How rain forms remained a great mystery for a long time. Only after weather radar was invented was it possible to discover the stages by which rain is formed.
According to this, the formation of rain takes place in three stages. First, the "raw material" of rain rises up into the air with the wind. Later, clouds are formed, and finally raindrops appear.
The Qur'an's account of the formation of rain refers exactly to this process. In one verse, this formation is described in this way:
(It is God Who sends the winds which stir up clouds which He spreads about the sky however He wills. He forms them into dark clumps and you see the rain come pouring out from the middle of them. When He makes it fall on those of His slaves He wills, they rejoice.) (The Qur'an, 30:48)
Now, let us examine these three stages outlined in the verse more technically.
FIRST STAGE: " It is God Who sends the winds..."
Countless air bubbles formed by the foaming of 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 rise upward in the atmosphere. These particles, which are called aerosols, function as water traps, and form cloud drops by collecting around the water vapour themselves, which rises from the seas as tiny droplets.
SECOND STAGE: ".... which stir up clouds which He spreads about the sky however He wills. He forms them into dark clumps..."
The clouds are formed from water vapour that condenses around the salt crystals or dust particles in the air. Because the water droplets in these clouds are very small (with a diameter between 0.01 and 0.02 mm), the clouds are suspended in the air, and spread across the sky. Thus, the sky is covered in clouds.
THIRD STAGE: "…and you see the rain come pouring our from the middle of them"
The water particles that surround salt crystals and dust particles thicken and form raindrops, so, drops that become heavier than the air leave the clouds and start to fall to the ground as rain.
As we have seen, every stage in the formation of rain is related in the verses of the Qur'an. Furthermore, these stages are explained in exactly the right sequence. Just as with many other natural phenomena on the Earth, God gives the most correct explanation of this phenomenon as well, and made it known to people in the Qur'an centuries before it was discovered.
In another verse, the following information is given about the formation of rain:
(Have you not seen how God drives along the clouds, then joins them together, then makes them into a stack, and then you see the rain come out of it? And He sends down from the sky mountain masses (of clouds) with cold hail in them, striking with it anyone He wills and averting it from anyone He wills. The brightness of His lightning almost blinds the sight.) (The Qur'an, 24:43)
Scientists studying cloud types came across surprising results regarding the formation of rain clouds. Rain clouds are formed and shaped according to definite systems and stages. The formation stages of cumulonimbus, one kind of rain cloud, are these:
1.STAGE, Being driven along: Clouds are carried along, that is, they are driven along, by the wind.
2.STAGE, Joining:Then, small clouds (cumulus clouds) driven along by the wind join together, forming a larger cloud.(1)
3.STAGE, Stacking:When the small clouds join together, updrafts within the larger cloud increase. The updrafts near the centre of the cloud are stronger than those near the edges. These updrafts cause the cloud body to grow vertically, so the cloud is stacked up. This vertical growth causes the cloud body to stretch into cooler regions of the atmosphere, where drops of water and hail formulate and begin to grow larger and larger. When these drops of water and hail become too heavy for the updrafts to support them, they begin to fall from the cloud as rain, hail, etc.(2)
We must remember that meteorologists have only recently come to know these details of cloud formation, structure and function, by using advanced equipment like planes, satellites, computers etc. It is evident that God has given us a piece of information that could not have been known 1,400 years ago.
(A) Isolated small pieces of clouds (cumulus clouds)
These updrafts cause the cloud body to grow vertically, so the cloud is stacked up. This vertical growth causes the cloud body to stretch into cooler regions of the atmosphere, where drops of water and hail formulate and begin to grow larger and larger. When these drops of water and hail become too heavy for the updrafts to support them, they begin to fall from the cloud as rain, hail, etc. This scientific fact was announced in verse 43 of Sura Nur fourteen centuries ago by God in this way: "...then (He) makes them into a stack, and then you see the rain come out of it"