Salman Farsi, the Son of Islam
It was before noon. Some Muslims sat in Prophet's Mosque waiting for Azan (call to prayer) to say noon prayer. Salman entered mosque and greeted his believing brothers.
The Muslims wanted to know the Persian man's tribe. They mentioned their tribes loudly to let Salman hear them
One of them said:
I belong to Tamim's tribe.
I belong to the Quraish.
A third said:
I belong to al-Aus tribe.
And so on. But Salman was silent. They wanted to know his tribe. So they asked him:
Salman, where are you from?
To teach them the meaning of Islam, Salman answered:
I'm the son on Islam! I was lost! So, Allah's guided me with Muhammad. I was poor! So, Allah's made me rich with Muhammad. I was a slave! So, Allah's released me with Muhammad. This is my tribe!
The Muslims in mosque kept silent because Salman taught them a lesson of Islam.
Who was Salman?
How did he believe in Islam? His name was Roozbah. It means "Happy". He was born at a village in Isfahan. His father was the head of the village. He was a rich man.
At that time, the Persian people worshipped fire because it was the symbol of light. So, fire was sacred to them. Thus, they had temples where fire was made to blaze forever. And there were holy men. They continued its burning day and night.
When Roozbah grew up, his father wanted him to be of great importance. So, he asked him to manage the temple and to go on burning the fire. Roozbah thought about fire.
He refused it as a god, for man takes care of it so as not to put out. One day, the young man roamed through the distant green fields. In the distance, he saw a pretty building.
He headed for it. The building was a church. The church was built by some monks to worship Allah. At that time, Christianity was Allah's real religion. The young man talked with the monks. The love of Allah's religion entered his heart. He asked them:
Where's the religion from? It's from Shaam.
Roozbah decided to go to Shaam. He waited for a caravan The traders of the caravan accepted to take him to their homeland. The young man lived in a priest's house.
He wanted to learn the principles of the religion, good behaviour, and the teachings of the Bible. After a time, the priest died.
So, Roozbah immigrated to Mousal ( a city in the northern part of Iraq). There he lived in a church. From Mousal, he moved to Naseebeen. Then he moved to Ammuriyah.
Roozbah lived at Ammuriyah for a time. The priest of Ammuriyah was a good man. Before his death, he said to Roozbah:
During this time, Allah will send a Prophet. The Prophet will bring the religion of Ibrahim al-Khalil. And he'll immigrate to a land with a lot of date palms.
Roozbah asked him:
What are his marks? Some of his marks are: He'll accept the gift but he won't accept the alms. And the mark of prophecy will be between his shoulders.
The good priest died and Roozbah was by himself. He thought of the immigration to the Arab Peninsula. One day, a caravan passed by him. The caravan wanted to come back to Hejaz. He gave them all his money to travel to Makkah.
The traders took his money and deprived him of his freedom. They sold him to a Jew as a slave. Roozbah was sad because of that disloyalty, but he was patient. He sincerely began working on the Jewish man's farm.
Days passed. One morning a man belonged to Bani Quraidha came to visit his cousin. He saw Roozbah working very hard. The man said to his cousin:
Please sell me that slave.
Roozbah became happy because Bani Quraidha lived in Yathrib full of date-palms. In the meantime, the priest of Ammuriyah told him that the promised Prophet would appear in it. Roozbah was always counting the days.
He looked forward to the Prophet's appearance. One day, while he was working on the farm, he heard his master saying to a friend of his:
Muhammad's arrived at Quba. And some people of Yathrib have received him.
Roozbah rejoiced at the news, for it was time to get his freedom. He waited till evening. When it became dark, he took some dates and left his master's house secretly. The distance between Yathrib and Quba was about two miles.
Roozbah covered them quickly. When he arrived at Quba, he went to our Master Muhammad [s] and said:
These dates as alms.
Our Master Muhammad [s] distributed the dates to his companions, but he did not eat any. Roozbah said to himself:
This is the first mark
On the following day, he came again. He had some dates, too. He said to our Master Muhammad [s]:
These are gifts.
The Prophet [s] took the dates gratefully. He distributed them to his companions and ate some. Roozbah said to himself:
And this is the second mark
For this reason, Roozbah was certain that Muhammad was the promised Prophet. He embraced him and believed in Islam. For this reason, our Master Muhammad [s] named him Salman.
Islam has come to free person from control of another person. Allah has given man freedom. Thus our Master Muhammad [s] said to his companions:
Help Salman to get his freedom
The Jewish man accepted to free Salman provided that he should plant him three thousand date-palms. His brothers collected him the palm shootings.
And our Master Muhammad [s] began planting them. They all lived. In this way, Allah granted Salman freedom. Therefore, he lived happily with our Master Muhammad [s].
In Ramadan, 5 A.H., the Muslims heard about the polytheists' intention to invade Madina. The Jews were always planning and urging the Quraish and the Arab tribes to invade Madina and destroy Islam.
The Jews spent a lot of money to call up ten thousand fighters. Our Master Muhammad [s] was always asking the advice of his companions to solve the problems the Muslims faced.
The Muslims held a meeting in the Prophet's Mosque to exchange views. The new invasion was full of danger, for the Muslim troops were about 1,000 fighters, while the invaders were ten thousand fighters.
Besides, they had different kinds of weapons. The Muslims were in a fix. Some of them were afraid. And the hypocrites were always scaring the people and spreading rumours. While the Muslims were exchanging views to face the coming danger, Salman stood up and said:
Allah's Apostle [s], in Persia, we dug a trench when an enemy attacked us.
Salman's opinion surprised the Muslims. The Prophet [s] and the Muslims were all happy.
The northern border of Madina was weak. Our Master Muhammad [s] wanted the trench to be about five thousand meters long, nine meters wide, and seven meters deep.
On the following day, the Muslims went out carrying their digging tools. To end the trench accurately and quickly, our Master Muhammad [s] ordered each ten fighters to dig forty meters. It was winter.
The wind was very cold. The Muslims were fasting. Still they were working with enthusiasm. And they were not paying attention to the Jews' and the hypocrites' rumours.
Our Master Muhammad [s] was working actively, encouraging his companions, and saying some prayers to Abdullah bin Rawaha, a companions of his:
Allah, You've made us guided! And made us give alms and pray! Then grant us patience! And make us steady when we meet (our enemy)!
Salman was working with his brothers, the Muhajireen (immigrants) and the Ansar (supporters). One day, they found a hard, white rock. Salman tried to smash it with his pick-axe. His companions tried to smash it but they were unable, too.
Whenever they hit the rock, it gave sparks. Therefore, the Muslims asked Salman's opinion. Salman went to tell the Prophet [s] about the rock and to allow them to change the direction of the trench. The Prophet [s] came to the trench and took the pick-axe from Salman.
He came into the trench. And he asked the Muslims to get him some water. The Prophet [s] poured the water on the rock, held the pick-axe, and said:
By the Name of Allah.
He hit the rock and split one-third. The Prophet [s] said:
Allah's great! I've been given the keys of Shaam! By Allah, I can see its palaces!
The Prophet [s] hit the rock again, split another one-third, and said: Allah's great! I've been given the keys of Persia! By Allah, I can see the palaces of al-Madain!
Then he made a third hit, smashed the rock, and said:
Allah's great! I've been given the keys of Yemen! By Allah, I can see gates of Sanaa!
The Muslims rejoiced at Allah's victory. But the hypocrites began sneering at the believers: How will you conquer Persia, Rome, and Yemen while you're digging a trench in Yathrib? But the believers had no doubt about Allah's victory, for Allah grants his sincere slaves a victory.
The Muslims went on digging the trench day and night for a month. During that time, the Muslims were moving the agricultural crops into Madina to live on them in the siege and to prevent the enemy from making use of them.
The Armies of the Allies headed by Abu Sufyan arrived in Madina. Seeing the trench, they wondered and said:
The Arabs don't know this trick!
And the polytheists knew that it was Salman's idea. They besieged Madina. Abu-Sufyan was looking in vain for an opening to pass through the trench.
During the siege, the Muslims and the polytheists reciprocated arrows. One day, the polytheists' horsemen could pass through the trench and arrived at the front of the Muslims.
Our Master Muhammad [s] ordered his fighters to hinder the polytheists. Thus Ali Bin Abu Talib stood up to fight Amru bin Abdi-Wud, a hero of the polytheists'. When Imam Ali [a] began fighting the enemy of Islam, our Master Muhammad [s] prayed to Allah to grant them all a victory. Then he said:
Today, all belief has begun fighting all atheism
The young man of Islam gained a victory over his enemy, and the Muslims shouted:
Allah's great! Allah's great!
When the polytheists escaped towards the trench, the Muslims pursued and killed some of them.
The polytheists were unsuccessful to cross the trench. The siege became long. Allah granted his Apostle and the believers a victory. The strong winds were blowing against the Allies' Armies.
They uprooted their tents and dismayed them. One night, the polytheists were tired of the siege. Therefore, Abu Sufyan decided to withdraw his fighters.
In the morning, our Master Muhammad [s] sent Hudhayfa to the enemy front to get him some information. Hudhayfa told Allah's Apostle [s] about the defeat of the enemy armies. The Muslims were filled with happiness. They thanked Allah for granting them a victory over the enemies of the religion and of the humanity. After a month's siege, the Muslims happily came back home.
In the Prophet's Mosque
The Muslims came together in the Prophet's Mosque. They were thanking Allah, the Glorified. They were looking at Salman, the great companion, with love and respect because he saved Madina and Islam from the invaders with his plan.
For this reason, the Ansar from Madina said:
Salman is one of us!
And the Muhajireen shouted:
Salman is one of us!
And the Muslims listened to the Prophet [s] to hear his view about Salman:
Salman is a member of my family!
Then the Prophet [s] said:
Don't say Salman al-Farsi, but say Salman al-Muhammadi!
Since that day, the Muslims had looked gratefully and respectfully at Salman.
Salman was always going with our Master Muhammad [s] to defend the Muslim Mission against the enemies. Salman took part in all Muslim battles: the Battle of Bani Quraidha, the Battle of Khaibar, the Conquest of Makkah, the Battle of Hunain, and the Battle of Tabook.
Salman was one of the first persons who paid homage to Allah's Apostle [s] under the tree. That homage was called al-Ridhwan. Salman was a truthful believer and a loyal Mujahid.
For this reason, the Muslims heard our Master Muhammad [s] saying
The Paradise is longing for three persons. They're Ali, Ammar, and Salman.
They were a pretty sight because they were from three countries. Islam had gathered them together. So, they became brothers. In the meantime, Abu Sufyan passed by and look laughingly at them because he was always behaving according to the behaviour of the pre-lslamic people.
And because he thought that Arabs were better than other nations. But our Master Muhammad said:
There's no difference between an Arab and a foreigner but in the fear of Allah.
Salman, Bilal, and Suhaib wanted to teach Abu Sufyan a lesson and to remind him of the mercy of Islam. So, they said:
The swords haven't taken anything from Allah's enemy!
Abu-Bakr heard their words and said with anger:
Why have you said these words to the Shaikh of the Quraish and their leader.
Abu-Bakr went to our Master Muhammad [s] to tell him about their words. But our Master Muhammad [s] said:
Abu Bakr, have you made them angry? If you have made them angry, then you have made Allah angry.
Abu Bakr felt sorry because he made them angry. Thus he went to them quickly and said:
Brothers, I may have made you angry!
They answered with Muslim kindness:
No, Abu Bakr, may Allah forgive you!
The Prophet's Departure
On Monday, 28th Safar, the Prophet [s] passed away The Muslims became sad. Salman wept over him. Salman loved our Master Muhammad [s] very much. He followed his behaviour and memorized his words. For this reason, Salman loved Ali, for Allah and his Apostle loved him.
And he heard the Prophet [s] saying again and again:
Ali is with justice and justice is with Ali. You are in the same position with respect to me as Harun was to Musa except that there is no Prophet after me. Whomsoever I'm the authority over, Ali is also the authority over. Salman had heard those traditions and others.
For this reason, he believed in Ali's Imamate and in his Caliphate after our Master Muhammad [s].
Many Companions of the Prophet [s] were surprised at that homage. And they opposed it because they thought that the true Caliph was Ali [a]. For this reason, Salman, Abu-Dharr, al-Miqdad, Ammar bin Yasir, Abdullah bin Abbas, al-Zubair bin al-Awam, Qais bin Saad, Usama bin Zaid, Abu Ayyoob al-Ansary, Abdullah bin Masoud and so on, did not pay homage to Abu-Bakr.
Imam Ali [a] kept on his attitude towards the homage till his wife, Fatima al-Zahra, our Master Muhammad's daughter, died. Imam Ali [a] paid homage to Abu Bakr to save the Muslims from division. Salman was waiting to pay homage. The Imam said to him:
Aba Abdullah, pay homage.
Salman obeyed Allah, Allah's Apostle [s] and the Imam. So, he paid homage. Imam Ali [a] loved Salman and said about him:
Salman is a member of the Prophet's family. He is like Luqman al-Hakim He has read the first Book and the last Book, namely, the Holy Bible and the Holy Qur'an.
Salman took part in the battles of Persia. He was in the advance of the fighters. And he was fighting bravely. Saad bin Abi-Wakkas was the leader of the campaign against al-Madain. Salman was beside him.
He crossed the river with his horse. Salman was a translator between the Muslims and the Persian people. Thus the city surrendered without shedding blood.
Caliph Umar bin al-Khattab appointed him ruler over al-Madain. He was a model for the just, Muslim ruler. His salary was five thousand Dirhams. But he divided them all among the poor. He lived a simple life.
He bought palm-leaves by a Dirham. He made baskets and sold them for three Dirhams. He spent a Dirham on his family, gave a Dirham to the poor, and saved the third Dirham to buy palm-leaves. His clothing were simple.
When the travellers and the strangers saw him, they regarded him as a poor man from al-Madain. One day, while Salman was walking in the market, a traveller ordered him to carry his baggage. Salman carried the baggage and began walking after the man. In the street, the people were greeting Salman respectfully. The traveller wondered and asked the people around him:
Who's that poor man?
He's Salman al-Farsi, the companion of Allah's Apostle [s], and the Emir of al-Madain
The traveller was surprised. He apologised to Salman and asked him to put down the baggage. Salman refused that and said:
Till I see you off.
The traveller felt sorry and knew that Salman was Allah's supporter.
After the Conquest of al-Madain, the Muslims began looking for a suitable place to inhabit. So, Salman and Hudhayfa bin al-Yamman went looking for a suitable land to match the Muslims' customs. They chose the land of Kufa and said some prayers there. On that day Kufa was founded.
Then it became the capital of the Muslim government and a center for science and knowledge.
The Jihad Again
Uthman became the Caliph of Muslims. But the Muslims removed him from his office. Salman became happy. He set out for Madina to visit our Master Muhammad's Holy Shrine, and to say prayers in his mosque.
Salman liked Jihad and sacrificing his life to defend the Muslim government against its enemies. So, he joined the fighters to conquer Balengerd City in Turkey. And he had many brave attitudes there.
The Coming Back
Salman became very old. Then he was invalid. The Muslims visited him and asked Allah to recover him from his illness. The Muslims were looking at Salman lovingly because he loved Allah and people and did a lot of good.
One morning Salman asked his wife to get him the parcel he had kept for years. His wife asked him about the parcel. Salman said: Dear Allah's Apostle [s] has said to me: If death comes to you, some people will come to you. They like perfume but they don't eat food.
The Shaikh untied the parcel and splashed it with water. A sweet smell spread and filled the space of the room. Salman asked his wife to open the door. Only a few moments passed, the Shaikh shut his eves and passed away.
The visitor can find a big shrine, named Salman Paak including the tomb of the great Companion Salman al-Muhammadi, the loyal son of Islam, in the area which tourists visit to see the ruins of al-Madain where Kossra Arch stands. Salman was a young man when he left the Iranian land. He visited many cities and towns in Turkey, Shaam, Iraq, and Hijaz. After a long life of Jihad and of worship, he died at al-Madain.
Worth mentioning, the people of Madain called him Salman Paak. "Paak" is a Persian word meaning clean. Yes! Salman was clean-hearted. And, he was a member of the Prophet's family.