Are Ahlul Kitaab Included in Kuffaar?

QWho are Kuffaar? Someone was claiming that the people of the book are also Kuffaar, but the Qur-aan calls them ahle kitab. If they are also Kuffaar, why would the Qur-aan give them a different name?

AFrom Allaah’s perspective, people can only be one of two kinds: Muslims or non-Muslims (Kuffaar)

Muslims – who believe properly and sincerely from their hearts and minds (their intellect and sentiments) in Allaah, in all of His true Prophets and Messengers while accepting Muĥammad as the final Prophet and final Messenger of Allaah, in angels, in all of the true books revealed by Him while accepting the Noble Qur-aan as the final guidance from Allaah, and in the Day of Resurrection/Judgment and the life Hereafter. In addition, their lifestyle, conduct and actions reflect their true belief in the aforementioned articles of faith.

Kuffaar – who disbelieve in any of the aforementioned articles of faith or whose belief in any of the aforementioned articles of faith is lacking, improper, incomplete, convoluted or crooked. Kuffaar can be of different kinds, depending on what is wrong in their faith. They can be:
  • Those who disbelieve in Allaah -- Pagans, atheists, agnostics.
  • Mushrikeen, those who associate or equate others with Allaah.
  • People with the Book (ahlul-kitaab) who do believe in some books but not the Qur-aan and who believe in some messengers but not in the Final Messenger of Allaah.

A person is a Kaafir if he or she belongs to any of the above-mentioned categories.

Ahlul Kitaab have been given an additional title for reasons such as the following:
  • Allaah SWT wants them to realize that being familiar with the Book, they should have been the first ones to enthusiastically come to Islam and become Muslims, instead of rejecting the last Prophet and the last Book foretold to them.
  • Muslims should utilize and capitalize on some of the things that are common among them and the Muslims, so that in their interactions with each other the Ahlul Kitaab can discover the truth of Islam and enter into its fold.

Another type of Kuffaar are called Munaafiqeen or Hypocrites, who claim to be believers but practically they are not, because either they are not really convinced in their heart about any one or all of the articles of faith and/or because they do not have any real commitment to the faith. By their claims, they are Muslims; but practically, they are Kuffaar. Although they have been given a different title because they try to be both the Muslims and the Kuffaar at the same time, Allaah treats them as Kuffaar because Allaah values only the real faith in the heart that is evidenced by sincere actions, and disregards empty claims. For their false and deceptive claims, they will get the severest punishment of all Kuffaar in the Hereafter.

February 14, 2009

Note: You may find the definitions given under “About Us” tab useful in clarifying these concepts.

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