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In many cases, Qurʾānic narratives show important parallels not merely to certain biblical passages but also to postbiblical Rabbinic and Christian texts.In almost all cases, God’s emissaries are dismissed or ignored, resulting in a catastrophic divine punishment.Apart from such obvious parallels in content, most of the individual episodes constituting these narrative cycles are also concluded by a refrain, adding further symmetry to the entire composition.Qurʾānic verse borders are normally defined by the presence of a verse-final rhyme, even though the Islamic tradition transmits conflicting systems of subdividing the Qurʾān into individual verses.The subdivision that is now predominant counts a total of 6,236 verses.

Even where the Qurʾān retells previously attested stories, it normally does so by harnessing them to its own theological agenda.