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004-An-Nisa’

A Medinan sura which takes its title from the many references to women throughout the sura (verses 3–4, 127–30). It gives a number of instructions, urging justice to children and orphans, and mentioning inheritance and marriage laws. Verses 5–12 of the sura give rulings on property and inheritance, and so does the verse which concludes the sura.

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005-Al-Ma’idah

The title relates to food, and a central theme of this Medinan sura is the regulation of lawful and unlawful food, obedience to which is part of the pledge between God and the believers (verses 1–5, 87–108). Part of the sura concerns hunting for food during the pilgrimage and respect for the rites of pilgrimage.

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006-Al-An’am

A Meccan sura which takes its title from verses 136–9. The false claims the polytheists made about livestock are thoroughly addressed: the sura in its entirety makes plain that it is God who creates, controls, and sees everything, and that it is to Him that we turn in times of need. Thus it gives a lengthy refutation of the idolaters’ claims.

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007-Al-A’raf

A Meccan sura named after the heights of the barrier which will divide the righteous from the damned on the Day of Judgement (verse 46). The sura begins by addressing the Prophet, reassuring him about his revelations, and closes emphasizing the fact that he merely repeats what is revealed to him.

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008-Al-Anfal

The main part of this Medinan sura is a comment on the Battle of Badr (near Medina), the first fought between the Muslims and their Meccan opponents in the second year after the Migration. The Muslims, some of whom were at first reluctant to fight, won in spite of being vastly outnumbered, and began to question the distribution of the gains.

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