Allah, the Best Deceiver (Qur'an 3:54)
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The Qur'an openly states many times that Allah is the best of l-mākirīna, a word sometimes mildly translated as planners, though also as schemers or plotters. The Arabic word used here is "ماكر" "maakir", coming from the root m-k-r م-ك-ر, with the word Makr "مكر" primarily meaning to practice deceit or guile or circumvention. Due to this definition, some critics consider it a highly inappropriate term for the Quran to describe Allah, particularly as the Quran elsewhere tells believers to shun lying speech (Quran 22:30), to not testify to falsehood (Quran 25:72), and describes them as the truthful (Quran 3:17). Similar exhortations to truthfulness are found in hadiths, with exceptions in the case of warfare, to facilitate the murder of one of Muhammad's enemies, or to bring reconciliation between parties (on a related note, one Quranic concept is commonly misrepresented in online critical discourse as if it were a general permission to lie about the faith, which is not the case, as explained in the article taqiyya).
The Qur'an openly states many times that Allah is the best of l-mākirīna. The root word used in these verses is Makr which means deception, guile or circumvention. The literal translations presented here, referenced from a Muslim website, make this very clear. However, the majority of Qur'anic translations erroneously translate this term; as can be seen in the following quotes and analysis.
Although there are many places in the Qur'an that use the same word (makir) in reference to Allah, this article will focus only on the verses in which Allah describes himself as the best of l-mākirīna.
In the following Qur'an verses, Allah is said to be the best of l-mākirīna, is faster in makran, or that all l-makru is Allah's.
Arabic: ومكروا ومكر الله والله خير الماكرين
Transliteration: Wamakaroo wamakara Allahu waAllahu khayru almakireenaLiteral: And they cheated/deceived and God cheated/deceived, and God (is) the best (of) the cheaters/deceivers.
Arabic: افامنوا مكر الله فلايامن مكر الله الا القوم الخاسرون
Transliteration: Afaaminoo makra Allahi fala ya/manu makra Allahi illa alqawmu alkhasiroonaLiteral: Did they secure God's scheme/deceit ? So no(one) trusts God's scheme/deceit except the nation the losers.
Arabic: واذ يمكر بك الذين كفروا ليثبتوك او يقتلوك او يخرجوك ويمكرون ويمكر الله والله خير الماكرين
Transliteration: Wa-ith yamkuru bika allatheena kafaroo liyuthbitooka aw yaqtulooka aw yukhrijooka wayamkuroona wayamkuru Allahu waAllahu khayru almakireenaLiteral: And when those who disbelieved deceive/scheme at you to affix/affirm you, or kill you, or bring you out, and they scheme/deceive , and God deceives/schemes and God (is) best (of) the deceivers/schemers.
Arabic: واذا اذقنا الناس رحمة من بعد ضراء مستهم اذا لهم مكر في اياتنا قل الله اسرع مكرا ان رسلنا يكتبون ماتمكرون
Transliteration: Wa-itha athaqna alnnasa rahmatan min baAAdi darraa massat-hum itha lahum makrun fee ayatina quli Allahu asraAAu makran inna rusulana yaktuboona ma tamkuroonaLiteral: And if We made the people taste/experience mercy from after calamity/disastrous distress touched them, then for them (is) cheatery/deceit/schemes in Our verses/evidences . Say: "God (is) quicker/faster (in) cunning/scheming , that Our messengers write what you cheat/ deceive/scheme."
Arabic: وقد مكر الذين من قبلهم فلله المكر جميعا يعلم ماتكسب كل نفس وسيعلم الكفار لمن عقبى الدار
Transliteration: Waqad makara allatheena min qablihim falillahi almakru jameeAAan yaAAlamu ma taksibu kullu nafsin wasayaAAlamu alkuffaru liman AAuqba alddariLiteral: And those from before them had cheated/deceived/schemed, so to God (is) all the cheatery/deceit/scheme. He knows what every self gains/acquires , and the disbelievers will know to whom (is) the house's/home's end/turn (result).
The word makir is always used disparagingly, and never in a positive context. It is often used to describe someone sly and dishonest. This is because of the way a makir deceives - they set out to cheat you by deception. It is highly inappropriate for Allah to use this word to describe himself; especially when two of his names are الحق (the truth) and الوكيل (the dependable).
Literal Meaning of Makr
This section quotes numerous academic sources to study the meaning of Makr.
3. ماكرهُ He practised with him mutual deceit, guile, or circumvention; &c.; (A, * TA;) syn. خَادَعَهُ. (TA.)
4. see 1, in two places.
6. تماكروا They practised mutual deceit, guile, or circumvention; &c. (A, * TA.)
مَكُورٌ: see مَاكِرٌ.
مَكَّارٌ: see مَاكِرٌ.
مَاكِرٌ (S, A, Msb, K) and ↓ مَكَّارٌ (S, A, K) and ↓ مَكُورٌ (K) epithets from مَكَرَ: (S, A, Msb, K:) [the first signifying Practising deceit, guile, or circumvention; &c.: and the second and third, practising the same much, or frequently; deceitful, guileful, artful, crafty, or cunning; a trickster, or crafty knave.]Lane's Lexicon, p: 2728
The Hans Wehr dictionary is regarded as the standard scholarly dictionary of Arabic for English-speaking students and scholars of the language. It also confirms the meaning of the term:
Meanings from other dictionaries and sources have been compiled below:
|sly, cunning, deceitful (read more)
|n. calculating, cunning, astuteness, craftiness, foxiness, craft, slyness, archness, deceit, double-dealing, artifice, deception, wiliness, artfulness, furtiveness, ploy, trick, guile, ruse, roguery
|wiliness (means: "Full of wiles" Merriam-Webster)
The following are the English translations of the selected verses. As mentioned above, makir is never used in a positive sense - it denotes a shifty, sly person who uses deception as a means to their ends, even if the ends themselves may be viewed in either a favourable or unfavourable light.
We see that most of the translators have taken makir (with one of its possible translations 'scheme') to mean 'a systematic plan of action', and have translated makir to mean 'planner'. However this completely disregards the accepted connotations of the word and the context of the given verses. Makir does not mean planner. Just because makir can be translated as scheme, and scheme can mean plan/plot, this does not mean that you can translate makir as planner.
Since the same word is used for both the unbelievers and Allah, in most cases the translations have opted for the more benign (and incorrect) translation in order to avoid the difficult statements made by the Qur'an.
The translations of Yusuf Ali, Sarwar Hilali/Khan and Malik are especially misrepresentative in their translation of makir by translating the same word differently in two places (in the same verse). When referring to the unbelievers, they state that they 'plotted and planned' but that Allah only 'planned'. This implies that Allah's intentions and planning were completely benign, but that the unbelievers' intentions were not - as 'plotter' itself has negative connotations. This translation completely disregards the meaning and connotations of makir, but if they insist on using the word 'plan', then they should have rendered both usages the same, or they should have used 'devious/deceitful planner' instead of just 'planner' in order to convey the intended meaning.
Arberry and Qaribullah use the word 'devised', Rodwell uses the word 'plotted', Sale uses 'devised a strategem' and Shakir, HK/Saheeh, QXP and Maulana Ali all use the word 'planned' in reference to both the unbelievers and Allah. As stated before, using any of these words (all synonyms for 'planner') is a misrepresentation because they completely disregard the context and meaning of the word in question. Just because makir can mean scheme and scheme can mean plan/plot/devise, does not mean that you can translate makir as plan/plot/devise.
In this way, Pickthal, Khalifa, Free Minds and Shakir are the best translations here, because they correctly translate makir - which can mean scheme. However they leave it a little open ended by not conveying the full meaning of the word. In English, although the word 'scheme' usually has a negative connotation, this is not always the case. Makir is always used in a negative context. Palmer's use of 'crafty' in this verse, although accurate, presents the same problem.
Islamic Views on the Translation of Makir
Although Dr. Badawi admits that makir is a negative word with negative connotations, he seeks to justify its usage in the Qur'an when referring to Allah, by claiming that it has a different meaning than that which we mere mortals have assigned it when referring to each other. This is from a Live Q & A session held on the 16th of April, 2007, on the readingislam.com website. The question and answer are as follows:
Answer: The terms that we use in our human language do not necessarily have the identical meaning when referring to Allah. For example, terms such as “hear” and “see” have totally different meaning when we speak about Allah, as He does not have eyes or ears like ours (Qur’an 42/11).Likewise, the Arabic term “makr” for humans refers to conspiracy; for Allah, however, in reverence to Him, to [sic] means “plan”. Therefore, it means then that they conspire, but Allah has his own plans to thwart their evil schemes.
Dr. Jamal Badawi, Reading Islam, April 16, 2007
Dr. Badawi's evidence for his claim is from Quran 42:11:
When reading this verse, it is immediately apparent that this verse is talking about physical characteristics; the Qur'an is saying that although we have been created in pairs (male and female), Allah is not like this as he has no partner. Reviewing the relevant portion of Kathir's Tafsir confirms this:
(The Creator of the heavens and the earth.) means, the Maker of them both and everything in between.
[جَعَلَ لَكُمْ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا]
(He has made for you mates from yourselves,) means, of your own kind. As a blessing and a favor from Him, He has made your kind male and female.
[وَمِنَ الاٌّنْعَـمِ أَزْوجاً]
(and for the cattle (also) mates.) means, and He has created for you eight pairs of cattle.
(By this means He creates you.) means, in this manner He creates you, male and female, generation after generation of men and cattle.
[لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَىْءٌ](There is nothing like Him,) means, there is nothing like the Creator of these pairs, for He is the Unique, the Self-Sufficient Master, Who has no peer or equal.
Tafsir 'ibn Kathir
Therefore Qur'an 42:11 is saying that Allah has no likeness to that which he has created on this Earth because Allah created everything in pairs. Since Allah has no equal, he has no partner. This is why among his creation he 'has no likeness'. Stating that "see" and "hear" have different meanings when referring to Allah, is, again referring to physical characteristics (the 5 senses in this case) and bears no relevance to the meaning of words.
It is therefore in error for Dr. Badawi to submit this verse as evidence that words have different meanings when referring to Allah, because it is clearly talking about physical creation and not the meanings of words as they should be defined when Allah uses them to describe himself.
Even though we see that Dr. Badawi has no legitimate basis for his claim, his claim can be proven wrong based on the following lines of enquiry:
1. How many words have different meanings when referring to Allah? We've already seen that Dr. Bardawi has taken a word with a negative meaning and turned it into a positive, claiming 'reverence'. Does this mean that all negatively slanted words that Allah uses about himself must be turned into a positive, even if that means completely redefining the word in question? Isn't this a case of Special pleading?
2. Who decides what words have a different meaning when referring to Allah? This is just a way to hide and excuse the negative attributes of Allah by way of misdirecting those who are not as knowledgeable about Islam, the Qur'an and the Arabic language.
3. The Qur'an tells us:
Since the Qur'an says it is in clear Arabic, then this implies that the meaning of its words are as we understand them, and should not be applied in a different way to Allah. If makir has a different meaning when Allah uses it to refer to himself, then Qur'an 16:103 is obviously wrong. Is the Qur'an wrong here?
4. Dr. Badawi claimed that makir has a different meaning when referring to Allah and that the common Arabic meaning is not correct. However the Qur'an states:
The Qur'an says that some people seek to mislead by giving their own interpretation to portions. If the "true" [when referring to Allah] meaning is unknown to most, what evidence does Dr. Bardawi provide in support of his unorthodox "truth"?
Islam Q&A says that "plotting/deceiving" may be used to describe Allah, but only in a positive way:
“they were plotting and Allaah too was plotting”
“Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allaah, but it is He Who deceives them”
Answer: Praise be to Allaah.
The attributes of Allaah are all attributes of perfection, pointing to the best and most perfect of meanings. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“and for Allaah is the highest description. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise”
“His is the highest description (i.e. none has the right to be worshipped but He, and there is nothing comparable unto Him) in the heavens and in the earth. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise”
Al-Sa’di said in his Tafseer (commentary) – p. 718, 1065:
The highest description means the most perfect attributes.
Attributes are of three types:
1 – Attributes of perfection – in which there is no shortcoming whatsoever. These attributes apply to Allaah in absolute terms and are not limited or restricted in any way. Examples of that include His knowledge, power, hearing, seeing, mercy, etc.
2 – Attributes which imply imperfection and shortcomings. These can never be ascribed to Allaah, such as sleeping, being unable, doing wrong or oppressing, betraying, etc.
3 – Attributes which may be perfect or imperfect, depending on the context. These cannot be ascribed to Allaah in absolute terms, and they cannot be denied in the case of Allaah in absolute terms. If the context implies perfection then they can be ascribed to Allaah; if it implies imperfection then they cannot be ascribed to Allaah. Examples include: plotting, deceiving and mocking.
Plotting against, betraying and mocking the enemy are attributes of perfection, because that is indicative of complete knowledge, power and might, and so on.
But plotting against the sincere believers is an attribute of imperfection.
Hence these characteristics are not ascribed to Allaah in absolute terms, rather they are mentioned in such a context as to indicate that these are attributes of perfection.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allaah, but it is He Who deceives them” [al-Nisa’ 4:142]
This is deceiving the hypocrites.
And He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And (remember) when the disbelievers plotted against you (O Muhammad) to imprison you, or to kill you, or to get you out (from your home, i.e. Makkah); they were plotting and Allaah too was plotting; and Allaah is the Best of those who plot”
This is a plot against the enemies of Allaah who were plotting against the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
Allaah says of the hypocrites (interpretation of the meaning):
“And when they meet those who believe, they say: ‘We believe,’ but when they are alone with their Shayaateen (devils — polytheists, hypocrites), they say: ‘Truly, we are with you; verily, we were but mocking.’
Allaah mocks at them and gives them increase in their wrong-doing to wander blindly”
This is mocking the hypocrites.
These attributes are to be regarded as indicating perfection in this context. Hence we say that Allaah mocks the hypocrites and deceives them, and that He plots against His enemies, and so on. But it is not permissible to describe Allaah as mocking or deceiving in absolute terms, because that does not indicate perfection.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: Can Allaah be described as plotting and named as such?
Allaah cannot be described as plotting except in a limited sense; He cannot be described as such in absolute terms. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Did they then feel secure against the Plan of Allaah? None feels secure from the Plan of Allaah except the people who are the losers”
This verse indicate that Allaah has a plan or plot, which was to confound them without them realizing it. This is akin to the hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari: “War is deceit.”
If it is asked: How can Allaah be described as plotting when this seems to be something blameworthy?
The answer is that plotting in the right circumstances may be something praiseworthy that points to the strength of the plotter, and that he is superior to his enemy. Hence Allaah cannot be described as plotting in absolute terms, and we cannot say “Allaah is a Plotter.” Rather this attribute is mentioned in a context where it is positive, such as the verses (interpretation of the meaning):
“they were plotting and Allaah too was plotting”
“So they plotted a plot, and We planned a plan, while they perceived not”
And we cannot say in absolute terms that this cannot be ascribed to Allaah, rather in contexts where it is something positive it may be ascribed to Him, and in contexts where it is not something positive, it should not be ascribed to Him. So Allaah should not be called by a name which refers to this, so we cannot say that one of the names of Allaah is “the Plotter”. Plotting is one of His actions, because it has to do with the Will of Allaah.
Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 1/170.
He was also asked: Can Allaah be described as betraying, or as deceiving, as in the verse (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allaah, but it is He Who deceives them” [al-Nisa’ 4:142]?
With regard to betrayal, this is something that can never be ascribed to Allaah, because it is something shameful in all circumstances, and it is plotting at a time of trust, which is blameworthy. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“But if they intend to betray you (O Muhammad), they indeed betrayed Allaah before. So He gave (you) power over them. And Allaah is All-Knower, All-Wise”
And He did not say: So He betrayed them.
With regard to deceiving, it is like plotting. It may be ascribed to Allaah when it is something positive, but it cannot be ascribed to Him in absolute terms. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allaah, but it is He Who deceives them” [al-Nisa’ 4:142]
Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 1/171And Allaah knows best.
Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 39803
As with Jamal Badawi's apologetics, this is again a case of Special pleading . This is adding meaning to the text which is not there, but comes only from a certain set of beliefs that Islam Q&A hold: namely:
- that Allah is God
- that Allah is perfect
- that 'perfection' is synonymous with 'good'
- that 'perfection' is synonymous with 'truthful'
- that Allah never lies or deceives
However when we look at the verses in question, the same word is applied to the unbelievers and also Allah. So you must also accept that since Allah is perfect, the meaning of the word changes depending on who it's referring to. There is absolutely no evidence that this is the case. Nowhere does the Qur'an implicitly state or even imply that words mean different things when referring to Allah, nor are there any ahadith to this effect. This is a clear cut case of special pleading, invented by Muslims to excuse the fact that the exact words of their god state that he is the best deceiver.
If one who claims to be perfect, displays an imperfect trait (deception, plotting etc..) then we know two things:
- They are a liar
- They are imperfect
Allah has told us in the Qur'an that he is the best deceiver - we have his own admission that he is imperfect and a liar.
Harun Yahya includes Al-Makir in his listing of Allah's 99 names:
- When those unbelievers were plotting against you to imprison you or to kill or expel you: they were plotting and Allah was plotting, but Allah is the Best of Planners . (Surat al-Anfal, 8:30)
Those who plotted against the just religion throughout history strove to distance people from it for their own selfish desires (e.g., greed for power, personal interests, and so on). In the Hereafter, they will be told: “No, it was your scheming night and day when you commanded us to reject Allah and assign equals to Him.” (Surah Saba', 34:33) Yet there is a very important point that we need to remember here:
- Those before them plotted, but all planning belongs to Allah. He knows what each self earns, and the unbelievers soon will know who has the Ultimate Abode. (Surat ar-Ra‘d, 13:42)
As is related in the verse above, “all planning belongs to Allah.” Thus, against all of the unbelievers' plots, Allah devises the best plan. Allah calls attention to the deadlock facing unbelievers:
- They concocted their plots, but their plots were with Allah, even if they were such as to make the mountains vanish. (Surah Ibrahim, 14:46)
As this verse relates, Allah protects all believers from these plots. This is very easy for Allah, Who turns all plots against His Messengers and believers into failures and makes unbelievers suffer the ensuing dire consequences, for “… Allah is swifter at planning...” (Surah Yunus, 10:21)No doubt, Allah creates every incident with a purpose and for the ultimate good. He uses the unbelievers' plots against believers to test them. He then extends His help to those servants who can discern the good and beauties in the events He creates, and turns all of these to their benefit.
Like Dr. Badawi's apologetics regarding Makir, Harun Yahya attempts to spin the meaning of the word when referring to Allah. The first verse quoted above (Qur'an 8:30) has actually been quoted incorrectly by Yahya on this portion of his website. The translation given, referring to people as plotters, but Allah as a planner, does not exist. This is not an error or oversight by Yahya, because we find elsewhere on his website that the verse has been quoted correctly; referring to both as 'plotters'. Again in his quote of Qur'an 13:42, Yahya has misquoted the verse - labeling the unbelievers as "plotters" but Allah as a "planner".
These misquotes have been deliberately presented on this page because Harun Yahya is attributing the name Al Makir directly to Allah, but claiming it simply means "The planner". In order to spin makir into having a positive connotation, translating the same word differently in Qur'an 8:30 and 13:42 was necessary in order to portray Allah as being righteous, and the non believers (referred to in the verses) as devious. If they had been presented correctly - in that 'plotter' is attributed to Allah as well as the unbelievers, then it implies that Allah is also plotting the same type of activities that the unbelievers were [allegedly] plotting. This would serve to cast Allah in a bad light, as well as Muslims - since they are the ones who carry out his wishes (as relayed through Muhammad).
Allah Only Deceives Enemies
Given the context of the verses provided in the above article, it is clear that they discuss Allah deceiving his (perceived) enemies only. However, what the verses also contain is a definitive statement from Allah - Allah is the best deceiver. It does not state "Allah is better at deceiving than his enemies" Therefore, in these verses, we have the (supposedly) omniscient (all-knowing) being Allah, telling us outright that he is the best deceiver. Being all-knowing, he would be aware of anyone higher at deception than he is.
If someone who is all-knowing tells you he is the best deceiver, and you accept this how can you say that you trust him not to deceive you as well? After all, since he is the self-admitted 'best' at deception, if he chose to deceive you, it would be highly unlikely that you would be able to detect such a deception if you are using solely his words as a guide to your life. Who's to say he is being truthful about anything else in the Qur'an? Even if he says he is being truthful to you, you already know that you cannot trust him because he has already admitted to being the 'best deceiver' - it could be another deception.
Furthermore, there are verses in the Qur'an that show us that Allah did not only confine his deception to his enemies, as in the above quoted verses.
Allah Deceives Muslims
In the above verses, we can see that Allah admits to deceiving Muhammad himself, in a dream, by portraying the opposing forces as less than there actually were, in order to trick him into false confidence because he did not want the Muslims to become intimidated (and then back off from fighting). Here is Kathir's tafsir regarding this:
(43. (And remember) when Allah showed them to you as few in your dream; if He had shown them to you as many, you would surely have been discouraged, and you would surely have disputed in making a decision. But Allah saved (you). Certainly, He is the All-Knower of that is in the breasts.) (44. And (remember) when you met, He showed them to you as few in your eyes and He made you appear as few in their eyes, so that Allah might accomplish a matter already ordained, and to Allah return all matters (for decision).)
Mujahid said, "In a dream, Allah showed the Prophet the enemy as few. The Prophet conveyed this news to his Companions and their resolve strengthened. Similar was said by Ibn Ishaq and several others. Allah said,
[وَلَوْ أَرَاكَهُمْ كَثِيراً لَّفَشِلْتُمْ]
(If He had shown them to you as many, you would surely, have been discouraged,) you would have cowardly abstained from meeting them and fell in dispute among yourselves,
[وَلَـكِنَّ اللَّهَ سَلَّمَ]
(But Allah saved), from all this, when He made you see them as few,
[إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ]
(Certainly, He is the All-Knower of that is in the breasts.) [8:43].
Allah knows what the heart and the inner-self conceal,
[يَعْلَمُ خَآئِنَةَ الاٌّعْيُنِ وَمَا تُخْفِى الصُّدُورُ ]
(Allah knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the breasts conceal) [40:19].
[وَإِذْ يُرِيكُمُوهُمْ إِذِ الْتَقَيْتُمْ فِى أَعْيُنِكُمْ قَلِيلاً]
(And (remember) when you met, He showed them to you as few in your eyes) demonstrates Allah's compassion towards the believers. Allah made them see few disbelievers in their eyes, so that they would be encouraged and feel eager to meet them. Abu Ishaq As-Subai`i said, that Abu `Ubaydah said that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "They were made to seem few in our eyes during Badr, so that I said to a man who was next to me, `Do you think they are seventy' He said, `Rather, they are a hundred.' However, when we captured one of them, we asked him and he said, `We were a thousand. Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir recorded it. Allah said next,
[وَيُقَلِّلُكُمْ فِى أَعْيُنِهِمْ]
(and He made you appear as few in their eyes,) Allah said,
[وَإِذْ يُرِيكُمُوهُمْ إِذِ الْتَقَيْتُمْ](And (remember) when you met. He showed them to you...), He encouraged each of the two groups against the other, according to `Ikrimah, as recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim.
Tafsir 'ibn Kathir
Kathir claims it was 'compassion' on the part of Allah to show a 'few' to Muhammad when there were many more than that, but this does not negate the fact that Allah deceived the Muslims in this matter - it was deception plain and simple. If we say to you that you get 3 years in jail in return for your sworn testimony, but we know (and conceal) the fact that you will actually get 6 years, this is not compassion, it is deception. In the same way we can say that Allah has deliberately deceived the Muslims in these verses in order to get them to do what he wants (ie. fight). This example alone negates the claim that "Allah only deceives his enemies" as we can see that Allah deceived Muhammad - uswa hasana - so it is not unlikely that Allah will (and has) deceived other Muslims before and after this event.
Allah Created Christianity Through Deception
According to Islam, Jesus is not God, and he was not crucified, yet an entire religion sprung from Jesus' death on the cross and subsequent resurrection. This is the central focus of Christianity. Allah however, makes it clear in the Qur'an that Jesus was not crucified (died) and he is not God's son, meaning that Christian's are in error to follow these beliefs. But why do Christians think he was crucified? Because Allah admits that he made it appear so:
So we see that Allah admits to making it appear (to the people) that Jesus was crucified on the cross (and died), and that Allah then raised Jesus to himself (ascended him to heaven). Therefore Allah admits to deceiving the people. For the next 600 years, Allah sat back and watched all these people converting to, and following Christianity; a religion that was started by his deception, but he did not bother to lift a finger to correct anything until 600 years later, when he sent Muhammad with the Quran - to sort out the mess that he himself (Allah) had created.
Let's look at it from another point of view; Allah sent Jesus to 'fix' the errors that had crept into Judaism, but then undoes any corrections that were made from the intervention (and Jesus' message) by making it appear (in the end) that Jesus was crucified and then raised from the dead. This negates the entire purpose of sending Jesus. This leaves the people with not only one alternative to Allah's 'true' religion, but two; Judaism or Christianity which entails (among other things) following the message of Jesus, which Allah himself had corrupted by making it appear that he had risen from the dead. So for 600 years, Allah's pure religion was not to be found on this Earth and now (thanks to Allah's deception) had two competing faiths to deceive the people and tempt them away from the 'straight path'. This makes no sense.
In conclusion we can see that this objection (of context) is irrelevant because the statement in the verses is definitive (not dependent on context) and from the Qur'an itself we see that Allah has no problem deceiving:
- "Enemies of Islam"
- Innocent people - who lived in the 600 years that it took Allah to send the Qur'an
Responses to Apologetics
- "According to the Quranic Arabic Corpus website, 'Makr' means 'Planner'"
The Quranic Arabic Corpus website also claimed at one time that Idriboohunna in Qur'an 4:34 meant "separate from them" (i.e. the husbands from their wives) rather than to "beat them" for the fear of disobedience. However, Idriboohunna (أضربوهن) means "beat them" (for female plural). Adriboo Anhunna (اضربوا عنهن) is the phrase that means abandon or leave them. They are completely different phrases with completely different meanings, and the attempts to mix up the two is only a modern development used by a few western Muslim apologists. To their credit, the website has acknowledged this error by now having corrected this blatant mistranslation, but they have also shown themselves to be an unreliable source concerning the Arabic language.
In any case, Edward William Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (the most revered and scholarly dictionary of the Arabic language), Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, and the Arabic Lexicon all disagree with the Quranic Arabic Corpus website's rendering of the word. And every single one of these sources are more reliable than that website. In addition to these reliable sources, there are Dr. Jamal Badawi and Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid who are both native Arabic speakers and respected individuals (in relation to issues concerning Islam). Although they may make excuses for the use of that particular word, they do both actually admit that makr means deceiver.
- Allah - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Allah
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- Allah the greatest deceiver of them all
- Allah: Truthful or Deceiver?
- Deceptive God, Incompetent Messiah
- Hans-Wehr Dictionary - mkr (page 917) (40MB PDF file)
- Lane's Lexicon - mkr - Volume 7, Page 256
- Lane's Lexicon online summary - Mim-Kaf-Ra
- Makr - Lane's Lexicon p. 2728
- Quran root browser - م ك ر - m-k-r
- 3. Ali-Imran - The Family Of 'Imran (سورة آل عمران) - Revealed in Madinah (English: Literal) - IslamicNature, accessed August 25, 2011
- 7. Al-A'raf - The Heights (سورة الأعراف) - Revealed in Makkah (English: Literal) - IslamicNature, accessed August 25, 2011
- 8. Al-Anfal - Spoils Of War (سورة الأنفال) - Revealed in Madinah (English: Literal) - IslamicNature, accessed August 25, 2011
- 10. Yunus - Jonah (سورة يونس) - Revealed in Makkah (English: Literal) - IslamicNature, accessed August 25, 2011
- 13. Ar-Ra'd - The Thunder (سورة الرعد) - Revealed in Makkah (English: Literal) - IslamicNature, accessed August 25, 2011
- Islam Awakened - Qur'an 3:54
- Quran Browser - Quran 3:54
- Islam Awakened - Qur'an 7:99
- Quran Browser - Quran 7:99
- Islam Awakened - Qur'an 8:33
- Quran Browser - Quran 8:30
- Islam Awakened - Qur'an 10:21
- Quran Browser - Quran 10:21
- Islam Awakened - Qur'an 13:42
- Quran Browser - Quran 13:42
- Special pleading is a form of spurious argumentation where a position in a dispute introduces favorable details or excludes unfavorable details by alleging a need to apply additional considerations without proper criticism of these considerations themselves. Essentially, this involves someone attempting to cite something as an exemption to a generally accepted rule, principle, etc. without justifying the exemption. For more information about this logical fallacy, see the associated articles on The Fallacy Files, The Nizkor Project and the Princeton University websites.
- The School of Yusuf - Harun Yahya
- The Prophet Yusuf - Harun Yahya