Rain is indeed 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
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 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)
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
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
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". (Today parachutes
are designed by using this technique.)
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
The Formation of Rain
How rain forms remained a great mystery for people for a long time. Only
after weather radar was invented, was it possible to discover the stages
by which rain is formed.
The formation of rain takes place in three stages. First, the "raw
material" of rain rises up into the air. Later clouds are formed.
Finally, rain drops appear.
These stages are clearly defined in the Qur'an centuries ago where precise
information is given about the formation of rain:
It is God 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!
(Surat ar-Room, 48)
Now, let us look at the three stages mentioned in the verse;
1ST STAGE: "It is God Who sends the winds..."
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
3RD STAGE: "...until you see rain-drops issue from the midst
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":
We send down pure water from the sky. That with it
We may give life to a dead land, and slake the thirst of many beings We
have created, beasts as well as humans. (Surat al-Furqan, 48- 49)
In addition to furnishing the earth with water, which is an inevitable
need of living beings, rain also has a fertilization effect.
Rain 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 by the pollution of microscopic algae and zooplankton. 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 revealed in another verse of the Qur'an:
And We send down from the sky rain laden with blessing,
and We produce therewith gardens and grain for harvests. (Surah Qaf, 9)
Salts that fall with rain are small examples of certain elements (calcium,
magnesium, potassium, etc.) used for increasing fertility. The heavy metals
found in these types of aerosols are other elements that increase fertility
in the development and production of plants.
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
What is more interesting is that this truth, which could only be discovered
by modern science, was revealed by God in the Qur'an centuries ago.