Generally people direct this term only toward two sect such as Jews & Christen. But I belief today it is also related to whoever fall on it's category. Anyway if we ponder on all mention verses then we will understand it more clearly and we need to understand the term Al-Kitab also
The term Al-Kitab normally understood as a written/ book or a scripture which sent by Allah. But there are many other books which people claim it’s also from God. But when analyses any of them manmade book then can be easily identify which contain the real revelation of Allah.
BRIEF POINTS ABOUT AL-QURAN
It’s contain the confirmation & explanation [of the writing which written over mankind]
This Qur'an was sent by inspiration to prophet Muhammed [P]
And it is honourable, well guarded, none can touch IT except the purified one ,[such as angel]
It is preserved in tablet.
It is a Reminder, and Allah is its Guardian
It is on Arabic for best and clear explanation
It has been revealed on month of Ramadan [could be indicating the time when it first start revealed]
Allah himself only teach us his revelation
Need to seek protection [every time when we read] from Satan so that he does not confused us from it true understanding.
OTHER RELATED POINTS
If their manmade books [old/new testament] are the reason for them to be called “Ahlul-Kitab” then since it is two different books then why Allah did not used plural term such as “AHLUL- KUTUB” instead of AL-KITAB?
If their manmade book is the book of Allah then why Allah did not preserved it, & why to many contradictory statement and version, anyway please ponder on them related verses also.
Indicate quite clearly whom the book/wrrtren was given & which nation can be class as family of the book
All prophets/messengers did judge by it
Indicate this book is also mention about ourselves [personality] but the sectarian manmade books has so many lack of information even on some necessary issues
We see also Allah communicating directly to mankind such as “O Mankind, O believer, O soul, , O children of Israel/ADAM , & O family of the Book.
All Prophet/Messenger are the best nation themselves and selected from the mankind, if the family of the book do same they would be successful too, But among them some are believers whom humbly pray to Allah at night & most are evil doers.
Do them Jew or Christen humbly pray to Allah at night ?
Can we still class some of them “mumeen” while they go open idolatry in their belief /book ?
ATTITUDE DESCRIBE BY TERM AHLUL KITAB
[Note :- Allah has also used term Utul Kitab]
2:105 Indicate among them are rejecter/kafir whom don’t like anything good sent to prophets & the idolaters has the same desire too.
2:109 Indicate many of them are kafir / rejecter and they want believer to return back to disbeliever.
3:69 Indicate a group from them wished that they could misguide, but they only misguide themselves which they don’t even notice.
3:70 indicate they deny the Ayat/sigh of Allah
3:71 Indicate they dress the truth with falsehood and conceal the truth while you know
3:72 indicate some of them play trick with believer by [pretending] they believe the Allah’s word during the beginning of the day, and reject it by the end of it in hope that the true believer will follow them.
3:75 Indicate some of them are trustable and some of them are so worse if entrusted with one gold coin they will not retune it.
3:110 Indicate, some of them are believers; but most of them are transgressor.
3:113 indicate All not same There are some who are upright, who recite Allah’s revelations during the night, who bow down in worship.
3:199 Indicate some are indeed believe in all revelation and don’t sell it for cheap price and they are the believers will get their reward from Allah.
4:123 Indicate Allah’s law are equal anyone who does wrong will be requited for it and will find no one to protect or help him against God regardless if believer or people of the book hopes.
4:153 Indicate they always argue or criticise by saying Allah to send book directly from sky & they even disturbed prophet Mosa [P] more greatly.
4:159 indicate very few will believe in Muhammed [p] and the Quran.
4:171 indicate they overstep & lie about Allah specialy in the issue of "Trinity." Cease, or issue of Allah begotten son.
5:15 indicate they hide more about Deen
5:19 indicate they will not be able to say No bearer of good news or Warner has come to them .
5:65 indicate [those who disbeliever among them ] if they did believed and been aware, Allah would have cancelled their sins and admitted them to gardens of Paradise.
33:26 indicate some of them also help the enemy of Allah
57:29 Indicate they use to claim falsely that they have some power over God's
59:2 Indicate those whom was disbeliever among them, got destroyed by Allah by their own hand which they fail to comprehend.
59:11 Indicate some of them who were disbeliever they have hypocrites as their companions.
98:2 indicate some of them whom is disbeliever are in same situation as those who set up partners would not leave until proof came to them.
98:6 indicate those who a rejecter among and those who set up partners are in the fires of Hell abiding therein, those are the worst of creation.
ATTITUDE DESCRIBE BY TERM UTUL KITAB
2:101 indicate they have habit of rejecting Messengers & deny book of Allah while knowing
2:144 indicate they even knows very well about the true Qibla [Ka'bah at Makkah]
2:145 indicate they will not follow the Qibla even all verses put front of them and not only that they don’t follow each other Qibla [It’s very true every sect hate each other ]
3:19 Indicate Allah’s Deen is Islam, but they will only differ except, out of mutual jealousy, even after they knew truth.
3:24Indicate some of them settle all dispute by the book of Allah when they invited but most of them don’t.
3:100 it instruct believer not obey them otherwise they will make disbeliever.
3:186.indicate everyone will be test with wealth/other thing but megourity of them [utul kitab] will grieve.
3:187 indicate Allah taken a covenant from them but they broken it because wealth & greediness.
4:44 Indicate they are in wrong path but wish believer to follow them too.
4:51 indicate they believe in idols and false deities, and claim they are more rightly guided than believer
5:57 indicate believer not to take them as a protector when they take Deen as a mockery and fun, nor from among the disbelievers.
9:29 indicate to fight until they pay the damage/fine
57:16 Indicate believer should not be them since their hearts became hardened, and many of them were wicked.
74:31 indicate the believer and them [utul kitab ] will not have problem of understanding about angel but the disbeliever since they don’t believe anything such as Allah/Angel/Book/Prophet they will say what is the reason for example
98:4 indicate they only became divided only after they were sent clear evidence.
HOW BELIEVER SHOULD REACT TOWARD THEM
[Note: translation can never/ always be accurate]
The Quran 29:46
And do not argue with the people of the Scripture except in the best manner; except for those who are wicked amongst them; and Say: "We believe in what was revealed to us and in what was revealed to you, and our god and your god is the same; to Him we surrender.
ALLAH ORDER PROPHET TO TELL THEM
The Quran 3:64
(Muhammad), say to the People of the Book, "We must come to a common term. Let us worship no one except God, nor consider anything equal to Him, nor regard any of us as our Lord besides God." However, if they turn away from (the Truth), tell them, "Bear witness that we have submitted ourselves to the will of God."
The Quran 5:59
Say [Prophet], ‘People of the Book, do you resent us for any reason other than the fact that we believe in God, in what has been sent down to us, and in what was sent before us, while most of you are disobedient?’
The Quran 5:68
Say, ‘People of the Book, you have no true basis [for your religion] unless you uphold the Thawra, the Injeel, and that which has been sent down to you from your Lord,’ but what has been sent down to you [Prophet] from your Lord is sure to increase many of them in their insolence and defiance: do not worry about those who defy [God].
The Quran 5:77
Say, ‘People of the Book, do not overstep the bounds of truth in your religion and do not follow the whims of those who went astray before you- they led many others astray and themselves continue to stray from the even path.
The Quran 3:65
O people of the Scripture, why do you debate us regarding Abraham when the Torah and the Injeel were not sent down except after him Do you not understand"
OTHER VERSES TO UNDERSTAND THE TOPIC
The Quran 2:136
Say ye: "We believe in Allah, and the Revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we bow to Allah (in Islam)."
The Quran 6:91
No just estimate of Allah do they make when they say: "Nothing doth Allah send down to man (by way of Revelation)" Say: "Who then sent down the Book which Moses brought?- a light and guidance to man: But ye make it into (separate) sheets for show, while ye conceal much (of its contents): therein were ye taught that which ye knew not- neither ye nor your fathers." Say: "(Allah) (sent it down)": Then leave them to plunge in vain discourse and trifling.
The Quran 28:52
Those to whom We sent the Book before this,- they do believe in this (Revelation)
The Quran 6:116
And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah's Path. They follow nothing but conjectures, and they do nothing but lie.
Some among the mankind will say Allah did not send anything to man whatsoever, and it is just a story made up by the ancestors and they even deny existence of Allah. Also we find some people created religions out of their own theory such as [hindu /budu] in order to lead and receive benefit from the ordinary people.
However I don’t like to attribute this title family of the book toward only two sects Jwes/Christen In-fact to me every single person in every generation whosoever believe Allah, Messengers, Angel, Hereafter, Revelation are the people of the book and among them will be some believer but majority Fasik. Also it is very important to understand them verse which given some attitude/description of them, which can be found on any person since it is a action, therefore it is not necessary they have to be Only Ahlul /Utul-Kitab.
The term Utul-kitab & Ahlul-Kaib dose describe, same personality & does indicate to same people more or less, but there is very slight difference as I understood for example: everyone today who accept the Quran regardless of what origin of nationality they are, they will be class as people of the Quran [if there is such title ] but they are not given the Quran. Therefore since the Quran has been given in Arabic to Arabian people they can be call both Utul & Ahlul Quran.
Moreover the term [16:43 Ahul-Zikr] & [17:107 Utul iLma ] also indicate to the same personality. Also it is very important to understand that the Quran is full of wisdom, reason and Allah used the Arabic language so it can be explain in detail , therefore when Allah used this two term Utul & Ahlul,so must be a reason to it.
Also Allah did mention both sect name Al-Yahood & Nasara if only them to sect is the target for the term “Ahul/Utu Kitab “ then will it not be more clear if Allah used them term on verse 5:07 where Allah given permission to eat and marry women from the Utul Kitab?
Regarding eating or marrying women from the people whom GIVEN THE BOOK, We must observe other general condition such as on “eating” it must NOT be anything which is not good / healthy / Haraam, & must not be killed on other gods name then Allah. And regarding the issue of marrying their women they must not be idol-worshiper.
However people sometime try to argue by saying ’ what’s wrong if Muslim women get married to man from Utul-kitab” such argument is week, since Allah clearly mention only Women from them, and that is because if Allah allow as such, then it will create more contradiction since the verse 5:57 where Allah say not to take them as Protector and generally husband is protector of their wife.
Lastly I like to give more clarification of my understanding regarding the Ahlul-Kitab, Since there is NO more messenger to come and the message is completed for mankind. Therefore the message [Al-Quran] itself is the live messenger.
And we find several sects [Sunni/ Shia/ Quranist/ Qadiani/ Nation of Islam /Submitters /19nrs and so on] follow and believe in Allah’s revelation [al-Quran] yet believe some & reject some of the Ayat of Allah & happily follow their own manmade books. Therefore to me all of them are the FAMILY OF THE BOOK and not just only two sect Jews/ Christen [Allah knows best]