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Quran Organization / Structure (contd.)

Surahs (chapters)

A group of ayat has been declared to make up a Surah. Surahs vary in length, shortest ones have only three ayahs and the longest one has 286. There are 114 Surahs in the Qur'an numbered from 1 to 114. Surah means something divided or walled from both sides. All Surahs begin with Bismillah except Surah No. 9 called At-Taubah or the Repentance. All Surahs have been divided into Makki and Madani but a Makki Surah may contain a few verses revealed in Madinah and vice versa. There are some differences of opinion among the scholars of the Qur'an regarding the place of revelation of a few verses and their inclusion into a given Surah. All Surahs have been given names but not titles. A title is a brief, one word or two words description of the contents but name is not a description. For example, the name John or Yahya does not describe anything about this person but Dr. Yahya has a title Doctor describing his education. Similarly, names of Surahs like Al-Baqarah (the Cow) or Al-Ankaboot (the Spider) are not titles of those Surahs but only names. If they were titles, the Surah would be about the cow and spider, respectively. However, in some rare cases a name of a Surah may also be its title, such as Surah Yusuf.

Referring to the Qur'anic words and ayat

The most scientific method is the one given to us by the Prophet Muhammad, that is Surah and verse. Since all Surahs and ayat within them are numbered, the most scientific method is to provide the Surah and ayah number. For example Ayat al-Kursi is 2:255, that is Surah 2 (Al-Baqarah) and ayah 255. Some scholars prefer the reference "Al-Baqarah 255" or Al-Baqarah (2): 255. The organization of ayat and Surah and their order is revealed by Allah to His Prophet. Scholars after the Prophet have done additional division of the Qur'an for the convenience of recitation of the whole Qur'an in a set period like one week, one month or two months and so on.

Manazil (stations)

The Qur'an is divided into seven approximately equal parts for the convenience of reciting the whole Qur'an in one week. Each of the seven parts is called "Manzil" or station or the plural is Manazil or stations. There is some indication that Prophet Muhammad may have suggested such a division but there is no definite proof of it. A Manzil (singular of Manazil) consists of a number of whole Surahs as given below. If we take Surah 1 as preface of the Qur'an and exclude it from the seven Manazil, the division of Manazil follows:
Manzil No. 1. Surahs 2, 3 and 4.
Manzil No. 2. Surahs 5 to 9.
Manzil No. 3. Surahs 10 to 16.
Manzil No. 4. Surahs 17 to 25.
Manzil No. 5. Surahs 26 to 36.
Manzil No. 6. Surahs 37 to 49.
Manzil No. 7. Surahs 50 to 114.

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تِلْكَ الْجَنَّةُ الَّتِي نُورِثُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا مَن كَانَ تَقِيًّا


That is Paradise, which We give as inheritance to those of Our servants who were fearing of Allah.

یہی وہ جنت ہے جس کا ہم اپنے بندوں میں سے ایسے شخص کو وارث بنائیں گے جو پرہیزگار ہوگا

এটা ঐ জান্নাত যার অধিকারী করব আমার বান্দাদের মধ্যে পরহেযগারদেরকে।

این همان بهشتی است که به بندگان پرهیزگار خود، به ارث می‌دهیم.

இத்தகைய சுவர்க்கத்திற்கு நம் அடியார்களில் தக்வா - பயபக்தி - உடையவர்களை நாம் வாரிசாக்கிவிடுவோம்.
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