pieces of cloud come together and form masses –which are vast and towering, moist and white, and contain snow and hail like the moving mountains at the resurrection– from which the water of life is sent to living beings. But in its being sent a will and purpose are apparent; it comes in accordance with need. This means it is sent. While the skies are clear and empty, the mountainous pieces of cloud do not gather together of their own accord into a great gathering of wonders, they are sent by One Who knows the living creatures. In this distance, then, Divine Names rise, like All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Disposer, Designer, Nurturer, Succourer, and Giver of Life.
Eighth Quality of Eloquence: It sometimes happens that in order to impel the heart to accept Almighty God’s wondrous works in the hereafter and make the mind affirm them, the Qur’an mentions His amazing works in this world by way of preparation, or it mentions the wondrous Divine works of the future and hereafter in such a way that we acquire firm conviction about them through similar things which we observe here. For example:
Does man not see that We created him from sperm, and behold, he stands forth an open adversary?1... to the end of the Sura.
In this discussion of the resurrection of the dead, the Qur’an proves the resurrection in seven or eight different ways. Firstly it draws attention to the first creation, saying: “You see your creation from sperm to a blood-clot, from a blood-clot to a foetus lump, and from that to the human creation, so how is it that you deny the second creation, which is like it or even easier?”
And with the words:
Who produces for you fire out of the green tree,2
Almighty God indicates the mighty favours He bestows on man, saying: “The One Who bestows such bounties on you will not leave you at liberty to enter the grave and sleep never to rise again.” And by allusion it says: “You see the dead trees come to life and grow green, but you draw no conclusions from their bones springing to life when like dry fire-wood, and so deem man’s rising again unlikely. Also, could the One Who creates the heavens and the earth remain impotent before the life and death of man, the fruit of the heavens and the earth? Would the One Who administers the mighty tree attach no importance to its fruit and allow others to claim it? Do you suppose that He would abandon the result of all the tree, thus making purposeless and vain the tree of creation, which together with all its parts is kneaded with wisdom?” It says: “The One Who will raise you to