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Abu Abdullah Salman Faria (R.A.A.) is reckoned among those companions who were specially close to the Prophet (S.A.W.), He had a distinct position among the companions of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) for his devotion and continence, knowledge and wisdom and understanding of the Faith, All the Muslim schools of thoughts have general consensus of opinion about his knowledge, devotion and perception of Deen. The greatest testimony to his knowledge and intelligence is the following statement of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.),

"Salman is full of knowledge, " Ali (R.A.A.), when once was asked about Salman, said, "Salman is equal to the knowledge and science of Luqman, the Hakeem." On another occasion he stated, 'Salman has the knowledge of the First (0ld and New Testaments) and the Last (Al Quran). His knowledge is like a river which never dries." Muaz-bin-Jabal Ansari (R.A.A.) once gave advice to one of his disciples that he should seek knowledge from four men and Hazrat Salman (R.A.A.) was one of them.

As history testifies Hazrat Salman was in quest of the Truth from his very boyhood. Here is a abort description of his quest and success.

Long before the advent of Islam, there inhabited a family of fire worshippers in Jee, a village in Ispahan (Faris), The chieftain o! the village was Bu Zakhshan-bin Morsalan Abdul Maleki, He was not only a big landlord and the administrator of a big fire temple, but also had great approach to the court of the King of Faris. Bu Zakhshan's only son was Maba, whom he loved more than anything, 'Maba was nurtured in blandishment yet he was not a spoilt child. He was a meek and calm-natured, dutiful boy. He did not like to play with the boys of his age, but would always remain busy in the services of the fire temple. His only effort would be that the fire of the temple should never extinct.

One day while Bu Zakhshan was busy with some other work, he asked Maba to go to look after the grain fields. On the way to the fields there was a church of the Christians. At the moment Maba was passing through the way, the religious service was going on in the church. Maba heard the song of the praise to God and entered in the church. He was much impressed to see the Christian way of worship and he thought it superior to his own creed, He approached direct to the priest of the church and said, "I like very much your religion and wish to become a Christian leaving my own religion." The Christians readily converted him to Christianity and baptized him.

Maba's father became very angry when he (Maba) related to him about his conversion to Christianity, Now his love and affection for his son changed into harshness and cruelty and he captivated him in a solitary room with chains in his feet. But Maba's heart was beating in quest for God, so he somehow managed to send a message to the Christians requesting them to arrange for his departrue to Syria, and the local Christians managed accordingly.

Reaching Syria Maba met the Bishop and requested him to impart knowledge of Christianity in the befitting manner, for he had been to Syria from Faris for this purpose, The Bishop granted his request and thus Maba began to live with and learn from him. The Bishop, however, was a hypocrite. His outward life appeared to be devoutly religious but internally he had no other business than to accumulate wealth and have luxurious enjoyment. Maba would see his hypocrisy, but he could not do any thing against him for the Bishop was liked and respected by the people and it was not secure for him to expose the Bishop. However, after his death, Maba made the people aware of everything and showed them the huge wealth the Bishop had accumulated. This enraged the people in such a degree that they stoned the body of the Bishop.

The new Bishop appointed to take his place was actually a pious man so Maba liked him too much, Here we find a strange uniformity that from Syria to Amurya, Maba went to four or five places and the clergymen everywhere received him with great enthusiasm but none of the clergymen could servive more than a short while. That is why Maba had to change places frequently The last place he went, was Amurya. The old Bishop of Amurya, was indeed a respectable pious man. He loved Maba deeply and imparted him knowledge of Christianity Sufficiently. Now Maba was a learned follower of the Christian Faith. He too ,as his teacher, the Bishop, would pass his days and nights in paying and worshipping God. He had also purchased some goats, milk of which served for him as food. After sometime, however, the Bishop of Amurya too was at his deathbed. Before his death he said to Maba:

"0 my son, seeker of the Right Path, this is a very critical period of the World, People are drowned in the deep ocean of sins and evils. I am at a loss as to whom I should send you now. However, you need not be disappointed, because the time seems to be nearing when the Last Messenger of God will appear. He will appear in the desert of Arabia and shall revive the True Faith of God. From his birth-place he will migrate to the land which is full of date-trees. There shall be a seal of Prophethood between his two shoulders. He will accept gifts presented to him but will not accept alms dedicated to him. He will regard alms for him as unlawful. If you attain the period of that Holy Prophet then you must go to him."

Saying this the Bishop breathed his last.

Now Maba was out in search of the Last Prophet(S.A.W). A caravan of the Banu Kalb that was going to Arabian, passed through Amurya, When Maba came to know of it, he went to the Chief of the Caravan and offering his cattles requested that he too should be included in the caravan. The Chief agreed and taking his cows and goats included him into his caravan.

When the caravan reached at Wadiul Qura, the ill-intentioned caravan people did breach of trust and sold him to a Jew. Maba had to live with the jew for sometime and then he was again sold to another Jew who lived in Yasrib. The Jew bought him to Yasrib. In Yasrib Maba saw the dense trees of dates and comprehended that this may be the place where according to the Bishop of Amurya, the Last Messenger of God would come migrating from his place of birth. Now he began to wait for the Last Messenger

One day while he was climbing on a date-tree in his master's garden, a Jew came from the town and cried out, "The people of Quba tribe have turned mad after a man who has come from Mecca. He claims himself to be the prophet of God and these people have believed his claim as true, even their women and children affirm his claim".

This sensational news caused a stir in Maba's mind. He was certain that the man who had come from Mecca to Yasrib was none else but the Last Messenger of God He at once came down from the tree and asked the new comer Jew "What is the matter?"

Seeing his curiosity his master became angry and giving a slap on his face said, "You have nothing to do with these matters, go and mind your own business'. This, however, could not keep Maba at rest, he was determined to see the new comer who claimed to be the last Prophet of Allah. One day he sent to the market and buying some foods approached the Prophet (S.A.W.) and said, "O chosen man of Allah, I have purchased this food to offer as alms to some needy persons, now I came to know that you and your companions are strangers here so I offer these things to you, please accept."

The Prophet (S.A.W.) took the food from Maba, but did not eat anything himself. He distributed the food among the. people who were present there. Maba saw it and thought. that the first sign narrated by the Bishop about the Prophet has proved to be correct. But there were still two things to be proved.

The other day Maba came again to the prophet (S.A.W) taking with him some food. This time he said .This is a gift for you." The Prophet (S.A.W) accepted the gift ate some thing from that and distributed the rest among the people. present there, Maba saw this and came to know that the Prophet really accepts gift. Thus the second sign of the Last prophet was also proved as correct. Now it remained for Maba to see the Seal of Prophethood. After a few days , when the Prophet (S.A.W) went to the graveyard of Baqie with a bier, Maba too accompanied the Prophet (S.A.W). The Prophet(S.A.W.) apprehended that trying to see something on his back, So he once removed intentionally his shirt from his shoulder and Maba could see distinctly the sign of Prophethood between the shoulders of the Messenger of Allah. Maba could not check himself now to kiss the Seal of Prophethood as he had seen also the third sign of the Prophet (S.A.W). He at once uttered the Kalema and entered into the fold of Islam, He was no longer Maba, the prophet (S.A.W) renamed him as Salman Farisi Alkhair.

Salman (R.A.A) got the path of his Creator . A great change came in his life. Now he had only one desire and that was to devote his life for the service of Allah and His Messenger (A.S.W).But it was not possible for him because he Was not a free man. He was the slave of a cruel jew and it was not easy for him to gel freedom. The battles of Badr and Uhud happened in his presence but he could not participate in those battles. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W)realized his helplessness, so one day he (S.A .w.) suggestted that Salman should get freedom by paying liberty money to the jew. Salman too wanted the same so he asked the Jew how much money he wanted for his liberty. The Jew wanted 40 Uqias gold and in addition to that he should also plant 300 dates-plants on his land, When the Holy prophet (S.A.W) heard this, he declared to his companions: "You should help Salman to be free from the clutches of an enemy of Islam"

The Holy Prophet's companions readily agreed to the suggestion and everybody began to gather plants according to his capability. Thus three hundred plants were gathered. Then the Muslims including the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) himself went to the land of the Jew and altogether planted the plants. Now, only the condition of paying 40 Uqia gold remained. This was provided by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) when he received gold from a war booty. Salman went with the required gold to the dew and fulfilled the other condition too. In this way he was freed. After getting freedom, Salman (R.A.A.) remained constantly in attendance upon the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) everywhere, whether the Prophet would be at home or in the course of a journey.

He deeply loved the Prophet (S.A.W.) that is why he wanted to pass every moment of his life with him. In this way he learnt a great deal of knowledge from the Holy Prophet (S,A.W.). It was stated by Aicha (R.A.A.), the mother of the believers, that sometimes at night Salman would stay with the Holy Prophet (S.A.W,) so long that they (wives of the Holy Prophet) would begin to think that the Prophet (S,A,W.) might pass the whole night talking with him.

The Prophet (S.A.W.) was also very affectinate to him. He loved Salman So much that he included him in his own family.

It is reported by Hafiz Ibn Abdul Barr that once the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) asserted, "Allah has asked me to love four persons as He Himself love them." "And who are those four persons," asked the people who were present.

"They are Ali, Miqdad, Salman and Abu Zar (R.A.A.)," the Prophet replied.

One day when Salman came to see the Prophet (S.A.W.) he saw him sitting with the support of a pillow. The Prophet (S.A.W,} offered his pillow to Salman (R.A.A.) and said, "Salman, if a Muslim goes to see another Muslim and he offers his pillow to the visitor as a token of respect then Allah shall forgive his sins"

Once Salman (R.A.A.) paid a visit to Umar Farooq (R.A.A.) who also offered his pillow to him by way of respect. Salman was glad to see this and related to him the above mentioned treatment and saying of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)

Once the Holy Prophet gave him the title of "Salman-Al khair" (Salman the virtuous) and said, "Paradise is very fond of Ali, Ammar and Salman".

During the 5th year of Hijra in the month of Zi_Qe'da, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) got the information that a huge army of the polytheists was coming to invade Madina. The Prophet (S.A.W.) convened a conference of his companions to consult them to meet the challenge of the enemy. Salman (R.A.A.) who had already seen the war strategies in Iran said, "O Messenger of Allah, numerically we are no match to the enemy. We are far less in number than they are, So it will not be safe for us to fight in the open field. Under these circumstances it is better for us to dig trenches around Madina and make the city secure,"

This suggestion of Salman (R.A.A.) was liked and approved by the Prophet (S.A.W.) and accordingly digging of trenches around the city was started. About three thousand companions of the Prophet (S.A.W.), together with the Holy Prophet himself, took part in the work and it was completed in a fortnight. The trenches were 5 yards wide and 5 yards deep around the city. At the time of distribution of work both the Muhajireen and Ansar claimed for Salman. Hearing about the dispute the Prophet (S.A,W.) declared, "Salman belongs to my family," This declaration not only decided the dispute but also gave Salman a great honor. The polytheists of Mecca had come to invade Madina with the intentions to remove the center of Islam for ever, but they did not dare even to come beside the trenches, Moreover, Allah created such a hazard and havoc for them that they were compelled to go back without any success in their evil intentions, This battle is known in history as the Battle of Ahzab (Groups) or the Battle of Khandaq (trenches) Salman (R.A.A.) participated in every battle after this.

As Salman(R.A.A) was included into Ahl-el-Bait Family of the Holy Prophet (S.A.A)so he would strictly avoid taking alms.

During the reign of Umar (R.A.A ) Salman left Madina for Iraq and settled there permanently. At the time of invasion of Iran he too was included in the Muslim army and fought gallantly in various battles. smear Farooq (R.A.A.) was well aware of the caliber of Salman , so after the conquest of Madayen , he appointed him as the Governor of Madayen and fixed about five thousand dirhams as his salary But he never utilized his pay for himself He would distribute the full amount of his salary among the pour and needy persons and would earn for his own maintenance by weaving mats . Even a portion of that income he would distribute among the poor. He would deliver sermon wearing a loak made of a very ordinary cloth. He would travel riding or an ass without saddle and wearing a very short shirt . People would see him and laugh But he would not care He would say:

"You may laugh today as much as you like, but the value of virtue and vice shall be known after this life".

He had an old blanket made of camel 's hair, that he would keep on his shoulder at daytime and would cover his body with it while sleeping at night. When he would go out in his dervish-like posture, the people of Madayen would cry out, "Gurg Aamad, Gurg Aamad" ( the Wolf comes, the wolf comes).One day while he was passing trough a bazar of Madayen a stranger taking him to be a laborer asked him to carry his baggage. Salman (R.A.A) took his baggage and walked with it behind him.

People on the way seeing him in such a condition began to say, "O companion of the Holy Prophet, O Governor of Madayen, what is the matter with you? Why have you taken this burden on your shoulder? Give it to us, we shall take it to the desired place."

Hearing these words of the people on the way, the stranger was stunned and ashamed, Making apology to Salman (R.A.A.) he said, "Forgive me sir, I did not recognize you. " He wanted to take the baggage from him but Salman said, "Brother, you told me to take your baggage to your place, so let me take it there where you wanted to go."

One day a man came to meet Salman (R.A.A) at his house . The man saw him kneading flour with his own hand. Seeing this he asked, "Where is your servant?" "I have sent him out for some other work so I am doing this work myself, "replied Salman. "I do not think it just to entrust one man two duties at a time'

A man once abused Salman (R.A.A) In his reply he said, "Brother, if I am proved sinner on the day of Judgment then I shall be worse than what you have told me today. And if the burden of sins is lesser, then , I shall have no care for what you have told"

Once , one of his friends suggested to Salman "As you have no house of your own to dwell in, so I wish to build a house for you . " But Salman did not agree with his suggestion. The man, however, insisted again and again so Salman said "If you are so anxious' to build a house for me then you may do on the condition that when I sleep in the room my feet should touch the walls and when I stand my head should touch the roof . "

His friend being compelled built a hut for him as he (Salman) wanted. In short Salman (R.A.A) passed a very ordinary and simple life even when he was the governor of a Province .

Salman Farisi (R.A.A.) had married a lady of the Kinda tribe This was a very respectable and rich tribe. After the marriage, when he went at night to his house, he saw big curtains on the walls. He could not tolerate such a luxury so he asked, 'Is this house suffering from fever so it has been covered with sheet, or is it Ka'ba which has been transferred from Mecca to the Kindi tribe so it has been covered with sheats?"

Saying this he ordered to take off all the curtains from the walls except that of the door. When he entered the room he found it full of valuable furniture. "From where these things have come?" he asked.

"These are for you and your wife. " It was stated to him.

"But I do not require all these thing, " said Salman. " I have heard from my master, the Messenger of Allah, saying to me, '0 Salman, you should keep only that much baggage as much a traveler keeps with him. "

Once when he with his companions entered a city after its conquest, many eatables were found lying hither and thither. One of his companions seeing those things said gladly, "Oh, what a blessing of Allah?' Salman interrupted, "Brother, why are you so happy, don't you think that we shall also be responsible before Allah to give accounts for all these thing? "

One day during his Governorship while he was riding on an ass without saddle and wearing a dress full of patches, a man asked, "O Amir, why are you in such a hopeless condition?"

" Brother, the real rest and comfort is in the life to come, " he replied .

It does not mean that Salman (R.A.A ), with all his abstinence and continence had become a monk or hermit. He was not away from the streamline of the society. His only purpose was to follow the path shown by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.). The Prophet (S.A.W.) had strictly prohibited to be away from normal worldly life and adopt a life of solitude. So Salman (R.A.A.) hated the life of solitude .

He also forbade others to adopt such a life. It is stated that his brother in Islam Abu Darda Ansari was an extraordinary devotee and votary, He would pass his days in fasting and nights in prayers. His devotion come up to the degree that annoyed his wife. Salman felt that Abu Darda's wife was unhappy because of his abnormal continence and abstinence. When Abu Darda came to his house and saw Salman waiting for him, he offered him food to eat. But Salman said, " I would not take anything so long you also do not. "

Abu Darda (R.A A.) said that he would not eat anything because he was fasting. Salman kept quiet but when at night Abu Darda (R .A . A ) rose for prayer Salman (R.A.A.) stood up and caught his hand saying, " Abu Darda, you are to perform your duties towards Allah as well as towards yourself and your wife . Breakfast is necessary with fasting, sleeping is also necessary with waking and praying at night. "

In the morning they both went to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W ) in order to get the matter settled . The Prophet (S.A W. ) gave patient hearing to both and then said to Abu Darda, " Salman has more knowledge of the religion than you do, "

After the demise of the Holy Prophet ( S.A . W .) Abu Darda (R . A . A.) went away to Syria and settled there permanently . There he was very happy and well-to-do . He wrote the Salman, " I am very happy here Allah has bestowed me here both wealth and children, and I am living in the sacred land. "

In reply to Abu Darda, Salman wrote, " It is not virtue to live in the sacred land or have children and wealth, but actual virtue is your action which may do any good to you in the next world. "

He would be always shaking for the fear of the next life and would also remind others of their responsibility in this regard. He would say, " I wonder at three kinds of persons, the first, who are always in quest of worldly affairs but death is in quest of them. The second are those who have forgotten death but death cannot forget them, and the third are those who laugh loudly but do not know whether Allah is happy with them or not. "

He would often say: "The thought of three things makes me very sorrowful and afraid: Firstly the separation from my master, the Prophet (S.A.A.) and his companions, secondly the torments of grave and thirdly the Day of Resurrection"

He would always advise people to adopt humility and would say, "He who adopts submission to Allah and humility, would he honorable to Allah on the Day of Resurrection,"

Salman Farisi (R.A.A.) died in the 35th year of Hijra during the reign of the third Caliph Usman-bin Affan (R.A,A.) The historians differ about his age. Some suggest that he died at the age of eighty. While others claim that he was of 150 years at the time of his death,

Sa'd-bin-Abi Waqqas (R.A.A.) came to see him when he was passing through his last days. Salman (R.A.A.) seeing him began to weep bitterly.

"Why are you weeping, Abu Abdullah?" said Sa'd, "It is rather time for you to be happy because you are going to meet the Holy Prophet in Paradise."

Salman replied, "By Allah, I am not afraid of death, nor I have any worldly desire, I am weeping because the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) had taken oath from me for not to collect worldly things and to go from this world empty hand, as the Prophet (S.A.W.) went himself; but now I find that some wordly things have gathered around me. So I am afraid that I may be deprived of meeting my master (S.A.W.)"

And the worldly things of which Salman was afraid and weeping so much was nothing more. than a pot, a cup, a dish and an old blanket. On his bed there were two bricks in place of pillow, He advised Sa'd (R.A.A.) and others who were present, to remember Allah every moment. They should not die like a dishonest hut should try to die while performing Hajj, or participating in Jehad or reciting the Holy Quran.

Salman Farisi's life, both in action and practice, in an eternal light for everyone who comes in this world.

May Allah be pleased with him!

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