What does the word “Gamam” mean in the Qur’an? – The extraordinary concept of “cloud” in the Qur’an – Ali Aksoy

If you look at dictionaries and available translations, the words “Gamam” “Gamame” “Gamam” mean “cloud”. There are many verses in the Qur’an that contain the word cloud, and in all of these verses, except for the word “gamam”, the word cloud clearly refers to the cloud that we know as “raining”.


Surah Rum, verse 48: “(He) Allah, who sends the winds and lifts the cloud, spreads it in the sky (in any direction or on the ground) as He wishes, and makes it into pieces. Finally you see the rain coming out of it. Then, when He gives it to any of His servants (who are waiting for this rain with longing), they (they) immediately rejoice.”

It is obvious that we are talking about the rain-making cloud we know here. As in this verse, in other verses resembling the cloud we know, the words “sehab” and “sehâben” are used for cloud.

However, in the 4 verses translated as cloud, the situation changes and another word is used.

Two of these are the “cloud” held over the Israelites while the manna and quail were lowered.

1) Surah Al-Baqara, verse 57: “We have shaded you with the cloud (al gamâme), and we have sent down manna and quail to you. Eat the best of what we have given you as sustenance (we said). They wronged not Us but their own selves.”

2) Surah Araf, verse 160: “We divided them (Israelites) into twelve groups into separate tribes. When his people asked him for water, We revealed to Moses, “Strike the stone with your staff.” Twelve springs gushed from it, and every community learned where to drink water. We cast a shadow over them with a cloud (al gamame) and sent down manna and quails on them. (Then we said) “Eat of the pure things that we have provided for you.” But they (by not obeying our orders) were oppressing not Us but their own selves.”

In both of these verses, there is a cloud, or rather something called “el gamame”, which takes on the function of bringing down manna and quail for the Children of Israel, rather than clouds that have the quality of raining.

3) Surah Al-Baqara, verse 210: “Are they waiting in the shadows of the cloud (min al gamami) for Allah to come to them with the angels and for the work to be finished? All affairs are returned to Allah.”

Here, it is almost like a cloud in which Allah and his angels can be found, or rather a “thing” called “el gamam”. This is not a rain-making cloud, and for this reason, the word “sahaban” is not used as in other verses.

4) Surah Furqan, verse 25: “One day, the sky will be split by clouds (bi al gamami) and angels will be sent down one after the other.”

Here, too, it is as if there is a cloud in which angels will be found, or rather a “thing” named “gamam”.

In particular, we see that the word “gamama” in the verse of Furkan 25 is persistently translated as “white cloud” in many meanings. Whereas, there is no mention of a cloud that makes rain, but of something in which the heavens are torn apart and accompanying angels or in which angels are present.

I wonder; The “flying boat” “sky boats” found in the Sumerian, Akkadian and Babylonian texts, the “boat” found in the Egyptian “book of the dead” and raising the Pharaohs to God, the “flying boat” Vimanas found in ancient Indian texts, the prophet Ezekiel mentioned in the Torah and Can there be a connection between this “Gham” and the mysterious object that comes out as “God”, whose spirit is on its “wheels”, which descends to the ground with a great noise and smoke, scattering fire, and on which there is a glass jar made of crystal?

How consistent is the translation of both simply and irresponsibly as “cloud”, with almost no attention paid to these two word distinctions in translations of the Qur’an?

Ali Aksoy – 20.10.2019

(Translated with google translate)

For the original article, see:

Kuran’da “Gamam” kelimesi ne anlama gelir ? – Kuran’daki sıra dışı “bulut” kavramı – Ali Aksoy