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People of the Book: a Joristic Approach

The aim of this book is to investigate the relations between Muslims and the people of the book and how they are connected to each other and who are the people of the book.

Since the advent of Islam the life of Muslims and their society has been mutually connected to other groups andreligions in differentways. The Holy Quran, responsive to basic individual and social needs in all eras, has in many verses treated the topic of People of the Book (Ahl-ul-Kitab) and emphasized harmonious relations with them. The Quran and the tradition of the Prophet of Islam and the infallible Imams (A.S.) have explicitly recommended peaceful or religious co-existence with such other groups. Islam has overtaken other religions to guarantee freedom of minorities, uphold their honor and acknowledge their rights. The Holy Quran has ordered Muslims to communicate with People of the Book through the “best dispute” and “peaceful dialogue” and to build relations based on the principles they share. They are the basic principles in Shiite Jurisprudence, a truth found everywhere in this book.

About the Author

Hujjat-ul-Islam Mohammad Hussein Mokhtari is the head of the University of Islamic Denomination in Tehran, Iran.

Table of Contents

Existence of religions as a valuable opportunity

Globalization, Issue of Dialogue among Religions and Preservation of its Achievement

Globalization and the convergence of religions

Globalization as an opportunity for Pure Natures

Assiduous attention of Religious Scholars to Strengthen Moral and Spiritual Basis of Human Communities

Chapter one: Relations between Muslims and the People of the Book

1- Social Relations

  1. A) Respect for the Divine Religions
  2. B) Marriage
  3. C) Food of the People of the Book

2- Moral and Human Relationship

  1. Greeting (Salam)

Messages of the verse under discussion

  1. Human and Islamic politeness…
  2. Observing politeness with other nations..
  3. Significance of Greeting in Traditions
  4. B) Trust and keeping the contract
  5. Meaning of trust
  6. Trust in Islam
  7. Impact of trust on the individual
  8. Social impact of trust
  9. Quranic praise of trusteeship of the People of the Book

Interpretation of the verse

Fulfillment of obligations and human nature

Constancy to agreement: promotion of social, economic and political relations between nations

Constancy to agreement and the most important human responsibility


  1. C) The best dispute

The best dispute from the perspective of Shiite scholars

Allameh Tabataba’i and the best dispute with People of the Book

The best dispute in traditions

  1. D) Politeness and moral instructions.

Islam and the invitation to peaceful co-existence

The fight of the Holy Quran against racial discrimination

The fight against racism in traditions

Good social behavior

Forgiving People of the Book in the path of the Imams (A.S).

Justice for all

Justice in the Holy Quran

Politeness and moral instructions in verses

Instances of observing politeness and way of speaking in the Quran

Instances of observing politeness and way of speaking in traditions

The Holy Quran and human dignity

Human dignity in traditions.

Freedom of belief and religion

  1. E) Economic relations

Binding obligations as a clear necessity for a society

Vastness in the light of fulfillment of obligations

Obligations and Fulfillment Comparison of Islam with other social traditions

Statements about agreements

Chapter Two: Who are Ahlul-Kitab (or People of the Book)?

Are People of the Book pagans or atheists?

Reasons of believers who regard People of the Book as polytheists

  1. A) The Sonship Verse
  2. B) Godhood Verse
  3. C) Verses in the Holy Quran implying Christian’ Belief in Divinity of Jesus

Reasons that not all People of the Book are polytheists

  1. A) The principle that followers of heavenly religions are monotheists
  2. B) Monotheistie verses in the Old Testament and the New Testament
  3. Belief in a beginning
  4. Belief in the future life
  5. Emphasis on oneness of God
  6. Refutation of Divinity attributed to Jesus
  7. Jesus is the prophet and the one selected by God

Monotheistic verses in Torah and Gospels from the perspective of scholars


  1. C) Monotheistic Christians in History

Chapter three: Purity or Impurity of the People of the Book

The holy verse does not include the People of the Book

Different Quranic commands about the People of the Book and infidels.

Ambiguity of the verse.

Spiritual and ideological dirtiness in the meaning of “unclean” in the verse and its reasons.

The word unclean used as “filthy” in narrations

The term filth رجس




Criticism and analysis

Evidence on the purity of the People of the Book


Traditions related to the verse and their analyses

Traditions on the purity of the People of the Book

Reconciliation between two sets of Traditions

Evidence of the purity of human beings

  1. Ritual-ablution of a dead Muslim by a non-Muslim.
  2. Marriage of a Muslim and a non-Muslim
  3. Breast-feeding of a Muslim baby by a non-Muslim.ve
  4. Eating with a non-Muslim.


Bibliographic Information

Title: People of the book: a joristic approach

Author:  Muhammad Hussain Mukhtari

Publisher: Al-Mustafa International translation & Publication Centre



ISBN: 9789641950141

Pub. Date: 2015/02/02

About Ali Teymoori

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