The People of the Book (Ahl-ul Kitab) are granted a particular status in Islam. The Christians and the Jews, those who received and follow the previous scriptures, are easily counted among their number.

Mormonism, on the other hand, was founded over a thousand years after the time of the prophet. Although ostensibly they follow the Bible and are thus an extension of Christianity and Judaism, they also follow the scriptures revealed by Joseph Smith, who they claim as a prophet.

Since they follow teachings based on the Bible, they could be considered "Ahl-ul Kitab" in the same way as the Christians. However, since they have superseded the Bible with their own scriptures, scriptures which are not known in Islam, it is unclear whether they would be classified thus or not.

Has there been any major scholarly study on this matter? Should the Mormons be treated the same as the Christians and the Jews so far as rulings are concerned?

  • 4
    Not a direct answer but just an analogy I guess that occurred to me based on your question - if Mormons attribute prophethood to a false prophet who came much later, then maybe they're not all that different from the Qadiyanis, who also attribute prophethood to a false prophet and who are therefore not considered Muslims.
    – user961627
    Aug 15, 2013 at 6:43

4 Answers 4


No, despite their roots in Christianity, Mormons are not considered to be Christian and therefore, they are not Ahl-ul Kitab. E.D. Kain's essay can be cited:

Mormons are no more Christian than Rastafarians are, regardless of their Coptic heritage. While Mormons believe in Christ and have sprung from the Christian tradition, they have added on an entirely new set of beliefs to that one that change their faith entirely and distinguish it from Christianity.

Besides that, to be Ahl-ul Kitab, you have to be monotheist. Christians, Jews and Muslims believe that there is only one God. Even when Christians believe in the Trinity of God, they all agree that there is only one. Mormons on the other hand believe that there are three different gods for this planet, and multiple gods for other planets. Therefore they are polytheists. Joseph Smith wrote:

In the beginning, the head of the gods called a council of the gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and (the) people in it.

Another quote from Joseph Smith that supports polytheism:

Many men say there is one God; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are only one God. I say that is a strange God [anyhow]--three in one and one in three. . .It is curious organization… All are crammed into one God according to sectarianism (Christian faith). It would make the biggest God in all the world. He would be a wonderfully big God--he would be a giant or a monster. (Joseph Smith, Teachings, 372)

So the answer is no, Mormons do not share the core view of Christians and are not Ahl-ul Kitab.

  • 3
    Latter-Day-Saints, consider themselves to be Christian, also in your research you misinterpreted several things. One they are not polytheistic. The fact that they believe that man can become Like God, does not imply that they then worship many Gods. As strange as it sounds Monotheism does not preclude the possibilities of other Gods. It simply states that your belief is in one particular God, and His teachings. Finally to address something the op said. They have not in fact superseded the Bible. Their extra scripture states it is "Another testament of Jesus Christ".
    – Ryan
    Dec 18, 2012 at 17:47
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    So it stands beside the Bible not on top of it. The Bible is very important to the LDS religion. So important that they devote 2 years of their 4 years of seminary teaching just to the study of the Bible.
    – Ryan
    Dec 18, 2012 at 17:49

To be classified under Ahlul Kitab, the person doesn't have to be monotheistic. As Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid says,

The disbelief of the disbelieving People of the Scripture, that include Jews and Christians, in our times does not expel them from being People of the Scripture.

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

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.

As to the Mormons in particular, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Barraak says,

"The Mormon sect appears to be Christian because they mention their book, which is the Gospel (New Testament)."


I vehemently disagree that Mormons are Ahul Al-Kitab. I believe that our esteemed Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Barraak is not aware of the beliefs of this people. Mormons say they follow the Injel but mainly they follow other scriptures. The core of their belief is that they one day will be exalted to become a god of their own world and beget spirit children to inhabit earthly bodies to be born on earth. They say, “As man is, god once was. As god is, man may become." Even the pre-Islamic pagan Arabs did not hold beliefs anywhere close to this. I believe that they have gone so far astray from any version of Christianity at the time of the Prophet (pbuh) that they cannot be considered Ahul Al-Kitab. Once a man holds the belief that he will become a god how can we put them under the protection of Ahul Al-Kitaab, marry their women and eat their zabihah? How can we imagine a child born from the union between a Muslim man and a Mormon woman? While the Muslim will guard himself from any kind of shrik, the Mormon woman will be secretly planning to baptize them and seal them to her after their deaths to have a chance of exaltation (the Mormon belief that man will be god.) Just as we consider Baha’ism beyond the pale of Islam as Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid most eloquently puts it, we should be able to distinguish between those who follow the Injel and those who merely use it in their bag of tricks. Any person with the goal of becoming equal to Allah swt has violated Tawheed to such a degree that we must not group him with those that we can respect because of shared scripture. Mormons do not use the Torat or Injel as a main source of guidance. They use the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. If you sit in their study groups in their meeting houses, they will rarely mention the the Torat or Injel and will mostly quote from the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. These books are not our scriptures! The stories in these book resemble nothing of the Injel, the Torat or the Quran. As to the Mormon defending this grotesque belief by saying, "We are not polytheists because we believe in more than one god but worship only one," I say you do not understand what shirk is. The belief that there is more than one god, regardless as to whether you worship others, is shirk. While shirk is roughly translated as polytheism, shirk also includes the belief that others gods exist. Finally, I ask. "How far must we go in order to appease the kuffar?" Shall we admit the Hindu as Ahul Al-Kitaab simply because he has a Bible on the shelf? In the 1970's the Mormon leadership said that they recognized Mohammed (pbuh) as a true prophet and recognized the Quran as divine scripture. Shall we admit them as Muslims and let them come to Hajj? Allahu Alam! May Allah swt show them the right path. Ameen.

  • +1 for bolstering your answering with concrete Mormon `aqida principles. I suggest removing your last question just to keep the answer focused on answering the question.
    – Ansari
    Jul 18, 2014 at 8:35
  • The exclusion is not the arbitrary. Arbitrary is defined as: Based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.
    – Iman
    Jul 18, 2014 at 20:32

This question is not about who is Sabian, Jew, or Christian. This question is about who is The People of the Book. Whether or not Christian or Jew accepts a person within the folds of their religion is not a concern of Muslims.

According to the Great Imam Shafi'i (may Allah be pleased with him), if a person embraces Christianity or Judaism after naskh (abrogation) he is NOT among the People of the Book and we can not eat his meat or marry his women. Furthermore, if person embraces Christianity or Judaism after tahrif (the scripture is corrupted) he is NOT among the People of the Book. This is because they NEVER accepted the true teaching of their Prophet. So, if it can be proved that he or his descendants embraced Christianity before abrogation (the coming of prophet Mohammed (pbuh)), he can be considered People of the Book. However, since all Mormons have embraced their religion after their scripture was corrupted (ie. Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Book of Abraham and Moses, Joseph Smith corrections of Biblical text, Gospel and Torah) they are NOT People of the BOOK and we can't marry their women or eat their meat.

Since there is disagreements among the Madhhab of the status of such a people, I think it is better to stay away from their women and not eat their meat. As far as them having a special status under Shariah Law, as a protected group, maybe it is better not to exclude them. Allahu Alam.

http://www.shafiifiqh.com/restrictions-on-considering-ahl-al-kitab/ http://islam.ru/en/content/story/fatwa-concerning-permissibility-marrying-women-book

  • @David. We have scholars and Madhhab (schools of thought) in Islam. There are four main recognized Madhhab in Islam: Shafi'i, Maliki, Hanafi, and Hanbali. I was stating the opinion of Imam Shafi'i. I noted there is disagreement among the schools of thought. As a muslim it is your choice to adopt the school of thought you are comfortable with. Perhaps your scholar is not Shafi'i. Regardless, I am not presumptuous enough to question the wisdom of a man who dedicated his life to Islam and memorized thousands of hadith.
    – Iman
    Jul 19, 2014 at 0:24
  • Furthermore, I will not be a party in the battle of the Madhhab as this creates fitnah among the Ummah.
    – Iman
    Jul 19, 2014 at 0:34

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