The conviction that God is on our side is like atomic energy. We can use its enormous power for good or ill. Amidst affliction and pain, believing that God is with us can sustain hope. But too often we misuse this conviction to justify violence against human beings whom we judge to be violating God’s will. We act as if God were on our side alone. But God stands on all sides. God is with those bent on evil, urging them to change their ways. And God stands with their victims, giving them strength to endure until they find a way out.
Of course, we want to believe that God is in our camp rather than that of others. We may assume that God inspires and sanctions our beliefs and actions rather than those of other religious traditions. Indeed, we tend to think of God as “ours.” But as the English writer J.B. Phillips famously said in a book by the same title: “Your God is too small.” We reduce God to human dimensions, projecting our tribalism on the Divine.
We might well make our own Paul’s exclamation in the Letter to the Romans: “O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” (11:33-34).
God is impartial and He is the Master of all. Islam rejected the concept of a chosen community and a priesthood. All are equal in the eyes of God. The best among them are those who are conscious of God. It is not right to believe that God takes sides because of one’s faith, or that one’s race is better than the other. This idea leads to extremism and violence. In Al Fatiha, the opening chapter of the Qur’an, God is referred to as Rabb al `Aalameen (the Cherisher of all in the Universe). Muslims recite this name for God in every unit of their prayers five times a day. However it could be justified that God does take the side of the oppressed, deprived and those whose fundamental rights are grossly violated when they stand for their just cause within the guidelines prescribed by the Qur’an.