1>Those who reject (Truth) among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists were not going to depart (from their ways) until there should come to them Clear Evidence
#6221 The People of the Book immediately referred to are the Jews and the Christians, who had received scriptures in the same line of prophecy in which came our holy Prophet. Their scriptures should have prepared them for the advent of the greatest and last of the Prophets. For the Jewish scriptures promised to the Jews, cousins or brethren to the Arabs, a prophet like Moses: "The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken" (Deut, xviii. 15). And Christ promised a Comforter (John. xiv. 16; xv. 26; and xvi. 7; see my n. 5438 to lxi. 6) almost by name. The People of the Book fell from the true, straight, and standard religion, into devious ways, and would not come to the true Path until (they said) they were convinced by the arrival of the promised Prophet. But when the promised Prophet came in the person of Muhammad, they rejected him, because they really did not seek for Truth but only followed their own fancies and desires. (98.1) 6222 The Polytheists, the Pagans, had not previously believed in any scriptures. But yet, when clear evidence came to them, they should have believed. Yet they rejected the holy Prophet because they were not really searching for Truth, but were only following their own fancies and desires. (98.1) 6223 The Clear Evidence was the holy Prophet himself, his life, his personality, and his teaching.#
*** The scriptures of the People of the Book are filled with the stories of numerous prophets who came AFTER Moses.
There was absolutely nothing distinguishing regarding Muhammad.Most important of all, Muhammad was not a descendant of Isaac or Jacob to be included among the Hebrew prophets and the Biblical narrative is crystal clear about this
Deuteronomy 18: 15. The Lord your God will raise to you a Prophet from your midst, from your brothers, like me; to him you shall listen; 16. According to all that you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.17. And the Lord said to me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.18. I will raise them a Prophet from among their brothers, like you, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him ***
2An apostle from Allah rehearsing scriptures kept pure and holy:
3Wherein are laws (or decrees) right and straight.
4>Nor did the people of the Book make schisms until after there came to them Clear Evidence.
#6227 The responsibility of the People of the Book is greater than that of Pagans, because the People of the Book had been prepared for the standard and straight Religion by the revelations which they had already received. Yet, when the clear evidence came in Islam, they resisted it, And what is this standard and straight Religion, free of all ambiguity, and free of all casual rights and ceremonies? They are summed up in three eternal principles, as explained in the next verse and the next note.#
*** The interpreter is utterly right in saying that the People of the Book's responsibilities were greater than that of the ignorant and mostly illiterate pagan Arabs.
That is exactly why they did not accept Muhammad's 'message'nor his claims for prophet-hood because he did not fulfill any of the attributes of a prophet for the Jews.
They are prohibited in the Torah from following any false prophet or any 'prophet' who would change their Torahsuch as was being done by Muhammad regarding the day of rest, the Sabbath and the food prohibitions, to name just a few, for example.
Deuteronomy18: "20. But the prophet, who shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who shall speak in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.21. And if you say in your heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?22. When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing follows not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken, and the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him."
5>And they have been commanded no more than this: to worship Allah offering Him sincere devotion being True (in faith); to establish regular Prayer; and to practice regular Charity; and that is the Religion Right and Straight.
6>Those who reject (Truth) among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists will be in hell-fire to dwell therein (for aye). They are the worst of creatures.
7>Those who have faith and do righteous deeds they are the best of creatures.
8>Their reward is with Allah: Gardens of Eternity Beneath which rivers flow; They will dwell therein for ever; Allah well pleased with them and they with Him: all this for such as fear their Lord and Cherisher.