Are there any other verses of the Quran that praise the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) like verse 199 of the chapter of Aal-i Imran?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The translation of the verse in question is as follows:

“And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in Allah, in the revelation to you, and in the revelation to them, bowing in humility to Allah: They will not sell the Signs of Allah for a miserable gain! For them is a reward with their Lord, and Allah is swift in account.” (Aal-i Imran, 3/199)

The members of the heavenly religions like Judaism and Christianity are called "Ahl al-Kitab (the People of the Book)". The Quran mentions the People of the Book a lot. The ones among the People of the Book that do not accept the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) are regarded as unbelievers but they are not unbelievers in the sense of "those who deny Allah".

The Quranic verses that praise the People of the Book are related to those among them who accept Islam. Some verses determine human relations with those among them who do not accept Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It is necessary to remember this and to look at tafsir books when necessary so as not to misinterpret verses.

Some verses that praise the People of the Book are as follows:  

“Those to whom We sent the Book before this,- they do believe in this (revelation).” (al-Qasas, 28/52)

“And when it is recited to them, they say: ‘We believe therein, for it is the Truth from our Lord: indeed we have been Muslims (bowing to Allah´s Will) from before this’.” (al-Qasas, 28/53)

“But those among them (Jews) who are well-grounded in knowledge, and the believers, believe in what hath been revealed to thee and what was revealed before thee: And (especially) those who establish regular prayer and practice regular charity and believe in Allah and in the Last Day: To them shall We soon give a great reward.” (an-Nisa, 4/162)

“Without doubt, among men, the nearest of kin to Abraham, are those who follow him, as are also this Prophet and those who believe: And Allah is the Protector of those who have faith.” (Aal-i Imran, 3/68)

“And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury): but say, ‘We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; Our Allah and your Allah is one; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam)’.” (al-Ankabut, 29/46)

Some verses related to human relations are as follows:

“This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time,- when ye give them their due dowers, and desire chastity, not lewdness, nor secret intrigues if any one rejects faith, fruitless is his work, and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good).” (al-Maida, 5/5)

“Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans; and nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say, ‘We are Christians’: because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant.” (al-Maida, 5/82)

Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.” (an-Nahl, 16/125)

Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just.” (al-Mumtahina, 60/8)

We will end the issue with the following warning addressing the scholars of the People of the Book:  

“Those to whom We have given the Book know this as they know their own sons. Those who have lost their own souls refuse therefore to believe.” (al-An’am, 6/20)

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