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The water cycle is defined as how water moves between the ocean and other bodies of water, the land and the air. The sun causes water to evaporate from the ocean, lakes, and other bodies of water. The evaporated water vapor forms clouds; in the clouds, water droplets condense and eventually fall back to earth as rain or snow. The precipitation collects in bodies of water, and the cycle starts again with evaporation.


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Year of Discovery:



Scientist Associated:

Bernard Palissy


Qur’anic Ayah

The Qur’an says: “We sent down water from the sky, blessed water whereby We caused to grow gardens, grains for harvest, tall palm-trees with their spathes, piled one above the other – sustenance for (Our) servants. Therewith We gave (new) life to a dead land. So will be the emergence (from the tombs).” Qur’an.Surah Qaf 50: 9-11.


And: “We sent down water from the sky in measure and lodged it in the ground. And We certainly are able to withdraw it. Therewith for you We gave rise to gardens of palm-trees and vineyards where for you are abundant fruits and of them you eat.” Qur’an.Surah Mumenoon 23: 18-19.


And: “We sent forth the winds that fecundate. We cause the water to descend from the sky. We provide you with the water – you (could) not be the guardians of its reserves.”  Qur’an.Surah Hijr 15:22.


There are two possible interpretations of this last ayath. The fecundating winds may be taken to be the fertilizers of plants because they carry pollen. However, this may be a figurative expression referring by analogy to the role the wind plays in the process, whereby a non-rain carrying cloud is turned into one that produces a shower of rain.


The Qur’an says: “Allah is the One Who sends forth the winds which raised up the clouds. He spreads them in the sky as He wills and breaks them into fragments. Then you sees raindrops issuing from within them. He makes them reach such of His servants as He wills. And they are rejoicing.” Qur’an.Surah Ar-Room 30:48.


And: “(Allah) is the One Who sends forth the winds like heralds of His Mercy. When they have carried the heavy-laden clouds, We drive them to a dead land. Then We cause water to descend and thereby bring forth fruits of every kind. Thus We will bring forth the dead. Maybe you will remember.” Qur’an.Surah Araaf 7:57.


And: “Hast thou not seen that Allah sent water down from the sky and led it through sources into the ground? Then He caused sown fields of different colors to grow.” Qur’an.Surah Zumar 39:21.


And: “Therein We placed gardens of palm-trees and vineyards and We caused water springs to gush forth.”  Qur’an.Surah Yaseen 36:34.


The Glorious Qur’an also describes how rainwater is conducted into sources in the ground. Qur’an.Surah Zumar 39:21


“Hast thou not seen that God makes the clouds move gently, then joins them together, then makes them a heap. And thou seest raindrops issuing from within it. He sends down from the sky mountains of hail, He strikes therewith whom He wills and He turns it away from whom He wills. The flashing of its lightning almost snatches away the sight.” Qur’an.Surah Ar-Noor 24:43



“Have you observed the water you drink? Do you bring it down from the rainclouds? Or do We? If it were Our will, We could make it salty. Then why are you not thankful (to Allah)?”  Qur’an.Surah Waqya 56:68-70.


The heat from the sun’s rays causes the water from the sea and other water surfaces on Earth to evaporate. The water vapor that is given off rises into 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. When rain reaches the sea, the cycle is soon repeated. When rain falls on the land, it may be absorbed by vegetation aid its growth; the vegetation in its turn gives off water and thus returns some water to the atmosphere. The rest, to a lesser or greater extent, infiltrates into the soil, from where it is either conducted through channels into the sea, or comes back to the Earth’s surface network through springs or resurgences.


When one compares the modern data of hydrology to what is contained in the numerous ayah of the Qur’an quoted in this paragraph, one has to admit that there is a remarkable degree of agreement between them.





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