“Don’t say Salman Farsi, say Salman Muhammadi”
Hayat Al-Qulub Vol. 1,
By: Allamah Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi
Shaykh Tusi has narrated through authentic chains of narrators that a person said to Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.): “We used to often hear about Salman Farsi. Imam (a.s.) said: “Don’t say Salman Farsi, say Salman Muhammadi. Do you know why we remember him so much?” “No,” said the narrator.
Imam (a.s.) said: “It is because of three qualities: firstly he preferred the desire of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) to that of his own; secondly he used to love the poor and preferred them to the wealthy people. Thirdly, he loved knowledge and scholars. Indeed, Salman was an extraordinary man, and he used to avoid every falsehood and was inclined to truth. And he was a true Muslim, and he did not adopt any kind of polytheism.
It is mentioned in Basairud Darajat from Fazal bin Isa that: Once I and my father came to Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) and my father asked: Is it true that the Holy Prophet (S) has said that Salman is from us Ahlul Bayt (a.s.)? Imam (a.s.) replied: “Yes.” My father asked: “Was he from the progeny of Abdul Muttalib?” Imam (a.s.) said: “He was from us, Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).” Again he asked the same question and got the same answer. Again my father said: “I don’t get you.” Imam (a.s.) said: “You should know that he was from us, Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).”
And the Imam pointed to his chest and said, “It is not as you think. The Almighty Allah has indeed created our essence from Illiyyin and created the essence of our Shia from one grade lower than that. So he is from us and the essence of our enemies is created from Sijjin and the essence of their friends is created from one grade lower than that. Therefore they are from them and Salman is better than Luqman.”
Moreover it is narrated in Ikhtisas that once a mention was made of Salman and Ja’far Tayyar in the presence of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) while the Imam was reclining on the pillow. Some were saying that Ja’far was more excellent. Abu Basir was also present there. He said: Salman was a fire-worshipper and then he became a Muslim. Imam (a.s.) sat upright and said angrily: “O Abu Basir, the Almighty Allah made Salman an Alawaite after being a Majusi, and made him a Quraishite after being a Farsi. So may Allah’s mercies be on him and indeed Ja’far has a lofty status in the view of Allah and he glides around in Paradise with the angels.”
Ibn Babawayh has narrated through authentic chain of narrators that one day Salman was seated with group of people when Amirul Momineen (a.s.) passed by mounted on the camel of the Prophet. Salman said: “Why don’t you get up and catching hold of his skirt you ask him questions about your religion? By the one who split the seed and created the creatures, no one except him will make you aware of the practice of the Prophet. Because he is knowledgeable about the earth and his task on the earth is all divine work, and through his blessings is the earth stable. If he goes away from you, you will not find knowledge and see everyone in denial mode.”
Ibn Babawayh has narrated through correct chain of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said: “Once it so happened that there was an argument between Salman and another person. So that man asked: O Salman, what are you? Salman replied: Both of us have originated from an impure sperm and our end is filthy carrion. But when Qiyamat is established, the balance of deeds will be installed, so whosoever has more good deeds will be honored and whoever has less good deeds is unfortunate and degraded.
It is mentioned in the book of Husain bin Saeed through authentic chain of narrators that Salman Farsi used to say: If the worship of Allah and company of pious persons, who speak good things, had not been good, I would have wished for death.
Ibn Abil Hadid has narrated from Abu Wail that he said: I went along with a friend of mine to Salman and he said: If the Holy Prophet (S) had not prohibited us to go out of the way to serve the guest, I would have indeed done it for you. And it denotes getting something through difficulty that which he does not have. Then he brought a loaf of bread and ground salt unmixed with anything.
My companion said: It would have been better if Satar[It is a grass used as a vegetable by poor people] had been there with this. Salman pawned his pot and brought Satar. When we finished eating, my companion said I thank the one who made us content with the sustenance that He provided to us. Salman said: If you had been content on what Allah had destined for you, my pot would not have been pawned.
Moreover, Abil Hadid has mentioned that Salman was a subject of King Hurmaz of Iran and some say that he lived in Ji, a village of Isfahan. He was among the friends of the Holy Prophet (S). His agnomen was Abu Abdullah. When he used to be asked whose issue he was he used to reply that he was the son of Islam and a descendant of Adam. It is also narrated that he had remained as a slave of more than ten different people and was sold from one to another till he reached to the Holy Prophet (S).
Ibn Abde Barr has mentioned in Istiab from Hasan Basri that Salman used to receive 5000 dirhams annually from the Public Treasury. Whenever this amount was paid to him, he used to give it all in charity and obtain his livelihood through the labor of his own hands.
He possessed a sheet half of which he spread and with the other half he covered himself. He did not own his own house and lived in the shade of walls and trees. One day someone told him that a house can be constructed from him if he wished. He replied: I don’t need a house.
But that person insisted much on this and at last he said: I know what type of a house you require. Salman told him to describe it. He said: I will build such a house for you that when you stand up your head will touch the roof. And if you spread your legs they will reach to the walls.
Salman said: Yes, I want such a house. So the same type of house was constructed from him. Moreover it is mentioned in Istiab that the Holy Prophet (S) said: If religion had been in Suraiyyah star, Salman would have surely obtained it.” Also it is narrated from Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that Salman Farsi is like Hakim Luqman and it is narrated from Kaab al-Ahbar that Salman is brimming with knowledge and wisdom.
Moreover, it is narrated through authentic traditions that Salman sent a proposal to the daughter of the second Caliph. He refused initially and then regretted it later and wanted Salman to accept it. But Salman said that he was not interested, he only wanted to see if the discriminations of the period of Ignorance and disbelief were still haunting him.
Two loaves of bread
Ibn Babawayh has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Muhammad Taqi (a.s.) that one day Salman invited Abu Zar and placed two loaves of bread before him. Abu Zar began to turn the loaves here and there. Salman asked why he was turning the loaves in this way.
He said: I notice that they are not fully baked. Salman was infuriated: How you dare to turn about these loaves, by Allah, in this bread that water has worked which is below the heaven and angels had spread it and wind had conveyed to the clouds and the clouds have sprinkled it on the ground. And Raad and angels, have all worked with it and conveyed its drops to their respective places.
Then earth, wood, iron, quadrupeds, fire, fuel and salt etc. have worked in it; such that I cannot encompass them, so how you can give thanks to this bounty? Abu Zar said: I repent before Allah, and ask you to forgive me for what I have said. Imam (a.s.) said: The next day, again Salman invited Abu Zar and removed two pieces of dry bread from the bag, moistened them in his pot and brought them for Abu Zar.
Abu Zar remarked: How nice this bread is. If only it would have been accompanied with salt. Salman arose, went out and pawned his pot; then he brought the salt from that money. Abu Zar sprinkled it on bread and began to eat saying: I praise the Almighty who gave us this sustenance with contentment. Salman said: “If you had been content, my pot would not have been pawned.”
It is mentioned in Rauzatul Waezeen from Ibn Abbas that: I saw Salman in my dream and asked him if he was Salman and he replied in the positive. I said you are not the one who was emancipated by the Holy Prophet (S). “Yes,” he said. I saw a crown of rubies on his head and he was wearing different types of robes and embellishments.
Then I said: O Salman, what a lofty grade the Almighty Allah has bestowed to you! Yes, he replied. I said: After believing in Allah and the Prophet, which act did you find to be the best in Paradise? He said: “After believing in Allah and the Prophet, nothing is better in Paradise than the love of Ali (a.s.) and his obedience.”
Moreover it is narrated from the Messenger of Allah (S) that Paradise is more eager for Salman, than Salman is eager for it. And Paradise is as much crazy about Salman as much as Salman is obsessed with it. Kulaini has through authentic chains narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that the Holy Prophet (S) established brotherhood between Salman and Abu Zar, and told Abu Zar not to oppose Salman.