surah

surah
surah1
/soor"euh/, n.
a soft, twilled silk or rayon fabric.
[1880-85; appar. var. of SURAT]
surah2
/soor"euh/, n. Islam.
sura.

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or sura

Any chapter of the Qurān.

According to Muslim belief, each of the 114 sūrahs, which vary in length from several lines (known as āyahs) to several pages, encompasses one or more divine revelations of Muhammad. All but three lines are in the form of a direct address from God. The tone of each varies but is generally moralistic, demanding obedience to a transcendent but compassionate God. Except for the opening sūrah, known as fātiḥah (the "opening"), they are arranged in descending order of length and numbered serially. They carry conventional names (e.g., Cow, Spider, Blood Clot) deriving from some image contained in them that is not necessarily indicative of their meaning or theme.

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▪ chapter of Qurʾān
also spelled  Sura,  Arabic  Sūrah,  

      a chapter in the sacred scripture of Islām, the Qurʾān. Each of the 114 surahs, which vary in length from several pages to several words, encompasses one or more revelations received by Muḥammad from Allāh (God). In the traditional Muslim classification, the word Madanīyah (“of Medina”) or Makkīyah (“of Mecca”) appears at the beginning of each surah, indicating to some Muslim scholars that the surah was revealed to Muḥammad in the period of his life when he was preaching in one or the other of these cities. In some cases an intermixture of verses is similarly designated; modern critical scholarship, however, does not accept the validity of these divisions. Except for the first surah, the fatiha (Arabic fātiḥah, “the opening”), which is a brief seven verses, the surahs are arranged in descending order of length and are numbered serially. They are further identified by a name, usually derived from an unusual image appearing in the text but not necessarily indicative of the general content. About one-fourth of the surahs are also preceded by the fawātiḥ; these are detached letters, the function and meaning of which have not yet been satisfactorily determined.

      Every surah but the ninth, which presents a unique textual problem, opens with the basmalah formula (“in the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful”) and is followed by numbered verses (āyahs). Written in prose, much of which is of a highly intense quality and is often rhymed, the individual āyahs, rather than the entire surah, are commonly regarded as proofs of God's authority and existence and a validation of Muḥammad's mission. Indeed, all the surahs—except the fatiha, which is a short devotional prayer, and the last two surahs—are in the form of an address from God, either speaking himself in the first person or speaking through the imperative form qūl, “say!,” and ordering that the words that follow be proclaimed. The subject matter of the revelations is varied, ranging from stories of previous prophets (Abraham, Moses, Jesus) to an extremely vivid eschatology. The general tone is deeply moralistic and theocentric, reverberating with a demand for obedience to a transcendent but compassionate God.

      In pious circles the Qurʾān is often divided into 30 equal sections known as juzʾ (Persian and Urdu sipāra, or pāra). These break up the surahs arbitrarily, without regard to content, into 30 parts in order to facilitate the systematic reading of the entire Qurʾān in 30 days, or one lunar month.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • surah — surah …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • surah — [ syra ] n. m. • 1883; de Surate, nom d un centre textile de l Inde ♦ Étoffe de soie croisée, légère et souple. « des foulards d une finesse de nuée, des surahs plus légers que les duvets envolés des arbres » (Zola). ● surah nom masculin (de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • surah — suráh s. n. Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic  SURÁH s. n. ţesătură uşoară de mătase, din India. (< fr. surah) Trimis de raduborza, 15.09.2007. Sursa: MDN …   Dicționar Român

  • Surah — Su rah, n. A soft twilled silk fabric much used for women s dresses; called also {surah silk}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Surah — werden Seidengewebe (auch aus Halb , oder Kunstseide) genannt, die in sogenannter Köperbindung gewebt sind. Der Stoff wird für Decken, Schals und Tüchern oder als Futterstoff genutzt. Die Bezeichnung Surah soll vom Namen der indischen Stadt Surat …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Surah — Surah, geköpertes, stumpf glänzendes Seidengewebe mit 50–52 Kettenfäden und 36–45 Schußfäden auf 1 cm …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Surah — Surah, ein geköpertes Seidengewebe, mit stumpfem Glanz …   Lexikon der gesamten Technik

  • Surah — (frz., spr. ßürá), geköpertes Seidengewebe mit stumpfem Glanz …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • surah — sùrah m DEFINICIJA meka svilena tkanina tkana koso; nastala u pokrajini Surat u Indiji ETIMOLOGIJA hind …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • surah — [soor′ə] n. [after SURAT: orig. used of coarse cotton goods made there] a soft, twilled fabric of silk or rayon …   English World dictionary

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