A jolly chap asks, “How will the Muslim devotee respond to Quran 3:54, where Allah boasts that he is the best deceiver?” The passage in question — which mentions those who disbelieved in the Messiah and plotted against him — is rendered into English by various translators as follows: 

“And the disbelievers planned, but Allah planned. And Allah is the best of planners.” — Sahih International

“And they schemed, and Allah schemed, and Allah is The Most Charitable of schemers.” — Dr Ghali

“And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers.” — Pickthall

“And they planned and Allah (also) planned, and Allah is the best of planners.” — Shakir

“And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned, and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah.” — Yusuf Ali

“They (the opponents of ‘?s?) devised a plan, and Allah devised a plan. And Allah is the best of all planners.” — Taqi Usmani

“The [disbelievers] schemed but God also schemed; God is the Best of Schemers.” — Abdul Haleem

“Then they schemed (against the Messiah), and Allah countered their schemes by schemes of His own. Allah is the best of schemers.” — Abul Ala Maududi

How do we respond? By acknowledging that, try as we may, we cannot outrun our Lord. Whatever plots and plans we ourselves may hatch, the Lord of all the worlds has a plan that is infinitely better. And so, even if we do try — whether as believers or disbelievers — to deceive others with cunning plans, God will always undermine them. Be just and obedient to God, and you have nothing to fear. But hatch unjust schemes, and God will destroy them soon enough.

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