The Meaning of Sociability
Ulfah linguistically: is amiability and unity. It is said: aliftu al-shay’a wa aliftu fulanan (I am accustomed to such a thing and affectionate towards so-and-so), if one finds amiability with another.  al-Mufradat, al-Raghib (p. 81), Lisan al-`Arab, Ibn Manzur (9/10).
Ulfah technically: is mutual understanding in aiding one another in life’s affairs.  al-Ta`rifat, al-Jurjani (p. 34). Commandments of Sociability and Encouragement towards it in the Qur’an and Sunnah
❖ Allah, exalted, says: “Hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided.” Al `Imran: 103. In this there is encouragement towards amiability and unity, which is contextually the system of faith and the uprightness of all worldly affairs.  Tafsir al-Raghib al-Asfahani (2/765).
❖ He also said, sanctified: “He is the One who has supported you with His help and with the believers. He brought their hearts together. Had you spent all the riches in the earth, you could not have united their hearts. But Allah has united them. Indeed, He is Honourable, Wise.” al-Anfal: 62, 63.
❖ Abu Hurayrah, Allah be pleased with him, narrates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Certainly the believer finds affection in others. There is no good in one who finds no affection in others nor can affection be sought from him.”  Reported by Ahmad (9198), and al-Hakim (59). al-Hakim graded it authentic according to the conditions of the Two Sheikhs [Bukhari and Muslim]. al-Albani graded it as sound in Silsilat al-Ahadith al-Sahihah (426). Quotes from the Predecessors and Scholars Regarding Sociability
❖ It is reported that Mujahid said: “Ibn `Abbas saw a man and said: “This one, he loves me.” They said: “How do you know?” He replied: “I truly love him. Souls are troops collected together. Those familiar with one another have affinity, and those who opposed each other have divergence.””  Reported by Ibn Hibban in Rawdat al-`Uqala’ (p. 108).
❖ al-Sulami said: “The origin of amiability is hate of the worldly life and turning away from it. It is the thing that causes dispute between brothers.”  Adab al-Suhbah, al-Sulami (p. 78).
❖ al-Ghazali said: “Amiability is a fruit of sound morals. Dispute is a fruit of evil morals. Good morals necessitate love, affability, and agreement. Bad morals result in hate, envy, and opposition to one another.”  Ihya’ `Ulum al-Din, al-Ghazali (2/157). Benefits of Sociability
Affection among the believers is among the reasons of victory and empowerment. Amiability gathers among the far corners of the Ummah, and prevents humiliation. Affection is a reason for uniting for the sake of Allah and holding onto His rope. Due to sociability, consensus is possible among the Muslims. Realising social cohesion, and spreading the spirit of affability among the Muslims.  Nadrat al-Na`im, authored by a number of researchers (2/506). Reasons for Sociability:
Among the reasons of sociability and love and strengthening in Muslim communities: Getting to know one another and accompanying one another. Humility. Greeting one another. Soft speech. Not asking the people. Seeking conciliation between people. Visiting the Muslim and caring for him when he is sick. Giving gifts to one another. Caring for the affairs of the Muslims and sympathising with their causes. Sociability in Poetry
Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Bikr al-Abnawi said:
“Hearts are troops, prepared and armed
For Allah on earth, knowing one another through whims.
Those who know one another draw close,
Those who oppose each other diverge.”  Rawdat al-`Uqala’, Ibn Hibban al-Busti (p. 108).