Have you ever had a startlingly profound connection with someone you just met? That instant bonding, which makes you feel as if that person is your soul-mate or best friend? Ever wonder how such bonding can occur, often times before you even speak to the person? Honestly, there are times when I instantly, on sight, either really intensely like a person, or dislike a person; and after that point, even if that person can do things to me that are unbearable, I can still have a soft spot for him or her. It sounds ridiculous, but I was reminded of the concept of soulmates when I came across the following:
Four thousand years before God created these bodies, He created the souls and kept them beside Himself and shed a light upon them. He knew what quantity of light each soul received and He was showing favour to each in proportion to its illumination. The souls remained all that time in the light until they became fully nourished. Those who in this world live in joy and agreement with one another must have been akin to one another in yonder place. Here they love one another and are called the friends of God, and they are brethren who love one another for God’s sake. These souls know each other by the smell, like horses. Though one be in the East and the other in the West, yet they feel joy and comfort in each other’s talk, and one who lives in a later generation than the other is instructed and consoled by the words of his friend. [Shaykh Abu Sa’id Ibn Abi’l-Khayr]
I recall something from Imam Ghazaali that discusses the same concept, and this quote reminded me of it. So maybe, having been “soulmates” when Allah created the Universe accounts for those instant connections (or lack thereof!).