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What Causes Winds


Reported by Abu Hurairah (RA): I heard the Messenger of Allah saying: “The wind is a blessing of Allah. Sometimes it brings His mercy and sometimes it brings His chastisement. When you experience it, do not revile it but beg of Allah its good, and seek Allah’s refuge against its evil.

[Abu Dawud – Riyad us Saliheen Chapter 323, 1728]

info-pictogram1 Wind is caused by differences in atmospheric pressure created, in large part, by the unequal heating of the earth’s surface by the sun. Air moves from a region of higher pressure to one of lower pressure and this movement is wind. Any difference in pressure will cause wind, but the greater the difference the stronger the wind.

The direction that wind takes is influenced by the rotation of the earth. On a nonrotating earth wind would move in a straight path from a high- to a low-pressure area. It is deflected from this path—to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern—by the turning of the earth on its axis.

Local winds—those that affect a comparatively small area—are often caused by heat transferred by convection. Direct radiation from the sun does little to heat the air. It is warmed chiefly by heat radiated from the earth. Intense local heating of the land causes air directly above to become greatly heated and to expand. As a result, some of the air aloft flows away, lowering the pressure over the heated area and increasing the pressure around it. The cooler, heavier air near the earth then flows to the heated area.

In mountainous areas, winds tend to blow uphill during the day because the mountainside is heated more than the valley below it. At night, when the mountainside cools, the wind blows downhill. In summer, breezes tend to blow from oceans or large lakes to the warmer land during the day. They blow from the land at night, when the land cools.

Rising of the sun from the west

Islam is the only religion that prophesies that the sun will rise from the West, instead of from rising from the East, in the the End Times, before Day of Judgement. Both the Quran and the Hadith affirm that this phenomenon will take place. The occurrence of this phenomenon is considered in Islam as one of the major signs that indicate the Day of Judgement is close.

Allah says in the Qur’an:

  لا ينفع نفسا إيمانها لم تكن آمنت من قبل أو كسبت في إيمانها خيرا  .  6 / الأنعام / الآية 158

” No good will it do to a person to believe then, if he believed not before, nor earned good (by performing deeds of righteousness) through his faith.”    (Surah Al-An’aam 6:158)

This verse is referring to the rising of the sun from the West, according to the opinion of the majority of Quran commentators such as Tabari and Ibn Kathir.

Imam Tabari, after mentioning the different opinions of the commentators writes, “The most correct opinion in regards to the meaning of this verse is that what is apparent from the reports narrated from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم   that he said, “Becoming a Believer will be of no benefit after the sun rises from the West.”    (Tabari)

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