George Sale, The Koran, commonly called the Alcoran of Mohammed, translated into English immediately from the original Arabic; with Explanatory Notes, taken from the most approved Commentators. To which is prefixed A Preliminary Discource (1734)

The Preliminary Discourse.

It may not be amiss to observe, that the syllable Al in the word Al-koran is only the Arabic article, signifying the; and therefore ought to be omitted when the English article is prefixed.

Beside this peculiar name, the Korân is also honoured with several appellations, common to other books of scripture: as, al Forkân, from the verb faraka, to divide or distinguish; not, as the Mohammedan doctors say, because those books are divided into chapters or sections, or distinguish between good and evil; but in the same notion that the Jews use the word Perek, or Pirka, from the same root, to denote a section or portion of scripture 1. It is also called al Moshâf, the volume, and al Kitâb, the book, by way of eminence, which answers to the Biblia of the Greeks; and al Dhikr, the admonition, which name is also given to the Pentateuch, and Gospel.

Division.
The Korân is divided into 114 larger portions of very unequal, length, which we call chapters, but the Arabians Sowar, in the singular Sûra, a word rarely used on any other occasion, and properly signifying a row, order, or regular series; as a course of bricks in building, or a rank of soldiers in an army; and is the same in use and import with the Sûra, or Tora of the Jews, who also call the fifty three sections of the Pentateuch Sedârim, a word of the same signification 2.

These chapters are not in the manuscript copies distinguished by their numerical order, tho’ for the reader’s ease they are numbred in this edition, but by particular titles, which (except that of the first, which is the initial chapter, or introduction to the rest, and by the old Latin translator not numbred among the chapters) are taken sometimes from a particular matter treated of, or person mentioned therein; but usually from the first word of note, exactly in the same manner as the Jews have named their Sedârim: tho’ the word from which some chapters are denominated, be very far distant, towards the middle, or perhaps the end of the chapter; which seems ridiculous. But the occasion of this seems to have been, that the verse or passage wherein such word occurs, was, in point of time, revealed and committed to writing before the other verses of the same chapter which precede it in order: and the title being given to the chapter before it was compleated, or the passages reduced to their present order, the verse from whence such title was taken, did not always

1 V. Gol. in append. ad Gram. Arab. Erpen. 175. A chapter or sub-division of the Massictoth of the Mishna is also called Perek. Maimon. præf. in Seder Zeraim, p. 57.

2 V. Gol. ubi sup. 177. Each of the fix grand divisions of the Mishna is also called Seder. Maimon. ubi sup. p55.

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George Sale, The Koran, commonly called the Alcoran of Mohammed, translated into English immediately from the original Arabic; with Explanatory Notes, taken from the most approved Commentators. To which is prefixed A Preliminary Discource, C. Ackers in St. John’s-Street, for J. Wilcon at Virgil’s Head overagainst the New Church in the Strand., Consulted online at “Quran Archive - Texts and Studies on the Quran” on 27 Nov. 2022: http://quran-archive.org/explorer/george-sale/1734?page=76