Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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People of the Book
(4,984 words)

People of the Book [i.e. scripture] is the literal translation of ahl al- kitāb, a qurʾānic term used to designate both Jews and Christians (see jews and judaism; christians and christianity) — collectively or separately — as believers in a revealed book (q.v.).

When ahl appears in a construction with a person it means his blood relatives (see family; kinship; people of the house), but with other nouns it acquires wider meanings, for instance, ahl madhhab are those who profess a certain doctrine or follow a particular school of law; ahl al-islām are the Muslims (see law and the qurʾān; communi…

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Sharon, M., “People of the Book”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 05 August 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00319>

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