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Salman the Persian or Salman al-Farsi (Arabic: سلمان الفارسي‎ Salmān al-Fārisī), born Rouzbeh (Persian: روزبه‎), was a companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the first Persian who converted to Islam. During some of his later meetings with the other Sahabah, he was referred to as Abu Abdullah ("Father of Abdullah"). He is credited with the suggestion of digging a trench around Medina when it was attacked by Mecca in the Battle of the Trench. He was raised as a Zoroastrian, then attracted to Christianity, and then converted to Islam after meeting Muhammad in the city of Yathrib, which later became Medina. According to some traditions, he was appointed as the governor of Al-Mada'in in Iraq. According to popular tradition, Muhammad considered Salman as part of his household (Ahl al-Bayt).[3] He was a renowned follower of Ali ibn Abi Talib after the death of Muhammad.[4]

تخطيط اسم سلمان الفارسي.png
Native name
Kazerun, Pars, Persia
Isfahan, Persia (other sources)
Burial placeAl-Mada'in, Iraq
(buried in Lod, Jerusalem, Isfahan, or elsewhere per other sources)
Known forBeing a companion of Muhammad and Ali
Partial[2] translation of the Quran into Persian
  • al-Farsi Arabic: الفارسي
  • al-Muhammadi
  • Abu al-Kitabayn
  • Luqman al-Hakeem
  • Paak


Birth and early lifeEdit

Salman was a Persian born either in the city of Kazerun in Fars Province, or Isfahan in Isfahan Province, Persia.[3][5][6] In a hadith, Salman also traced his ancestry to Ramhormoz.[7][8][9] The first sixteen years of his life were devoted to studying to become a Zoroastrian magus or priest after which he became the guardian of a fire temple, which was a well-respected job. Three years later in 587 he met a Nestorian Christian group and was impressed by them. Against the wishes of his father, he left his family to join them.[10][self-published source] His family imprisoned him afterwards to prevent him but he escaped.[10]

He traveled around the Middle East to discuss his ideas with priests, theologians and scholars in his quest for the truth.[10] During his stay in Syria, he heard of Muhammad, whose coming has been predicted by Salman's last Christian teacher on his deathbed.[5] Afterwards and during his journey to the Arabian Peninsula, he was betrayed and sold to a Jew in Medina. After meeting Muhammad, he recognized the signs that the monk had described to him. He converted to Islam and secured his freedom with the help of Muhammad.[3][5]Abu Hurairah 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)[11]


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.[3][5][6][10]

Salman participated in the conquest of the Sasanian Empire and became the first governor of Sasanid capital after its fall at the time of the second Rashidun Caliph.[6] According to some other sources,[10] however, he disappeared from public life after Muhammad's death; until 656 when Ali became Caliph, and appointed Salman as the governor of Al-Mada'in at the age of 88.[10]

While some sources gather Salman with the Muhajirun,[12] 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: "Salaman is neither Muhajir nor Ansar. He is one of us. He is one of the People of the House."[13]


He translated the Quran into Persian, thus becoming the first person to interpret and translate the Quran into a foreign language.[2]

Salman is said to have written the following poem on his enshrouding cotton:

I am heading toward the Munificent, lacking a sound heart and an appropriate provision,
While taking a provision (with you) is the most dreadful deed, if you are going to the Munificent[14][15]


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,[16][17] while another source says he died during Uthman's era in 35 AH/655 or 656 AD.[17] Other sources state that he died during Ali's reign.[11] His tomb is located in Salman Al-Farsi Mosque in Al-Mada'in,[18] or according to some others in Isfahan, Jerusalem and elsewhere.[3]


Shia viewEdit

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.[19]

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.

— Ali Asgher Razwy, A Restatement of the History of Islam and Muslims[20]

Sufi viewEdit

Salman is also well known as prominent figure in Sufi traditions.[3] Sufi orders such as Qadriyya and Baktashiyya and Naqshbandi have Salman in their Isnad of their brotherhood.[6] In the Oveyssi-Shahmaghsoudi order and Naqshbandi order, Salman is the third person in the chain connecting devotees with Muhammad. He also founded Futuwwa along with Ali ibn abi Talib.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Web Admin. "Salman Farsi, the Son of Islam". Sibtayn International Foundation. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  2. ^ a b An-Nawawi, Al-Majmu', (Cairo, Matbacat at-'Tadamun n.d.), 380.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Jestice, Phyllis G. (2004). Holy People of the World: A Cross-cultural Encyclopedia, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 761. ISBN 978-1576073551. Archived from the original on 2018-01-23. Retrieved 2018-01-22.
  4. ^ Adamec, Ludwig W. (2009). Historical Dictionary of Islam. Lanham, Maryland • Toronto • Plymouth, UK: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. pp. 276–277.
  5. ^ a b c d Houtsma & Wensinck (1993). First Encyclopaedia of Islam: 1913-1936. Brill Academic Pub. p. 116. ISBN 978-9004097964. Archived from the original on 2016-01-17. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  6. ^ a b c d e Zakeri, Mohsen (1993). Sasanid Soldiers in Early Muslim Society: The Origins of 'Ayyārān and Futuwwa. Jremany. p. 306. Archived from the original on 2015-11-25. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
  7. ^ Milad Milani (2014). Sufism in the Secret History of Persia. Routledge. p. 180. ISBN 9781317544593. In one particular hadith, Salman mentions he is from Ramhormoz, though this is a reference to his ancestry as his father was transferred from Ramhormoz to Esfahan, residing in Jey (just outside the military camp), which was designed to accommodate the domestic requirements of military personnel.
  8. ^ Sameh Strauch (Translator) (2006). Mukhtaṣar Sīrat Al-Rasūl. Darussalam. p. 94. ISBN 9789960980324.
  9. ^ Sahih Bukhari, Book 5, Volume 58, Hadith 283 (Merits of the Helpers in Madinah [Ansaar]). Archived from the original on 2017-04-25. Retrieved 2016-01-05. Narrated Salman: I am from Ram-Hurmuz (i.e. a Persian town).
  10. ^ a b c d e f Navarr, Miles Augustus (2012). Forbidden Theology: Origin of Scriptural God. Xlibris. pp. 124–125. ISBN 978-1477117521. Archived from the original on 2016-09-24. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  11. ^ a b "سلمان الفارسي - الصحابة - موسوعة الاسرة المسلمة". Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2012-12-25.
  12. ^ "Seventh Session, Part 2". Archived from the original on 2012-06-09. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
  13. ^ Akramulla Syed (2010-03-20). "Salman the Persian details: Early Years in Persia (Iran)". Archived from the original on 2012-11-16. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
  14. ^ Nūrī, Nafas al-raḥmān fī faḍāʾil Salmān, p. 139.
  15. ^ "Salman al-Farsi", Wikishia, 4/12/2018, Archived 2019-02-07 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "موقع قصة الإسلام - إشراف د/ راغب السرجاني". Archived from the original on 2012-12-30. Retrieved 2012-12-25.
  17. ^ a b John Walker. "Calendar Converter". Archived from the original on 2011-02-17. Retrieved 2014-06-01.
  18. ^ "Rockets hit Shia tomb in Iraq". Al Jazeera. 27 February 2006. Archived from the original on 7 February 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  19. ^ Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Rustom al-Tabari. Dalail al-Imamah. p.447.
  20. ^ A Restatement of the History of Islam and Muslims on Umar bin al-Khattab, the Second Khalifa of the Muslims Archived 2006-10-04 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit