Every verse must be understood
keeping in view its context ie, its relation with the preceding and succeeding
verses. A verse must not be taken in isolation otherwise serious
misinterpretation may result. A look at the context of (2:115) reveals that the
Jews and Christians in order to oppose one another had adopted opposite sides of
the Baytu’l-Maqdas as Qiblah (direction of prayer) to say their prayers. The
Christians had adopted its eastern side while the Jews its western one. As a
result of this difference, great wars were fought between them which have been
referred to in the previous verse (2:114)
With this background, the Qur’ān
cautions these two rival factions by saying that the east and the west belong to
Allah (this is the first part of 2:115), and then goes on to say whether you (ie
the People of the Book) face east or the west you face Allah [in both cases].
The conclusion drawn being that they must not fight with one another in such
trivial matters. This is the correct meaning of this verse in my opinion.
As far as the question of Allah’s
presence is concerned, it is not discussed in this verse at all. There are other
verses in the Qur’ān which point to His omnipresence and certainly do not limit
it; (See for example 50:16, 57:4). However, in our limited capacities we cannot
determine the nature of His omnipresence.