Weather forecast in Kashmir: Divine prophecy or scrutiny?

Kashmir is bestowed upon with intellectuals in almost every field of life. Similar is the case with the local meteorological or weather department. Popular public figure Sonam Lotus heads the bureau who has mostly been able to accurately forecast weather, not as a divine future-teller or astrologist, but as a learned scientist or precisely a meteorologist, the person who studies weather.

It is very distressing to see people comment with disrespect about the weatherman or the science of weather forecasting while terming ‘future-telling’ as being forbidden or haraam in religion Islam, followed by majority of people in Kashmir.

As per textual definitions, weather forecasting is the application of science and technology to predict the state of atmosphere for a given location. It has nothing to do with future-telling. Rather it is based on estimations, past experience and common sense. It is surely not the knowledge of unseen, but the knowledge based on observations and study of nature. Moreover, this is not the only thing we predict, but is unfortunately among the few things we look at differently.

No doubt Islam forbids future-telling and we Muslims have faith in Allah, who only knows the future and has the knowledge of unseen, but as per my understanding, the almighty has not forbidden observation, education and its application. He has created the world with supreme perfection which functions as per certain laws of nature that can be studied. Although we never know what is going to unfold in future, but that does not mean that we cannot make informed judgement about what to expect in future based on the facts we know. It has nothing to do with what is unseen; such predictions may or may not be true.

The difference between the two concepts can be understood very easily. Future-telling is usually referred to prophecy without any help of established science, while weather forecasting is done by estimation and thorough calculations based on the laws of nature, observations and past experiences. In fact, we all have common sense which makes us predict rainfall as clouds cover the sky, but we estimate it only when we see clouds with naked eye.

The weathermen also do the same thing; they collect relevant data, study the position of rain-causing clouds and winds, and estimate their position over a period of few days. They usually make correct estimation, but at times are wrong too. Believing in their forecast is not denouncing the sanctity of almighty Allah.

In fact, predicting weather is no different than the judgements we make in our day-to-day lives. For example, knowing that an aircraft has left Delhi at a certain time, we can safely predict that it will land in Srinagar an hour later. Similarly, if we drop an egg from a three storied building onto a cemented floor, we would expect it to break, although there are little chances that it may not. This is based on common sense. Similarly doctors say someone is pregnant when they electronically scan the woman’s abdomen or look for some signs in her blood sample; they do not say it from their heart as a magical power.

Indeed, the almighty Allah has created certain laws of nature and also made humans among the best of his creation, with the power to think logically. The same power makes me write my opinion but I still believe that Allah knows the best and I may be wrong.


Profile photo - Vijdan KawoosaAuthor is the founder / editor of JandK Now and a student of journalism and mass communication at Amity University, Noida. He can be e-mailed at editor@jandknow.com and followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vijdankawoosa

This is an opinion article; Views expressed by the author are his own and may not reflect that of the website