Ibn Abbass RA once asked Salman al-Farsi RA about his story and Salman narrated his story to him. He was a Persian man from village where is located in present day Iran. He said he was taking pain in the religion of fire worshiping. He became high in status and became the guardian of the fire. Salman al-Farsi RA said one day he was walking and saw a church and went in to investigate. He said he was impressed by their method of prayer. Salman al-Farsi RA told his father he thinks that Christianity was a better religion than fire worshiping, his father chained Salman al Farsi. Then Salman al-Farsi ran away all the way to Shaam(The greater area surrounding Damascus including Syria, Lebenon, Palestine, and Jordan). He arrived in Syria. Salman al-Farsi said he lived with the best bishop and the bishop used to collect money for charity but then keep it for himself. Salman al-Farsi RA hated this man, and told everyone he was evil. The next person who took leadership in place of the bishop after he died was a very pious man who was loved by Salman al-Farsi. Then Salman al-Farsi RA travels to Iraq for studying. He then traveled to Musabeen to learn. The then went to Amaria (today’s Turkey area) to study. The scholar he was studying under told him, that a new prophet shall come soon from the Arabs,his signs will be undeniable, he will take refuge in a place with date palms located between rocky tracks, he will eat food given to him as gifts but not from charity, he will have a seal of prophet hood between his shoulders. Salman al-Farsi RA offered everything he owned if people could take him to Arabia. A group of people agreed, but they betrayed him by selling him as a slave to a Jewish man. That Jewish man sold him to another Jewish man. His owner took him to Yathrib(Madinah) and when he saw Madinah, Salman al-Farsi RA immediately realized this is where the Prophet PBUH shall take refuge, he realized this is the city his teacher was speaking of. Madinah is a place of date palms, and is between two rocky tracks. Salman al-Farsi RA said one day his master had him climb to pick dates. While he was up there, his masters cousin came to his master angry and said there is someone coming from Makkah claiming to be a Prophet taking refuge here. Salman al-Farsi said when he heard this chills went down his spine and he almost fell out of the tree and onto his master. Salman al-Farsi RA said he left that night to visit Muhammad PBUH, and brought food for him and said it was from charity. The Prophet PBUH told his companions to eat but did not eat from the food of charity. That confirmed one of the signs told to Salman al-Farsi RA. He then went back. Then Salman brought food again and told the food that he gave last time was for charity this is now as a gift, this time the prophet ate the food with the companions. Then Salman al-Farsi RA went to Muhammad SAWS and went around him and the prophet noticed that Salman was looking for something so the Prophet took off the cloth to show him what is between his shoulder blades. When Salman saw the mark between his shoulders, he knew it was the Seal of Prophet hood, and Salman RA said when he saw it fell down in tears and began to kiss the prophets feet and made Sajood to him. Rasulullah SAWS immediately told him to stand up and asked Salman his story, and then told him to tell his companions the same story. Salman al-Farsi RA because of being a slave did not fight in battle of Uhud or Badr. The prophet and the sahabas (companions of Muhammad PBUH) helped free Salman al-Farsi RA.
Some lessons we can get from the life from Salman al-Farsi RA is:
- You have to put effort into searching for the truth. If you take one step towards Allah, Allah will take 10 steps near you. You have to take the first step.
- We should not be turned down, by seeing someone not doing the right thing. The truth is not always represented by its followers. Like Salman and the first bishop he met.
- The Muslim community must be helpful to their new members. Dawaah is not just speaking, it is helping it could be financial help, they need social gatherings to attend. Sometimes converts don’t just need an adviser, but they just need a friend.