Salman the Persian

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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 companion of Muhammad and Ali
Burial Place Al-Mada'in, Iraq
Son Abdullah
Religion Islam
Works Partial[1] translation of the Quran into Persian

Salman the Persian or Salman al-Farsi (Persian: سلمان فارسی‎, born روزبه Rouzbeh, Turkish: Selman-ı Farisî, Arabic: سلمان الفارسي‎) was a companion of Prophet Muhammad and 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 Shia tradition, Muhammad considered Salman as part of his household (Ahl al-Bayt).[citation needed] He was a renowned follower of Ali ibn Abi Talib after the death of Muhammad.


Salman was born either in the city of Kazerun in Fars Province, or Isfahan in Isfahan Province, Persia.[2][3]


Abu Hurairah is said to have referred to Salman as "Abu Al Kitabayn" (The father of the two books, i.e., the Bible and the Quran) and Ali is said to have referred to him as Luqman al-Hakeem (Luqman the wise - reference to a wise man in the Quran known for his wise statements)[4]

Traditional biography[edit]

According to some traditions[which?], Salman's original name was Rouzbeh and was born to a priestly Zoroastrian family. He is said to have converted to Christianity at a young age.[5] Shia tradition relates that he heard from priests of the coming of another prophet[5] and started searching for him and after going through many hardships, and phases, was captured as a slave and brought to Medina. Muhammad is said to have bought him and manumitted him.[5]

Battle of the Trench (Khandaq)[edit]

Further information: Battle of the Trench
Mosque Salman al-Farsi, battle of trench, Medina

It was Salman who came up with the idea of digging a great trench around the city of Medina to defend the city against the army of 10,000 Arabian non-Muslims. Muhammad and his companions accepted Salman's plan because it was safer and there would be a better chance that the non-Muslim army would have a larger number of casualties. The attack that the Muslims had expected, is known as the Battle of the Trench.

While some sources gather him with the Muhajirun,[6] other sources narrate that during the Battle of the Trench, one of Muhajirun stated "Salman is one of us, Muhajirun", but this was challenged by the Muslims of Medina (also known as the Ansar). A lively argument began between the two groups with each of them claiming Salman belonged to their group and not to the other one. Muhammad arrived on the scene and heard the argument. He was amused by the claims but soon put an end to the argument 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)."[7]


When exactly Salman died is unknown, however it was probably during Uthman ibn Affan's reign or the second year of Ali's reign. One source states that he died in 32 AH/652 or 653 AD in the Julian calendar,[8][9] while another source says he died during Uthman's era in 35 AH/655 or 656 AD.[9] Other sources state that he died during Ali's reign.[4]

Prophetic Narratations[edit]

A measure of Salman's scriptural attainment can be gleaned by the following prophetic narrations (or ahadith). 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."[10]

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. He said: The blessing of food consists in ablution before it and ablution after it.[11]

There are ahadith narrated by Salman, two of which read as follows:

"The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, "Whoever takes a bath on Friday, purifies himself as much as he can, then uses his (hair) oil or perfumes himself with the scent of his house, then proceeds (for the Juma prayer) and does not separate two persons sitting together (in the mosque), then prays as much as (Allah has) written for him and then remains silent while the Imam is delivering the Khutba, his sins in-between the present and the last Friday would be forgiven."[12]

"The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was asked about fat, cheese, and furs, so he said: 'The lawful is what Allah made lawful in His Book, the unlawful is what Allah made unlawful in his Book, and what He was silent about; then it is among that for which He has pardoned.'" [Abu 'Eisa said:] There is something on this topic from Al-Mughirah, and this Hadith is Gharib, we do not know of it being Marfu' except from this route. Sufyan and others reported it from Sulaiman At-Taimi, from Abu 'Uthman, from Salman as his own saying. It is as if the Mawquf narration is more correct. I asked Al-Bukhari about this Hadith and he said: 'I do not think it is preserved. Sufyan reported it from Sulaiman At-Taimi from Abu 'Uthman, from Salman in Mawquf form.' Al-Bukhari said: "Saif bin Harun is Muqarib (Average) in Hadith, and as for Saif bin Muhammad from 'Asim, his narrations are left."[13]


I am Salman, the son of Islam from the children of Adam.

—Salman, Companions of The Prophet, Vol.1, by: Abdul Wahid Hamid


He translated part of the Quran into Persian, thus becoming the first person to interpret and translate the Quran into a foreign language.[14]

Shia view[edit]

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.[15]

Ali Asgher Razwy, a 20th-century Shia 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.

Sufi view[edit]

In the Oveyssi-Shahmaghsoudi order and Naqshbandi order, Salman is the third person in the chain connecting devotees with Muhammad.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ An-Nawawi, Al-Majmu', (Cairo, Matbacat at-'Tadamun n.d.), 380.
  2. ^ "Salman The Persian - Biography". Retrieved 2013-01-05. 
  3. ^ "Salman al-Farsi (Salman the Persian)". Retrieved 2013-01-05. 
  4. ^ a b "سلمان الفارسي - الصحابة - موسوعة الاسرة المسلمة". Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  5. ^ a b c Khurasani, Shaykh Muhammad 'Ali Mu'adhdhin Sabzawari (2008). Tuḥfah Yi-ʻAbbāsī: The Golden Chain of Sufism in Shīʻite Islam. University Press of America, Maryland, US. ISBN 0761838015. pp. 30.
  6. ^ "Seventh Session, Part 2". Retrieved 2013-01-05. 
  7. ^ Akramulla Syed (2010-03-20). "Salman the Persian details: Early Years in Persia (Iran)". Retrieved 2013-01-05. 
  8. ^ سلمان_الفارسي
  9. ^ a b Calendar Converter
  10. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari, 3:31:189
  11. ^ Sunan Abu Dawood, 27:3752
  12. ^ Ahadith Sahih Bukhari narrated by Salman
  13. ^ English translation Vol. 3, Book 22, Hadith 1726 In-book reference Book 24, Hadith 7 Reference Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1726
  14. ^ An-Nawawi, Al-Majmu', (Cairo, Matbacat at-'Tadamun n.d.), 380.
  15. ^ Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Rustom al-Tabari. Dalail al-Imamah. p.447.
  16. ^ A Restatement of the History of Islam and Muslims on Umar bin al-Khattab, the Second Khalifa of the Muslims

External links[edit]