Like Conscripted Soldiers..
ALL praise is due to Allah, and may He render our
Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) safe from every derogatory thing, and
exalt his mention, and the mention of his household and Companions.
‘A’ishah (radhi Allahu anha) said: “I heard the Prophet [sallallahu
alayhi wa sallam] saying: ‘Spirits 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.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Ahadith al-Anbiya’,
Bab al-Arwah junud mujannadah).
Ibn Hajar (May Allah have mercy on him) said in his commentary on the
hadîth: “Concerning the phrase ‘Spirits are like conscripted soldiers…’
al-Khattabi said: ‘This may refer to their similarity as regards good or
evil, righteousness or corruption. Good people are inclined towards other
good people, and evil people are similarly inclined towards other evil
people. Spirits feel affinity with others according to the nature in which
they were created, good or evil. If spirits’ natures are similar, they will
get along, otherwise they will not be on good terms with one another. It
could be that what is being referred to is the beginning of creation in the
realm of the unseen when, it is reported, souls were created before bodies,
and used to meet one another and express their pessimism about the future.
When spirits have entered bodies (come to the physical realm) they may
recognize one another from the past, and may be on friendly terms or
otherwise based on that past experience.”
The phrase “conscripted soldiers” refers to different types or
classifications, or groups brought together. Ibn al-Jawzî said: “What we
learn from this hadîth is that when a person finds that he feels dislike
towards someone who is known to be virtuous or righteous, he should try to
find out the reason for that so that he can make the effort to rid himself
of something undesirable. The opposite (if a person finds himself liking
someone who is known to be evil) also applies.” Al-Qurtubî said: “Although
they are all spirits, they differ in different ways, so a person will feel
an affinity with spirits of one kind, and will get along with them because
of the special quality that they have in common. So we notice that people of
all types will get along with those with whom they share an affinity, and
will keep away from those who are of other types. [“Birds of a feather flock
together” – Translator]. We may also note that within any given group or
type, people may get along with some and dislike others, and this is in
accordance with issues or qualities that form the basis of love or hate.”
Al-Nawawî said: “With regard to the words of the Prophet [sallallahu alayhi
wa sallam] the scholars said that the meaning is groups gathered together,
or different types. As for them getting along, this happens because of
something in common between them that Allâh has created. It was said that
they are similar attributes that Allâh has created in them, or that they
were created in a group and then dispersed in their bodies, so people who
have similar characteristics will like one another, and those who do not
have similar characteristics will not like one another. Al-Khattabi and
others said: this getting along with one another has to do with what Allah
decreed from the outset about the ultimate destiny of spirits, whether they
will be among the blessed [in Paradise] or the doomed [in Hell]. Spirits are
of two opposing kinds, and when they meet in this physical world, they will
either love or hate one another depending on the way they were created. Good
spirits will be inclined towards other good spirits, and evil spirits will
be inclined towards other evil spirits.
Allah knows best.
May Allah protect us from deadening of the heart, and grant us hidayah to
bring life to our hearts! Ameen.