Sura Al-Imran (Tafseer-ul-Maariful Quran), Part-38

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An Important Note:
Verse 52 states that Sayyidni 'Isa; looked for helpers in the way of Allah only when he sensed hostility from disbelievers, and not at the initial stage of his call, As obvious, he had risen to the task all alone obeying the command of his Lord without worrying about setting up a 'party' in advance. When came the need, he found a group around him. A little thought here would show that every worthy mission demands such determination and courage.

Verses 54 - 55
[٥٤]وَمَكَرُوا وَمَكَرَ اللَّهُ ۖ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ

[٥٥]إِذْ قَالَ اللَّهُ يَا عِيسَىٰ إِنِّي مُتَوَفِّيكَ وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَيَّ وَمُطَهِّرُكَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَجَاعِلُ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوكَ فَوْقَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ ۖ ثُمَّ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأَحْكُمُ بَيْنَكُمْ فِيمَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ

And they made a move, and Allah made a move. And Allah is the best of those who make moves. [54]

When Allah said: "O 'Isa, I am to take you in full and raise you towards Myself, and cleanse you of those who disbelieve, and place those who follow you above those who disbelieve, upto the Day of Doom. Then to Me is your return, whereupon I shall judge between you in what you have been differing in." [55]

Commentary
In these verses the miraculous event of the Ascension of Sayyidna 'Isa (A) (Jesus Christ) has been mentioned. "And they made a move" refers to the evil designs of the Jews who planned to arrest him and to get him crucified.

The next sentence i.e. "and Allah made a move" refers to the plan designed by Allah Almighty to save his prophet 'Isi from their ill designs. They sent one of them to Sayyidna 'Isa (A) to arrest him and Allah changed his face totally and made him resemble Sayyidna 'Isa (A) and raised Sayyidna 'Isa to heavens, while that person was crucified under the mistaken identity. How Allah had planned to save 'Isa (A) from their clutches was disclosed to him when his enemies came to arrest him. The details of these disclosures have been mentioned in verse 55.

Explanation of important words in the verse
Some sects which deny, contrary to the belief of the entire Muslim community, the Ascension of Sayyidna 'Isa (Jesus Christ), his being alive in the heavens and his descension towards the later times, have worked through the words and meanings of these verses to open doors of distortion in the Qur'anic text. Therefore, it seems appropriate that these words be explained in some details.

Let us begin with وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ translated as 'and Allah is the best of those who make moves'. The word, makr in Arabic denotes a subtle 'and secret move or plan. If this is for a good purpose, it is good; and if this is for a bad purpose, it is bad. It was why the restriction of saiyy شيء (evil) was placed with makr (مكر move, plan) in: وَلَا يَحِيقُ الْمَكْرُ السَّيِّئُ إِلَّا بِأَهْلِهِ And evil plan besets none but its perpetrator - 35:43).

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