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Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

The Koran is divided into 114 chapters, each of which is called sura. The word sura (pl. suwar) is derived from sur, meaning a boundary wall of a city, thus sura means a part or chapter of the Koran separated by other. The word sura occurs 9 times in the Koran in singular and once in the plural form. Sura Baqara is the longest sura and Sura Kawthar is the shortest. Each sura contains a specific name.

There are in all 114 suras in the Koran, out of which 86 were revealed in Mecca, or before the migration of the Prophet, and 28 suras were revealed in Medina, or after the Prophet's migration. The former is known as Meccan and the latter as Medinan. The Meccan period of revelation is of 13 years and that of Medinan is 10 years. The total period of revelation is 22 years and 5 months, starting from 610 A.D. and ending in 632 A.D. The scholars have also grouped the suras into four kinds:-

a) at-tiwal (long ones) : 02-10

b) al-ma'un (app. 100 verses) : 10-35

c) al-muthana (app. Less than 100 verses) : 36-49

d) al-mufassal (last section of the Koran beginning with sura Qaf) : 50-114

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