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Producing Rain through Artificial Means

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
What is the Islamic ruling on producing rain through artificial means; namely by increasing the density of ionic charges in clouds electrically or electronically?

Answer:
All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of The Worlds.

Rainfall is tied with the will of Allah, The Exalted, for He says, "Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with God (alone). It is He Who sends down rain, and He Who knows what is in the wombs. Nor does any one know what it is that he will earn on the morrow: Nor does any one know in what land he is to die."{Luqman, 34}.

Allah, The Almighty, has created the universe and based it on causes, and demanded that we adopt those causes along with relying on Him. He, The Exalted, said, " It is God Who sends forth the Winds, so that they raise up the Clouds, and We drive them to a land that is dead, and revive the earth therewith after its death: even so (will be) the Resurrection!"{Fatir,9}. Allah sends forth the Winds, so that they raise up the clouds giving glad tidings of pure rain for people to drink. He also said, " such is God, your Lord and Cherisher: to Him belongs (all) dominion. There is no god but He"{Az-Zumar, 6}. I.e. it is Allah Who causes all these matters to happen for He is your Lord and Cherisher to Whom belongs all dominion.*

It is permissible that man resorts to material means and causes to produce rain from winds and clouds; namely modern scientific methods which are proven to be effective and cause no harm to man, animals or ecology.

However, if these methods were proven to be harmful to the environment and the living creatures or were ineffective, then they aren`t permissible since the Prophet (PBUH) said, "There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm.”{Related by Ibn Majah}. He (PBUH) has also forbidden wasting wealth where he (PBUH) said, " Verily Allah disapproves three things for you: irrelevant talk, wasting of wealth and persistent questioning."{Related by Muslim}.

Moreover, one who attempts to produce artificial rain shouldn`t rely on causes; rather, he should rely on Allah in the first place for He (SW) said, "See ye the water which ye drink? Do ye bring it down (in rain) from the cloud or do We?"{ Al-Waqi`ah, 68-69}. And Allah knows best.

*Modified on March 3rd, 2016.

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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