I have seen a few search engine queries with the terms “are christians kafirs”, “are jews kafirs”, “are ahl al-kitab” kafirs” and “are people of the book kafirs”. It is an indication to the sad levels of knowledge and beliefs that people profess in these times. There are plenty of quotes on this topic from the Quran, words of scholars, tafaasiir, ahaadiith and so on. In any case, I also thought of putting it here under an explicit post heading and explicit words of scholars. I chose Imam Ghazali again because the enemies of Islam only use his name to spread misinformation.
Like ALL the scholars of Islam: Imam Ghazali says christians and jews (ahl al-kitab) are kafirs, in his Faysal al-Tafriqa bayn al-Islam wa-l-zandaqa:
الكفر: هو تكذيب الرسول، عليه الصلاة والسلام، في شيء مما جاء به.
والإيمان: تصديقه في جميع ما جاء به.
فاليهودي والنصراني: كافران ؛ لتكذيبهما للرسول عليه الصلاة والسلام.
kufr: it is denial of the Messenger [Muhammad ﷺ], on him be exaltations and peace, in anything that came with him.
And Iman (faith): [acknowledging &] ascertaining the truth [i.e., wholeheartedly believing] in all that came with him.
Then the jew and the christian: [they’re] both kafirs, because of their denial of the Messenger [Muhammad ﷺ], on him be exaltations and peace.
Additionally, someone who does not call christians and jews kafirs, is himself a kafir – according to the consensus of the scholars of the ummah, as the scholars’ quotes stated in this previous post (click to read).
To reproduce the quote from Qadi ‘Ayyad’s Al-Shifa, where he quotes the erudite Ash’ari scholar Imam Abu Bakr Al-Baqillani:
الاجماع علی کفر من لم يكفراحدا من النصاری واليهود و کل من فارق دين المسليمن او وقف فی تکفير ھم او شک ، قال القاضی ابو بکر لا ن التوقيف والا جماع اتفقاعلی کفرھم فمن وقف فی ذٰلک فقد کذب النص و التوقيف اوشک فيه، والتکذيب والشک فيه لا يقع الامن کافر
الشفا ء بتعریف حقوق المصطفٰی 297/2
There is consensus on the disbelief of the one who does not state disbeliever anyone from the christians or jews and all those who are aloof from the religion of Muslims, or refrains from doing takfir of them (doing takfir is calling someone kafir) or doubts their being kafir. The Qadzi Abu Bakr Al-Baqillani said [it is] because explicit primary texts (Quranic verses & ahadith) and the consensus of the ummah (i.e., the sahaba and the scholars) are unanimous on their kufr. Therefore, he who refrains from calling them kafir, is denying the explicit primary texts and consensus, or doubting them. And such denial and/or doubt can only be expressed by a kafir. (Ash-Shifa of Qaadzi ‘Ayyadz)
ALL Sunni scholars of ALL madhhabs – Hanafi, Shafi’iy, Hanbali & Maliki – call christians and jews (ahl al-kitab) kafirs.
More on this topic shall follow in due time, bi-idhnillah.
And Allah alone grants success.