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People of the book or people of the Scripture are generally referred as Ahle Kitaab or Ahlul kitab in Arabic and it is the word which is used in the Qur’an for Jews and Christians. It is the unique nature of the Qur’an to address people with distinctive names. The word Ahle Kitaab or Ahley Kitab occurs in the Qur’an in no less than 38 times. Allah sent His Prophets (Peace be upon them All) and His Divine Books to guide them to the Truth.


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Qur’an has used the word as AHLAL KITABI in many places


The Qur’an always addresses the Jews and the Christians with the term “O people of the book”. Qur’an.Surah Ale Imran 3:64


O People of the Scripture, why do you disbelieve in the ayath  of Allah while you witness [to their truth]? Qur’an.Surah Ale Imran3:71


O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, "Three"; desist - it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Qur’an.Surah Nisa 4:171


The Common Beliefs and Values of the People of the Book with Muslims

Christian and Muslim belief have many aspects in common. Judaism too shares many beliefs with Islam. All true adherents of these three great religions:


  • Believe that God has created the entire universe out of nothing and that He dominates all that exists with His all-powerful.
  • Believe that God has created man and living things in a miraculous way and that man possesses a soul granted him by God.
  • Believe in Resurrection, Heaven and Hell and Angels, and that God has created our lives with a certain destiny.


Are they disbelievers (Kafir in Arabic) or not?

If anyone disbelieves in any of the following six points of ‘emaan’ or faith, he/she would be considered a disbeliever:


  1. The Absolute Oneness of Allah
  2. All  the appointed Prophets of Allah
  3. All the revealed Books of Allah
  4. The concept of the Hereafter
  5. The concept of the Angels
  6. The concept of Divine Qadr or Destiny.


Because the Jews do not believe in Prophet Eesa (Peace be upon Him) and Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) as the appointed Messengers of Allah, and because the Christians do not believe in Prophet Muhammad (May Allah honor Him and grant Him peace) as the appointed Messenger of Allah; they will be considered ‘kaafirs’ or disbelievers.   


AllahHimself in the Qur’an refers to those among the People of the Book (The Jews and the Christians) who did not believe in Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم), as ‘kaafirs’ or disbelievers.


Allah says: The ‘disbelievers’ from among the People of the Book and the ‘mushriks’ would not leave until the clear evidence should come to them:  A Messenger from Allah, who should recite to them Scriptures containing sound and correct writings. Qur’an.Surah Bayyinah 98:1-3


Allah  further says in the Qur’an: Those who have ‘disbelieved’ from among the People of the Book and the mushriks, they shall certainly enter Hell; and remain in it forever.   They are the worst of all creatures! Qur’an.Surah Bayyinah 98:6



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