lide suddenly and lightning is produced. Then on one cloud staging an assault and being suddenly uprooted, and its place being filled by another so there should be no vacuum, the layers oscillate and undulate which produces the sound of thunder. However, these atmospheric conditions occur within the order and laws represented by the angel of thunder and lightning.
The rain (cloudburst) being shown to contain [the thunder and lightning] although [in reality] it is the clouds that contains them is because the terrified [dissemblers], and the listener who is alarmed at their terror, look on the pelting rain as encompassing everything since it is encompassing them.
The use of the singular for the thunder and lightning although darknesses is plural indicates that the source of the calamity-stricken dissemblers’ fright is their imagining the sky to be speaking and menacing them with its thunder, and the flashing lighting revealing [their dreadful situation]. These are the verbal meanings [ma‘nā maṣ̣dārī – and such meanings are singular]1 and [resemble] “the shining hand.”2 Also, each is a different sort of being (naw‘), although there are numerous instances of each, [and what is intended is the sort, not the individual instances of them].
“Thunder” and “lightning” are indefinite since they are not qualified by adjectives; that is, [the ‘nunation’ signifies implied adjectives such as] crashing thunder and dazzling lightning. It indicates too that [the dissemblers] are unfamiliar [with their reality] because all their attention is focussed on the curious aspects of them. It also hints that they do not recognize the thunder and lightning because they have stopped up their ears and shut fast their eyes.
The parts of the phrases: “They put their fingers into their ears to keep out the peals of thunder, in terror of death (yaj‘alūna aṣābi‘ahum fī ādhānihim min al-ṣawā‘iq ḥadhara al-mawt):”
This sentence is the reply to an implied question and a fine ‘commencement’ [isti’nāf – that is, it is not tied to what precedes it]. For when the listener addresses himself to this emotional, allegorical story, he feels an intense desire to discover the circumstances of the calamity. Once this is depicted perfectly, his curiosity is satisfied and he then desires to learn the condition of the calamity-struck men. He as though asks: “What state are they in now? What are they doing to save themselves?” And the Qur’an
Nursi, İşârâtü’l-İ’caz [Abdülmecid], 144.
This association of the thunder and lightning with speech and “the shining hand” (al-yad al-bayḍā) is an allusion to two of Moses’ miracles. See, Qur’an, 20:22ff; 26:33; 27:12; 28:32. See, Nursi, İşârâtü’l-İ’caz [Bahaeddin Sağlam], 190.