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SURA
SURAH

singular Ar: surat. Lit. "A row of series" (Hughe's Dictionary of Islam, p. 623). Syraic surta: writing, text of Scripture, Scripture; a chapter of the Qur'an. "The ancient Jews divided the whole law of Moses into forty-five siderim or 'sections,' of which were named after the same manner as the surahs of the Qur'an." (Hughe's Dictionary of Islam, p. 623)

Interestingly, the Encyclopedia of Islam mentions that the word sura is of unknown origin. There are many theories that its origin is Hebrew or Syriac, but there is no consensus. In particular, for such a common and important word, commentators have not been able to connect it convincingly to any Arabic root. It seems to sugggest that this might be a foreign word, as we remember that Muhammad went to Syria for trade missions before his marriage.

There is a total 114 surahs in Qur'an, but this number differs from the number in the codices of Qur'an belonging Ubayy b. Kaab and that of Abdullah ibn Mas`ud.


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