Thursday, 1 April 2010

Why is the term 'Surah' used?

A surah is different from a chapter for linguistic reasons. The word surah comes from “the outer walls of a city.” If you can visualize: in the old days, they didn’t have borders and signs saying

“Welcome to such-and-such city.” Rather, there were outer walls that you had to go through; it was a security measure. Inside of the city, there are a bunch of things happening – commerce, residences, markets, etc – but it is all connected. That is kind of what is going on in a surah – there’s a lot going on, but it’s all connected somehow.

- Nouman Ali Khan [in his Bayyinah tafseer discussion on Surah Naba']

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