A chapter of the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam. The Qur'an contains a total of 114 suras of varying lengths. Each one is thought to contain revelations given directly by God to the prophet Muhammad. All except one of them starts with a statement known as the bismallah: In the name of God, the Compassionate, the merciful, and all but three of them are written as either direct, first-person statements or imperative commands.
One of those three exceptions is the first sura, known as al-Fatiha, the opening of the Qur'an; following al-Fatiha, the suras are mostly arranged in order of descending length. Traditionally, each is also noted as either Meccan or Medinan, allegedly signifying the period of the Prophet's life when he received them. The content of the suras varies widely, from prayers to stories of prophets to codes of ethics to eschatology.
Many Muslims seek to memorize complete suras, and they are grouped in thirty sections so that the entire Qur'an may be recited in a month. SEE ALSO: al-Fatiha; Muhammad; Qur'ansura-movie-photos-08 | Vijayfansclub.