Clouds, Rain and Snow Contemplation

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What are the importance and benefits of contemplating clouds, rain and snow?

Just think of the clouds, giant vessels sailing in the skies. One of the functions of clouds is to prevent the Earth from being exposed to excess heat. When temperatures rise, water becomes vaporized at a faster rate, generating more clouds. The rays of the Sun are then mirrored back towards the direction whence they came, preserving the balance of heat on Earth.

Allah, the Most Compassionate, sends the winds as harbingers of rain. The winds then, with Divine Command, move the mountain like clouds and steer them to their destined places. The Almighty, who distributes clouds in the skies as He wishes and clusters them around one another, then extracts raindrops from out of them, through which He enables the growth of various fruits on Earth. He reminds us that this will be the manner in which the dead will be resurrected, wanting human beings to take note of this grand portrait of wisdom.[1]

The Almighty showers His mercy upon whom He wills. Delighted especially upon the glimpse of rain are those hit by a severe drought. Their despair immediately turns to hope.[2] For the Almighty is He “…who sends down the rain after they have despaired, and He unfolds His mercy; and He is the Guardian, the Praised One.” (as-Shura, 28)

The Almighty at times turns drought and at others rain or hail into means of punishment, penalizing His rebellious servants, striking whom He wills and protecting whom He spares.[3]

In other words, the Almighty aligns the relation between the skies and Earth in line with human behavior and their own inner world.

Rain is sent down by the Almighty in drops so that each remains separate in its own course without mingling with one another. Each drop of rain falls in its destined trajectory, without swaying the slightest bit. It neither comes late, nor does the raindrop next in line rush and overtake the drop beneath it. If entire humans and jinn were to join forces in making a single drop of rain or if they were simply to attempt to count the number of raindrops that fell in a single village at just one instant, they would not be able to. Only their Creator knows their exact number.

There is also an immeasurable wisdom in the icy, frozen drops of hail and in the snowflakes which fall like fine cotton, both of which are made up of fine water.

Who raises the drops of rain and snow that fall onto the ground to the highest branches of trees? Indeed, water is distributed around every single inch of a leaf but it is unseen. Through their capillary veins, each speck of the leaf and concurrently the whole tree receives its fair share of water.

How is it that water, which is supposed to flow on a downward course, able to make its way all the way up to the top?[4]

If raindrops were to fall in compliance with the law of gravity, each drop would have struck Earth at the speed of a flying bullet. And that would have meant living beings would have suffered instant death at the hands of these bullet-like drops. Yet, each raindrops falls onto the ground at a consistent speed, slowly, without causing the least hurt or harm.

Shaped according to a specified measure, water then takes the shape of tiny raindrops. Then through the lifting force of the air and the fluidity of the drops themselves, the force of gravity is balanced out, enabling the drops to hit the ground at a constant speed.

These truths alone would suffice for those who gaze with wisdom to appreciate just how magnificent the Divine order and harmony, effective throughout Earth in which we live, is. No less clearly would they see the infinite knowledge, power and wisdom of the Almighty by such observation.

[1]     See, al-Arâf, 57; Fâtır, 9.

[2]     See, ar-Rûm, 48.

[3]     See, an-Nûr, 43.

[4]     See, Imam Ghazzali, Ihyâ, VI, 67-68.

Source: Osman Nuri Topbaş, Contemplation in Islam, Erkam Public.

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