11th Safar Urs Salman Farsi, Ctesiphon, Al-Mada’in Iraq 44AH/664CE

Dargah in Ctesiphon, Al-Mada’in, Iraq

Salman the Persian or Salmān al-Fārsī (meaning “the Persian” born Rouzbeh) was one of Muhammad’s companions. During some of his later meetings with the other Sahaba, he was referred to as Abu Abdullah (“Father of Abdullah”).

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, 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.”

Both Shi’ah and Sunnis traditions say that nobody among the companions of the Prophet pbuh) was equal to Salman. Abu Dharr and Imam Musa al-Kazim said, “On the day of resurrection someone will call on behalf of Allah that ‘Where are the hawariyyin and faithfuls of Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah, who stayed firmly on the path shown by him and never broke his covenant? Then will arise Salman, Miqdad and Abu Dharr.”

A measure of Salman’s scriptual attainment can be gleaned by the following narrations.

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.”
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, who said: The blessing of food consists in ablution before it and ablution after it.
Numerous traditions say that Salman knew ‘al-ismul a’zam (the greatest name of Allah)’; and that he was from the ‘muhaddathin (those to whom the angels talk)’.
Salman died during the reign of the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan at the age of 78. He is thought to have been buried in Ctesiphon, Al-Mada’in in present-day Iraq. Though Ctesiphon has long been abandoned, the nearby town of Salman Pak is named after him. It is also claimed that his grave is in Lod (Lydda), Palestine/Israel, in the modern quarter of Ramat Eshkol.
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