6 Lessons From The Rain
August 22, 2021
Rainfall, like many other natural objects and processes, serves the interests of people and ensures their survival, growth, and progress. This reminds us about Allah’s countless favors upon us, and the need to be grateful to Him and generous towards fellow humans.
The Quran frequently talks about rain, describing it as a sign of Allah, and inviting people to contemplate its formation. Many of us take natural phenomena such as the rain for granted and view these only in terms of their impact on our daily routine.
While we may consider rain a nuisance when it disrupts our outdoor events or travel plans, rain is very much essential for sustaining life on our planet. In addition to pointing out the benefits of rainwater, the Quranic discourse on rain is marked by comparisons, symbolism, and deep reflection.
Here are five lessons we can derive from rain based on the Quran and Hadith.
1. Allah’s perfect creative ability
The complexity of the water cycle emphasizes how perfectly Allah sustains His creation. Think about the formation of clouds in the atmosphere – how some of the water from the earth evaporates into vapor which then condenses to form clouds.
The Quran describes the subsequent stages of the water cycle as follows:
It is Allah who sends the winds, and they stir the clouds and spread them in the sky however He wills, and He makes them fragments so you see the rain emerge from within them.”
Then some of this rainwater is consumed while the remaining amount gathers in water bodies such as lakes and rivers. From there, water partially evaporates, and this cycle continues.
All this is not occurring by itself; Allah is the one who has designed the universe with His infinite wisdom, and He controls its affairs. Hence, it makes sense to have faith in Him, and acknowledge His power and dominion by serving Him alone.
2. The esteemed status of humanity
Rain has immense benefits for people. For instance, it provides us fresh water for drinking, washing, and cleaning purposes. It is vital for our crops, and hence, our food supplies. Moreover, water is used extensively in our industries, including electricity generation.
The Quran also mentions some benefits of rainwater:
It is He who sends down rain from the sky; from it is drink and from it is foliage in which you pasture [animals].”
Thus, rainfall, like many other natural objects and processes, serves the interests of people and ensures their survival, growth, and progress. This reminds us about Allah’s countless favors upon us, and the need to be grateful to Him and generous towards fellow humans.
3. Hearts attuned to guidance
There is an interesting analogy coined by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ regarding rainfall and guidance, as narrated by Bukhari. There are two types of land, he said, upon which rain falls.
The first is the fertile land that absorbs rainwater, brings forth plenty of vegetation, and also retains some water for humans and animals to benefit from. This can be compared to the heart of a person that accepts the guidance of Allah, prompting the person to do good and convey that guidance to others.
The second type is the barren land that neither retains any rainwater nor produces vegetation. This is similar to a heart that is bereft of guidance; it does not encourage the person to do good or benefit others.
4. A blessing and a torment
Rain is usually a blessing from Allah, as He says,
And We have sent down blessed rain from the sky and made grow thereby gardens and grain from the harvest.”
However, rain can also come in the form of a torment. Violent storms have wiped out entire civilizations, as Allah says regarding the nation of Prophet Lut: “And We rained upon them a rain [of stones], and evil was the rain of those who were warned.” (27:58)
Just like rain, much of what we encounter in life can either be a blessing or a curse depending on the context. For instance, a hardship or calamity can be a blessing if it teaches us resilience, makes us grow, and draws us closer to Allah; or it can be a torment if it leads to ingratitude and sin.
Another example is that of wealth, which is a favor from Allah as it fulfills many of our needs and enables us to help others; but if it tempts us to arrogance, miserliness, or illegitimate use of resources, then it is a form of curse upon us even if we do not realize it at the time.
5. Knowledge of the unseen
The Prophet ﷺ said, “None knows when it shall rain except Allah…” (Bukhari). Even with the supercomputers available for weather forecasts today, predictions are often inaccurate.
Jon Shonk, a research scientist at the University of Reading, states that we shall never be able to predict the weather with 100% accuracy. This implies that predicting rainfall without any probability of error shall not be possible either.
We are thus reminded that Allah alone knows various aspects of the unseen. Hence, it is best to trust Allah, who alone is the All-Aware, with our future.
It also makes sense to be prepared for, and adapt to, the abrupt changes in our lives, knowing that nothing stays constant forever. The unpredictability of rain is indeed small compared to the uncertainty of life.
6. A sign of the hereafter
The rain is a reminder of the hereafter because it revives life on earth, just as the blowing of the trumpet shall restore all life on the Day of Judgement.
Similar to how rainfall brings forth plants from the ground, people shall be brought forth from their graves on that Day, as Allah says,
And who [but Allah] sends down rain from the sky in measured amounts, and We revive thereby a dead land – thus will you be brought forth.”
The energy and freshness brought about by rain is thus reminiscent of the transition from lifelessness to eternal life on the Day of Judgement. This should remind us to prepare for the hereafter by reflecting upon our conduct and performing the deeds that shall benefit us eternally.