People of the Book

…..Quranic beliefs in the truth of the Judaic and Christian traditions are also encapsulated in another term: the ahl al-kitab or People of the Book. This is the umbrella term in the Quran to refer to communities, or peoples, who have received revelation in the form of scripture. It is commonly used to refer to the Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The pluralistic nature of this term is evident in the use of the noun Book in the singular rather than in plural, meant to emphasize that the Jews, Christians and Muslims follow one and the same Book, not various conflicting scriptures. The Old and New Testaments and the Quran are seen as being plural, earthly manifestations of the one heavenly Scripture in which God has inscribed the Divine word. Significantly, the Quran does not claim that it abrogates the scriptures revealed before it. On the contrary, it affirms their validity. In one verse addressed to the Prophet Muhammad, God advises him “And if you [Muhammad] are in doubt concerning that which We [God] reveal to you, then question those who read the scripture [that was revealed] before you” (Quran 10:94). Another verse addressed to the Muslim faithful says, “And argue not with the People of the Book unless it be in a way that is better, save with such of them as do wrong; and say we believe in that which has been revealed to us and to you; and our God and your God is one and unto Him we submit” (Quran 29:46)…..

Professor Ali S. Asani

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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