“The People of the Book”
Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
Greetings, dear friend of Allah. Frequently the Honored Qur’an points out a group called “the People of the Book.” You probably have encountered those words before. Who are these people? There can be no doubt that they must be very special to Allah, to receive special mention, so let’s look closely in the Honored Qur’an to see who they are and how to recognize them!
Sura 3.113-115 Aal-E-Imran informs us: “Not all of them are alike: of the People of the Book are a portion that stand (for the right): They rehearse the Signs of Allah all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration. They believe in Allah and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous. Of the good that they do, nothing will be rejected of them; for Allah knoweth well those that do right.”
The “People of the Book” (the “Book” meaning the Bible) are generally known as “Christians.” However, the Honored Qur’an makes a distinction among Christians, teaching that “they are not all alike.” “A portion” of them is different from the others; they are “among the righteous.” Who is this unique group of people to whom the Honored Qur’an calls attention in such a remarkable manner? Notice the identifying characteristics of this “portion” or group from Sura 3.113-115 Aal E-Imran:
emulation [strive for that which is
praiseworthy] in all good works, and
If the Honored Qur’an says that this unique portion is “among the righteous,” is it not obvious that what they believe and teach from the Taurat and Injeel is truth? If Allah Himself finds them to be among the righteous, then we dare not find fault with them at all! Instead, could we learn from them? They hold to “the Book” (Bible Scriptures) which the Honored Qur’an purposely directs us to in Sura 5.46 Al-Maeda: “…We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law [Taurat] that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel [Injeel]: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law [Taurat] that had come before him: A guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah.”
The Honored Qur’an speaks of the Taurat and Injeel, (Bible Scriptures) as giving (1) guidance, (2) admonition, and (3) light. This makes it very clear that the Taurat and Injeel are from Allah. The Injeel came to us through Isa al-Masih (Christ the Messiah), and is for those who fear Allah. This unique group from among the “People of the Book” believe that it is their duty to submit to Allah without reserve, with unquestioning submission. They have high moral values based upon the Bible Scriptures. They honor Allah (God) as Supreme and reject any teachings that give Him human “partners” such as Mary or other so-called adored saints that most Christians accept. The Injeel (James 2:19) says: “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well.” In Mark 12:29 Isa al-Masih Himself said, “The Lord our God is one Lord.”
Those in this distinct group also do not bow to idols in their worship, as most other Christians do. They know that worshipping idols or images is strictly forbidden by Allah, as written in the Taurat, Exodus 20:4-5: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.” The Honored Qur’an goes on to say that these people, in their worship of Allah, “prostrate” themselves. They bow down before Allah as Daud recorded it in the Zabur (Taurat), Psalms 95:6: “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.”
In addition, Sura 3.114 Aal-E-Imran tells us that they “forbid what is wrong.” This “portion” of the ‘People of the Book” forbid the eating of unclean foods (haram) such as “swine’s flesh” (pork). Taurat Leviticus 11:7 says, “And the swine…, he is unclean to you.” They forbid the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other harmful (haram), health-destroying substances. Gambling and pornography are also strictly prohibited. They honor the ten commandments of Allah as recorded in Taurat Exodus 20. These people believe that we are living in the “last days” of earth’s history.
Who is this exceptional “portion” of the “People of the Book” about whom the Honored Qur’an speaks so highly? Allow me to introduce to you a group of people known among the “People of the Book” as “Seventh-day Adventists.” Below is a brief description of what they believe. Compare for yourself whether their beliefs and practices fit the description outlined in Sura 3.113-115. Are these the “portion” of the People of the Book which are among the righteous?
1. Seventh-day Adventists serve One God (Allah) and they do not attribute human partners to Allah such as the Virgin Mary and other reverenced, supposed saints. Injeel James 2:19 says, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well….”
2. They believe in entire submission to Allah with their whole soul. Injeel Luke 10:27 teaches, “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God [Allah] with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.”
3. They do not worship or serve Allah with idols or images. Exodus 20:4-5 states, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing.… Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [Allah] am a jealous God.…” Although most Christians bow to images in their worship, this is strictly forbidden in the Holy Scriptures.
4. They believe in the Judgment of Allah and because they place much emphasis upon Bible prophecy, they know the investigative phase of the Judgment is now happening. See Taurat Daniel 8:14. Out of love for Allah, knowing that they are living in this vital hour of earth’s history, Seventh-day Adventists have a high regard for the poor and unfortunate of this world, and hold a solemn responsibility toward them.
The Seventh Day
5. They believe that the seventh day of the week (Saturday, the last day of the calendar week) is special, set aside by Allah. They honor and “keep holy” that day by gathering together to worship the Creator (Allah). That day is called the “Sabbath” or “Rest Day.” In Arabic, it is “Sabt,” meaning “stagnant.”
Seventh-day Adventists teach and follow all of the commandments of Allah as given in Taurat Exodus 20, including the true Sabbath, or rest day, of Allah. Exodus 20:8-11 says, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day [Saturday] is the sabbath of the LORD thy God [Allah]: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it [made it sacred].” They believe that Allah is the Creator, having created the earth and all that is in it in six 24-hour days and rested upon the seventh.
In full accord, Sura 10.3 Yunus teaches: “Verily your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and is firmly established on the Throne (of authority), regulating and governing all things. No intercessor (can plead with Him) except after His leave (hath been obtained). This is Allah your Lord; Him therefore serve ye: will ye not celebrate His praises?”
Most Christians think to “keep holy” Sunday. Yet, God never hallowed (made sacred) the first day of the week. That substituted day was brought into the worship of the Creator many years ago by the Roman Catholic Church, through the influence of pagan sun worship, but it is rejected as forbidden by Allah. Allah recognizes only one day of the week as the Sabbath. It is the seventh day, known today as Saturday.
How Should the Sabbath be Kept?
Just imagine spending the entire day, the seventh and last day of the week, in total dedication to Allah! Would it not be the best day since it is spent in worship and praise to Allah, in company with others who worship Allah? All business and worldly affairs, all distractions, are set aside; it is a time to take the family to worship Allah and to spend time together as a family, perhaps in a quiet walk in nature. Truly this is a blessing few realize. Would this not include loving Allah with all the heart?
Keeping the Sabbath each week reminds all believers that Allah is the Creator of this earth and all things therein. Keeping the seventh day of the week holy, as Allah directs us, keeps ever in mind that fact that we did not come from apes or evolution, but from the One Supreme Creator of heaven and earth!
Lastly (#6), these people are followers of Isa al-Masih, the son of Mary (Christ the Messiah). The Honored Qur’an has very positive statements to make of those who follow Isa al-Masih: “Behold! Allah said: ‘O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute.’” Sura 3.55 Aal-E-Imran.
The reader is invited to become acquainted with a Seventh-day Adventist and learn more about this special portion of the People of the Book to which the Honored Qur’an refers. Are not Muslims and Seventh-day Adventists brothers?
Texts Copied from DivineIslam's Qur’an Viewer software v2.913. Bible texts taken from the King James Version.
For more info: www.salahallah.com
“The People of the Book
…A Portion That Stand for the Right!”
R. M. Harnisch
Series no. 02