This excerpt is from El Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani’s 2007 discourse on Surah Ra’d, in Holy Qur’an, and explains the meaning of the word Ra’d, or thunder in Arabic.

The Arabic word, Ra’d, is generally believed to be thunder, which comes from the clouds.
Once the Holy Last Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, was asked, “Oh Messenger! What is this thunder that we hear?”

The Arabic word, Ra’d, is generally believed to be thunder, which comes from the clouds.
Once the Holy Last Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, was asked, “Oh Messenger! What is this thunder that we hear?”
The Holy Last Messenger, peace and blessing be upon him, answered, “This thunder comes from one of the angels, from one of Allah’s many angels. Ra’d is the name of the angel that Allah has appointed to drive the clouds with a whip of lightening.”
So they again asked, “Oh Messenger! What is the thunder we hear?”
The Holy Last Messenger, peace be upon him, replied, “You can say it is the voice of the Angel Ra’d.”
An example: When the shepherd rounds up the herds of cattle, he produces loud sounds to drive the animals on. So, Ra’d, the angel, also uses a loud sound to drive the clouds on. He also uses a whip made of lightening.
There was an era when people used to worship a god of lightening and thunder, fearing him –in India and other pagan countries. Pagans still do worship this “god,” because anything that creates fear is worshipped in many religions. Even during the time of the Holy Last Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him), people were very much afraid of thunder and lightening.
There are many legends about a “god of lightening and thunder” in Greek mythology. In the Roman tales and in folklore, it is a separate entity. Yet, it is Allah who created everything; and, in fact, Ra’d is serving mankind by driving clouds around so that rain reaches our fields, gardens, crops and orchards.
The Angel Ra’d’s status is in his being a servant of Allah.
The Holy Last Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “When you hear this lightening and thunder, do not say ‘God is Greatest,’ you must say ‘Glory to Allah,’ that is, ‘Glory to the Most High and all praises are due to Him.’”
Ra’d is a phenomena, an angel that drives the clouds.

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