Salman Farisi’s Acceptance of Islam and His Being Granted Freedom

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Who is salman farisi? Salman farisi acceptance of islam…

Salman Farisi, or the Persian, -Allah be well-pleased with him-, formerly a slave of a Medinan Jew, recounts to Ibn Abbas  -Allah be well-pleased with him- his provoking journey that culminated in his entering the blessed haven of Islam:

“I used to live in Jayy, a village in Isfahan. My father was among the notables of our village. I was his most beloved in life. He loved me in excess; he would never leave me out of his sight. He used to always keep me at home, like a daughter, rarely allowing me out. So great was I caught up in Magean beliefs, the religion my father followed that I had even taken upon myself the duty of lighting and feeding the sacred fire at the temple. I would not allow the fire to smolder even for a moment.

My father also had a big farm. One day, as he was busy working on some construction, he said to me, ‘Son, this work will keep me occupied all day, so I will not be able to go to the farm…best you go there today.’ He then told me the things that needed to be carried out at the farm, adding, ‘But do not hang around there more than is needed and have me worrying about your whereabouts; then I will not even be able to focus on what I need to finish here!’

So I set out towards the farm. On the way, I noticed a Christian church. I approached closer and heard some voices coming from inside. They sounded like they were praying. But then again I was not too sure as to what they were precisely doing, for my father had detained me at home nearly all my life. So I could never be certain as to what people exactly do inside a church. Curious, I entered the church to see for myself. I observed them for a while. At the end, I thought ‘surely, their religion seems better than ours.’ I did not leave the church until sundown. As for the farm, I never ended up going there. Wanting to find out more, I asked them where I could find their religion in a more authentic form.

‘In Damascus’, they replied. The sun had completely set by the time I returned home to my father, who, I soon became aware, had put all work aside and sent people to search for me. Upon seeing me, he exclaimed, ‘Where were you? Did not I tell you what you were supposed to do?’

‘I came upon certain people worshipping inside a church, dad’, I began to explain. ‘I was very much taken by what they were doing…so much that I barely noticed the sun had set by the time I left them!’

‘There is nothing of benefit for you in their religion’, he rebuked. ‘What you have with you, which has come from your forefathers, is way better!’

Worried I might run away to them, my father then put shackles around my feet and locked me up inside the house. Nonetheless, through an acquaintance, I was able to send out a message to the men of the church, insisting them to ‘inform me as soon as a trade caravan arrives from Damascus’. A while afterward I received the news that a Christian caravan heading to Damascus had arrived. I was somehow able to free myself of the iron shackles and run to the church, where I joined the Damascus bound caravan. Some time later, we reached Damascus.

There, I searched for the most knowledgeable scholar of the town. The locals directed me to a bishop in some church. I rushed to him the moment I found out. At the time, the bishop was outside the church.

‘I want to enter this religion’, I implored him. ‘I wish to remain with you, provide my services to the church, learn Christianity from you and worship by your side.’

‘Come inside!’ he said.

I entered the church with him. My days there had now begun. In time, I found out for myself that the Bishop of Damascus was not a good man as many had thought. He would command the church comers to give charity for the poor, only to stockpile what he collected. I even noticed, one day, that he had hoarded a total of seven pots of gold and silver in charity. My anger was growing by the day. But soon, the bishop wound up dead. The church comers gathered to offer his final services. That was when I came clean with all the bishop’s misdemeanors.

‘He was an evil man’, I told the onlookers. ‘True, he used to encourage you to offer charity, but he always hoarded what you gave for his own pleasure and never gave even a dime to the poor!’

‘How do you know that?’ they asked suspiciously.

‘I can show you where he kept his treasure hidden’, I replied.

They took out exactly seven pots of gold and silver from the place I showed them.

‘We will never bury him, we swear!’ they shouted fumingly. They were true to their promise: they instead hung his corpse and stoned him. In his place, they brought another bishop. He was different. To this day, except those who offer their five daily salats, I do not remember ever seeing another person who had so little regard for the world, who desired the Hereafter and who worshipped day and night. Some time later, he too was in his deathbed, breathing his last few breaths. I said to him, ‘I have been with you all this time and have never loved anyone else as much as I have loved you. Now you see your time has come. What do you advise I do after you? Who shall I go to?’

‘I know of nobody who follows the same path as I, my dear’, he whispered. ‘The righteous have all but died. Those who are alive have distorted the eternal truths of religion and abandoned most of them. But come to think of it, there is a man in Mosul, one the same path as I. You better go to him.’

After this venerable man passed away, I headed to Mosul and found his friend. He, too, then passed away, after which, at his request, I headed to Nusaybin and from there to Ammuriya (near Eskişehir). There, I even acquired a little wealth as well in the form of some cows and sheep. But ultimately, death came knocking on the door of the man at Ammuriya, too.

‘Honestly, my dear, I cannot think of anyone on our path who I can recommend for you to go to after me…nobody who is on the same path as us. But the time of the Prophet of the Final Hour is near; I can sense his shade hovering above us. That prophet will be sent on the religion of Ibrahim -upon him peace-. He shall appear in the land of the Arabs and migrate to a town, with date fields, wedged amid two stony places. He will accept gifts but will not touch charity. He will carry the seal of prophethood between his shoulder blades. If you have the means to go those lands now, go; do not wait for a moment!’

Ultimately, he too passed away. The Will of Allah had me remain there for a little while longer. I then met some merchants from the Kalb Clan. I offered them my sheep and cows on the condition they take me with them to Arabia. They accepted and took me with them. But after we reached The Qura Valley, they betrayed me and sold me as slave to a Jew. I was made to remain with the Jew for a while. The Qura Valley was abundant with date trees, so I could not help but wonder whether I had arrived, after all, at the town which my master had described as the place of migration of the Prophet of the Final Hour. Yet, even though I had built up a glimmer of hope, my heart was never fully convinced.

Once, during my stay at the Qura Valley, the cousin of the Jew, who was of Banu Qurayza, purchased me and took me with him to Medina. By Allah, the moment I saw Medina I just knew, there and then, this was the town described by my master at Ammuriya. My heart now appeased, I began to wait for the Prophet of the Final Hour. Little was I aware at the time that the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- had long appeared and remained for years in Mecca. Engrossed in the duties that came with being a slave, however, I had not heard anything in relation. I even had no idea that he had even migrated to Medina.

One day, I was up a date tree, working on it, and seated under its shade was my master. Then his cousin came, yelling, ‘Damn these Aws and Khazraj! They have gathered at the village of Quba around a man whom they call a prophet!’

I began trembling so violently upon hearing his words that I was nearly about to fall on my owner.

‘What did you say? What did you say?’ I repeatedly asked, as I quickly came down from the tree. Angered, however, my master hit me with a forceful slap and exclaimed, ‘What is it to you? You worry about your own business!’

‘Nothing to worry’, I said. ‘I only wanted to make sure I heard him correctly.’

Come evening, I was able to get away to Quba, to the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace-, taking with me a few things to eat I had been storing. My first words to him were, ‘I hear you are a righteous man and that you have needy friends with you. I have some food I have been storing for charity. When I heard about your situation, I thought it you might be in need of it more than me.’ I thus offered what I had to the Messenger of Allah.

‘Here, help yourselves’, said the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- to his Companions and he did not even lay a finger on it. ‘One down’, I thought to myself. I then departed from his presence and returned to Medina. I again saved up some more things. Meanwhile, the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- had arrived in Medina. I went to him once more.

‘I noticed you do not touch charity but this’, I said, ‘is a gift I have prepared for you.’ This time, the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- ate from it and told his Companions to do likewise. ‘Two down’, I thought to myself.

Afterward, I visited the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace-, who was at the Baqi’ul-Gharqad Cemetery at the time; the occasion being a funeral of a Companion. He was seated amid his Companions, wearing two shrouds that were completely covering him. I greeted him, before moving behind him, in hope of perhaps seeing the Seal of Prophethood described by my master at Ammuriya. The Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- had sensed my intention; so he slightly slipped off his shroud from his back. I recognized the seal the instant I saw it! I fell over him; hugged him and began to cry.

‘Come round this way’, said the Messenger of Allah. So I moved around and took a seat in front of him.”

Salman -Allah be well-pleased with him- then paused and said to Ibn Abbas  -Allah be well-pleased with him-:

“I then explained to the Messenger of Allah all that I had undergone, just in the same manner I have been explaining to you, Ibn Abbas. That his Companions, too, heard my story, was something the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- very much enjoyed. Slavery, which had kept this Salman, never gave him opportunity to join the battles of Badr and Uhud alongside the Messenger of Allah.” (Ahmad, V, 441-444; Ibn Hisham; I, 233-242; Ibn Sad, IV, 75-80)

Salman -Allah be well-pleased with him- was now united with the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-, for whom he had been searching for all his life. His only desire, henceforth, was to be by the side and at the service of the Seal of the Prophets -upon him blessings and peace- . In fact, seeing Salman’s -Allah be well-pleased with him- eagerness, the Noble Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- one day suggested whether it was possible for him to ‘…come to an agreement with your master in return for being freed from slavery.’ The Jew eventually agreed to free Salman  -Allah be well-pleased with him-, on the condition that he plant three-hundred date trees, including the digging of their ditches, as well as paying him forty uqiyyah[1] of gold. The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- then commanded the Companions to aid Salman -Allah be well-pleased with him- in meeting these requirements. They all contributed to the best of their capacities and in a short amount of time, the three-hundred date saplings that Salman -Allah be well-pleased with him- needed were collected.

“Dig the ditches for these saplings, Salman’, said the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-. ‘Once you are done, call me so I can plant the saplings with my own hands.”

Salman -Allah be well-pleased with him- recounts what unfolded next:

“With the help of my friends, I began digging ditches for the date saplings. Once we finished digging, I went and informed the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- and returned with him to the field on which the saplings were to be planted. We were handing the saplings to him and he was planting them. By Allah, in Whose Hand of Might my life resides, there was not a single sapling planted by the Prophet of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- that failed to flourish. I was thus able to meet one part of the agreement. Merely a year had passed when dates began to hang off the branches of the saplings.

Not long after, the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- returned from a battle with spoils, among which was a gold nugget the size of an egg. He sent for me. When I arrived next to him, he said, ‘Take this Salman and pay off your debt!’

‘How will a small nugget suffice to pay off the debt on my shoulders, Messenger of Allah?’ I asked. He then took the nugget and slightly rubbed it on his tongue and told me to ‘Take this! Allah the Almighty will cover your debt with it!’

I took the nugget, as I was told, to the Jew. By Allah in Whose Hand of Might Salman’s life resides, the nugget weighed exactly forty uqiyyah. So blessedly abundant was it that, surely, even Mount Uhud would have weighed less if it were to be placed on the opposite scale!”

After earning his release from slavery, Salman  -Allah be well-pleased with him- took active part in the Battle of Handak, just as he did not remain behind, even once, from being by the Blessed Prophet’s -upon him blessings and peace- side in all the battles that were to take place thereafter.[2]

So adored was Salman -Allah be well-pleased with him- by the other Companions and such an intense magnetism did he exert that both the Ansar and the Muhajirun claimed him as their own. But, no doubt, the greatest compliment of all was made by the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- himself, in saying, “Salman is of us; of the Ahl’ul-Bayt.” (Ibn Hisham, III, 241)

Throughout his life, the conduct of the celebrated Salman -Allah be well-pleased with him- reflected the beauties of Islamic morality, leaving behind a splendid example for others to pursue.

Just to remember one of those instances:

The Islamic State now sovereign over vast lands, Salman -Allah be well-pleased with him-, the former slave of a Jew, was appointed governor to Madain, where the Sassanids once reigned. A man from Damascus, of the Taym Clan, had arrived in Madain, with a sack of figs. He spotted the unassuming Salman -Allah be well-pleased with him-, who he was unable to recognize, in great part due to the modest woolen cloak he was wearing.

“Come, carry this sack”, he called out to Salman -Allah be well-pleased with him-, who, without saying a word, placed the sack above his shoulder and begun to carry it. But unlike the Damascene, the public were quick to notice the governor.

“The man carrying your load is a governor!” they reproached him. Embarrassed, the man then began to apologize, begging to be pardoned for failing to recognize him.

“No harm done”, Salman -Allah be well-pleased with him- replied soothingly. “I will carry the sack until I take it to where you want me to take it!” (Ibn Sad, IV, 88)

[1] An uqiyya corresponds roughly to 128 grams.

[2] See, Ahmad, V, 443-444; Ibn Asir, Usd’ul-Ghabah, II, 419; Ibn Abdilber, II, 634-638.

Source: Osman Nuri Topbaş, The Prophet Muhammed Mustafa the Elect II, Erkam Publications

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