Salman al-Farisi

"Salman" redirects here. For other uses, see Salman (disambiguation). For other persons, see Salman (name).
Arabic: سلمان
Titles: al-Farsi Arabic: الفارسي, al-Muhammadi, Abu Al Kitabayn, Luqman al-Hakeem, and Paak
Birthplace Kazerun, Iran
Ethnicity Persian
Known For Being a loyal companion of Muhammad and Imam Ali
Influences Allah, Muhammad, Imam Ali, and the Ahl al-Bayt
Burial Place al-Mada'in, Iraq
Son Abdullah
Religion Islam
Denomination Muslim
Opponents Enemies of the following: Opponents of Allah, Opponents of Islam opponents of Muhammad and of the Ahl al-Bayt
Works Translated the Quran into Farsi

Salman the Persian (Arabic: سلمان الفارسي) (Salman al-Farsi), born Rōzbeh (Persian: روزبه), was one of the most loyal companions of Prophet Muhammad. In addition, Salman was the first Persian convert to Islam. During some of his later meetings with the other Sahabah, he was referred to as Abu Abdullah ("Father of Abdullah"). According to some traditions, he was appointed as the governor of Mada'in in Iraq. According to popular Islamic tradition, Muhammad considered Salman as part of his household (Ahl al-Bayt).

Birth place

Salman was born either in the city of Kazerun in Pars Province, or Isfahan in Isfahan Province, Persia.[1][2]


Abu Hurairah called Salman Abu Al Kitabayn (The father of the two books, i.e., the Bible and the Quran) and Imam Ali called him Luqman al-Hakeem (Luqman the wise - reference to a wise man in the Qur'an known for his wise statements)[3]

Traditional Biography

According to some tradition, Salman, whose original name in some traditions is said to be Rouzbeh, was said to be born into a Zoroastrian priestly family. He said to have converted to Christianity at a young age.[4] He had heard from the priests of the coming of another prophet.[4] He searched for the promised prophet and after going through many hardships, and phases, was captured as a slave and brought into Medina. Muhammed is said to have bought him and freed him from.[4]

Battle of the Trench (Khandaq)

Further information: Battle of the Trench

It was Salman who came up with the idea of digging a great trench around the city of Medina to defend the city and its people from the army of 10,000 non-Muslims of Arabia. Muhammad and his companions agreed and accepted Salman's plan because it was safer and there would be a better chance that the non-Muslim army of Arabia would have a larger number of casualties. Salman came up with the idea from remembering the same thing happening in Persia; when the Persians learned that their enemies planned to invade their territory, they dug a trench around them to be safe. The attack that the Muslims had expected, is known as the Battle of the Trench.

While some sources gather him with the Muhajirun,[5] other sources narrate that during the Battle of the Trench, one of Muhajirun stated "Salman is one of us, Muhajireen", but this was challenged by the Muslims of Medina known in Arabic as the Ansar. A lively argument began between the two groups, each of them claiming that Salman belonged to their group, and not to the other group. Muhammad arrived on the scene, and heard the argument. He was amused by the claims, but he soon put an end to their arguments by saying: "Salman is neither Muhajir nor Ansar. He is one of us. He is one of the People of the House, ahl al-Bayt."[6]


When exactly Salman died is unknown, however it is probably during Uthman ibn Affan's reign or the second year of Ali's reign. One source says he died in 32 AH/654 AD,[7] while another source says he died during Uthman's era in 35 hijri/657 AD, which is wrong as Uthman died a year earlier, so if their claim that Salman died in 35 hijri/657 AD is correct then it must have been during Ali's reign.[3]

A Prophetic Narratation

A measure of Salman's scriptual attainment can be gleaned by the following narrations. The second narration implies that Salman could also read Hebrew.

Narrated Abu Juhaifa:

The Prophet made a bond of brotherhood between Salman and Abu Ad-Darda.' Salman paid a visit to Abu Ad-Darda' and found Um Ad-Darda' dressed in shabby clothes and asked her why she was in that state. She replied, "Your brother Abu Ad-Darda' is not interested in (the luxuries of) this world." In the meantime Abu Ad-Darda' came and prepared a meal for Salman. Salman requested Abu Ad-Darda' to eat (with him), but Abu Ad-Darda' said, "I am fasting." Salman said, "I am not going to eat unless you eat." So, Abu Ad-Darda' ate(with Salman). When it was night and (a part of the night passed), Abu Ad-Darda' got up (to offer the night prayer), but Salman told him to sleep and Abu Ad-Darda' slept. After sometime Abu Ad-Darda' again got up but Salman told him to sleep. When it was the last hours of the night, Salman told him to get up then, and both of them offered the prayer. Salman told Abu Ad-Darda', "Your Lord has a right on you, your soul has a right on you, and your family has a right on you; so you should give the rights of all those who has a right on you." Abu Ad-Darda' came to the Prophet and narrated the whole story. The Prophet said, "Salman has spoken the truth."[8]

Narrated Salman al-Farsi:

I read in the Torah that the blessing of food consists in ablution before it. So I mentioned it to the Prophet (peace be upon him). He said: The blessing of food consists in ablution before it and ablution after it.[9]


He translated part of the Quran into Persian, thus becoming the first person to interpret and translate the Qur'an into a foreign language.[10]


I am Salman, the son of Islam from the children of Adam.
—Salman, Companions of The Prophet, Vol.1, by: Abdul Wahid Hamid

Shi'a view

Shias, Twelvers in particular, hold Salman in high esteem for a hadith attributed to him, in which all twelve Imāms were mentioned to him by name, from Muhammad.[11] He is also mentioned in one hadith regarding the perfect Shia.

Ali Asgher Razwy, a 20th-century Shi'a Twelver Islamic scholar states:

If anyone wishes to see the real spirit of Islam, he will find it, not in the deeds of the nouveaux riches of Medina, but in the life, character and deeds of such companions of the Apostle of God as Ali ibn Abi Talib, Salman el-Farsi, Abu Dharr el-Ghiffari, Ammar ibn Yasir, Owais Qarni and Bilal. The orientalists will change their assessment of the spirit of Islam if they contemplate it in the austere, pure and sanctified lives of these latter companions.
—Ali Asgher Razwy, A Restatement of the History of Islam and Muslims[12]

Sufi view

Sufis refer to him often; in the Oveyssi-Shahmaghsoudi order and Naqshbandi order, Salman is the third person in the chain connecting devotees with Muhammad.

See also


External links

  • Salmān al-Farsi (رضي الله عنه)
  • Salman al-Farisi
  • Biography of Salman al-Farisi (according to a Naqshbandi Sufi order)
  • [Vida, G. Levi Della. “Salmān al-Fārisī”. P. Bearman; Th. Bianquis; C.E. Bosworth; E. van Donzel; and W.P. Heinrichs. In Encyclopaedia of Islam. Second ed. Brill Online, 2012]

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