The relationships and positioning of the phrase: “with utter darkness (lit. in which are darknesses) (fīhi ẓulumātun):”
The aim of this is to intimidate. The precedence of “in which (fīhi)” is a sign that with their imaginations, both the terrified calamity-struck [dissemblers] and the listener fancy that the darkness of many dark nights has been emptied entirely into this night. Then its being said that the darknesses are within the rain [the cloudburst] although it is vice-versa, suggests that the frightened men suppose space to be a pool filled with rain, and the night to be contained within it, interspersed between its molecules.
“Darknesses” being plural alludes to their variety: the darkness of the black clouds and their denseness and covering the whole sky, the heaviness of the rain and the largeness of its drops, and the compounded darkness of the night.
And the word “darknesses” is indefinite because [the darknesses] are unknown and particularly because those addressed are ignorant of them. And [its being indefinite] is also corroborative [for not knowing is a sort of darkness].
As for the phrases “and thunder and lightning (wa ra‘d wa barq),” their aim is to portray the bewilderment and alarm [of the dissemblers], and [to indicate that] disaster-struck and baffled, they focus all their attention on the least significant event. For scrutiny leads a person to understand the wondrously strange revolutions and changes in the thunder and lightning. But when [the dissemblers] see the darkness invading the universe and swallowing up beings – like nothingness – their bewilderment is turned into orphanlike grief and they fall silent as the dead. For they see the clearest evidences of existence, the utterance of those lofty beings [the thunder], then their appearance when the veil is lifted [on the flashing of the lightning], and they are filled with consternation, bewilderment and fear. For when they see the boundless darkness in infinite space, which they can in no way overcome, they look in despair. But then, when those darknesses are suddenly emptied out of space and vanish and everywhere is filled with light, their absolute despair is transformed into hope.
Know that thunder and lightning are two clear signs from the World of the Unseen. They are in the hands of the angels appointed to the world of the clouds to oversee the ordering of its laws. Divine wisdom ties causes and their effects, and when clouds are formed from water vapour dispersed in the atmosphere, some of them are charged with negative electrons and others with positive electrons. When two come close to each other they col-