Ahl al-Kitab Then & Now

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ 

We often hear this claim by Muslims that the Christian and Jews Honoured as Ahl al-Kitab, the People of Scripture, in the Qur’an are not the same as the Christians and Jews now.  I have actually even heard some asatidzah parrot this nonsense as well.  This contention is easily refuted from a theological and historical perspective. 

Firstly, the Qur’an is viewed in Sunni Islam as Kalamullah, the Eternal Speech of God.  Therefore, whatever is Mentioned in it is applicable in all relevant conditions unless abrogated by another verse of the Qur’an.  God has Named them, the Christians and Jews, People of Scripture.  Who has authority to decide otherwise?  To think that is actually shirk, polytheism. Did this people think that the Omniscient, Omnipresent God would not be aware of the evolution of these two faiths? 

Secondly, the main tenets of Judaism and Christianity were already established long before the coming of the Final Prophet (s.a.w.), and the Revelation of the Qur’an.  The Council of Nicaea, which established Trinitarianism, was in 325 CE.  The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was born around 632 CE. 

God still Addresses them as People of Scripture: 

سُوۡرَةُ النِّسَاء

يَـٰٓأَهۡلَ ٱلۡڪِتَـٰبِ لَا تَغۡلُواْ فِى دِينِڪُمۡ وَلَا تَقُولُواْ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ إِلَّا ٱلۡحَقَّ‌ۚ إِنَّمَا ٱلۡمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ٱبۡنُ مَرۡيَمَ رَسُولُ ٱللَّهِ وَڪَلِمَتُهُ ۥۤ أَلۡقَٮٰهَآ إِلَىٰ مَرۡيَمَ وَرُوحٌ۬ مِّنۡهُ‌ۖ فَـَٔامِنُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِۦ‌ۖ وَلَا تَقُولُواْ ثَلَـٰثَةٌ‌ۚ ٱنتَهُواْ خَيۡرً۬ا لَّڪُمۡ‌ۚ إِنَّمَا ٱللَّهُ إِلَـٰهٌ۬ وَٲحِدٌ۬‌ۖ سُبۡحَـٰنَهُ ۥۤ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُ ۥ وَلَدٌ۬‌ۘ لَّهُ ۥ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۗ وَكَفَىٰ بِٱللَّهِ وَڪِيلاً۬ (١٧١) 

O People of Scripture!  Commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of God aught but truth.  Jesus Christ, the son of Mary was (no more than) a Messenger of God and His Word, which He Bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him: so, believe in God and His Messengers.  Say not, “Trinity”: desist: it will be better for you: for God is One God: Glory be to him: (for Exalted is He) above having a son.  To Him Belongs all things in the Heavens and on Earth.  And enough is God as a Disposer of affairs. (Surah an-Nisa’:171)


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