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I was told by a Muslim that the category of "people of the book" in Islam, which includes Jews and Muslims, has been considered at some points in history to include Hindus as well. What is the view of modern Islam on this issue?

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Technically, the People of the Book are defined as those people who were given a revealed Scripture from God. That is who is referred to by the term. The thing is though, that certain rulings that apply to People of the Book can be extended to other faiths as well and some can't, depending on the context of the ruling. So while other faith communities may not fall under the category, the ruling that applies to them might.

  • How does Hinduism specifically fit into this? – Malper Dec 5 '13 at 6:17
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    @Malper Like I said, depends on the ruling. They are definitely not considered to be People of the Book, but when it comes to allowing them freedom to worship, the ruling of the People of the Book applies to them. When it comes to marrying from them, it doesn't. – Ansari Dec 5 '13 at 6:18
  • What are the sources that you are basing those claims on? – Malper Dec 5 '13 at 6:20
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    @Malper - study of jurisprudence :) most books on this will have a chapter related to this. As for the origin, it goes back to the years right after the Prophet (pbuh) passed and the Zoroastrians (considered non-People of the Book, technically) were accorded freedom to worship by the Islamic state. As for the marriage thing, the context of the ruling indicates an analogy cannot be made to other faith communities. – Ansari Dec 5 '13 at 6:22
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No Hindus are not considered people of book

Please see the link below for details people of book according to islaam

The three types of adherents to faiths that the Qur'an mentions as people of the book are the Jews, Sabians, Magians and Christians

  • The link states that "Islamic scholars differ on whether Hindus are People of the Book", which does not support your claim. – Malper Dec 5 '13 at 6:07
  • read the first para which talks about quranic view. i am editing my answer to include that – Zia Dec 5 '13 at 6:09
  • How do you know that the category of Ahlul-kitab is limited to those listed explicitly in the Quran? According to that article, it sounds like there were scholars who disagreed with you, and said that it could include others besides just those mentioned explicitly in the Quran. – Malper Dec 5 '13 at 6:10
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    well with that logic you can claim that their gods like krishna and ram to be the messenger of god, as it is mentioned in quran that god as sent 124000 messengers. – Zia Dec 5 '13 at 6:14
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    Sure, perhaps that is valid. Why would you assume that it is not? – Malper Dec 5 '13 at 6:16
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No, only Jews and Christians and their sub-sects are People of the Book, and no religion other than them, since only two groups were given the Scripture:

أن تقولوا إنما أنزل الكتاب على طائفتين من قبلنا وإن كنا عن دراستهم لغافلين

[We revealed it] lest you say, "The Scripture was only sent down to two groups before us, but we were of their study unaware,"

Quran 6:156

وفي ذلك دليل على أن أهل الكتاب هم اليهود والنصارى

This [verse] is evidence that the People of the Book are only Jews and Christians

فإن أهل الكتاب من الكفار هم اليهود والنصارى لقوله تعالى : أن تقولوا إنما أنزل الكتاب على طائفتين من قبلنا فلو كان المجوس أو غيرهم من أهل الشرك من أهل الكتاب لكانوا ثلاث طوائف ، وقد اقتضت الآية أن أهل الكتاب طائفتان

The people of the book among the disbelievers are the Jews and the Christians, as Allah says [this verse], if the Magians and others from the people of shirk were from the people of the Book then there would be three groups whereas the verse requires that there be two groups

— Tafsir al-Jassas : here and here

Hindus, because of their idolatry and polytheism, are apparently closer to the Mushrikeen of Arabia rather than to the Ahlul Kitab.

  • What about the Sabeans & Madeans? – Ahmed Jan 19 at 5:00
  • @Ahmed There are different groups of Sabaens. The star worshippers are definitely not people of the book. A group that follows Isa is classed as a branch of Christanity. A group that is said to follow the suhuf of some Prophets is not from the people of the book as the suhuf are not kitab. – UmH Jan 19 at 6:57
  • Tnx 4 d prompt response. I wasn't aware that scrolls are not considered as kitaab. I always thought Prophet Abraham Scroll are regarded as holy in Islam similar to the original Torah & Injeel. – Ahmed Jan 19 at 9:42

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