Cover photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia, Unsplash.
People sometimes experience an immediate, powerful draw to someone, whether as a romantic interest or a friend. The opposite can also happen. We meet someone and instantly who instantly rubs us the wrong way.
It’s as if there is some unseen aspect, recognized by the heart which is hard to explain based on such limited experience. The reaction can literally be instant and verified as a genuine as the parties get to know one another. Especially when recognition is strong on both sides.
Oddly enough, many people find this to be true even on social media, where profiles are mere shadows people. Yet a social media account can immediately attract someone, who later discovers the feeling is mutual. As if both parties recognize each other based on some connection beyond what’s apparent.
Beautiful, Intriguing Hadith
As it turns out, our Prophet ﷺ has addressed this matter. His wife, Aisha (ra), narrated this beautiful, intriguing hadith:
“Souls are like conscripted soldiers; those whom they recognize, they get along with, and those whom they do not recognize, they will not get along with” (Al-Bukhari).
Recognize one another from where? The Prophet ﷺ expanded further in a narration by Abu Hurairah (as):
“Souls are troops collected together and those who familiarized with each other (in the heaven from where these come) would have an affinity, with one another (in the world) and those amongst them who opposed each other (in the Heaven) would also be divergent (in the world).” (Muslim)
Premortal Existence of the Soul?
Our souls knew one another in heaven? What a fascinating idea!
An alternative view is that this hadith refers not to premortal experience. Rather it refers to Allah creating some souls with similar features. A commonality among souls is what draws them together, and our differences are what set us apart.
Both explanations can be true, as they don’t contradict one another.
In any case, Allahﷻ gave us only some hints to ponder. As far as the soul, He explained in the Qur’an:
And they ask you, [O Muhammad], about the soul. Say, “The soul is of the affair of my Lord. And mankind has not been given of knowledge except a little.” (Qur’an 17:85)
We’re welcome–even encouraged–to ponder the meaning, of these revealed hints. But we should avoid wild speculation beyond what we can trace back to authentic sources. Though we crave full and absolute answers to every question, we know only what Allah in His infinite Wisdom has chosen to reveal to us.
What are your experiences with regard to immediately connecting with someone?
Do you find similar things happening in real life as you do on social media?
It would be interesting to know how many people have experienced this kind of immediate attraction or repulsion, and in what context.