14 Nov Salman al-Farisi (r.a.).Part1
Salman was born among fireworshippers (Magians). He was a small child among fireworshippers. His father, Buzahshan was among big farmers in Iran. He loved his child a lot and never left him alone. He was afraid to let his son go out as if somebody would kidnap him.
When Salman grew up, he went to the temple of the fireworshippers and kept guard there voluntarily. He kept the fire that was regarded as holy burning.
There was an emptiness, longing, desire and sign in his heart. In the evening, he would stare into the horizon that got red and in the morning; he observed the rays of the sun as if he was attached to a distant sign of dream. He looked as if he was waiting for some news.
Once, his father sent Salman to the farm. On the way to the farm, Salman heard some sounds. When he turned toward the place where the sound came, he saw a church where Christians worshipped. He entered the church out of curiosity. Salman, who took part in the ritual without being aware of it, forgot about the farm and the village, and stayed there until the evening. He was virtually overwhelmed and found this pleasure more effective than that of his father’s religion. He received some information from the Christians who took part in the ritual about their religion. He asked where the origin of this religion was. They indicated the direction of Damascus.
Time flew and it was evening soon. Salman returned home unwillingly. His father got angry because he was lost without permission but he became happy because he saw his son again. Salman told him about what had happened. He openly said that fireworshipping did not satisfy him and that he found Christianity superior. His father got furious and reprimanded him by saying, “How can you say such a thing?” However, Salman insisted on his idea. His father locked Salman up in the house by shackling his feet.
This act of his father’s strengthened the idea of Salman, let alone changing it; it increased his desire to enter this new religion.
Once Salman managed to the break the fetters and escaped from home secretly. He joined a caravan going to Damascus. When he arrived in Damascus, he said he wanted to talk to the leading person in the Christian religion and was directed to the bishop. Salman said to the bishop that he accepted their religion and that he wanted to serve this religion by staying with them. However, the bishop was corrupt. He hoarded the money he collected from people for himself. He deceived people. The bishop died soon. Salman told people about him. When people found out that he hoarded gold, his dead body was stoned. Even such an ugly situation did not alienate Salman from his new religion. There was always longing for the better and truth in his spirit.
The new bishop that replaced the previous one was a person that Salman expected and adopted. He did not give importance to the world; he was engaged in worship day and night. This person, who was enraptured and overwhelmed with religious enthusiasm, got ill after a while. He gave Salman the following advice, which affected Salman very much:
“O my son! The world is heading toward destruction today. They have changed the true religion and overlooked most of the commands and prohibitions. I advise you to go such and such a person in Mosul after me because he is also in my way.”
After the death of this person, went to Mosul. He worked very hard, traveled a lot and did his best with the desire of finding the best and the truth.
When he arrived in Mosul, he found the priest. This priest was and indeed a religious person like the bishop that died. However, he was in his last years of his life. It looked as if it was the harvest season for the good people; they passed away one by one.
After Mosul, Salman went to Nusaybin and then to Ammuriyah —now Sivrihisar in Turkey. He went to the presence of the last virtuous priest of the true religion. Salman, who looked and longed for religious truths, regarded it as an honor to serve this man, who was overwhelmed with religious service. He also worked and obtained some sheep and cattle. He thought he might need some money in the future. The advice of the person in Ammuriyah was more instructional, thought-provoking and wiser than those of the previous priests:
“My son! I do not know anybody who follows our way in the world now. However, the prophet following the religion of Ibrahim will soon emerge. He will emerge in the Arab land. Then, he will migrate to a place between two stony areas. There are date groves between these two stony areas. There will be some signs on him. . He will eat food provided it is a gift and not eat if it is charity. Between his shoulder blades, there will be the Seal of the Prophethood. Go there after my death if you can.“
Listening to the words of the priest very carefully, the good gleams of a brand new world, a world of belief and bliss were shining in Salman’s heart and brain.
Now, Salman was looking for a caravan going to Arabia. The rule “he who searches finds” occurred. He found a caravan and they agreed to take him to Arabia in return for money.
They traveled in the scorching desert for days and reached “Wadi al-Qura”. The caravan stopped there for a break. Some cruel people of the caravan sold Salman to a Jew as a slave. From then on, Salman was going to live as a slave of a Jew.
However, Salman did not heed slavery; he lived with the excitement caused by the priest all the time. As he worked in the orchard of the Jew, he thought, “I wonder if this is the place between two stony areas.”
Salman worked all the time; he did nothing but what his master ordered. While working in the orchard one day, somebody from the tribe of Banu Qurayzah came. This person, who was very rich, bought Salman from the Jew. Nothing changed for Salman. He was the slave of another master now. However, his new master took him to Madinah. Salman recognized Madinah as soon as he saw it. “The palm groves between two stony areas”, which he pursued for years and which he imagined in his mind, was there. Salman did not say anything to anybody though he was in great excitement of the things that took place.
Years followed years. Time flew and the light that was expected by all beings, people with heart and mind, all civilizations and the universe emerged. It was heard that Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) was given the duty of prophethood. Everybody and everything paid attention to it. Whenever two people came together, they would talk about the lofty prophet who declared his prophethood in Makkah and who prepared that holy and exalted revolution. As Salman listened to what people talked about, he believed that the secret in his heart and consciousness and the knot in his mind would be revealed. He longed to see that exalted prophet, to follow him and to be his servant and slave. In the eye of Salman, life was the expression of conquering something. He had lived with this desire of conquest since his childhood. This desire urged Salman more strongly and severely now. However, he was a slave of somebody and far away from Makkah.
Once, Salman was working in the orchard. His master was having a rest in the shade of a tree. He heard a relative of his master’s come by uttering angry words: “God damn it! Do you know what happened?” Salman and his master listened to him carefully. His master asked, “What happened?” The man said, “The man who claimed to be a prophet in Makkah has come here. He is in Quba. A lot of people gathered around him. They were listening to what he said. There is no peace here for us from now on.”
Salman shivered like a person who had a fever. He fell down. He almost fell into the arms of his master. He asked in excitement, wonder and joy, “What did you say? What did you say?” he forgot that he was a slave. His master got furious and kicked him angrily by saying, “What does this matter to you? Why do you interfere leaving your work?“ Salman fell down.
Salman did not feel anything. He did not know whether he was alive or not. He did not feel anything but the excitement in his heart, the glad tiding that he had been expecting for years and the longing for the exalted prophet. He wanted to go and see the secrets he kept in his heart be realized. He pinched and saved some money. In the evening when it got dark, he went to Quba secretly. He was in the presence of the Messenger of Allah.
He said to the Messenger of Allah, “I have heard that you are a righteous person. I have some money that I saved for charity (sadaqah). Will you accept it?”
The Messenger of Allah took it and gave it away to the Companions near him.
Salman did not have much time. He took permission and left. One of the knots in his heart was solved.
He started to save some money again. He found out that the Messenger of Allah had come to Madinah. He wanted to find out whether the Messenger of Allah, who did not eat something given as sadaqah, would eat something given as a gift. He had some time and went to the presence of the Messenger of Allah quickly. He said, “This food is a gift from me.” The Messenger of Allah said, “Bismillah” and ate some of the food he brought and gave the rest to his Companions.
Thus, another secret was solved. He felt himself closer and more attached to the Prophet each time he saw him. With this feeling, he heard a vast wave of joy babbling in him.
Now it was time for the third thing the priest had said: “the Seal of Prophethood”. How was he going to find out about it? How could he see between his two shoulder blades? While he was hesitant and worried, he heard that the Prophet was in the Cemetery of Baqi. He was there for the funeral of one of his Companions who died. Salman did not want to miss this opportunity. He rushed to the cemetery. He saw the Messenger of Allah talking to his Companions. The Messenger of Allah had a garment of two pieces. Salman greeted them and wanted to move to the back of the Messenger of Allah. The Messenger of Allah noticed the curious and panicky state of Salman; the Messenger of Allah let his cloak drop down and enabled Salman to see “the Seal of Prophethood” on his back. Salman threw himself down before the Prophet (pbuh) grabbed his feet and started to cry. The divine enthusiasm and excitement that boiled in his spirit, gurgled in his heart and surrounded his being started to drop on the ground as tears from his eyes, which were the windows of his spirit. He forgot his being in the presence of the Messenger of Allah. He came round when the Prophet addressed him, “Turn toward me.” He woke up from a sweet dream that looked as if it would never end. The nice and bright realm he entered got wider. He felt that the longing in his spirit ended, his questions were answered and his self calmed down. It looked as if the real world belonged to him; everything belonged to him.
His fleeing from his father’s house into slavery, trouble and agony was transformed into a sweet and enjoyable pleasure. He attained real freedom and broke the chains in his spirit.
Hz. Salman attained real freedom after becoming a Muslim but his material slavery continued. The Prophet’s heart did not want this lone Companion to spend his life as a slave. In that period, slaves could attain their freedom by making a deal with their masters in return for giving them a certain amount of money. The Prophet told Hz. Salman to make a deal like that and attain his freedom
Hz. Salman talked the Jew about the issue but he could not persuade him. Finally, he uttered a price that he believed Salman could not pay. He said he would free him if he grew 300 date trees that gave fruits and gave him 40 okes of gold. This was something that could not happen in a short time under normal circumstances. When the Prophet (pbuh) heard it, he said to his Companions, “Help your brother!” The Companions helped him as much as they could. They brought date seedlings and gave them to Salman. When 300 fide seedlings were completed, the Prophet (pbuh) said to Salman, “After you dig holes for them, let me know.”
The holes were prepared in a very short time with the help of the Companions. When they were completed, the Prophet (pbuh) was informed. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) planted each seedling with his own blessed hands. The seedlings gave fruit in the same year. Thus, one part of Hz. Salman’s debt was completed thanks to the help of the Muslims and the miracle of the Prophet. However, Salman had not been freed from slavery since the other part of his debt had not been paid. Another miracle took place for the other part of his debt.
Once, the Prophet was sitting with his Companions. A Companion came and gave him a piece of gold as big as an egg to give away to the poor. Stating that sadaqah given to a slave in order to free him is superior to sadaqah given to the poor, the Prophet asked his Companions to find Salman and bring him there. They found him and brought him to the presence of the Messenger of Allah. The Prophet gave the gold to Hz. Salman and said, “Take this gold and pay your debt. Hz. Salman said, “O Messenger of Allah! This gold is not as heavy as the Jew wants!” The Prophet said,
“Take this. Allah Almighty will surely pay your debt with it.”
Hz. Salman said, “By Allah! I weighed it and it was exactly the same amount as I owed. I took it to my master and was freed from slavery.”
Allah Almighty granted these miracles to the Prophet as an advance payment due to the sincere intention of Hz. Salman and the service he would do for Islam in the future.
After Hz. Salman was freed from slavery, he started to serve the Prophet. He was included among “Ashab as-Suffa”, whose needs were met by Companions and who dedicated themselves to the talks of the Prophet and his lessons. The Prophet made Salman brothers with Abu ad-Darda.
Hz. Salman had a special place in the eye of the Messenger of Allah. The Prophet stated the following in a hadith:
“Allah told me that He loved four people among my Companions specially and ordered me to love them. They are Ali, Miqdad bin Aswad, Salman and Abu Dharr.”
The polytheists could not have a decisive victory at the Battle of Uhud. They were determined to continue their enmity against Islam and Muslims. For, their eyes were covered with the darkness of the polytheism. They could not see the light of Islam. They prepared a crowded army in the 5th year of the Migration. This time, their aim was to eliminate all of the Muslims. It was difficult for the Muslims to stop this ferocious army of the polytheists. On the other hand, Madinah was a city that was open from three sides. Therefore, it was difficult to defend it.
The Prophet maintained his composure despite this situation. He did not lose his hope. For, he believed that Allah Almighty would help him. However, he did not ignore taking precautions and making preparations. He talked to the people he could talk and did everything that could be done. He talked to his Companions as he always did. They told him about their views one by one. When it was time for Hz. Salman, he expressed his idea as follows:
“O Messenger of Allah! When the cavaliers of the enemy attacked us in Iran, we would sometimes surround the place with a ditch. Can we do it now?”
This idea of Hz. Salman’s was liked by all of the Muslims primarily the Prophet. The Messenger of Allah determined all of the places where the ditches would be dug with Companions. Then, he divided the Muslims into groups and showed them where to dig the ditches. Everybody, Muhajirs and Ansar, young and old alike, took part in the digging.
While the ditches were being dug, the Prophet prayed as follows: “O Allah! There is no bliss except the bliss in the hereafter. Forgive Ansar and Muhajirs!”
All of the Muslims spoke as follows: “We promised to the Messenger of Allah to make jihad in the way of Allah as long as we lived.”
Salman al-Farisi was in the same group as Amr bin Awf, Hudhayfa bin Yaman, Numan bin Muqarrin and some other Companions in the act of digging ditches. He had a strong body and he was experienced. He could dig a place that 10 people could dig on his own.
The Muslims competed to adopt Salman since he offered such a form of defense when the ferocious polytheists attacked Madinah. Muhajirs regarded him as a Muhajir by saying, “Salman is one of us.” Ansar said, “Salman is one of us; we deserve it more to adopt him.” When the Prophet heard this discussion between Ansar and Muhajirs, he stated the following, which pleased everybody:
“Salman is one of us. He is one of the People of the House (Ahl al-Bayt).”
When Hz. Salman heard this glad tiding, he became very happy. He was on the air. It was such a great bliss to be of Ahl al-Bayt.
While the Companions were digging ditches, the group in which Hz. Salman was confronted a big rock. The Companions tried very hard to break it but they could not do it. All of their tools were broken. Thereupon, Hz. Salman went to the presence of the Messenger of Allah and said, “O Messenger of Allah! May our fathers and mothers be sacrificed for you! We confronted a white rock in the middle of the ditch. We broke all of our axes and sledgehammers while trying to break it. We could not break it. What shall we do? Shall we change the line you drew? What do you order us to do?”
The Prophet asked Salman to show him the rock. They showed it. The Messenger of Allah took the sledgehammer of Salman al-Farisi and entered into the ditch. He hit the rock hard with the sledgehammer. One part of the rock was broken and a light (lightning) enlightened the two rocky areas of Madinah. The Prophet said, “Allahu Akbar!“ The Companions also said, “Allahu Akbar!” The Messenger of Allah hit the rock again. One more part of the rock was broken and a light was emitted from it. Both the Prophet and Companions said, “Allahu Akbar!“ When the Prophet hit the rock again, the rock was broken into pieces. A light appeared again. When the Prophet said, “Allahu Akbar!”, the Companions also said, “Allahu Akbar!“ Then, Salman held the Prophet’s hand and helped him out of the ditch. Then, he asked the Prophet, “O Messenger of Allah! May my mother and father be sacrificed for you! I saw some lights coming out of the rock when you hit it. What were they?”