Al-e-Imran (The House of Imran) Sura 3: Verse 54

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

The word makr means a secret scheme to cause harm to someone. It has come to connote a negative sense as resorting to secret scheming against someone and betrays the weakness of the schemers. As it is usually the weak who fall back upon makr or secret schemes, its negative sense became more pronounced, and the term was taken to convey essentially a negative aspect. Wherever it is used, the assumption is that it must be in a negative sense. This is far from being true. At times, one has to resort to secret scheming to counter the schemers or to punish them. Any open action against the perpetrators of secret scheming can easily be depicted as unjust and an act of aggression. Most people who are unaware of the real facts may also be led to believe that the perpetrators were justified in their actions.

Similarly, secret scheming is necessary at times to forewarn a conspiring enemy that others are not unaware of his machinations and that these will be severely resisted. This not only shames such conspirators but also acts as a strong deterrent against any future trouble on their part. The secret planning referred to in this verse with regard to Allah is precisely of this nature and is aimed at countering the hostile conspiracies rendering them ineffective and harmless. Such countermeasures often take the enemies unawares, leaving them stunned, while at the same time relieving others of trouble and harm. This is referred to in the verse by the words "and the best of planners is Allah".

Compiled From:
"Pondering Over The Qur'an: Surah Ali Imran" - Amin Ahsan Islahi