Ahl al-Kitāb
(2,207 words)

, “possessors of the Scripture” (or “people of the Book”). This term, in the Ḳurʾān and the resultant Muslim terminology, denotes the Jews and the Christians, repositories of the earlier revealed books, al-Tawrāt [q.v.] = the Torah, al-Zabūr [q.v.] the Psalms, and al-Ind̲j̲īl [q.v.] = the Gospel. The use of this term was later extended to the Sabeans ( al-Ṣābiʾa [q.v.])—both the genuine Sabeans, mentioned in the Ḳurʾān alongside the Jews and the Christians (= Mandeans), and the spurious Sabeans (star-worshippers of Ḥarrān)—to the Zoroastrians ( Mad̲j̲iūs [q.v.]), and, in India, e…

Cite this page
Vajda, G., “Ahl al-Kitāb”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 15 February 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_0383>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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