Salman al Farisi radiya Llahu ‘anhu

Sa’d ibn Muaz radiya Llahu ‘anhu
November 12, 2018
‘Abdullah ibn Rawahah radiya Llahu ‘anhu
November 12, 2018

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Salman al Farisi


He is Sayyidina Salman ibn al Islam, Abu ‘Abdullah al Farisi radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The first Persian to accept Islam. He enjoyed the great privilege of sitting in the company of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, serving him, and narrating from him. He is called: Salman al Khayr (abundance of good). He is originally from Asbahan. And it is said: Ramhurmuz. The first battle he participated in was Khandaq.

He was intellectually gifted and prudent; and from the intelligent religious noble-minded men. There is a lengthy incident of his Islam, some sections of which are inauthentic. The sahih sections are narrated by Baqi ibn Makhlad in his Musnad from Abu al Tufayl from Salman. He says:


خرجت في طلب العلم إلى الشام فقالوا لي إن نبيا قد ظهر بتهامة فخرجت إلى المدينة فبعثت إليه بقباع من تمر فقال أهدية أم صدقة قلت صدقة فقبض يده و أشار إلى أصحابه أن يأكلوا ثم أتبعته بقباع من تمر و قلت هذا هدية فأكل و أكلوا فقمت على رأسه ففطن فقال بردائه عن ظهره فإذا في ظهره خاتم النبوة فأكببت عليه و تشهدت

I departed to Sham in search of knowledge. They told me that a nabi has appeared in Tihamah. So I left for Madinah. I sent for him a large container of dates. He enquired, “Is it a gift or charity?”

“Charity,” I replied. He withheld his hand from partaking and indicated to his companions to eat.

Thereafter I sent him another larger container of dates and said, “This is a gift.”

Consequently, he ate and they ate. I then stood at his head side. He understood [my intention] so he removed his shawl from his back and there it was, the seal of nubuwwah on his back. Seeing it, I embraced him and recited the shahadah.[1]


Al Dhahabi classified the isnad salih (acceptable).

Al Nawawi says:


The reason for his acceptance of Islam is famous. He was initially a fire-worshipper, but ran away from his father and met a Rabbi, and then a group of other Rabbis, one after the other; sitting in their company till their deaths until finally the last of them directed him to travel to Hijaz and informed him of the advent of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He journeyed with some Arabs, who deceived him and sold him in Wadi al Qura to a Jew. Then a Jew from Qurayzah bought him and brought him to Madinah where he stayed until the arrival of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He then brought charity for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam but the latter did not eat of it. Then after some time, he brought him a gift and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ate from it. Finally, he saw the seal of nubuwwah. The last Rabbi had described to him these three signs of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Salman relates:

فرأيت الخاتم فقبلته و بكيت فأجلسني رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بين يديه فحدثني بشأني كله و فاتني معه بدر و أحد بسسب الرق فقال لي يا سلمان كاتب عن نفسك فلم أزل بصاحبي حتى كاتبته على أن أغرس له ثلاثمائة نخلة و على أربعين أوقية ذهب فقال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم أعينوا أخاكم سلمان بالنخل فأعانوني حتى اجتمعت لي فقال فقربها و لا تضع منها شيئا حتى أضعه بيدي ففعلت فأعانني أصحابه حتى فرغت فأتيته فكنت آتيه بالنخلة فيضعها و يسوي عليها التراب فوالذي بعثه بالحق نبيا ما ماتت منها واحدة و بقي الذهب فجاء رجل بمثل بيضة من ذهب أصابه من بعض المعادن فقال ادع سلمان المسكين الفارسي المكاتب فقال أد هذه

I saw the seal and kissed it and wept. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam seated me before him and told me to narrate my entire incident. I failed to participate in Badr and Uhud due to slavery. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told me, “O Salman! Make an agreement with him (your master) to pay a certain amount of money in exchange for your freedom [known as a contract of mukatabah].” I continued nagging my master until he finally made the contract of mukatabah on condition that I plant 300 date palms for him and give him 40 uqiyah of gold. The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructed (the Sahabah), “Help your brother Salman with date palms.” Accordingly, they assisted me until I gathered them all.

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Dig holes for them, but do not plant any. I will plant them with my own hand.” I complied and his companions assisted me. When I was finished, I came to him. I would bring him the plant and he would place it (in the hole) and cover it with sand. By the Being who sent him as a Nabi with the truth, not one of them died. Now, only the gold remained. Sometime thereafter, a man brought gold equivalent to the size of an egg which he found in one mine. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Call Salman, the poor Persian mukatab.” He instructed me, “Settle your payment with this.”[2][3]


و عن طارق بن شهاب عن سلمان قال إذا كان الليل كان الناس منه على ثلاث منازل فمنهم من له و لا عليه و منهم من عليه و لا له و منهم من لا عليه و لا له فقلت و كيف ذاك قال أما من له و لا عليه فرجل اغتنم غفلة الناس و ظلمة الليل فتوضأ و صلى فذاك له و لا عليه و رجل اغتنم غفلة الناس و ظلمة الليل فمشى في معاصي الله فذاك عليه و لا له و رجل نام حتى أصبح فذاك لا له و لا عليه قال طارق فقلت لأصحبن هذا فضرب على الناس بعث فخرج فيهم فصحتبه و كنت لا أفضله في عمل إن أنا عجنت خبز و إن خبزت طبخ فنزلنا منزلا فبتنا فيه و كانت لطارق ساعة من الليل يقومها فكنت أتيقظ لها فأجده نائما فأقول صاحب رسول الله خير مني نائم فأنام ثم أقوم فأجده نائما فأنام إلا أنه كان إذا تعار من الليل قال و هو مضطجع سبحان الله و الحمد لله و لا إله إلا الله و الله أكبر لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له له الملك و له الحمد و هو على كل شيء قدير حتى إذا كان قبيل الصبح قام فتوضأ ثم ركع أربع ركعات فلما صلينا الفجر قلت يا أبا عبد الله كانت لي ساعة من الليل أقومها و كنت أتيقظ لها فأجدك نائما قال يا ابن أخي فإيش كنت تسمعني أقول فأخبرته فقال يا ابن أخي تلك الصلاة إن الصلوات الخمس كفارات لما بينهن ما اجتنبت المقتلة يا ابن أخي عليك بالقصد فإنه أبلغ

Tariq ibn Shihab reports:

Salman said, “At night, people are divided into three types. The first type are those for whom the night is a blessing not a curse. The second type are those for whom the night is a curse not a blessing. And as for the third type, it is neither beneficial nor harmful.”

I enquired, “And how is this?”

He explained, “With regards the first type, a man capitalises on the negligence of people and the darkness of night, and thus performs wudu’ and prays. Thus the night is a blessing for him, not a curse. The second type abuses the negligence of people and the darkness of the night and proceeds to disobey Allah. Thus, the night turns into a curse for him, not a blessing. And the last type sleeps until morning. Thus, it was neither beneficial nor harmful for him.”

Tariq says, “I said to myself, I will most certainly accompany this man.”

An expedition was demanded from the people, so he left with them and I accompanied him. I would not supersede him in any action. If I kneaded the dough, he baked the bread and if I baked the bread, he cooked the food. Nonetheless, we alighted at a station and spent the night there. I had a habit of praying during a certain portion of the night. I woke up and found him asleep so I commented, “The companion of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who is better than me is asleep, so I will sleep.” I got up some time later and found him asleep, so I slept. Save for the fact, that when he woke up at night, he would say, while lying down, “Glory be to Allah. All praise belongs to Allah. There is no deity but Allah. Allah is the greatest. There is none worthy of worship besides Allah, He is alone without any partner. The kingdom and all praise belongs to Him and He has power over everything.”

Just before dawn, he stood up, performed wudu’ and prayed four rak’at. After we performed Fajr, I submitted, “O Abu ‘Abdullah, I had a time at night for standing in prayer. I woke up only to find you asleep.”

He said, “O my nephew, what did you hear me saying?”

I informed him accordingly. He remarked, “O my nephew, that is prayer. Certainly, the five salahs are expiation for all the sins committed between them, as long as major sins are avoided. O my nephew, adopt moderation for it is more lasting.”[4]

و عن أبي وائل قال ذهبت أنا و صاحب لي إلى سلمان فقال لولا أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم نهانا عن التكلف لتكلفت لكم فجاءنا بخبز و ملح فقال صاحبي لو كان ملحنا صعتر فبعث سلمان بمطهرته فرهنها فجاء بصعتر فلما أكلنا قال صاحبي الحمد لله الذي قنعنا بما رزقنا فقال سلمان لو قنعت لم تكن مطهرتي مرهونة

Abu Wa’il reports: I and a friend of mine went to Salman.

He said, “Had Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam not prevented us from formalities, I would have displayed the same to you.”

He then brought us bread and salt.

My friend suggested, “If only we had thyme with our salt.”

Hearing this, Salman sent his cleaning utensil and gave it as mortgage and brought some thyme.

After we had eaten, my friend said, “All praise belongs to Allah who made us content with what he provided for us.”

Salman commented, “Had you been content, my cleaning utensil would not have been mortgaged.”[5]


و عن بقيرة امرأة سلمان أنها قالت لما حضره الموت دعاني و هو في علية له لها أربعة أبواب فقال افتحي هذه الأبواب فإن لي اليوم زوارا لا أدري من أي هذه الأبواب يدخلون علي ثم دعا بمسك فقال أديفيه في تور ثم انضحيه حول فراشي فاطلعت عليه فإذا هو قد أخذ روحه فكأنه نائم على فراشه

Baqirah, the wife of Salman narrates:

When he was about to pass away, he summoned me while he was in his upper story which had four doors and instructed, “Open all these doors. Today I will be receiving visitors, I do not know from which of these doors they will enter.” He then asked for some musk and said, “Mix it in a utensil[6] and then sprinkle it around my bed.”

I then looked at him, and his soul had already been taken. It seemed as he was sleeping peacefully on his bed.[7]


‘Abbas ibn Yazid al Bahrani says, “The scholars say that Salman lived for 350 years. As regards 250, they do not doubt this.”

The Islamic historian Hafiz al Dhahabi says:


I investigated but was not successful in locating anything about his age besides al Bahrani’s statement which is munqati’ and has no isnad. Taking into consideration his timeline, conditions, battles, efforts, movements, travels, and all the things that have passed suggests that he did not live very long and was not senile. He left his homeland at a young age. He probably reached Hijaz at the age of 40 or younger. It was not long before he heard of the advent of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and then made hijrah. So most likely he lived for over 70 years. I do not think he reached a century. Whoever has knowledge should provide us with it.[8]


Abu al Farj ibn al Jawzi and others also stated that he lived very long. But I do not know of any of these that are reliable. Jafar ibn Sulaiman reports from―Thabit al Banani (and this appears in al ‘Ilal of Ibn Abi Hatim) who says:


لما مرض سلمان خرج سعد من الكوفة يعوده فقدم فوافقه و هو في الموت يبكي فسلم و جلس و قال ما يبكيك يا أخي ألا تذكر صحبة رسول الله ألا تذكر المشاهد الصالحة قال و الله ما يبكيني واحدة من ثنتين ما أبكي حبا بالدنيا و لا كراهية للقاء الله قال سعد فما يبكيك بعد ثمانين قال يبكيني أن خليلي عهد إلى عهدا قال ليكن بلاغ أحدكم من الدنيا كزاد الراكب و إنا قد خشينا أنا قد تعدينا

When Salman fell ill, Sa’d left Kufah to visit him. He arrived only to find him in the throes of death crying. He greeted and sat down, and then asked, “What makes you cry, my brother? Do you not recall the companionship of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam? Do you not recall the virtuous battles?”

He responded, “By Allah, none of the two make me cry; I neither cry out of love for the world nor dislike to meet Allah.”

Sa’d enquired, “So what makes you cry after 80?”

He explained, “What makes me cry is that my friend made a pact with me saying, ‘Let the provisions of you in the world be like the provisions of a traveller.’ And we fear that we crossed the limit.”


Some reported it from Thabit and he said from Abu ‘Uthman. His irsal is closer to the truth. Abu Hatim said this.[9] This shows you that he was 80 odd years. I mentioned in my al Tarikh al Kabir that he lived for 250 years but now I do not approve that, nor authenticate it. He passed away in 34 A.H.

His guarantee of Jannat appears in the hadith of Sayyidina Hussain ibn ‘Ali, Sayyidina Anas ibn Malik, Sayyidina Hudhayfah, Sayyidina Abu Hurairah, Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, and Sayyidina Muaz radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Let me present to you the hadith of Sayyidina Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu:


فعن أبي ربيعة الإيادي البصري عن الحسن البصري عن أنس بن مالك عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم أنه قال الجنة تشتاق إلى ثلاثة علي و عمار و سلمان

From Abu Rabi’ah al Iyadi al Basri from―Hassan al Basri from―Anas ibn Malik from―the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who asserted:

Jannat desires three: ‘Ali, ‘Ammar, and Salman.[10]


Al Tirmidhi, Abu Ya’la, al Tabarani, al Hakim, al Dinawari, Ibn al Jawzi, and others document it from many chains from―Hassan ibn Salih from―Abu Rabi’ah al Iyadi.

Al Tirmidhi says, “This is a hassan gharib hadith. We only know it from Hassan ibn Salih.”

Abu Rabi’ah al Iyadi is ‘Umar ibn Rabi’ah.

  • Abu Hatim said, “Munkar al hadith (contradicts reliable narrators).”[11]
  • Ibn Abi Hatim then quotes Ibn Ma’in’s verdict on Abu Rabi’ah, “Reliable.”

The text in the Tarikh of Yahya ibn Ma’in is the narration of al Darimi who says, “I asked him about Abu Rabi’ah who reports from Sharik. He said, ‘He is a Kufi, reliable.’”[12]

Al Dhahabi mentioned him in al Mughni fi al Du’afa’ and quoted Abu Hatim’s verdict.[13] Hafiz classified him maqbul (accepted) in al Taqrib.[14]


NEXT⇒  ‘Abdullah ibn Rawahah radiya Llahu ‘anhu

[1] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 1 pg. 538.

[2] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 1 pg. 512.

[3] Tahdhib al Asma’, vol. 1 pg. 318.

[4] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 1 pg. 550; Musannaf ‘Abdul Razzaq, vol. 1 pg. 48 briefly; Shu’ab al Iman, vol. 3 pg. 175.

[5] Al Mu’jam al Kabir, vol. 6 pg. 235.

[6] Adifihi: i.e. mix it; al Tawr: A copper or rock utensil in which water is kept. (The marginal notes of the muhaqqiq of Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 1 pg. 553.)

[7] Hilyat al Awliya’, vol. 1 pg. 208.

[8] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 1 pg. 556.

[9] Al ‘Ilal vol. 5 pg. 191, Hadith: 1912. The text of the book is, “My father said: Sinan said in this hadith: “From Jafar from Thabit I think from Anas.” And once he said, “From Thabit from Abu ‘Uthman,” and got mixed up. This resembles a mursal report more.

[10] Sunan al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3797; Musnad Abi Ya’la, vol. 5 pg. 164; al Mu’jam al Kabir, vol. 6 pg. 215; al Mustadrak, vol. 3 pg. 148; al Mujalasah, vol. 2 pg. 133; al ‘Ilal al Mutanahiyah, vol. 1 pg. 248.

[11] Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, vol. 6 pg. 109.

[12] Sunan al Darimi, Hadith: 948.

[13] Al Mughni fi al Du’afa’, vol. 2 pg. 41.

[14] Taqrib al Tahdhib, Biography: 8093.

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