Salman Farsi has mastered the prior and latter sciences
Hayat Al-Qulub Vol. 1,
By: Allamah Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi
It is mentioned in Rijal Kishi narrating from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that: “Salman has mastered the prior and latter sciences. And he was an endless ocean of knowledge he is from us Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Such was the level of his knowledge that one day he came across a man who was standing in a crowd.
Salman told him: O servant of Allah, seek the forgiveness of Allah from the act that you committed last night in the privacy of your house.” And then Salman went away from there. People told him that Salman had attributed evil to you but you did not refute him? He replied: Salman informed of that about which no one except Allah and me were aware of. In another report it is mentioned that it was Abu Bakr.
Through another authentic chain of narrators it is narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that he asked Fudail bin Yasar: Do you know what the statement that: Salman had the knowledge of the former and latter, means. Fudail said: It means that he had the knowledge of Bani Israel and knowledge of the Holy Prophet (S). Imam (a.s.) said: “No, it does not means this, on the contrary it means the knowledge of the Prophet and knowledge of Amirul Momineen (a.s.). And he was aware of the most extraordinary matters related to the Messenger of Allah (S) and Amirul Momineen (a.s.).”
Also, Shaykh Kishi and Shaykh Mufeed, had through authentic chains related from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that one day Abu Zar came to the house of Salman. The bowl of Salman was full of soup and fat. During their conversation it so happened that the bowl overturned but nothing fell out of it. Salman straightened it and then continued talking. Abu Zar was astonished at this. By chance that bowl again overturned but nothing fell out of it.
Abu Zar’s astonishment increased and he arose from there in deep thought. Suddenly he saw Amirul Momineen (a.s.) there. Imam Ali (a.s.) asked Abu Zar why he has come away from Salman and what had horrified him? Abu Zar narrated the strange happening. Imam Ali (a.s.) said: If Salman informs you of the matters he knows, you will indeed say: May Allah bless the killer of Salman.
O Abu Zar, Salman is the court of Allah on the earth. One who recognizes him is a believer and one who denies him is an infidel. Indeed Salman is from us, Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Shaykh Mufeed has narrated that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) came to Salman and said: “O Salman, welcome your companion and do not reveal to him the matters that they cannot bear.”
Salman was one with whom the angels spoke (Muhaddath)
Kishi has narrated through reliable chains of narrators from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) was one who spoke to the angels and Salman was one with whom the angels spoke (Muhaddath). And it is narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that Salman being a Muhaddath means that the Imam used to mention traditions to him and teach him secretly and not that he received divine revelation directly. The author says: Perhaps the negation is about direct address by the angel without the mediation of the Almighty Allah and the angel used to talk to Salman as mentioned previously.
Moreover, it is narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) through authentic chains of narrators that people asked him about the fact that Salman was a Muhaddath. Imam (a.s.) said: The angels used to talk to him in his ear. In another authentic tradition he said: A big angel used to talk to him. The narrator said: If Salman was such, how Amirul Momineen (a.s.) must have been? Imam (a.s.): Mind your own business and have no concern with these things.
And in another tradition he said: An angel used inspire in his heart in such and such way. In another tradition he said that Salman was from among the Mutamusimeen, that he used to know about the circumstances of the people through wisdom. Through another authentic chains it is narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that Salman was knowing Isme Azam (the great name).
Moreover, it is narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) through authentic chains of narrators that Taqayyah was mentioned one day in the presence of Amirul Momineen (a.s.). Imam (a.s.) said: If Abu Zar had known what belief Salman had, he would have indeed killed him. Even though the Messenger of Allah (S) had established brotherhood between them. So what do you think about others? This tradition is also like the previous one, that Abu Zar would not have been able to bear the divine secrets that Salman was cognizant of. This tradition also most likely implies the excess knowledge of Salman.
If you are the most pious of them you are most excellent of them. Moreover, Kishi has narrated that when Salman used to see a camel called Askar, on which Ayesha mounted in the Battle of Camel he used to lashed it and express distaste about it. People asked Salman why he despised that animal? Salman replied: “It is not an animal, this Askar was son of Canan the Jinn, who has assumed this shape to mislead the people.”
Then he told the Bedouin owner of that camel, “Your camel is valueless here, take it to the boundaries of Hawwab and you will get whatever price you demand, there.” It is narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that the army of Ayesha purchased that camel for 700 dirhams at the time they were marching to confront Imam Ali (a.s.). The author says: This matter is also from the miracles of Salman, that years before the Battle of Jamal he had informed about the incident and had also identified Ayesha’s camel.
Moreover Kishi has narrated through Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) from authentic chain of narrators that Salman married a woman of the Kinda tribe. When he reached her place, he saw a slave girl and that a curtain hung from the door. Salman said: Perhaps a sick person was lying there. Or you have brought the holy Kaaba over here. People said that the lady has put this curtain for herself. Salman asked: Who that slave girl is? People said: This woman was very rich, therefore she purchased this slave girl to serve her.
Salman said: I have heard from the Messenger of Allah (S) that a person who possesses a slave girl and who does not have relations with her or does not arrange for a husband for her, and if that slave girl falls to adultery, that person will be as much liable for that sin as that slave girl. And if one lends an amount to someone it is as if he has given half his wealth in charity. And if he gives a loan a second time it is like giving up all his wealth in charity. And fulfillment of right of the owner is that you take the money to his place and pay him there.
Kishi has narrated through authentic chain of narrators that one day someone mentioned Salman in the presence of Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) and the Imam said: He is Salman Muhammadi and he is from us Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Salman used to say that people have turned away from Qur’an to traditions, because they found Qur’an to be a lofty Book in which it is clearly mentioned that even the smallest deed will be accounted for even it is equal to a grain of rye. That is why you found the laws of Qur’an difficult and people turned to traditions which simplified the matters.”
Shaykh Kishi and Mufeed have narrated through authentic and reliable chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that one day, Salman was passing by the iron mongers lane in the Kufa market, and there he saw that a young man had fainted and people had surrounded him. People said to him: This youth had a fit, please recite some supplication in his ear, perhaps he will gain consciousness.
When Salman came near him, he became conscious. He said: “O Abu Abdullah, I am not suffering from the illness that these people think, but when I was passing by the iron mongers, I saw their hammers with which they pound the iron, and I recalled the statement of the Almighty Allah that is mentioned in Qur’an: “And for them are whips of iron.” Surah Hajj 22:21
Thus I lost my senses due to the fear of Allah and I fell down unconscious.” Salman took that youth to be his brother and the sweetness of his love appeared in his heart only for the sake of the Almighty Allah. He cultivated his company and fulfilled the conditions of brotherhood, till that youth fell ill and Salman paid a visit to him. He sat down at his bedside and realized that he was on the verge of death. Salman said: “O Angel of Death, be lenient to my brother.” The Angel of Death replied: “O Salman, I am lenient and kind to every believer.”