مكر - Makr. What does it really mean?

My biggest challenge when discussing Islam with (some) Muslims is that I’m unable to refer to the Arabic the way that they can. Therefore some words can mean whatever a Muslim wants a Christian to believe in some circumstances.

A big example is the word “Makr” and what it means in the Qur’an.

3:54And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers.

And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned, and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah.

Now the question is whether or not this word means to scheme, trick and fool; or if it’s simply planning, like how a general would plan an attack. Instead of going to any website that may have some bias attached I went to a Muslim yesterday and showed her this word: مكر to ask her what it means.

She told me it means to trick, and was really curious why I asked. She also told me that it’s a negative word and certainly not a positive thing.

I want to take it upon myself to really understand if Allah is one of the best tricksters or just good at making plans; so i’m going to continue to ask Arabic speaking Muslims what the word its self means.

Here’s the only english link when putting the word in google: almaany.com/home.php?language=english&lang_name=Arabic&word=مكر

craftiness
-*cunning; trickery; skill in deceiving
-*quality of being cunning or skilful
-*the state of being foxy
-*deceit; cunning
-wickedness; evilness; badness
-state of being wicked
مَكْر ( الجذر:
- المجال:
) : دَهَاء، كَيْد، خِدَاع
cunning, craftiness, slyness, wiliness, double-dealing, deception, deceit, artifice, guile

I’ll try to update and ask other Muslim’s, it would be neat if you tried yourself to get an unbiased opinion. We can really see that some translations sugar coat the Qur’an.

I have no insight into the meaning of this word; I will only comment that when I was studying Arabic (U.S. government school, and the instructor was a Jordanian Baptist with a PhD), we used to joke back and forth that Arabic had 10 words for every meaning and 10 meanings for every word. The latter would seem to be applicable in this case.

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