Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Story of Creation (12) – The Winds, Storms & Hurricanes types in the Holy Quran


1. Meteorology (Study of Winds)
2. Wind dispersal
  • Fertilizing Winds
  • Barren Winds (Non-Fertilizing)
3. Types of Winds:
  • Doldrums Winds (Ceased Winds):
  • Trade Winds (Favorable Winds)
  • Prevailing Winds (Stormy Winds)
  • Polar Easterlies (Extremely Cold Winds)
4. Types of Hurricanes:
  • Hurricane (Destruction Winds)
  • Fire Whirl (Fire Cyclone
5. Other Type of Storms:
  • Yellow Winds (Dusty Winds)
  • Swallowing Winds (Mountain-Valleys Winds)
  • Pyroclastic flow (Stones Storm)

1.  Meteorology (Study of Winds)


Wind in climatology, the movement of air relative to the surface of the Earth. Winds play a significant role in determining and controlling climate and weather.

Wind occurs because of horizontal and vertical differences (gradients) in atmospheric pressure. Accordingly, the distribution of winds is closely related to that of pressure. Near the Earth’s surface, winds generally flow around regions of relatively low and high pressure—cyclones and anticyclones, respectively. They rotate counterclockwise around lows in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise around those in the Southern Hemisphere. Similarly, wind systems rotate around the centres of highs in the opposite direction. [1]

In meteorology, winds are often referred to according to their strength, and the direction from which the wind is blowing. Short bursts of high speed wind are termed gusts. Strong winds of intermediate duration (around one minute) are termed squalls. Long-duration winds have various names associated with their average strength, such as breeze, gale, storm, hurricane, and typhoon. [2]

As explained, the movement of winds is very essential part in Metrology and has direct effect on mankind life, this fact is mentioned in the Quran in the following verses that emphasis on studying the ordinance of winds, i.e. its direction, speed, and effects:
ان في خلق السماوات والارض واختلاف الليل والنهار والفلك التي تجري في البحر بما ينفع الناس وما انزل الله من السماء من ماء فاحيا به الارض بعد موتها وبث فيها من كل دابة وتصريف الرياح والسحاب المسخر بين السماء والارض لايات لقوم يعقلون

Lo! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of night and day, and the ships which run upon the sea with that which is of use to men, and the water which Allah sendeth down from the sky, thereby reviving the earth after its death, and dispersing all kinds of beasts therein, and (in) the ordinance of the winds, and the clouds obedient between heaven and earth: are signs (of Allah's Sovereignty) for people who have sense. (164)

واختلاف الليل والنهار وما انزل الله من السماء من رزق فاحيا به الارض بعد موتها وتصريف الرياح ايات لقوم يعقلون

And the difference of night and day and the provision that Allah sendeth down from the sky and thereby quickeneth the earth after her death, and the ordering of the winds, are portents for a people who have sense. (45:5)

The word [Tasreef] that is translated into Ordinance has the following meaning:

تَصْريفُ الرِّياحِ صَرْفُها من جهة إلى جهة، وكذلك تصريفُ السُّيُولِ والخُيولِ والأُمور والآيات، وتَصْريفُ الرياحِ: جعلُها جَنُوباً وشَمالاً وصَباً ودَبُوراً فجعلها ضُروباً في أَجْناسِها

Which means the rules of moving winds from one direction to another and the difference of its nature, and this is the most important field in meteorology Science.

2.  Wind dispersal


Wind dispersal is one of the more primitive means of dispersal. Wind dispersal can take on one of two primary forms: seeds can float on the breeze or alternatively, they can flutter to the ground. [3]


The Holy Quran mentioned clearly 2 categories of winds:

1- Fertilizing Winds:

That cause clouds, rains, and carry seeds and provision for land:

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

And We send the winds fertilizing, 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 [i.e. to give water to whom you like or to withhold it from whom you like]. (15:22)

2- Barren Winds (Non-Fertilizing):

وفي عاد اذ ارسلنا عليهم الريح العقيم

And in 'Ad (there is also a sign) when We sent against them the barren wind; (51:41)

Meaning of Barren Wind: has no benefit to nature or to humans, and can’t initiate clouds or carry rain, but only destruction:

الريحُ العقيمُ التي لا يكون معها لَقَحٌ أي لا تأْتي بمطر إنما هي ريحُ الإهلاك، وقيل: هي لا تُلقِحُ الشجر ولا تُنشِئُ سَحاباً ولا تَحْمِل مَطراً

3. Types of Winds:


There are many types of Winds according to its speed, direction, and severity, but mainly the following:

Quoted from: Four Types of Winds Created by the Coriolis effect

1- Doldrums

At the equator, or along the center of the Earth, there are no steady surface winds. The winds are very weak and calm and, thus, make sailing in this area a great challenge. This is because winds from the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere meet in this area and push upwards. Therefore, there is little wind along the surface at the equator.

2- Trade Winds

In the area 30 degrees north and south of the equator, the warm air starts to cool and sink. The winds are calm and appear to be curving to the west because of the Coriolis effect. Most of the wind curves back toward the equator, but some travel to the poles. In this area there is very little rain and few clouds.

3- Prevailing Winds

The strongest winds are found in the area between 30 degrees and 60 degrees, both in the Northern and in the Southern Hemisphere. These winds appear to curve to the east because of the Coriolis effect.

4- Polar Easterlies

These final winds are found near the north and the south poles. As the air from the prevailing winds nears the poles, it cools. These cold, weak winds sink lower and spread over the surface of the land. The Coriolis effect causes these winds to turn to the west.  [4]


All these types are described in Quran as following:

1- Doldrums Winds (Ceased Winds):

The following verse explains the ceased winds that can’t move the ships and keep them locked over the sea surface:

ان يشا يسكن الريح فيظللن رواكد على ظهره ان في ذلك لايات لكل صبار شكور

If He wills, He causes the wind to cease, then they would become motionless on the back (of the sea). Verily, in this are signs for everyone patient and grateful. (42: 33)

2- Trade Winds (Favorable Winds)

The following verse explains the “favorable Winds” that help the ships to move everywhere in very nice trips which is equivalent to “Trade winds”

هو الذي يسيركم في البر والبحر حتى اذا كنتم في الفلك وجرين بهم بريح طيبة وفرحوا بها جاءتها ريح عاصف وجاءهم الموج من كل مكان وظنوا انهم احيط بهم دعوا الله مخلصين له الدين لئن انجيتنا من هذه لنكونن من الشاكرين

He it is Who enables you to travel through land and sea, till when you are in the ships and they sail with them with a favorable wind, and they are glad therein, then comes a stormy wind and the waves come to them from all sides, and they think that they are encircled therein, Then they invoke Allâh, making their Faith pure for Him Alone, (saying): "If You (Allâh) deliver us from this, we shall truly be of the grateful." (10:22)

3- Prevailing Winds (Stormy Winds)

The following verse explains the blowing wind that is not related to rain or clouds but to “stormy days”, and this could explain the Prevailing Winds in the areas between 30 & 60 degrees:

مثل الذين كفروا بربهم اعمالهم كرماد اشتدت به الريح في يوم عاصف لا يقدرون مما كسبوا على شيء ذلك هو الضلال البعيد

The parable of those who disbelieve in their Lord is that their works are as ashes, on which the wind blows furiously on a stormy day, they shall not be able to get aught of what they have earned. That is the straying, far away (from the Right Path). (14: 18)

4- Polar Easterlies (Extremely Cold Winds)

The following verse explains the freezing winds that can destroy the plantations because of its low degree which is an exact description of the “Polar winds”:

مثل ما ينفقون في هذه الحياة الدنيا كمثل ريح فيها صر اصابت حرث قوم ظلموا انفسهم فاهلكته وما ظلمهم الله ولكن انفسهم يظلمون

The likeness of what they spend in this world is the likeness of a wind which is extremely cold; it struck the harvest of a people who did wrong against themselves and destroyed it, (i.e. the good deed of a person is only accepted if he is a monotheist and believes in all the Prophets of Allâh, including Christ A.S. and Muhammad SAW). Allâh wronged them not, but they wronged themselves. (117)

4.    Types of Hurricanes:

1- Hurricane (Destruction Winds)


On Fujita scale, there are the following types of Hurricanes [5]:

EF0 = 105 – 137 Km/h = Minor or no damage
EF1 = 138 – 178 Km/h = Moderate damage
EF2 = 179 – 218 Km/h = Considerable damage
EF3 = 219 – 266 Km/h = Sever Damage
EF4 = 267 – 322 Km/h = Extreme Damage
EF5 >323 Km/h = Total Destruction

The holy Quran mentioned 2 types of heavy storms (hurricanes):

1- Storm that can “Break everything”

ام امنتم ان يعيدكم فيه تارة اخرى فيرسل عليكم قاصفا من الريح فيغرقكم بما كفرتم ثم لا تجدوا لكم علينا به تبيعا

Or are ye secure that he will not send you back therein another time and then send upon you a gale of wind (Kaasefan) and drown you for your having disbelieved, so that therein you will not find for yourselves against Us an avenger? (17:69)

The word “Kaasefan” mean that break everything as shown below, especially of wood, like trees, wooden house and stores:

القَصْف: الكسر، وفي التهذيب: كسر القَناة ونحوها نِصفين. قَصَفَ الشيءَ يَقْصِفه قصْفاً: كسره. وقوله تعالى: أَو يُرسِلَ عليكم قاصفاً من الرِّيح؛ أَي ريحاً تَقْصِف الأَشياء تَكْسِرُها كما تُقْصَف العِيدان وغيرها.

This can be referred to Hurricanes of 2nd and 3rd degree, as shown in next image too:

2- Storms that can destroy everything, as in the next verse:

فلما راوه عارضا مستقبل اوديتهم قالوا هذا عارض ممطرنا بل هو ما استعجلتم به ريح فيها عذاب اليم  (24) تدمر كل شيء بامر ربها فاصبحوا لا يرى الا مساكنهم كذلك نجزي القوم المجرمين  (25)

Then, when they saw it as a dense cloud coming towards their valleys, they said: "This is a cloud bringing us rain!" Nay, but it is that (torment) which you were asking to be hastened — a wind wherein is a painful torment! (24)
Destroying everything by the Command of its Lord! So they became such that nothing could be seen except their dwellings! Thus do We recompense the people who are Mujrimûn (polytheists, disbelievers, sinners)! (46:24-25)

This is equivalent to Hurricanes of 4th and 5th degree, as shown in the next image:

2- Fire Whirl (Fire Cyclone)


Quoted from Wikipedia – Fire Whirl

A fire whirl, colloquially fire devil or fire tornado, is a rarely captured phenomenon in which a fire, under certain conditions (depending on air temperature and currents), acquires a vertical vorticity and forms a whirl, or a tornado-like vertically oriented rotating column of air. Fire whirls may be whirlwinds separated from the flames, either within the burn area or outside it, or a vortex of flame, itself. [6]


Although, it’s a rare phenomenon and maybe never seen in Arabia, but it was mentioned in Quran, because ALLAH knows everything:

ايود احدكم ان تكون له جنة من نخيل واعناب تجري من تحتها الانهار له فيها من كل الثمرات واصابه الكبر وله ذرية ضعفاء فاصابها اعصار فيه نار فاحترقت كذلك يبين الله لكم الايات لعلكم تتفكرون

Would any of you like to have a garden of palm-trees and vines, with rivers flowing underneath it, with all kinds of fruit for him therein; and old age hath stricken him and he hath feeble offspring; and a fiery hurricane strikes it and it is (all) consumed by fire. Thus Allah maketh plain His revelations unto you, in order that ye may give thought. [2:266]

5.    Other Type of Storms:

1- Yellow Winds (Dusty Winds)


A dust / sand storm is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid and semi-arid regions. Dust storms arise when a gust front or other strong wind blows loose sand and dust from a dry surface. Particles are transported by saltation and suspension, causing soil erosion from one place and deposition in another. The Sahara and drylands around the Arabian peninsula are the main terrestrial sources of airborne dust, with some contributions from Iran, Pakistan and India into the Arabian Sea, and China's significant storms deposit dust in the Pacific. [7]


This kind of storms that are special to carry dust, although they are known in Arabia, but it’s mentioned how God sends them as torment, that people may remember and fear their Lord:

ولئن ارسلنا ريحا فراوه مصفرا لظلوا من بعده يكفرون

And if We sent a wind and they beheld it yellow, they verily would still continue in their disbelief. (30:51)
فارسلنا عليهم ريحا صرصرا في ايام نحسات لنذيقهم عذاب الخزي في الحياة الدنيا ولعذاب الاخرة اخزى وهم لا ينصرون

So We sent against them a furious Wind through days of disaster (Nahaseat), that We might give them a taste of a Penalty of humiliation in this Life; but the Penalty of the Hereafter will be more humiliating still: and they will find no help. (41:16)

The Word [Nahaseat] that can be explained as unfortunate days or days of disaster, but also it means “Dusty storms”.
والنَّحْسُ الغُبار. يقال: هاج النَّحْسُ أَي الغبار

Dusty storms are very serious problem especially on navigation and flights and cause too much traffic accidents and health problems for all populated areas that area affected by them.

2- Swallowing Winds (Mountain-Valleys Winds)

We all know about the sink holes and how it’s due to the difference in air pressure between inside and outside the hole, it can sack anything that can pass nearby or over it.

Biggest Hole In The World


Although the sink holes are rare in the World and they were never known in Arabia, but ALLAH, the God knows what he created. The following verse gives an example of the infidel who is lost in his belief as someone has fallen from Sky or swallowed by the wind into a very deep place in Earth (i.e. sink holes).

حنفاء لله غير مشركين به ومن يشرك بالله فكانما خر من السماء فتخطفه الطير او تهوي به الريح في مكان سحيق

Hunafâ' Lillâh (i.e. to worship none but Allâh), not associating partners (in worship) unto Him, and whoever assigns partners to Allâh, it is as if he had fallen from the sky, and the birds had snatched him, or the wind had thrown him to a far off place [Abysmal]. (22:31)
3- Pyroclastic flow (Stones Storm)


A pyroclastic flow (also known scientifically as a pyroclastic density current) is a fast-moving current of superheated gas (which can reach temperatures of about 1,000 °C (1,830 °F)) and rock (collectively known as tephra), which reached speeds moving away from a volcano of up to 700 km/h (450 mph). The flows normally hug the ground and travel downhill, or spread laterally under gravity. [8]

Quoted from Wikipedia – Pompeii

The city of Pompeii is a partially buried Roman town-city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. Along with Herculaneum, Pompeii was destroyed and completely buried during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning two days in 79 AD. The eruption buried Pompeii under 4 to 6 meters of ash and pumice, and it was lost for over 1700 years before its accidental rediscovery in 1749. [9]


This type of storms is also mentioned in Quran in the following verse:

انا ارسلنا عليهم حاصبا الا ال لوط نجيناهم بسحر

Lo! We sent a storm of stones upon them (all) save the family of Lot, whom We rescued in the last watch of the night (54:34)

And in the next verse, it explains how storm of stones were sent on infidel people as sever torment, which reminds us with what happen to Pompeii in Italy in 70’s AD:

فكلا اخذنا بذنبه فمنهم من ارسلنا عليه حاصبا ومنهم من اخذته الصيحة ومنهم من خسفنا به الارض ومنهم من اغرقنا وما كان الله ليظلمهم ولكن كانوا انفسهم يظلمون

Each one of them We seized for his crime: of them, against some We sent a violent storm (with showers of stones); some were caught by a (mighty) Blast; some We caused the earth to swallow up; and some We drowned (in the waters): it was not Allah Who injured (or oppressed) them: they injured (and oppressed) their own souls. (29:40)

Thanks to ALLAH, Lord of the worlds


[3] Wikipedia, Seed Dispersal,

[4], Four Types of Winds Created by Coriolis Effects, :

[6] Wikipedia, Fire Whirl,

[7] Wikipedia, Dust Storms,

[8] Wikipedia, Stone Wind,

[9] Wikipedia, Pompeii,


  1. JazakALLAH khair

  2. good research and effort brother