Refuting the malicious allegation that Allaah 'deceives' people
Fatwa No: 295183

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. I have a question that is seriously bothering me. Some Islam-hating Christians quote some verses from the Holy Qur'an and say that these verses say that Allaah deceives people (Allaah forbid). I know that their argument is extremely weak. The verses that they quote are these: "And the unbelievers schemed [against Jesus]; but God brought their scheming to nought: for God is above all schemers." (Qur'an 3:54) Christians say that Allaah also deceived both Christians and Jews into thinking that Jesus was crucified when in fact, "It was so made to appear unto them," seeing that he never was crucified or killed. They quote Quran (4:157): "It was so made to appear unto them," seeing that he never was crucified or killed. "And when those who disbelieve plot against thee (O Muhammad) to wound thee fatally, or to kill thee or to drive thee forth; they plot, but Allah (also) plotteth; and Allah is the best of plotters." (Quran 8:30) They (Christians) say that Muslim translators are dishonest when it comes to translating this verse. Christians say that the word 'makr' in that verse of the Quran means to cheat or deceive. Christians say that "Wallahu khairul makireen" means that Allaah is a 'deceiver'. In order to prove their point, they bring up Arabic dictionaries with them to prove that 'makr' or 'makireen' means 'deceiver' or 'Best of deceivers'. They say that the term for scheme in Arabic is 'makara', which denotes one who is a deceiver, one who is conniving, a schemer, and that it is always used in a negative sense. This puzzles me. What do these verses really say? Thank you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Verily, the Quran is the speech of Allaah, The Exalted. It is the ultimate Truth beyond any doubts. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {And with the truth We have sent the Quran down, and with the truth it has descended. And We have not sent you [O Muhammad] except as a bringer of good tidings and a warner.} [Quran 17:105] The information and stories therein are true and its provisions are manifestations of justice. Allaah, The Exalted, testifies to the Quran’s truthfulness and just provisions; He says (what means): {And the word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can alter His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.} [Quran 6:115] Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, "The Quran is truthful in its reports and just in its provisions."

The Quran also emphasizes that Allaah, The Exalted, is devoid of any imperfection or deficiency; He says (what means): {Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe.} [Quran 37:180]

Ash-Shawkaani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, "Allaah exalts Himself above all that which they ascribe to Him and that does not befit Him. He says (what means): {Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe.} It means that He is deemed Exalted and far above what they falsely attribute to Him that does not befit His Majesty..." [Fat-h Al-Qadeer]

The words Makr, Khidaa', and Kayd, translated into English as scheming or plotting, are not dispraised in all contexts. They may be praiseworthy or blameworthy depending on the context. Ar-Raaghib  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote:

"Makr means undermining the plot of the opponent by means of stratagem. It has two categories: first, a praiseworthy Makr by means of which the doer seeks the realization of that which is good. This category of Makr has been indicated in the verse that reads (what means): {And the disbelievers planned, but Allaah planned. And Allaah is the best of planners.} [Quran 3:54] The plotting of Allaah is always for the good and can never be evil. The second category is a blameworthy Makr through which the doer seeks the realization of an evil goal or reaching an evil end. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {... the evil plot does not encompass except its own people...} [Quran 35:43]..." [Mufradaat Al-Quran]

Based on that, Makr (plotting, planning, or scheming) can be either praiseworthy or blameworthy; if it is counter plotting aiming at subverting the evil plots of the opponents, it is praiseworthy because it entails being stronger than such plotters (opponents); otherwise, it is blameworthy and implies dispraise as it is labeled as betrayal. Therefore, Allaah, The Exalted, never described Himself with the attribute of 'Maakir', meaning plotter or schemer in the broader sense of the word. Rather, plotting is attributable to Allaah in the contexts when it is counter to plotting aiming at subverting the evil schemes of the disbelievers against Him and His Messengers and when it is restricted to that. Hence, it can be said that Allaah plots against His enemies or those who plot against Him and the believers and not in the general sense of the word. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {And the disbelievers planned, but Allaah planned. And Allaah is the best of planners.} [Quran 3:54] This includes what Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {And [for] their saying, "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allaah." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain.} [Quran 4:157]

The verse refers to a counter plot to frustrate theirs. It indicates that Allaah, The Exalted, is essentially stronger than them. This is why the following verse reads (what means): {Rather, Allaah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allaah Exalted in Might and Wise.} [Quran 4:158] This is a manifestation of His Might and Wisdom."

This is the correct way to understand the Quran meanings and not the odd and faulty one suggested by such opponents. It is quite strange that such misconceptions are raised by the Christians who had violated the sanctity of the divine names and attributes of Allaah, ascribing a son to Him and falsely fabricating the Trinity doctrine. Instead of attacking the Quran and questioning its authenticity - and they have no chance in accomplishing that objective, indeed – they should have focused, instead, on the altered present-day Christianity that abounds in myths and the contradictions in their distorted scriptures. Please refer to fatwas 8210, 10326 and 90449. You are also advised to read Shaykh Ahmad Deedat’s writings in this regard.

Lastly, we would like to warn you against exposing yourself to the misconceptions and false accusations raised by the people of falsehood; this may incur fitnah (tribulation), especially to those who do not possess adequate religious knowledge. Such people may get confused and be unable to differentiate between truth and falsehood.

Allaah Knows best.

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