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Ayah or Aayah" (Arabic: آية āyah, plural: ayat or ayaat آيات āyāt) is the Arabic word for 'evidence' or 'sign'. The term also refers to verses of the Qur'an which are marked with a verse number written at the end of each verse.
- "These are the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, revelations, etc.) of God, which We recite to you (O Muhammad) with truth. Then in which speech after God and His signs will they believe? (45:6)"
Although the term is usually used to refer to the smallest unit of the Qur'an, or a verse, it is doubtful whether it ever means anything other than sign or a remarkable event in the Qur'an. The ‘sign’ refers to various phenomena, sometimes it refers to nature, creation of the universe, the alternation of day and night, rainfall, or the life and growth plants. Other references are to the fate of unbelievers, the reward of believers, or miracles. For example:
- "And of his signs is the creation of the heavens and earth and what He has dispersed throughout them of creatures.(42:29)"
- "And a sign for them is the dead earth. We have brought it to life and brought forth from it grain, and from it they eat.(33:33)"
- "and they denied him; therefore we destroyed them. Herein is indeed a sign yet most of them are not believers.(26:139)"
- "you are but a mortal like us. So bring some sign if you are of the truthful.(26:154)"
Chapters in the Qur'an, called suras in Arabic, are made up of several verses. Chapters vary in length, ranging from 3 to 286 verses. Within a long chapter, the verses may be further grouped into thematic sequences or passages.
For the purpose of interpretation, the verses are separated into two groups: those that are clear and unambiguous ("muhkam") and those that are allegorical ("mutashabeh"). This distinction is based on the Qur'an itself: "It is God Who has sent down to you the Book. In it are verses that are 'clear', they are the foundation of the Book. Others are 'allegorical' but those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except God. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: We believe in the Book, the whole of it is from our Lord. And none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.(3:7)"
A common myth persists that the number of verses in the Qur'an is 6,666. In fact, the total number of verses in all chapters is 6,236. The number varies if the Basmala which appear in the beginning of each chapter, are counted separately.
- (Surat Al-Jathiya 45:6, Mohsin Khan translation of the Qur'an)Sura 45:6 online at the Quranic Arabic Corpus
- Campo, Juan E. (2009). Encyclopedia of Islam. New York: Facts On File. p. 77. ISBN 9780816054541.
- Association of Islamic Charitable Projects. The Ayahs of the Qur'an: The Muhkam and the Mutashabih.
- (Ali-Imran 3:7, Yusuf Ali translation of the Qur'an)Sura 3:7 online at the Quranic Arabic Corpus
- E.g. "'Yesus' Siapakah Dia?". KabarIndonesia (in Indonesian). Retrieved 21 July 2011. "...Kejadian 1:26. Dengan ayat-ayat dan penjelasan diatas..."
- Hixon, Lex (2003). The heart of the Qurʼan : an introduction to Islamic spirituality (2. ed. ed.). Quest. ISBN 9780835608220.
- Proposal for additional Unicode characters; page 3 has a scanned example of the use of the Ayah symbol.