How do you cite Qur’an chapters and verses?

Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.

There is no need to provide a works-cited-list entry for the Qur’an, whether you cite it from memory or from a printed source, since the text of the Qur’an in the original language does not vary.

You can refer to or quote the Qur’an in several ways:

In paradise, eternally young boys will serve them drink from flowing fountains in vessels and cups (Qur’an 56.17–18).


In the garden of paradise, “Round about them will [serve] youths of perpetual [freshness], / With goblets, [shining] beakers, and cups [filled] out of clear-flowing fountains” (Qur’an 56.17–18).


According to the Qur’an, in the garden of paradise “[t]here will circulate among them young boys made eternal / With vessels, pitchers and a cup [of wine] from a flowing spring—” (56.17–18).

Or you can give the title of the chapter (surah) instead of its number. Surat al-Waqiʿa (“The Inevitable Event”) is the fifty-sixth surah of the Qur’an. 

If you provide a translation other than your own, include a works-cited-list entry for it:

According to the Qur’an, in the garden of paradise

يَطُوفُ عَلَيْهِمْ وِلْدَٰنٌ مُّخَلَّدُونَ

بِأَكْوَابٍ وَأَبَارِيقَ وَكَأْسٍ مِّن مَّعِينٍ

(Surat al-Waqiʿa 17–18)

everlasting youths will go round among them with glasses, flagons,

and cups of a pure drink.  (Abdel Haleem 536)

Work Cited

Abdel Haleem, M. A. S., translator. The Qurʾan: English Translation and Parallel Arabic Text. Oxford UP, 2010.