كثير قيل: دَرَّتْ، ودَرَّت السماء بالمطر دَرّاً ودُرُوراً إِذا كثر مطرها. والدِّرَّةُ في الأَمطار: أَن يتبع بعضها بعضاً، وجمعها دِرَرٌ.
2- Being Acidic water:


PH Level of Rain Water:

Rain water is naturally slightly acidic, with a pH of about 5.0. Natural variations and human pollutants may cause rain to be more acidic. [9]

Quoted from - Types of Acidic liquids:

Acidic liquids are found in natural and processed foods, cleaning supplies and various drinks. [10]


The following verse describes the Rain water as “Tahoran

وهو الذي ارسل الرياح بشرا بين يدي رحمته وانزلنا من السماء ماء طهورا

And He it is Who sendeth the winds, glad tidings heralding His mercy, and We send down purifying water [Tahora] from the sky, [25:48]

The meaning of “Tahora” being pure by itself and purifying for others, can be used to clean or purify other things, and to be in such state it must be of acid nature as explained above.

3- Being melted from Ice:

As shown in the below figure the rain is stored as Iced droplets in top of cloud before it melts and become water drops and fall as rain:


This fact is mentioned in the below verse:

وانزلنا من المعصرات ماء ثجاجا

And have sent down from the rainy clouds [Mouserat] abundant water [Thagaga], [78:14]

The word [Thagaga] means to make it liquid, and to be liquefied it must be in form of iced water.

ثَجَجْتُ الماءَ أَثُجُّه ثَجّاً إِذا أَساله.

4- Being shattered into smaller drops:

Also, the word [Mouserat] in the above verse that is used to describe the rainy clouds, is the actor name from word “Asyer, means juice”, describing the Clouds like juicy fruit that is squeezed to generate juice, which is the rain:

And this could explain the shape of rain droplet how it was squeezed to give smaller rain drops as shown in the recent image from Shattering Rain drops [11]:

5- Carrying seeds and bacteria:


What does rain water contains?

It contains: pollutants, soil, plant parts, insect parts, bacteria, algae- Plants love Algae, that’s why your pool is so green after it rains. [12]


In all the next verses, they explain how Rain water is a blessed water and how it causes to generate different plants and fruits:

الذي جعل لكم الارض مهدا وسلك لكم فيها سبلا وانزل من السماء ماء فاخرجنا به ازواجا من نبات شتى

Who hath appointed the earth as a bed and hath threaded roads for you therein and hath sent down water from the sky and thereby We have brought forth divers kinds of vegetation, [20:53]

الم تر ان الله انزل من السماء ماء فاخرجنا به ثمرات مختلفا الوانها ومن الجبال جدد بيض وحمر مختلف الوانها وغرابيب سود

Hast thou not seen that Allah causes water to fall from the sky, and We produce therewith fruit of divers hues; and among the hills are streaks white and red, of divers hues, and (others) raven-black; [35:27]
ونزلنا من السماء ماء مباركا فانبتنا به جنات وحب الحصيد

And We send down from the sky blessed water whereby We give growth unto gardens and the grain of crops, [50:9]
هو الذي يريكم اياته وينزل لكم من السماء رزقا وما يتذكر الا من ينيب

He it is Who shows you His portents, and sends down for you provision from the sky (rain water). None payeth heed save him who turns (unto Him) repentant. [40:13]

4.    Thunderstorm Clouds


Cumulonimbus clouds are thunderstorm clouds that form if cumulus congestus clouds continue to grow vertically. Their dark bases may be no more than 300 m (1000 ft) above the Earth's surface. Their tops may extend upward to over 12,000 m (39,000 ft). Tremendous amounts of energy are released by the condensation of water vapor within a cumulonimbus. Lightning, thunder, and even violent tornadoes are associated with the cumulonimbus. [13]


The same description mentioned above about Cumulonimbus Clouds that have grey (dark) layers, and associated with thunders and lightning, is shown exactly in the next verse:

او كصيب من السماء فيه ظلمات ورعد وبرق يجعلون اصابعهم في اذانهم من الصواعق حذر الموت والله محيط بالكافرين

Or like a rainstorm from the sky, wherein is darkness, thunder and the flash of lightning. They thrust their fingers in their ears by reason of the thunder-claps, for fear of death, Allah encompasseth the disbelievers (in His guidance, His omniscience and His omnipotence). [2:19]

5.    Water Cycle and its Balance

Quoted from Wikipedia – Water Cycle

The water cycle, also known as the hydrologic cycle or H2O cycle, describes the continuous movement of water on, above and below the surface of the Earth. Water can change states among liquid, vapor, and ice at various places in the water cycle. Although the balance of water on Earth remains fairly constant over time, individual water molecules can come and go, in and out of the atmosphere. [14]


The following verses explain that rain water descends on Earth in certain amount as mentioned above in water cycle:

والذي نزل من السماء ماء بقدر فانشرنا به بلدة ميتا كذلك تخرجون

And Who sendeth down water from the sky in (due) measure, and We revive a dead land therewith. Even so will ye be brought forth; [43:11]

وانزلنا من السماء ماء بقدر فاسكناه في الارض وانا على ذهاب به لقادرون
And we send down from the sky water in measure, and We give it lodging in the earth, and lo! We are Able to withdraw it. [23:18]
تقول: ينزل المطر بمِقْدار أَي بقَدَرٍ وقَدْرٍ، وهو مبلغ الشيء.

6.    Ways of water inside Earth

Quoted from Wikipedia – Water Cycle


The variety of ways by which water moves across the land. This includes both surface runoff and channel runoff. As it flows, the water may seep into the ground, evaporate into the air, become stored in lakes or reservoirs, or be extracted for agricultural or other human uses. [15]

Both ways of water surface runoff and channel runoff are mentioned in the following verses, one above the Earth that can be seen by our eyes and the other beneath Earth:

اولم يروا انا نسوق الماء الى الارض الجرز فنخرج به زرعا تاكل منه انعامهم وانفسهم افلا يبصرون

Have they not seen how We lead the water to the barren land and therewith bring forth crops whereof their cattle eat, and they themselves? Will they not then see? [32:27]

الم تر ان الله انزل من السماء ماء فسلكه ينابيع في الارض ثم يخرج به زرعا مختلفا الوانه ثم يهيج فتراه مصفرا ثم يجعله حطاما ان في ذلك لذكرى لاولي الالباب

Hast thou not seen how Allah hath sent down water from the sky and hath caused it to penetrate the earth as watersprings, and afterward thereby produceth crops of divers hues; and afterward they wither and thou seest them turn yellow; then He maketh them chaff. Lo! herein verily is a reminder for men of understanding. [39:21]

7.    Storing water inside Earth, Aquifer Depth


An aquifer is a wet underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, or silt) from which groundwater can be usefully extracted using water well. [16]

The stored water in aquifers can be stored for different periods, range of days, years, centuries, till even Millennia, as shown in the next image:


This fact of storing immense amount of fresh water for such long period is very essential for human kind since the Creation, and if storing was to be done by human it will be extremely costly and will never reach such huge amounts ever.

This is explained in the next verse that ALLAH by his mercy had stored pure water for us that we will never be able to keep it in such volume and for such period:

وارسلنا الرياح لواقح فانزلنا من السماء ماء فاسقيناكموه وما انتم له بخازنين

And We send the winds fertilizing (to fill heavily the clouds with water), then caused the water (rain) to descend from the sky, and We gave it to you to drink, and it is not you who are the owners of its stores. (15:22)


Aquifers exist in huge amount beneath ground, and on moderate depths that scientists and research centers were able to draw exact maps that specify their location and their depth as shown in the next image [17], where depth is only in feet ranges: 


Allah by his mercy, had stored for mankind huge amounts of water beneath ground and he make it on shallow depths on majority of cases, thus it won’t be difficult to us to dig and extract it and use it.

Let’s imagine if these depths were not in feet or meter ranges but in kilometers ranges beneath the ground, then how much it will be difficult to us to get this water, and how it will be possible ever to see and find surface water like springs, this question is mentioned in the following verse, as reminder from ALLAH to all human of his mercy:

قل ارايتم ان اصبح ماؤكم غورا فمن ياتيكم بماء معين

Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Tell me! If (all) your water were to sink away, who then can supply you with flowing (spring) water?" (67:30)

Thanks to ALLAH, Lord of the Worlds.


[2] Wikipedia, Nimbostratus Cloud,

[3] Wikipedia, Cumulonimbus Cloud,

[4] Wikipedia, List of Cloud Types,

[6] New World Encyclopedia, Wind,

[7] USGS, Science for a changing World, The Water Cycle: Water Storage in the Atmosphere,

[8], What are Clouds?,

[10], Types of Acidic Liquids,

[12], What does Rain Water contain?

[13] Web-Weather for kids, Cumulus Clouds,

[14] Wikipedia, Water Cycle,

[15] Wikipedia, Water Cycle,

[16] Wikipedia, Aquafier,

[17] Wisconsin Department of Natural Resrouces, Depth of Water Table,

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