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The term ‘People of the Book’ is utilized in the text of the Qur'an to refer to both Jews and Christians. The Qur'an employs some positive expressions regarding the People of the Book in various places, but it also sometimes seems to have a negative view of them in some respects. Q 5.51 (on taking Jews and Christians as allies) is one such negative reference. The prime concern of this article is to shed light on Q 5.51 with special reference to its historical context, and to illustrate how it has been interpreted by some exegetes from the classical and modern periods. It provides some key points for the understanding of this verse and similar verses in the light of the historical background, the context of the overall qur'anic message, and linguistic analysis with reference to some classical and modern exegetes.

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Journal Article

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