People of The Scripture (5:5)

[5:5] Today, all good food is made lawful for you. The food of the people of the scripture is lawful for you. Also, you may marry the chaste women among the believers, as well as the chaste women among the followers of previous scripture, provided you pay them their due dowries. You shall maintain chastity, not committing adultery, nor taking secret lovers. Anyone who rejects faith, all his work will be in vain, and in the Hereafter he will be with the losers. 

How do we know someone is a believer among all the religions?
Someone who believes in God alone and worships God alone.

Unity of All Submitters

[2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

Introduction to the Quran – Rashad Khalifa:
“While every religion has been corrupted by innovations, traditions, and false, idolatrous doctrines, there may be “Submitters” within every religion. There may be Submitters who are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or anything else. These Submitters, collectively, constitute the only religion acceptable to God. As emphasized by the theme on the front page of this book, all Submitters who are devoted to God ALONE, and do not set up any idols beside God, are redeemed into God’s eternal kingdom (2:62). A criterion of the true submitters is that they will find nothing objectionable in the Quran.”

There is a difference between a follower of Jesus who worships God alone and an idol worshiper.
[5:82] You will find that the worst enemies of the believers are the Jews and the idol worshipers. And you will find that the closest people in friendship to the believers are those who say, “We are Christian.” This is because they have priests and monks among them, and they are not arrogant.

Today’s Christianity Not Jesus’ Religion*

[5:72] Pagans indeed are those who say that GOD is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah himself said, “O Children of Israel, you shall worship GOD; my Lord* and your Lord.” Anyone who sets up any idol beside GOD, GOD has forbidden Paradise for him, and his destiny is Hell. The wicked have no helpers.

[2:221] Do not marry idolatresses unless they believe; a believing woman is better than an idolatress, even if you like her. Nor shall you give your daughters in marriage to idolatrous men, unless they believe. A believing man is better than an idolater, even if you like him. These invite to Hell, while GOD invites to Paradise and forgiveness, as He wills. He clarifies His revelations for the people, that they may take heed.

When is “today” in this verse?
This is probably referring from the revelation of the Quran. Sura 5 is the 112 revelation with only Chapter 9 and 110 after this chapter.

Do other people of the scripture have to follow the Quran?
According to 5:48 we are each responsible for what we have, but as we hear of the Quran we will eventually be responsible to follow the Quran as well since the Quran is the ultimate reference. Additionally we need to believe in all of God’s messengers if we become aware of them.

The Quran: God’s Message to the Jews and Christians

[5:15] O people of the scripture, our messenger has come to you to proclaim for you many things you have concealed in the scripture, and to pardon many other transgressions you have committed. A beacon has come to you from GOD, and a profound scripture.
[5:16] With it, GOD guides those who seek His approval. He guides them to the paths of peace, leads them out of darkness into the light by His leave, and guides them in a straight path.

God’s Messenger to the Jews, Christians and Muslims

[5:18] The Jews and the Christians said, “We are GOD’s children and His beloved.” Say, “Why then does He punish you for your sins? You are just humans like the other humans He created.” He forgives whomever He wills and punishes whomever He wills. To GOD belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, and everything between them, and to Him is the final destiny.

Quran: The Ultimate Reference

[5:48] Then we revealed to you this scripture, truthfully, confirming previous scriptures, and superseding them. You shall rule among them in accordance with GOD’s revelations, and do not follow their wishes if they differ from the truth that came to you. For each of you, we have decreed laws and different rites. Had GOD willed, He could have made you one congregation. But He thus puts you to the test through the revelations He has given each of you. You shall compete in righteousness. To GOD is your final destiny – all of you – then He will inform you of everything you had disputed. 

They Must Believe in This Quran

[5:66] If only they would uphold the Torah and the Gospel, and what is sent down to them herein from their Lord, they would be showered with blessings from above them and from beneath their feet. Some of them are righteous, but many of them are evildoers.

[2:146] Those who received the scripture recognize the truth herein, as they recognize their own children. Yet, some of them conceal the truth, knowingly.

[6:20] Those to whom we have given the scripture recognize this as they recognize their own children. The ones who lose their souls are those who do not believe.

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