Hz Salman the Persian (RA) was one of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It is known that he was the son of a peasant from the Persian village of Jayan near Isfahan. His persian full name was Ruzbeh Khoshnudan, but according to his birth place – Persia, he got a name “Salman the Persian”. In his youth, he converted to Christianity, because of which he was forced to leave his parents’ home.
Legend has it that a monk before his death told him about the impending appearance of a Prophet who would restore the religion of Abraham (AS). Salman al-Farsi (RA) set out to find him. Following the wandering monks, he reached Syria and then Wadi al-Qura in Central Arabia. In the caravan that Salman (RA) joined, there were robbers. They took Salman al-Farsi (RA) prisoner and sold him as a slave to a Jewish merchant from a nearby town, who sold Salman al-Farsi (RA) to another Jew in Medina. Thus, by the decree of Allah (SWT), Salman (RA) found himself in the same city as Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Acceptance of Islam
In Medina, Salman al-Farsi (RA) looked for a meeting with Prophet (PBUH), and after seeing him only once, he realized that his Christian mentor was right: this Quraysh Muhammad (PBUH) was indeed the Last Prophet and Messenger of Allah. Without hesitation, Salman converted to Islam and rejoiced in his heart that at last, at the age of 45, he had found the true religion and known the true God.
His fellow Muslims raised money to buy him out of slavery. Once free, Salman al-Farsi never left Prophet (PBUH). Together with him, Salman al-Farsi defended the cause of Islam with weapons in his hands. When the Meccan idolaters besieged Medina in the 5th year of the Hijri, hoping to defeat the Muslims, Allah (SWT) inspired Salman al-Farsi to advise the Muslims to dig a trench around the city, as a result of which the attack of three times the enemy’s superior forces was repelled, and the battle went down in the history of the Muslim army’s victories as the Battle of the Trench.
Salman al-Farsi’s Сontribution to the Muslim Victory at the Battle of the Trench
His name is associated with the victory of the Muslims over the Meccan troops. In March 627 CE, the Meccans decided to teach the Muslims a lesson for repeatedly attacking caravans going to Mecca. Abu Sufyan sent a militia against Muhammad (PBUH) and his followers who had settled in Medina.
According to historical legends, the total number of troops was about 10 thousand people, including 300 mounted warriors, as well as detachments put up by the surrounding tribes. They were joined by the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza. However, Muhammad promptly learned about the movement of the enemy’s troops and began to prepare for defense. He managed to gather about 3 thousand people, but this was clearly not enough. Then Hz Salman al-Farsi (RA) offered Muhammad a tactical plan, which was traditionally used by the Persian troops. Trenches were dug around the city, and especially where the city was most vulnerable. In total, about 6 kilometers of fortifications were dug, which covered the Medina in a semicircle from the west, north and northeast. And when the Meccan troops approached the city (March 31, 627 CE), their main striking force-the cavalry-could not overcome this obstacle.
The fighting was reduced to a skirmish across the trench, and this did not cause much damage to both the besieged and the besiegers. Attempts to overcome the obstacle in the course of new attacks also failed. The siege began, during which Muhammad (PBUH) began to negotiate in secret with the tribal leaders. Two weeks later, a cold hurricane-force wind finally broke the morale of the Meccans. The Battle of Trench ended without result, but also with almost no losses. However, after this, the Banu Qurayza tribe, abandoned by their Meccan allies, paid the price for their treachery.
The idea of digging a trench around the city as an obstacle to enemy cavalry, expressed by Salman al-Farsi, was later used repeatedly. Salman himself then took part in military campaigns, including the conquest of Iran. Some chroniclers attribute to him the use of a catapult and a certain device, thanks to which you can dig under the fortress walls.
Subsequently, Salman the Persian (RA) participated in the conquest of Syria and Iraq. In his later years, he was revered as one of the Ashabs, and he received a pension equal to that received by the grandsons of the Prophet Muhammad (the children of Ali and Fatima) Hassan and Hussein.
The Legacy of Salman the Persian
His grave is located in Iraq, in the suburbs of Baghdad (near Asbanur). The visit to the grave of Salman Pak (pak – pure, Persian) is one of the elements of the pilgrimage to Karbala to the burial place of Imam Hussein (grandson of Prophet Muhammad, son of Ali and Fatima), carried out by Shiites.
With the development of handicrafts and craft corporations, Salman came to be considered the patron of barbers. According to legends, he was the barber of the Prophet Muhammad. In addition, he is repeatedly mentioned among the founders of various Sufi fraternities. Some Hadiths and narrations are also attributed to Salman (RA). Although there is no data on his life after the 35th year of the Hijra.
Featured image: Masjid Salman al-Farsi, Medina / Wikimedia Commons