In the Name of God: The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring
While reading my Twitter feed, I came across a post that had the hashtag “deusvult.” I had never seen that before, and I subsequently learned that it was the battle cry of the First Crusaders, Latin for “God wills it.” It made me think of the Arabic phrase “Allahu Akbar,” which means “God is the Greatest.” Unfortunately, many a savage terrorist will use this phrase as a “battle cry” today.
Now, the phrases themselves – “Deus Vult” and “Allahu Akbar” – are not problematic; in fact, they speak words of truth. But their particular historical contexts make their connotations unpleasant or even loathsome.
We need to change these connotations.
“Allahu Akbar” was never intended to be the “battle cry” of Muslims, the contentions of many notwithstanding. I hate it when Muslim terrorists use (and subsequently defile) this phrase. “Allahu Akbar” teaches us humility. It reminds the Muslim believer that God is Supreme, that God is greater than anyone or anything in this universe. Muslims use this phrase to begin each of their daily ritual prayers, and it is a major portion of the Muslim call to prayer.
Yes, Christians may have used “Deus Vult” as a battle cry to justify their slaughter of Muslims and Jews in the Holy Land, but to me, it means something completely different. To me, it is a reminder of what God really wants of humanity:
Unto every one of you have We appointed a different law and way of life. And if God had so willed, He could surely have made you all one single community: but He willed it otherwise in order to test you by means of what He has vouchsafed unto you. Compete, therefore, with one another in doing good works! Unto God you all must return, and then He will make you truly understand all that on which you were wont to differ. (5:48)
God has never “willed” for us to kill and slaughter one another. Never.
Rather, God wants us to work together for the common good. God wants us to see beyond our differences and focus on our common humanity and common love for Him and His people. God wants us to come together, both as believers in Him and fellow human beings, to make this world as beautiful a place as it can possibly be.
This is because “Allahu Akbar,” or because “God is the Greatest.” When we come together as one, it is because “Deus Vult,” or because “God wills it.”
I would be honored if joined me on Twitter.