The definition of a non-believer according to the Qur’an and the status of he “people of the book” Name: SharifHssn 10/6/2005(19:41) GMT
The Qur’an starts of with surah Fatiha, “The Opening” chapter, in the form of a prayer and supplication – asking for guidance: “Guide us on the straight path…”
Thus comes the reply to this supplication as the rest of the Qur’an. The believers are described initially in the second surah by the words:
“HIS DIVINE WRIT – let there be no doubt about it – is [meant to be] a guidance for all the God-conscious, who believe in [the existence of] that which is beyond the
reach of human perception, and are constant in prayer, and spend on others out of what We provide for them as sustenance and who believe in that which has been bestowed from on high upon thee, [O Prophet,] as well as in that which was bestowed before thy time for it is they who in their innermost are certain of the life to come!It is they who follow the guidance [which comes from their Sustainer]; and it is they, they who’ shall attain to a happy state!”
The Qur’an then describes the desbelievers:
“BEHOLD, as for those who are bent on denying the truth, – it is all one to them whether thou warnest them or dost not warn them: they will not believe. God; has sealed their hearts and their hearing, and over their eyes is a veil and awesome suffering awaits them.”
Thus it describes the disbelievers who have denied the message after it has been clearly explained to them. Of course, in the context of things – they have chosen to
reject the above mentioned articles of faith used to describe a believer.
Therefore, the Christians and Jews are not exempt from this definition. They are disbelievers if they chose to reject the status quo. The Qur’an however affords them the title “ahl-al-kithab” – the “people of the book”. This is to mark their distinction from other disbelievers in the sense that their disbelief is based on the remnants of corrupted revelation. As opposed to others who have taken complete misguidance to be their basis of living. The point is subtle, and I hope everyone understood it.