THE WATER CYCLE
In 1580, Bernard Palissy was the first man to describe the present day concept of ‘water cycle’. He described how water evaporates from the oceans and cools to form clouds. The clouds move inland where they rise, condense and fall as rain. This water gathers as lakes and streams and flows back to the ocean in a continuous cycle. Today, we also know that the rainwater that seeps into the cracks of the ground (infiltration) is responsible for water springs. The Qur’an in the following verses describes the water cycle:
"We sent down water from the sky in due measure and lodged it in the ground. And We certainly are able to withdraw it." [Al-Qur’an 23; 18]
"Don’t you see that Allah sends down rain from the sky, and leads it through springs in the earth? Then He causes to grow, therewith, produce of various colours." [Al-Qur’an 39:21]
No other text dating back 1400 years ago could give such an accurate description of the water cycle.
The water vapour that is given off rises in to the atmosphere and by condensation, forms clouds. The winds then intervene and move the clouds thus formed over varying distances. The clouds can then either disperse without producing rain, or combine their mass with others to create even greater condensation, or they can fragment and produce rain at some stages in their evolution. And now look at the following verses of the Holy Qur’an:
"It is Allah 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 Raindrops issue from the midst thereof: then when He has made them reach such of His servants as He wills, behold, they do rejoice!" [Al-Qur’an 30:48]
"And we send the fecundating winds, then cause the rain to descend from the sky, therewith providing you with water (in abundance)." [Al-Qur’an 15:22]>
The Arabic word used here is ‘lawaqih’, which means to impregnate meaning that the wind pushes the clouds together increasing the condensation that causes lightning and thus rain. The Qur’anic descriptions are absolutely accurate and agree perfectly with modern data on hydrology.
M.A.Facy an expert at the French Meteorological Office wrote in ‘Universalis Encyclopedia’ under ’Precipitation’: “It will never be possible to make rain fall from a cloud that does not have the suitable characteristics of a rain cloud or one that has not yet reached the appropriate stage of evolution (maturity)” Hence man can never hasten the precipitation process by technical means when the natural conditions for it are not present. A fact disclosed 1400 years ago by the Qur’an in the following verse:
"Have you observed the water you drink? Do you bring it down from the rain -clouds? Or do We? If it were Our will, We could make it salty. Then why are you not thankful? [Al-Qur’an 56:68-70]