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What does makr-i ilāhī mean?

Question: Āl-i ‘Imrān Sūra and Anfāl Sūra say, “Wa makarū wa makarallah, wallahu khayrul mākirīn,” which means, “Allah is the best of those who play makr [trick]. What does “Allah’s playing makr” mean?
ANSWER
Makr means causing damage through playing a trick or setting a trap. As for makr-i ilāhī (divine trick), it has such meanings as Allahu ta’ālā’s turning the tricks of tricksters against them, His foiling their harm and plots, and His punishing them in return for their ruses. Janāb-i Haqq is free from the tricks (makr) played by humans, and He has the power to do whatever He wishes. He in no way needs tricks. Makr-i ilāhī is good in that it, by making the tricks of the schemers fall through, teaches the maleficience of tricking others to them and causes some people to make repentance.

Some examples of makr-i ilāhī (divine trick) are as follows:
1. Allahu ta’ālā made Muslims seem a few in number to the eyes of the polytheists and made polytheists march on Badr. They attacked Muslims there. However, they were crushingly defeated and killed by Muslims. This was a makr of Allah.

2. The Jews hatched a plot to kill Hadrat ‘Īsā, but Allahu ta’ālā saved him and subjected the Jews to various disasters. Their king Judas sent a hypocrite to Hadrat ‘Īsā’s house in order to murder him, but Hadrat Jabrāīl came before him and elevated Hadrat ‘Īsā to the sky. When he could not find Hadrat ‘Īsā, he went out of the house. Janāb-i Haqq made that hypocrite seem like Hadrat ‘Īsā; therefore, they mistook him for Hadrat ‘Īsā. So they crucified that hypocrite and killed him. Allahu ta’ālā’s punishing him that way is a makr of Allah.

3. The polytheists were gathering at Dār-un-Nadwa, which was the den of mischief, and trying to find ways to block Islam, which was spreading more and more every day. Some were planning to confine our master the Prophet to a dungeon until he passed away, while some others were planning to send him away with a camel from his home in Mecca and thus to exile him. Abū Jahl, on the other hand, proposed that the youths that would be selected from every tribe murder him with swords at once. This proposal was approved because in this way he was going to be murdered by an unknown hand, and so animosity was not going to be directed at a specific person. They intended to put this plan into effect on that night. Jabrāīl ‘alaihis-salām informed the Messenger of Allah about the plot. Thereupon, he placed Hadrat ‘Alī in his bed, left his blessed house, and migrated with Hadrat Abū Bakr, his most trusted friend. In the course of migration, miracles were seen, such as that the feet of the horse that the man following them was riding sank into the sand and that a spider spun its web at the entrance of the cave. The purport of a Qur’anic verse is as follows:
(My Beloved, when disbelievers were plotted against you to imprison you in bonds or to murder you or to exile you, Allah plotted against them [brought their plot to naught], too.) [Sūrat-ul-Anfāl, 30]

4. Another meaning of makr is torment. A verse purports:
(No one can feel secure from makr-i ilāhī [divine torment, punishment] except the great losers.) [Sūrat-ul-A’rāf, 99]

5.
Also, extraordinary happenings that cause one to commit prohibited things (harām) are called makr or istidrāj. For example, Pharaoh never experienced a headache in his lifetime. His teeth were very close together so that bits of food and meat would not lodge in between them and cause him discomfort. When he rode his horse down a hill, the forelegs of his horse would grow longer. He declared himself a god when he witnessed such states on himself. Likewise, a disbeliever who held the belief that nineteen was a sacred number declared himself a prophet as he had suchlike states.

6. Makr also means istidrāj. That is, Allahu ta’ālā showers favors upon a person for a fixed period of time. These favors, however, are not good for him or her. They are simply disasters under the guise of favors. As a matter of fact, the purport of a Qur’anic verse is as follows:
(Do disbelievers presume that We are doing them a favor by giving them much property and many children? No, it is not so. They are wrong. They do not understand that these are not blessings, but disasters.) [Sūrat-ul-Mu’minūn, 55-56]

This means to say that the worldly goods and advantages that are bestowed upon disbelievers are all disasters. They are like the sweetmeats given to the diabetic. They lead them to destruction at once.

Envying the property and wealth of disbelievers
Question:
While many people who have nothing to do with Islam and most non-Muslims have property and wealth, many Muslims live in penury and woes. Why does Allah give so much property to disbelievers?
ANSWER
A Muslim wants worldly goods and property for the next world. If this property is harmful to our eternal life in the next world, it is not favorable. Therefore, our master the Prophet said:
(O my Rabb! I take refuge in You from poverty and wealth that cause one to get out of hand and from fitnah that results from them.) [Bukhārī, Muslim]

As it is seen, both poverty and wealth may be a fitnah. For this reason, we should demand what is good for us.

The divine habit, law of Allah is to create something through means and agencies. Whoever holds fast to these means and agencies, He gives him or her the thing he or she desires. A person who works properly will earn.

Islam is an aggregate of the rules revealed to prescribe people what they should do. Even if disbelievers follow them, they will get benefit from them. If Muslims follow them, they will also get benefit from them in the next world.

Worldly goods and wealth bestowed upon disbelievers is not a favor to them. The purport of a verse is as follows:
(Do disbelievers presume that We are doing them a favor by giving them much property and many children? No, it is not so. They are wrong. They do not understand that these are not blessings, but disasters.) [Sūrat-ul-Mu’minūn, 55-56]

Worldly property does not have the slightest value in the sight of Allah. The purport of a hadīth-i sharīf is as follows:
(I swear by Allah that if this world had any value at all in the sight of Allah, He would not give one sip of water to disbelievers.) [Tirmudhī, Ibni ‘Asākir]

Allahu ta’ālā could give much property and wealth to disbelievers. But then all people would suppose that disbelievers have property and wealth because disbelief is a good thing. Then all of them could become disbelievers. Therefore, He does not make all disbelievers rich. Otherwise, He would make none of the disbelievers poor in this world. He would inundate them with property and wealth. As a matter of fact, it is purported in the Qur’ān al-karīm:

(Is it they who apportion your Rabb’s compassion [His sending prophet]? It is We who have apportioned their livelihood [their incomes and expenses] among them in the life of the world. [By making some of them scholars, some of them ignorant, some of them rich, some of them poor, some of them robust, some of them weak, some of them commanders, some of them servants, some of them bosses, some of them employees] We made some of them higher in ranks than others so that they make use of one another for service. [Only in this way can they warm to one another and come together, and does order reign in creation. Just as the rich have no superiority in terms of being rich, so the poor have no inferiority in terms of being poor. People differ from one another not only in sustenance but also in knowledge, ignorance, goodness, badness, strength, weakness, and the like. If there were equality in every respect, no one would serve anybody. Then the order in the world would be disrupted, and creation would go to ruin. They have no role even in these, let alone have the authority to send a prophet.] The mercy of your Rabb is better than the things they accumulated. If it were not that people would be one nation [if it were not that all people would envy disbelief, thus becoming disbelievers], We would have provided those who disbelieve in Allah, the Compassionate, with silver roofs for their houses, with silver stairs on which to go up, with silver doors for their houses, with silver thrones on which they recline; and We would also have inundated them with gold ornaments. Yet all these are nothing but transitory advantages of worldly life. As for happiness in the world to come, it is, in the sight of your Rabb, for those who beware of disobeying Him.) [Sūrat-uz-Zukhruf, 32-35]
 
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14 Aralżk 2018 Cuma
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