This is further proof from the classical scholars of exegesis that christians and jews are pagans. Their ahl al-kitab status is assigned within kafir/mushrik status and is only a merit that in this world Muslims are allowed to marry their dhimmi women or eat their slaughter.
This is another tight slap in the face of perennialist and syncretist munaafiqiin who pretend to be scholars of Islam and say that ahl al-kitab are not kafirs/mushriks.
Imam Abul Hasan Al-Khazen’s Tafsiir says under the exegesis for verse 2:221:
وبيان هذا في مسألة وهي أن لفظ الشرك على من يطلق ؟ فالأكثرون من العلماء وهو القول الصحيح المختار أن لفظ الشرك يندرج فيه أهل الكتاب من اليهود والنصارى وكذلك عبدة الأصنام والمجوس وغيرهم
ويدل على أن اليهود والنصارى يطلق عليهم اسم الشرك
قوله تعالى : ( وقالت اليهود عزير ابن الله وقالت النصارى المسيح ابن الله ) ” ثم قال تعالى : ( اتخذوا أحبارهم ورهبانهم أرباباً من دون الله والمسيح ابن مريم وما أمروا ليعبدوا إلهاً واحداً لا إله إلاّ هو سبحانه عما يشركون ) ” فهذه الآية صريحة في شرك اليهود والنصارى وقيل : كل من كفر بالنبي ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) وإن زعم أن الله تعالى واحد فهو مشرك وذلك ان من كفر بالنبي ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) مع صحة نبوته , وظهور معجزاته فقد زعم أن ما أتى به النبي ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) , هو من عند غير الله فقد أشرك مع الله غيره فعلى هذا القول أيضاً يدخل فيه اليهود والنصارى لإنكارهم نبوة محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم
And there is elucidation on this topic and that is – the word ‘shirk’ (paganism/polytheism) applies on whom? Then the majority of the scholars say, and this is the right and chosen saying, that the word ‘shirk’ includes [in its jurisdiction] the ahl al-kitab, from the jews and the christians, and likewise the worshipers of idols and the majoos (magians) and others.
And it is proven that the word ‘shirk’ applies on the jews and christians [due to]:
His, Ta’ala’s saying [And the jews say that ‘Uzayr is Allah’s son and the christians say that the Messiah is Allah’s son], then He, Ta’ala says [They take their rabbis and priests as gods, leaving Allah, as well as the Messiah, the son of Mary; they were not commanded to worship anyone but The One God, there is no god except Him, Glorified is He beyond the shirk they commit against Him] – this ayah then is clear on the shirk of the jews and christians. And they say: EVERY ONE who disbelieves in the Prophet, sal Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam – for EVEN IF he believes Allah to be one, he is STILL a mushrik (pagan) and this is due to the disbelief in the prophethood of Prophet, sal Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and the manifestation of his miracles, for such [disbelief] is an allegation that whatever has been given to the Prophet, sal Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, has come from someone other than Allah, and therefore he has associated another entity as a partner with Allah, [and] hence, additionally on this saying (i.e., elaboration) as well, the jews and christians are included [amongst polytheists] due to their denial of the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad, sal Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
It should also be noted that the Quran also uses the words “kufr” and “shirk” and their derivatives as synonyms.
See these 3 verses for example:
لَقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَقَالَ الْمَسِيحُ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللّهِ فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللّهُ عَلَيهِ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ
Translation of meaning: Indeed, they do commit kufr [becoming kafir], those who say, “Allah is the Messiah son of Mary” and the Messiah said, “O children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord” verily, who ever commits shirk against Allah, indeed Allah has forbidden paradise on him and his abode is the fire, and there shall be no helpers for the transgressors (zdhaalimeen). [Holy Quran 5:72]
لَّقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ ثَالِثُ ثَلاَثَةٍ وَمَا مِنْ إِلَـهٍ إِلاَّ إِلَـهٌ وَاحِدٌ وَإِن لَّمْ يَنتَهُواْ عَمَّا يَقُولُونَ لَيَمَسَّنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنْهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
Translation of meaning: Indeed, they do commit kufr [becoming kafir], those who say, “Allah is one of three in a trinity” and there is no God except one God, and if they do not desist from their saying, indeed a painful punishment shall befall the [ones who die] kafirs among them. [Holy Quran 5:73]
اتَّخَذُواْ أَحْبَارَهُمْ وَرُهْبَانَهُمْ أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللّهِ وَالْمَسِيحَ ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَمَا أُمِرُواْ إِلاَّ لِيَعْبُدُواْ إِلَـهًا وَاحِدًا لاَّ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ سُبْحَانَهُ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ
Translation of meaning: They take their rabbis and priests as gods, leaving Allah, as well as the Messiah, the son of Mary; they were not commanded to worship anyone but The One God, there is no god except Him, Glorified is He beyond the shirk they commit against Him [Holy Quran 9:31]
As can be seen from the above three verses, for the same people and the same acts, the Quran uses the words ‘kufr’ & ‘shirk’ as synonyms, along with calling their acts as ‘committing kufr’ as well as ‘committing shirk’. This handsomely strengthens the claim by the majority of scholars as stated in Imam Al-Khazen’s Tafsiir that indeed the jurisdiction of the words ‘shirk’ and ‘mushrik’ do indeed apply to christians and jews, that is, christians and jews are also mushrikiin – pagans, polytheists and heathens – in addition to being kafir.
The words ‘kafir’ and ‘mushrik’ are really synonyms as shown above, because the denial of Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ prophethood is certainly alleging another entity other than Allah to be god, and we seek Allah’s refuge from ALL kufr and shirk.
Also note that the Quran uses the word ‘zhdaalimeen’ synonymously with ‘kaafireen’. This is because as the Quran says, a kafir is THE WORST zdhaalim/transgressor.
A word on atheists:
From this we can learn that atheists too are mushrikiin due to their denial of Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ prophethood. atheists generally only posit two primary arguments in regards to their beliefs regarding Allah, The Creator of everything:
a) the filthy atheists allege that the universe is eternal, thereby implying that the universe is its own creator. This is most certainly shirk to call the creation as its own creator, in addition to plain mental retardation, as is the case with the likes of stephen hawking.
b) the filthy atheists allege that the universe does have a starting point, and does have a creator, but they do not believe in Allah, His Messengers and Islam. As the explanation given in Imam Khazen’s Tafsiir dictates, that too makes them mushrikiin due to their denial of the prophethood of our Master Rasulullah ﷺ.
We have thus established, based on both direct verses from the Quran and also exegesis by classical scholars that kufr and shirk are really synonyms and the same thing in their core essence, and that a kafir and mushrik is the same thing.
As the scholars state, kufr is ALL one nation.
The Quran shows the idiocy and the reluctance to use their minds of the kafirs as thus:
وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي يَنْعِقُ بِمَا لاَ يَسْمَعُ إِلاَّ دُعَاء وَنِدَاء صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ فَهُمْ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ
Translation of meaning: The similitude of the people who commit kufr is to that of a one who is called, and it hears nothing but calls and cries (like animals), deaf, dumb, and blind, for they have no sense [to understand the rational and blatantly obvious truth]. [Holy Quran 2:171]
Alhamdulillahi ‘ala n’imatil Islam. We thank Allah for the bliss of Islam.