I know that Muslims call Jews and Christians "people of the book" because Jews believe in the Tanakh and Christians believe in both the Tanakh and the New Testament. If Muslims recognize those books as holy, doesn't that make Muslims "people of the book" too? Do Muslims ever use that phrase to describe themselves?

1 Answer 1


No. 'Ahl al-Kitab' is a technical term used to mean those who were given and take their religious teachings from the Torah and Gospel i.e. the Jews and Christians. It is not used to mean Muslims (except where it makes sense in the context such as for Jews\Christians who became Muslims as in Quran 3:199 and Bukhari 97).

The Muslims do believe the original Torah and Gospel to be revelations from Allah, however they do not take their religion from the present remnants of these books. And while the Muslims do take their religion from another book called the Quran, the term is not defined to include that.

مصطلح " أهل الكتاب " لا يجوز إطلاقه على أحدٍ – أو طائفة – من المسلمين ، ومن باب أولى عدم جواز إطلاقه على المسلمين جميعاً ؛ لأنه مصطلح خاص يطلق على اليهود والنصارى

The term “People of the Book” is not permissible to apply to any person - or sect - of Muslims, and a fortiori it is not permissible to apply it to all Muslims; Because it is a special term given to Jews and Christians


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