A chapter of the Qur’an, (pl. suwar). Etymologically it is difficult to trace the term sura, but is probably derived from the Arabic root sa-wa-ra, meaning to enclose or to wall in. The word occurs in Arabic, Hebrew and Syriac. The term is used for the 114 distinct literary units of the Qur’an. Each sura is marked by a specific title, and it is divided into a number of ayat (verses) which are varying in length. The suras fall under two categories, Meccan or Medinan, depending on which of the two cities the verses in the suras were revealed in. Apart from the ninth sura called al-Tawba ‘the Repentance’, all suras start with a basmalla, the phrase: bismi’Llah al-Rahman al-Rahim (In the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Kind).