What is a Surah?
|* The Holy Quran is
arranged in 114 Surahs of very unequal size. A Surah is usually spoken of as a Chapter in
English, but that translation is hardly satisfactory. If you examine the order you will
find that each Surah is a step in a gradation. The word is best used untranslated, as a
technical term in Islamic literature.
Surahs are numbered and the consecutive number is shown just before the title of the Surah. Each Surah consists of a number of Ayats or verses. For example, Surah i (one) contains 7 Ayats and Surah ii (two) contains 286. The most convenient form of quotation is to name the Surah and the Ayat, thus ii. 120 means the 120th Ayat of the second Surah.
The Ayat or verse division is usually different. Sometimes an Ayat contains many sentences. Sometimes a sentence is divided by a break in an Ayat. But usually there is a pause in meaning at the end of an Ayat.
A division of the Surah into Sections is shown in all Arabic Texts. These are logical divisions according to meaning. The word translated Section is in Arabic 'Ruku', a bowing of the head.
from the description given by A. Yusuf Ali in the Division of the
Quran section of his translation.