Cii Radio | 22 Dhul Qa’dah 1436/07 September 2015
Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhu) went to Salman Al Farsi (radiallahu anhu) when he was old and requested Salman (radiallahu anhu) to tell him his story. Salman (radiallahu anhu) narrated his story:
“I was a Persian man from Isfahan from a village and my father was the head man of the village and I was striving and taking pain in the religion of al magusia.” Al majucia is a religion in which the people worshipped fire. Salman (radiallahu anhu) grew in the religion until he became the keeper of the fire. He was the one who’d light the fire and never let it go out. The on entrusted to be the keeper of the fire was a high position in the religion.
He said his father owned a large farm and one day he was constructing a building. He wanted his son to go out and take care of business in teh famr but Salman (radiallahu anhu) says that his father loved him so much that he closeted him in his house and wouldn’t let him leave. On that particular day, he said his father was busy with this building and he wanted him to go to the farm but he told him, “O my son you know how dear you are to me, if you are late then I will be so concerned about you. You are more important to me than the farm or the building.” Salman (radiallahu anhu) looked sad – he was kept in the house like a slave girl, not allowed to go anywhere.
So Salman (radiallahu anhu) went out to the business for his father and passed by a church for Christians and heard them praying. He wanted to go in and investigate. “I didn’t know much about people because I never left home. This was something new to me. I went into the church and I was quite impressed by their method of prayer, I ended up staying with them until sunset and I neglected my father’s work.” He said his father was so worried and sent people out to find him. When he returned home his father asked him what happened.
Salman (radiallahu anhu) told him about the church and sitting down to see their prayer. He admitted forgetting to do the job. “O my son, their religion is not good. Your religion and the religion of your forefathers are better,” his father told him. Salman disagreed and told his father that he thought their religion was better. His father was extremely worried and ended up chaining him up and imprisoning him at home. When Salman was at the church he had asked the people where the origin of their religion was. They told him, Al Shaam.
Shackled, Salman managed to send a message to the church telling them that if they ever hear of a caravan coming from Al Shaam to let him know. When a caravan came in they sent him word. Salman Al Farsi (radiallahu anhu) was able to release himself and went with this caravan all the way to Al Shaam in search of the truth. He arrived in Syria and asked to speak to the most learned man in the religion. He was told to visit a bishop from a church. He went and explained his situation to the bishop who allowed him to stay with him while he studied.
He lived in the church. This man used to ask the people to donate and then he would end up keeping it for himself rather than distribute it.” Salman (radiallahu anhu) said he was such an evil man that he ended up hating him. Nevertheless he remained with him. When the bishop died, the Christians wanted to have a burial and Salman explained to them that he was an evil man showing them the hidden money. He pulled out seven containers filled with gold and silver. The people were so angry they ended up crucifying his dead body and stoning him. They appointed someone in his place.
“Then they brought another man to take his place and I never saw a man who did not attempt the five prayers who was better than he, nor more ascetic, nor more enthusiastic about the afterlife, nor more devoted both day and night. I loved him, as I had never loved before.” A truly pious person had taken the bishop’s place and Salman Farsi (radiallahu anhu) spent time with him and learned from him. He studied and worshiped in the church. As time went by the man grew old and sick. Salman went to him on his death bed and asked him who he would entrust him to, to continue his studies. The old man told him he didn’t know of anyone who had done as he has. People have died, changed or abandoned most of their prior practices except for one man in Mosul who practiced as he did and he should join him.
Salman travelled to Mosul, Iraq after the man died. He told the bishop in Mosul and the man accepted him as a student. He too was old and approached death after a short while. This man directed him elsewhere and explained his story. This man too was old and approaching death. They were of a dying breed. He spent time with him until he died. He sent him to Turkey to meet the only man this bishop knew of. In addition to his studies and participation in the worship services, Salman (radiallahu anhu) started a business and accumulated enough wealth to purchase sheep and a cow. When his teacher reached old age, he said to Salman, “My son, I don’t know of anyone to send you to who is as we were but the time is near for a prophet being sent with Ebrahim’s religion who will come forth in the land of the Arabs. He will move to refuge to somewhere with date palms growing between two scorched rocky planes. He has signs that are unmistakable. He eats things that are given to him as gifts but not alms and between his shoulders there is the seal of prophethood on his back. If you can go there, do so.”
Salman (radiallahu anhu) said he tried to reach this land until he met merchants and asked them to take him with them in return for all of his money and sheep and cows. This was his sacrifice. He worked hard to build a small amount of wealth and to be in the land of the Nabi of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) he gave it all up. The story of Salman Al Farsi (radiallahu anhu) is the story of a man searching for truth. They agreed and carried Salman. When they reached a place called Wadil Qura in Arabia, the merchants betrayed Salman and sold him as a slave to a Jewish man. Salman saw palm trees and thought that this was the place he was looking for and was happy to stay there. His owner’s cousin, from Bani Qurayda visited his master one day and he purchased him. Salman was sold and said he was carried from Wadil Qura to Madina, “In the name of Allah, as soon as I saw Madina, I knew this was the place.”
Salman Al Farsi (radiallahu anhu) said that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was sent and spent years in Makkah and he had no idea about it because he was busy in the toils of slavery. He had no idea that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was preaching the message. One day he was working atop a palm tree and his master was sitting underneath the tree. One his master’s cousins had come to see him and he was angry. He said, “May God damn the children of Qaylah. They have assembled in Quba in support of a man who came from Makkah who claims to be a prophet.” Salman Al Farsi (radiallahu anhu) said when he heard this a chill went down his spine and he began to tremble. He almost fell down the palm tree onto his master. He had been waiting for this moment for years. He had given up his family, left his homeland and went into foreign lands with different languages, cultures and people in search of the truth.
He came running down the tree and questioned his master’s cousin. His master grabbed him and punched him in his face. He was told to get back to work, it wasn’t his business. Later on that evening he prepared food and travelled to Quba. Quba was on the outskirts of Madinah and that’s where Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) first arrived and built the Masjid of Quba. He went to visit Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) at night. He told Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), “I heard that you are a very good man and that you have companions who are strangers and who are needy so I have brought food as charity and I think that you are the one that deserves it most.” He handed it to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and told his companions to eat and didn’t join in with them. This, for Salman was one of the signs.
He went back and later on prepared some food for Rasulullah (sallallahu alyhi wasallam) who was already on his way to Madinah. He went up to him and greeted and said, “Last time I presented you with food and I told you that this is charity and you refused to eat from it, so I want to honour you with this gift.” He handed the food to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) who then invited his companions to come in and eat and he joined with them. This, for Salman was the second sign.
Salman Al Farsi (radiallahu anhu) then visited Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) when he was in the cemetery of Madinah following a Janazah. He went up to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and greeted him and then he went around him to see the sign on his back. He said that Rasulullah (sallalllahu alayhi wasallam) sensed that he was trying to look for something so Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) uncovered his back and threw off the cloak covering his shoulders. Salman Farsi says right there in front of his eyes was the seal of prophethood. This, for Salman was the last sign. He said that when he saw the seal, he hugged Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) from behind. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) told him to come in front of him and asked him to tell him his story. He said to Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhu) that he told Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) his story just as he was telling it to him then.
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) told him to ransom himself and set himself free. His master told him to pay him 300 palm trees and 40 ounces of gold. With this news he went to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) who then turned to his companions and requested, “Help your brother.” The companions would bring to him seedlings of palm trees until he had 300 seedlings of palm trees but his master didn’t want seedlings. Rasulullah (sallallahu alyhi wasallam) told him not to plant the seedlings when he had gathered them. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) told Salman (radiallahu anhu) to dig the holes but not to plant them. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) then came and placed them in their spot with his own blessed hands. Salman (radiallahu anhu) said not one had died. This took years but Salman was in the process of freeing himself.
When the time came for Salman to pay his 40 ounces of gold, Salman (radiallahu anhu) went to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) who said he would help him. A while later Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was presented with gold the size of an egg. He requested to see the Persian man. Salman (radiallahu anhu) was given the egg but it appeared very small to him and he asked Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) how it could help him. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) told him to take it and it would be enough. Salman (radiallahu anhu) took it and it was 40 ounces. He was freed but he said because of slavery he missed the battles of Badr and Uhud and was only able to witness the battle of Khandaq (Trench) with Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He was the one who introduced the idea of the trench. This was his value in the first battle he was able to participate in.
The ones who search with sincerity for guidance, Allah Subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will guide and help them. Everything is in the hands of Allah.