gardens, valleys, and caravans of camels, as may be heard in the oratory of the Arabs. Thus, in the view of [the science of] rhetoric [or eloquence] it seems that the summer clouds are travelling floating in the skies, with the thunder [as a shepherd] tending them [like a flock] and spurring them on [with its shouts], whenever it shakes the staff of its lightning at them in the oceans of the skies, the clouds quiver and are convulsed. They appear like mountains crumbling on doomsday, or ships tossed about in a storm, or gardens quaking with earth tremors, or a caravan fleeing from the attack of bandits. Nevertheless, [the clouds] do travel and are swept along; it is even as if all the molecules of water vapour lie hidden and silent in their places awaiting the orders of their Creator. Then when the thunder booms out like a military bugle: “Gather together and form ranks!”, vying with each other they leap up from their places and run with all speed to the one summoning them, and are resurrected as clouds. Then having performed their duties and received the order to retire, they all fly off to their aeries.
It is because of this imaginary relationship and the proximity and neighbourliness between the clouds and the mountains – for in order to draw up moisture the cloud forms on the mountain in accordance with its size and it wears its dress; and because the cloud has the colour of the snow and ice and is fashioned through their moisture and coldness; and because of the brotherhood between the mountain and the cloud, and their exchanging forms and dress in many places in the Qur’an, and their shaking hands in the revelation as they converse and embrace each other on many lines of the page of the earth in the book of the world; and as you see the cloud resting on the mountain so that the mountain is like a dock or anchorage for the ships of the clouds, or a place where they take counsel, or a nest on which they alight – it is because of all these things that in the view of eloquence they deserve to be neighbours, exchanging and borrowing things. Thus, it calls the clouds mountains without the use of the particle [of likening ka-].
If you have understood all you have heard about these relationships, [you will have understood that] “And He sends down from the sky” means from the direction of the sky, and “mountain masses [of clouds]” means clouds like mountains, and “wherein is hail” means in respect of their colour, moisture, and frigidity. So since there is an interpretation acceptable to the science of rhetoric, what makes you believe that the rain [which] falls in two minutes [comes] from a distance of five hundred years in opposition to Allah’s wisdom, who makes everything with the finest art and precision?