We've talked about if Mormons are ahl-ul-kitab. And who (generally) ahlul-kitab are.

I'm asking something much more specific: what exact combination of beliefs, and other properties, designates someone as ahlul-kitab?

What I'm looking for is a list. For example, some Muslims say that "you can eat McDonald's because the people here are Ahlul-Kitab." Others say "no, they're polytheistic." Others say "no, Christians were polytheistic at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

So obviously, monotheism (the Islamic definition: believe in and worship Allah alone) is not a requirement to be ahl al-kitab.

So what makes someone ahlul-kitab?

1 Answer 1


Whoever considers Torah and Injeel as his/her main source of guidance can be considered as Ahlul Kitab regardless of their deviance and shirk. All their denominations and sects are also considered Ahlul Kitab as long as their source of guidance is Bible or Torah.

People of the Book consist of both believers and disbelievers.

The scholars allow marrying their chaste women and eating their slaughtered meat even today.

We do not discriminate between them based on their level of deviance. There might be believers among them and also, disbelievers.

Allay says (interpretation of meaning):

"O people of the Scripture!: Why do you disbelieve in the verses [about Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him)] of Allaah, while you (yourselves) bear witness (to their truth)". (Aala Imraan, 3:70)


"Say: O people of the Scripture! Why do you stop those who believe from the path of Allah, seeking to make it crooked, while you (yourselves) are witnesses? And Allaah is not unaware of what you do". (Aala Imran, 3:99)

and also, Allah mentions about believers among them who worship Allah and also, believe in our Prophet (salallahu alayhi wassalam) and the Qur'an which was revealed to him

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"Not all of them are alike; a party of the people of the Scripture stand for the right, they recite the Verses of Allaah during the hours of the night, prostrating themselves in prayer. They believe in Allaah and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right and forbid evil and they hasten in good works; and they are among the righteous. And whatever good they do, nothing will be rejected of them; for Allaah knows well those who are the pious". (Aala Imran, 3:113-115)

"And there are, certainly, among the people of the Scripture, those who believe in Allah and in that which has been revealed to you, and in that which has been revealed to them, humbling themselves before Allah. They do not sell the Verses of Allah for a little price, for then is a reward their Lord. Surely, Allah is Swift in account". (Aal Imran, 3:199)

  • Not sure how the answer relates to my question, minus the last two set of ayaat. Are those the "defining criteria"?
    – ashes999
    Jun 25, 2012 at 15:49
  • @ashes999 There are no defining criteria. Whoever considers Torah and Injeel as his/her main source of guidance can be considered as Ahlul Kitab regardless of their deviance and shirk. I do not know about Mormons. But, I am not sure about the answer there. If Mormons follow Bible, they can be considered as Ahlul Kitab.
    – Abdullah
    Jun 25, 2012 at 15:51
  • I dare say maybe you can condense your answer to focus on that, and highlight the rest as supplementary understanding. Any idea what the proof is for your statement?
    – ashes999
    Jun 25, 2012 at 15:52
  • @ashes999 I don't understand. Should I remove the verses ? I just was saying about characteristics of them. I can remove them.
    – Abdullah
    Jun 25, 2012 at 15:54
  • I've rolled back. Just highlight your updated answer at the top and keep the rest, it's related, but not directly answering the question.
    – ashes999
    Jun 25, 2012 at 16:01

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