An Account of some Senior Companions
Ibn Babawayh has narrated from Kariza bin Salih that he said: I heard from His Eminence, Abu Dharr that he said that the Messenger of Allah (S) mentioned three points about Amirul Momineen (a.s.): That even if one of them had been in my favor, I would have preferred it over the world and whatever is in it. First: O Allah help him and seek help through him only and help him and take revenge from his enemies.
Indeed he is Your slave and the brother of Your Messenger.” Then Abu Dharr said: “I testify that Ali is the Wali of Allah and the brother of the Messenger and his successor.” Then Kariza said: “This testimony gives him precedence on all Muslims like Salman Farsi, Ammar Yasir, Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari, Abul Hasheem bin Taihan, Khuzaimah bin Thabit Zul Shahadatain, Abu Ayyub Ansari and Hashim bin Atba Naufal (r.a.), who were senior companions of the Prophet.”
Through reliable chains of narrators, it is reported that people asked Amirul Momineen (a.s.) about His Eminence, Abu Dharr. He said: “He was having the knowledge of truth and he had tied up its end secretly in such a way that nothing can be lost from it.” Then they asked him about Huzaifa. Ali (a.s.) said that he well remembered the names of the hypocrites. Then they asked him about Ammar. He said: he was such a believer whose bone marrow was filled with faith. And he used to forget errands and when people reminded him, he used to remember immediately.
Then they asked about Abdullah bin Masud. He said: He recited the Qur’an and it was revealed before him. People asked him about Salman Farsi. His Eminence said: He achieved the knowledge of the formers and latters. And he is an endless ocean of knowledge and he is from us, Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). People said: O Amirul Momineen (a.s.): “Tell us about yourself.” The Imam said: “I was such that when I asked a question the Holy Prophet (S) used to bestow knowledge and when I was silent he initiated the discussion.”
Moreover, it is narrated from Habba Arafi that Abdullah bin Umar found ten persons arguing about Ammar. Each was claiming to have eliminated him. Abdullah said: “You are fighting to get priority in going to Hell. Because I have heard from the Holy Prophet (S) say that the killer of Ammar, one who plunders his weapons and one who removes his garments, will all go to Hell.” It is also narrated that when His Eminence, was killed, people came to Huzaifa and said that Ammar has been killed and people are debating whether he was on the right or not, so what was his opinion? Huzaifa said: “I have heard from the Holy Prophet (S) that he repeated thrice: Abul Yaqzan is firm on the nature Islam and he will not leave it as long as he lives.”
It is also narrated from Ayesha that the Holy Prophet (S) said: “When Ammar is given two choices, he opts for one which is the most difficult.”
It is mentioned in Qurbul Asnad, through correct chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Allah has commanded me to love four persons. Companions asked who they were. The Holy Prophet (S) said: “One of them is Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.),” and then he fell silent. Then he said: “The Almighty Allah has commanded me to love four persons.” “Who are they,” asked the people. He replied: “Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), Miqdad bin Aswad, Abu Dharr Ghiffari and Salman Farsi.”
It is narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) through authentic chains of narrators that when the Almighty Allah revealed the following verse:
قُلْ لَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبٰى
“Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives…”1
… the Holy Prophet (S) arose and said: “O people, the Almighty Allah has made a duty incumbent on you with regard to me. Will you fulfill it?” No one replied. The Prophet returned without any assurance. The Messenger of Allah (S) again came to his companions the next day and asked the same question but again he did not receive any response. On the third day the Messenger of Allah (S) repeated the same question.
When no one responded, the Holy Prophet (S) said: “O people, whatever the Almighty Allah has made incumbent on you with regard to me is not from gold, silver or any edible item.” Then the people said: Then tell us what it is?” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “The Almighty Allah has revealed this verse and has made love of my Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) as the recompense of my prophethood.” Then the people said: “We accept.” After that Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) said: “By Allah, this promise was not fulfilled by anyone except the following seven persons: Salman, Abu Dharr, Ammar, Miqdad, Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari, freed slave of the Prophet, known as Thabeet and Zaid bin Arqam (r.a.).”
Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ كَانَتْ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتُ الْفِرْدَوْسِ نُزُلًا
“Surely (as for) those who believe and do good deeds, their place of entertainment shall be the gardens of Paradise.”2
This verse revealed in praise of Abu Dharr, Miqdad, Salman and Ammar (r.a.) and the Almighty Allah has fixed Jannatul Firdos as their final abode.
Ibn Babawayh and Shaykh Mufeed etc. have narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Allah has commanded me to love four of my Companions and He himself loves them. Companions asked: “Who are they, we all like to be from them?” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “They are: Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), Salman, Abu Dharr and Miqdad.”
Ibn Babawayh has narrated from the Messenger of Allah (S) through authentic chains of narrators that Ammar Yasir used to say in the Battle of Siffeen: “I have fought thrice under this banner in the service of the Prophet, and this is the fourth time. By Allah, if these people kill me, or take us to date orchard of Hijr, even then we will continue to believe that we are on the right and they are wrong.”
Moreover, it is narrated from Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) through authentic chains of narrators that the Holy Prophet (S) told Amirul Momineen (a.s.): “Paradise is eager for you, Salman, Abu Dharr, Ammar and Miqdad.”
Through authentic chains of narrators, it is narrated from Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that His Eminence, said: “Five persons have precedence in faith: I am the first among Arabs, Salman is the foremost among Iranians, Suhaib is the first among Romans, Bilal is the first among the Abyssinians and Khabab from the Copts.”
Through authentic chains of narrators, it is narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) and Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) that love and Wilayat of those believers is obligatory who after their Prophet didn’t make any changes in the Caliph of Allah and the religion of Allah. For example: Salman Farsi, Abu Dharr Ghiffari, Miqdad bin Aswad Kindi, Ammar bin Yasir, Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari, Huzaifa bin Yaman, Abu Haitham bin Taihan, Suhail bin Hanif, Abu Ayyub Ansari, Abdullah bin Samit, Ubadah bin Samit, Khuzaimah bin Thabit, Zul Shahadatain and Abu Saeed Khudri and those who walked on their path and performed deeds like them.
It is narrated from Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that the world was created for the following seven persons, for whose sake the inhabitants of the world get their livelihood and through their auspiciousness rain falls, and only through their sake are the people helped. And they are: Abu Dharr, Salman, Miqdad, Ammar, Huzaifa and Abdullah bin Masud (r.a.).” After that His Eminence said: “I am their Imam and chief. And it them alone who were present at the funeral prayers of Fatima Zahra (s.a.).”3
Through authentic chains of narrators, it is narrated from Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Ammar will be on the right when he will be killed between two armies. One of them would be on my religion and Sunnah and the other would have gone out of the pale of religion.”
It is mentioned in Tafsir Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) that when the Holy Prophet (S) came to Medina, the Jews, who were enemies of Allah, came with Abdullah Bin Surya to His Eminence (S). Ibn Surya asked His Eminence (S): O Muhammad, what is the condition of your sleep? Because we know about the sleep of prophets. His Eminence (S) said: My eyes sleep, but my heart is awake. Abdullah said: That is right, now tell me whether the child is created from the father or mother? His Eminence (S) replied: Bones, muscles and veins are from the father and flesh, blood and hair from the mother. He said: It is so.
Then he asked: O Muhammad, how is it that sometimes a child resembles his maternal uncle and not the paternal uncle? And sometimes he resembles his paternal uncle and not the maternal? He (S) said: He resembles one whose fluid is dominant over the other. Abdullah said: That is right.
Then he said: O Muhammad, how is it that some have issues and some don’t? His Eminence (S) said: When the sperm becomes red and turbid, a child cannot be conceived and when the sperm is clean, a child is conceived. Then he asked: Tell me, what your Lord is? Allah revealed Surah Tauheed. Ibn Surya said: It is right. Now one point is left, if you give me the right answer, I shall bring faith on you and obey you. Tell me, which angel brings the divine commands to you? His Eminence (S) said: Jibraeel (a.s.).
He said: This angel is our enemy who arrives with battles, severity and calamities of war. Our ambassador is Mikaeel (a.s.), who brings peace and happiness for us. If angel Mikaeel (a.s.) brought Allah’s commands to you we would bring faith. Mikaeel used to make our kingdom strong whereas Jibraeel destroyed it, that is why he is our enemy. Salman Farsi (r.a.) asked: How did this enmity begin?
He replied: Yes, Salman, he has always been inimical to us. It was the time when Allah revealed to His prophets, that an unfortunate person will destroy Baitul Maqdas and in that time also we got this information. And Allah brings one command after another, as He likes, and does what He wants. When we came to know about Baitul Maqdas, our elders sent a man, whose name was Daniyal; he was a prophet at that time. He was very famous and a strong fighter in Bani Israel.
He was sent to search out that person and eliminate him; he was also sent with a lot of wealth and many things. When he went in his search, he found a man in the city of Babel who was very thin and weak. Our man wanted to kill him, but Jibraeel (a.s.) forbid it and said: If he is the one Allah has appointed to destroy you, you will not be able to subdue him and if he is not such, why do you want to kill him?
Our companions agreed and returned to us again and informed us about it. Nebuchadnezzar became very strong and after becoming a king, came to fight us and destroyed Baitul Maqdas. That is why we consider Jibraeel our enemy. Salman (r.a.) said: O! Ibn Surya, you don’t use your common sense and are misguided. See, your elders selected a man to kill him, how was his action? Allah had informed His prophets in His books that Nebuchadnezzar will become a king and he would destroy Baitul Maqdas.
Now they intended to falsify Allah’s apostles and their information and blamed them; or they accepted Allah’s information and wanted to overwhelm Allah. Those who went to fight Nebuchadnezzar were infidels. How is enmity possible from Jibraeel (a.s.)? He (Jibraeel) restrained him from falsifying divine prophecy and overwhelming Allah. Ibn Surya said: Indeed Allah informed through His Apostles, but He erases whatever He wants and sets up what He likes.
Salman (r.a.) said: If it is so, then do not believe in any information of Taurat; first or last, because Allah erases what He likes and sets up whatever He likes. Hence, it is also possible that Allah might have cancelled the prophethood of Musa and Harun (a.s.); and what they informed you that it will occur, may not occur and what they informed will not occur, may occur.
In this way their saying that such and such thing occurred, may not be true for it might not have occurred. And Allah has promised you reward but may be He cancels it and also erases the chastisement. Because Allah erases whatever He likes and whatever He wants to establish, He does. At last, Salman (r.a.) said: You are unaware of the meaning of:
يَمْحُو اللَّهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ
“Allah makes to pass away and establishes what He pleases.”4
Because you are disbelievers and falsify the divine messages and you have gone out of the pale of religion.
Then Salman (r.a.) said: I witness, that those who are enemies of Jibraeel are also enemies of Mikaeel and they both are enemies of those who are inimical to them and they are at peace with those who are at peace with them. Then Allah revealed the following verse in support of Salman’s (r.a.) statement:
قُلْ مَنْ كَانَ عَدُوًّا لِجِبْرِيلَ
“Say: Whoever is the enemy of Jibraeel…”5
O Muhammad, tell them, those who are enemies of Jibraeel (a.s.) because he helps the friends of Allah against their enemies and he descends with Ali’s greatness by the command of Allah they are My enemies and I am also their enemy.
فَإِنَّهٗ نَزَّلَهٗ عَلٰى قَلْبِكَ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ
“…for surely he revealed it to your heart by Allah’s command…”6
How Jibraeel (a.s.) brought this Qur’an on your heart by Allah’s command?
مُصَدِّقًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ
“…verifying that which is before it…”7
That verifies all the heavenly scriptures that descended before it…
وَهُدًى وَبُشْرٰى لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
“…and guidance and good news for the believers.”8
And it guides the misguided ones and it is a good news for those who believe in the prophethood of Muhammad and Wilayat of Ali and the other Imams (a.s.), who are, in fact, the true friends of Allah.
After that His Eminence (S) told Salman (r.a.): Salman, Allah has verified your words and Jibraeel (a.s.) says from Allah that Salman and Miqdad are two brothers, who sincerely love you and your brother, your successor and your chosen one, Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) and they are from your companions just as Jibraeel and Mikaeel (a.s.) are from the angels. One who bears enmity with one of them, both are his enemies. And one loves both of them and you and Ali (a.s.), they love him.
And one who bears enmity to Muhammad and Ali and their friends, they are his enemies. And if the people of the world had sincerely loved Salman and Miqdad, just as angels of the empyrean and the heavens love the two and Muhammad and Ali (a.s.) and their friends and enemies of their enemies, because of this, Allah would not have punished any of them.
It is mentioned in Ihtijaj from Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that he said: “When the Holy Prophet (S) passed away and I buried him after giving him shroud and bath and began to collect the Qur’an, and when I concluded it, I held the hands of Fatima, Hasan and Husain and went to the houses of all the companions of Badr and those who had precedence in faith and adjured them of my right and asked for their help, but except for four persons, no one accepted it and they were Abu Dharr, Salman, Miqdad and Ammar and according to another report, twenty-four persons paid allegiance to him.
Imam Ali (a.s.) told them to shave off their heads the next day and come to meet him fully armed and that they should swear that they will not forsake him till death. But no one arrived the next morning, except for Salman, Abu Dharr, Miqdad and Ammar. Imam Ali (a.s.) called the people in this manner for three consecutive nights but except for these four persons no one responded.
Through authentic chains of narrators it is narrated from Salman that: “When Amirul Momineen (a.s.) concluded the shrouding and funeral bath of the Prophet, he called me, Abu Dharr, Miqdad, Fatima, Hasan and Husain. He stood in front of us and we formed a row behind His Eminence and we prayed the funeral prayer of the Messenger of Allah (S) in this manner. Ayesha was in the same room but Jibraeel had closed her eyes and she could not see us.”
It is narrated from Asbagh bin Nubatah that Abdullah bin Kawwa asked about the companions of the Prophet. Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said: “Whose circumstances do you want to know?” “Abu Dharr Ghiffar,” he replied.
Imam Ali (a.s.) said, “I have heard from the Messenger of Allah (S) that he said: The green sky has not shaded and the dusty earth not borne the weight of any speaker more truthful than Abu Dharr.” Then he asked about His Eminence, Salman (r.a.). He said: “Salman is from us, Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and how can the earth bring anyone else one who is like the Hakim Luqman? He was cognizant of the former as well as the latter sciences.” Then the inquirer asked about Ammar.
Imam Ali (a.s.) said: “He was such that his flesh and blood the Almighty Allah has prohibited for the fire of Hell.” Then the inquirer asked about Huzaifa bin Yaman. Imam Ali (a.s.) said: “He was such that he knew the names of the hypocrites and if you ask him about the divine penalties, you will find him aware and intelligent.” Then the inquirer said: “Please say something about yourself.” Imam Ali (a.s.) said: “I was such that when I asked a question the Holy Prophet (S) used to bestow knowledge and when I was silent, he initiated the discussion.”
According to some authentic reports, a group of people came to Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) and said: “We are Shia of Amirul Momineen (a.s.).” Imam (a.s.) did not allow them audience and they were not able to meet the Imam for a long time.
When at last they were permitted, they complained why they were denied access to him for so many days. “Why should I not have stopped you when you falsely claimed to be Shia of Amirul Momineen (a.s.), while the truth is no one is Shia of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) except Hasan, Husain, Salman, Abu Dharr, Miqdad, Ammar and Muhammad bin Abi Bakr. They were such that they did not disobey the Imam in anything.”
Shaykh Tusi has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Husain Asbat that he said that he heard from Amirul Momineen (a.s.) when he was busy in the Battle of Siffeen: “O Allah, if I come to know that Your pleasure lies in that I throw myself from this mountain, I will do it. And if Your pleasure lies in that I lit a fire and jump into it, I will do that also. And I am not fighting the Syrians except for Your pleasure. And I hope that You will not make me despair of that which I have decided.”
Sayyid Ibn Tawus has narrated from Sunni channels from Anas bin Malik that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Paradise is eager for four persons of my Ummah.” But the awe of the Prophet prevented me from asking him who they were. So I went to Abu Bakr and asked him to inquire from the Prophet.
Abu Bakr said: “If I will not be from those four, Bani Tamim will condemn me.” So I went to Umar and asked him to ask the Prophet. He also said that if he is not from the four, Bani Adi will ridicule him. After that I went to Uthman and requested to make this inquiry. He also said that if I am not from the four, Bani Umayyah will condemn me.
At last I came to Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) who was watering his orchard. I said: The Messenger of Allah (S) has said that Paradise is eager for four persons. I plead you to ask the Prophet who the four are? He said: By Allah, I will indeed ask him about it. If I am from those four, I will thank the Almighty.
If I am not from them, I will ask Allah to make me of them and I will love them. Thus Imam Ali (a.s.) set out to make the inquiry and Anas followed. When they came to the Prophet, they saw that the head of the Prophet was in the lap of Dahiya Kalbi. When Dahiya Kalbi saw Amirul Momineen (a.s.) he stood up to pay respect and said: Take your cousin’s head, as you are more deserving of it.
When the Holy Prophet (S) awoke and found his head in the lap of Ali (a.s.), he said: “O Ali, perhaps you have come to ask something?” He said: “May my parents be sacrificed on you, when I came here, I saw your blessed head in the lap of Dahiya Kalbi. So he arose and after greeting me said: “Take your cousin’s head in your lap.” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “Did you recognize who he was?” Ali (a.s.) said: “It was Dahiya Kalbi.” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “He was Jibraeel, who addressed you as Amirul Momineen.”
Imam Ali (a.s.) said: “May my parents be sacrificed on you, O Prophet of Allah, Anas told me that the Prophet has said that Paradise was eager of four persons from my Ummah. So please tell us who the four are?” The Messenger of Allah (S) pointed to Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and said thrice: “By Allah, you are the first of them.” Then Amirul Momineen (a.s.) asked him: “May my parents be sacrificed on you, who are the other three?” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “They are Miqdad, Salman and Abu Dharr.”
Ibn Idris has through authentic chains of narrators narrated from Mufaddal that he asked Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) about a group of people who had apostasied from faith after the passing away of the Prophet. I was mentioning each name and the Imam was saying: Be away from me. Till I mentioned the name of Huzaifa bin Masud. The Imam continued to say that. Then he said: If you want to know about those who were not haunted by the least doubt, they were Abu Dharr, Miqdad and Salman.”
Ayyashi has narrated through authentic chains from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that when the Messenger of Allah (S) passed away from the world, except for the following four persons all had become apostates: Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), Miqdad, Salman and Abu Dharr. The narrator asked what the Imam says about Ammar? Imam (a.s.) said: “If you ask about those who never had an iota of doubt, they were only these three.”
It is mentioned in Tafsir Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) that the Holy Prophet (S) turned towards his companions and asked: Has anyone of you today given any benefit to your believer brother employing your rank? Ali (a.s.) replied: O Allah’s Messenger! I have done so. The Holy Prophet (S) said: Describe the event. Ali (a.s.) said: Today I happened to pass by Ammar Yasir who was apprehended by a Jew, who had loaned him thirty Dirhams. Ammar complained to me: Dear brother of Allah’s Messenger!
This Jew has apprehended me only to harass and disgrace me and that too only because I befriend you, Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Kindly use your rank and position and get me released. I intended to request that Jew to favor Ammar with kindness, but Ammar (r.a.) spoke up: Dear brother of Allah’s Messenger! Your honor in my eyes and heart is much more than that you make recommendation to him, who would never reject your word, even if you ask him to give feast to the whole world.
Please just request Almighty Allah to help me to return his money and protect me from seeking loans in future. So I raised my hands to the sky and prayed: O Allah! Please fulfill Ammar’s need. Thereafter I said to him: Pick up any stone or brick in front of you from the ground and it will turn into gold by Allah for you. So he picked up a stone weighing a few kilograms. It became gold in his hands.
Then he asked the Jew: How much do I owe you? He replied: Thirty dirhams. He was asked how much in gold coins? He replied: Three Dinars. Ammar (r.a.) prayed to Allah Almighty: O Lord! Kindly make this gold soft so that I may slice it off and give to this Jew. Allah softened the metal. He took off three Mithqal gold and gave it to that Jew. Then looking at the remaining gold, he said: O Allah: I have heard that You have said in Holy Qur’an:
إِنَّ الْإِنْسَانَ لَيَطْغٰى. أَنْ رَآهُ اسْتَغْنٰى.
“Nay! man is most surely inordinate, because he sees himself free from want.”9
I don’t wish to be that much wealthy. Therefore, O Allah: for the sake of one, for whom You made this stone, gold, please return it to its original form. So it became a stone and Ammar (r.a.) threw it away and exclaimed: O dear-most brother of Allah’s Messenger! Your friendship in this world and Hereafter is enough for me.
Upon hearing this, the Prophet of Allah (S) said: Ammar’s contentment made even the angels wonder. They described Allah’s glory. Allah’s mercy continues to rain on him from high heavens. Then turning towards Ammar Yasir (r.a.) he said: O Abal Yaqzan: Good news for you. You, in honesty, are Ali’s (a.s.) brother and are the most high ranking in his friendship.
You are among those who will be killed due to your devotion for him. You will be killed by a rebellious group and in this world, your last provision will be some uncooked milk and your soul shall join with the souls of Muhammad and his progeny (a.s.). You are, in my sight, among the desired Shias.
It is mentioned in the same Tafsir that when Muslims suffered a great shock in the battle of Uhud, after a few days some Jews met Ammar Ibn Yasir and Huzaifa Ibn Yaman and said: See how much you grieved on the day of Uhud? And the battle of Muhammad (S) is like that of kings who are worldly persons. Sometimes he wins and sometimes he loses.
If he were a prophet, he would not have been defeated; he would have been victorious every time. You should give up his religion. When Huzaifa (r.a.) heard this, he said: Woe on you. I am not sitting with you and not talking with you or hearing your arguments. I am afraid of my belief and soul because of you and I am running away from here; and saying this he went away from there.
And Ammar (r.a.) continued to sit there and said to them: O Jews, Muhammad had taken promise from Muslims on the day of Badr that if they observe patience, they will succeed. So they were patient and got victory. In Uhud also, they were promised victory on being patient but they took to cowardice and opposition, so they had to suffer. If they had obeyed and remained patient and not opposed the order of His Eminence (S), they would never have been defeated and indeed succeeded.
The Jews said: O Ammar, if you obey Muhammad, would you gain an upper hand on the chiefs of Quraish in spite of your thin shin bones? Ammar (r.a.) said: Indeed, by one except whom there is no deity, who sent Muhammad as a true prophet, His Eminence (S) has filled me up with excellence and knowledge, because he taught the excellences of his prophethood and excellence of his brother, successor and best of creation after him, and explained and ordered me to be obedient to his purified progeny and also that I should pray through their sake in difficult times.
Then Ammar said: If the Prophet orders me something and I do it with full concentration, obeying the Prophet; indeed I shall be able complete it. So much so, that if the Prophet orders me to bring the sky down to the earth and carry the earth to the sky, then indeed Allah will give me strength despite my thin shinbones to obey his orders. On hearing Ammar’s arguments, the Jews said: It is not so, O Ammar. By Allah, the status of Muhammad is lesser near Allah, contrary to what you say and your status is also lesser near Allah and Muhammad, than what you claim.
At that time, forty hypocrites were also present among the Jews. Ammar (r.a.) stood up from there and said: I have fully conveyed the proof of Allah and advised you also but you don’t like it. And Ammar (r.a.) returned from there and came to His Eminence (S). His Eminence (S) said: O Ammar, I know everything about you two. Huzaifa (r.a.) came here running to save his religion from Satan and his companions and he is one of the true believers of Allah and you have struggled in the religion of Allah and are also a well-wisher of Muhammad (S) and you are also included among warriors in the way of Allah.
The Prophet, Ammar and Huzaifa were discussing this, when the Jews who were talking with Ammar came there and said: O Muhammad, your friend says that if you order him to raise the earth to the sky and bring the sky to the earth and if he has faith and is obedient to you, Allah will definitely help him. If you are a prophet, we don’t want more. If Ammar (r.a.) picks up this rock, despite his thin shinbones it would be enough for us. At that time the Prophet (S) was outside Medina and that rock was lying before him. It was so huge and heavy that even two hundred men would not be able to move it.
The Jews said: O Muhammad, if Ammar tries to lift this rock, he cannot even move it and if he lifts it, his shin bones will break and his body will disintegrate. His Eminence (S) said: O Jews! Don’t underestimate Ammar’s shinbones, because they are heavier than Mount Thawr, Mount Basir, Mount Hira and Mount Abu Qubais; rather heavier than the whole earth and all it has. And on account of reciting benedictions on Muhammad and Aale Muhammad, things heavier than this rock have become light; like the empyrean, which seems light on the shoulders of eight angels, even though before that numerous angels could not lift it.
After that His Eminence (S) said to Ammar (r.a.): O Ammar, believe in my obedience and pray: O Allah, for the sake of Muhammad and Aale Muhammad’s excellence give me strength to lift this rock, make it easy for me just as You made it easy for Kalib bin Yohanna to pass over the sea and he crossed it on horseback, because he prayed to Allah through Muhammad and Aale Muhammad. Ammar (r.a.) prayed thus, placing faith in the Prophet and lifted the rock and exclaimed: Allah’s Messenger, by One Who sent you as a true Prophet, this rock seems lighter than a twig in my hands.
Then His Eminence (S) pointed to a mountain, three miles away and told him to throw that rock on the top of that mountain. Ammar (r.a.) threw it in the air and that rock rose up high and fell down on the peak of that mountain. After that the Prophet said to the Jews: Have you seen Ammar’s strength? They said: Yes. Then His Eminence (S) said to Ammar (r.a.): Go to the mountain peak, you will find a rock heavier than this one.
Bring it to me. Ammar (r.a.) took a step to move, the earth drew close together and in the second step, he reached the mountain peak, picked that rock and in the third step came back to His Eminence (S). The Prophet (S) told him: Throw it hard on the ground. Seeing this, the Jews ran away in fear. Ammar (r.a.) threw it with force on the ground and it disintegrated and dispersed in the air. After that His Eminence (S) said to the Jews: O Jews! You have seen the signs of Allah, now you must accept faith. Some Jews believed and some were overpowered by wretchedness and remained deprived of faith.
Then His Eminence (S) said: O Muslims! Do you know what this rock is like? They said: No. The Prophet (S) said: By One Who sent me as a true prophet, when one of our followers, whose sins are many times more than the earth, mountains and the sky, seeks forgiveness and renews the Wilayat of us, Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) in his mind, his sins hit against the ground harder than this rock was hit. Besides, there is a man whose worship acts and obedience is like mountains, seas, skies and earth but he does not believe in our Wilayat; his worship acts and devotion will be thrown away as Ammar (r.a.) threw the rock and it dispersed in air.
When he will be brought in the hereafter, he will find nothing good in his record of deeds and his sins will be greater than skies and earth and his account will be taken very severely and he will remain in chastisement forever.
When Ammar (r.a.) got this much strength that he threw the rock with full strength on the ground and broke it into small pieces, he said: O Allah’s Messenger, allow me to fight the Jews and destroy them. His Eminence (S) said: O Ammar, Allah says:
فَاعْفُوا وَاصْفَحُوا حَتّٰى يَأْتِيَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهٖ
“…but pardon and forgive, so that Allah should bring about His command…”10
That is His chastisement, victory of Mecca and other things that He has promised.
In the mentioned book it is narrated from Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.) that the verse:
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَشْرِي نَفْسَهٗ ابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ رَءُوفٌ بِالْعِبَادِ
“And among men is he who sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah; and Allah is Affectionate to the servants.”11
…was revealed about the good companions of the Prophet whom the people of Mecca oppressed and tortured so that they may recant their faith of Islam. And they were: Bilal, Suhaib, Khabbab,
Ammar bin Yasir and his parents. Bilal was purchased by Abu Bakr bin Abi Qahafa in exchange for two black slaves. When he came to the Prophet, he paid more respects to Amirul Momineen (a.s.) than he was respectful to Abu Bakr. So a group of mischief makers said: O Bilal you have shown thanklessness and caused disrespect of Abu Bakr who is your master, who had purchased you and set you free from the infidels.
Although Ali has not done any such favor on you and you respect him more than Abu Bakr, it is nothing but thanklessness.” Bilal said: “Is it necessary for me to respect Abu Bakr more than the Prophet?” They said: “How can we say this?” Bilal said: “This statement opposes your previous saying that I cannot honor Ali (a.s.) more than Abu Bakr, because he has purchased and emancipated me.”
They said: “The Holy Prophet (S) and Ali is not equal, because the Prophet is most excellent of all the creatures. Bilal said: Ali is also in the view of Allah better than all after the Messenger of Allah (S), because when the roasted bird was brought for the Holy Prophet (S) he prayed: O Allah, send me one who is most beloved to You so that he can share this bird with me. So Ali (a.s.) arrived and joined him.
And Ali is most resembling the Prophet because the Almighty Allah made him as his brother in religion; therefore Abu Bakr cannot hope from me that which you people state, because he knows that Ali is superior to him and Ali has more right on me. It is so because it is Ali who saved me from divine punishment. And due to his love and for considering him superior to others I became eligible for perpetual bounties of Paradise.”
Imam (a.s.) said with regard to Suhaib: “He used to tell the infidels: I am an old man and my company with you will not give you any advantage and neither will my separation harm you. Therefore take away my money and leave me on my religion. So the infidels took away all his belongings. The Holy Prophet (S) asked: “How much wealth did you possess?” He said: “Seven thousand dirhams.” His Eminence, asked him if he had surrendered that amount willingly. Suhaib replied: “By the one who has sent you with truth.
If the whole world had been of pure gold and I had owned it all, I would have given it all just to glance at your elegance and the face of your brother and successor, Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.).” The Holy Prophet (S) said: “You have made the treasurers of Paradise helpless to be in your favor for the wealth the Almighty Allah has given you in exchange of the wealth you sacrificed, because no one except Allah can encompass all that.”
Imam (a.s.) then mentioned the merits of Khabbab bin Aras that when infidels tied him in heavy chains and put an iron collar in his neck, he beseeched the Almighty Allah in the name of Muhammad and his Purified Progeny. The Almighty Allah through their Barakat made that chain into a horse on which he mounted and converted that iron collar into a sword which he wore and came out of that place.
When the infidels saw him in this condition, no one dared to approach him and he used to say: Whosoever from you likes may come to me and see how I prayed in the name of Muhammad, and Ali and his Progeny and I know that if along with this faith, I hit this sword on Abu Qubais, it will also split into two.” Thus none of them approached him and he came to the Holy Prophet (S).
Then Imam (a.s.) explained about the mothers of Yasir and Ammar that they had observed patience in order to seek the pleasure of Allah till the infidels martyred them after a severe torture.
Regarding Ammar he said: “Abu Jahl was harassing him when the Almighty Allah made the ring of his finger so tight on his finger that he fell down due to the pain and He made his garments so heavy on his body that they became heavier than a coat of mail. So Abu Jahl asked Ammar to release him from this trouble “because it is only due to the strange phenomena of Muhammad.”
Ammar removed the ring from his finger and took off his clothes. Abu Jahl said: “Now you don’t remain in Mecca or you would cause embarrassment to me and say that you have taken off my ring and garments. So Ammar set out for Medina. When he came to the Prophet, companions said: “Khabbab was freed through the miracle that was shown for him. What is the reason that your parents were tortured till death?”
Ammar said: “It was the command of that God who saved Ibrahim from the fire and involved Yahya and Zakariya to be killed.” The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “You are very intelligent.” Ammar said: “Only this much is sufficient for me in knowledge that you are the Messenger of Allah and the best among His creatures, and that your brother, Ali is your successor and Caliph and he is the best of those who will survive you.
And your statement and his statement is truth. And your behavior is truth and I know that the Almighty Allah has not given me good sense except to remain devoted to you in the world and the hereafter.” The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “You are right, Ammar, and indeed the Almighty Allah will strengthen the religion through you and cut off the excuses of the careless ones and expose the malice of the enemies, when you will be killed by a group of those who have rebelled from their rightful Imam.”
Then he said: “O Ammar, reach to the level of excellence due to knowledge, and increase your knowledge so that your excellence increases. Because when a man goes out to seek knowledge, the Almighty Allah calls him from the Empyrean: “Welcome O slave, do you know what position you are seeking? You are trying to be like proximate angels. I will indeed fulfill your wish and complete your mission.”
Shaykh Mufeed has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that he said: “I heard Jabir Ansari say: If Salman and Abu Dharr are made alive again, and they see the group who claims the love of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) they will say that they are liars. And if the claimants of your love, see people like Salman and Abu Dharr, they would indeed exclaim that they are insane.”
Kulaini etc. have narrated through authentic chains from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that faith is having ten levels. And Miqdad was on the eighth level, Abu Dharr was on the ninth and Salman was at the tenth level.
It is narrated from Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) in Ruzatul Mawaizeen etc. that on Judgment Day a caller will call out from the Almighty Allah: “Where are the close companions of Muhammad bin Abdullah, who did not break their oath of allegiance and who remained faithful to their covenant as long as they lived?” Salman, Abu Dharr and Miqdad will arise. Again it will be announced: “Where are the close companions of successor of Muhammad, Ali?” Amr bin Hamaq Khuzai, Mitham Tammar, Muhammad bin Abi Bakr and Owais Qarni will arise.
It is mentioned in the same book that a person asked Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) what he said about Ammar. Imam (a.s.) said thrice: “May Allah have mercy on Ammar. He fought Jihad on the side of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and was martyred.” The narrator says that I thought to myself that there cannot be anything greater than this.
Imam (a.s.) said: “Do you think he can be like those three: Salman, Abu Dharr and Miqdad? It’s a pity, it’s a pity.” The narrator said: “Did Ammar know that he would be martyred that day?” Imam (a.s.) said: “On that day when he saw that the battle was raging and becoming more intense and more people were being killed, he separated from all and came to Amirul Momineen (a.s.). He asked: “Is it time for my martyrdom?” Imam Ali (a.s.) said: “Go back to your row.”
Ammar asked this question thrice and every time Imam Ali (a.s.) gave the same reply. Finally he said: “Yes.” So Ammar the brave came back to his row and began to fight valiantly, saying: “I will meet my friends today who are from Muhammad and his group.”
Moreover it is reported in the same book from the Holy Prophet (S) that he said: “Paradise is eager for three persons.”
“Who are the three?” asked Amirul Momineen (a.s.). He replied: “You are the first, then it is Salman Farsi, indeed there is no arrogance in him. He is your well wisher, so you must consider him as your friend. Third is Ammar bin Yasir; who will be on your side on many occasions and on each occasion his good deeds will be more, his effulgence will be great and his reward will be more.”
Moreover, Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) has mentioned that there is a noble from every family and the noble from the worst family is Muhammad bin Abi Bakr.
Furat bin Ibrahim has narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) in the exegesis of the following verse:
إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فَلَهُمْ أَجْرٌ غَيْرُ مَمْنُونٍ
“Except those who believe and do good, so they shall have a reward never to be cut off.”12
…that His Eminence, said: This verse was revealed about Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), Salman, Abu Dharr, Miqdad and Ammar (r.a.).
It is narrated in Ikhtisas that Hamza bin Isa asked Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) about the four persons about whom the Holy Prophet (S) had stated that Paradise was eager for them. Imam (a.s.) said: “Yes, they are Salman, Abu Dharr, Miqdad and Ammar.” The narrator asked: “Who is the best of them?” Imam (a.s.) replied: “Salman.” After a moment he again said: “Salman possessed such knowledge that if Abu Dharr had that knowledge he would have become infidel.”13
Through authentic chains of narrators, it is narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that Jabir Ansari said: I asked the Messenger of Allah (S) about Salman Farsi. The Prophet said: “Salman is the ocean of knowledge and no one can reach to its extreme end.
Salman is exclusive in every knowledge. Allah hates one who hates Salman, and loves one who loves him.” Jabir asked what the Prophet said about Abu Dharr. The Prophet replied: “He is from us, Allah hates one who hates him and loves one who loves him. Jabir asked what the Prophet said about Miqdad. The Prophet replied: “He is also from us, Allah hates one who hates him and loves one who loves him.” Jabir asked what the Prophet said about Ammar.
The Prophet replied: “He is also from us, Allah hates one who hates him and loves one who loves him.” Jabir says that I took the leave of the Prophet and came out so that I could give them the glad tidings of what the Prophet had said. Again the Prophet called me and said: “O Jabir, you are also from us. May Allah hate one who hates you and may He love one who loves you.” Jabir says: I asked: “O Messenger of Allah (S), what do you say about Ali?” The Prophet said: “He is the dearest to me.”
I said: “What do you say about Hasan and Husain?” He replied: “They are my souls and their mother, Fatima is my daughter. One who hurts her, hurts me and one who pleases her, pleases me. I hold Allah as a witness that I am at war with one who is at war with them and I am at peace with one who is at peace with them. O Jabir when you want to supplicate Allah and you wish Him to accept your supplication, you must supplicate through their names, because these names are the favorites of the Almighty Allah.”
Shaykh Kishi has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said: “The earth has become straitened for seven persons through whom the inmates of the earth receive their sustenance and through who they are helped. Among them are Salman, Miqdad, Ammar and Huzaifa.”
Amirul Momineen (a.s.) says that I am their Imam and it is they who attended the funeral prayer of Fatima.” Moreover, through authentic chains, it is narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that people become deviated after the Messenger of Allah (S) except for Salman, Abu Dharr and Miqdad. Then they were joined by Abu Sasan, Ammar, Shatita and Abu Amr thus they were seven persons in all.”
It is mentioned in Ikhtisas through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that the Holy Prophet (S) said: “O Salman, if your knowledge is revealed to Miqdad, he will become a disbeliever,” and he told Miqdad, “If your patience is presented to Salman, he will be become an apostate.”14
It is narrated from Salman Farsi: “One day I came out of my house after the passing away of the Messenger of Allah (S) and met Amirul Momineen (a.s.) on the way. His Eminence, said: “Go to Fatima, she has received a gift from Paradise which she wants to share with you.” So I came to the honorable lady.
She said: “Yesterday I was sitting at the same spot yesterday in a pensive mood and the door was closed and I was thinking that we have been deprived of divine revelation and the angels have stopped visiting our home. Suddenly the door opened and three girls entered; such that no one must have seen more beautiful, delicate and fragrant than them.” I stood up and asked: “Are you from Mecca or Medina?”
They said: “O daughter of Prophet, we are not from the folks of the earth. The Almighty Allah has sent us to you from Paradise. We were very much eager to visit you.” I asked the name of the one who seemed to be eldest of them and she replied: “Maqduda.” I asked why she was named thus? She replied that because I am created for Miqdad bin Aswad. Then I asked the name of the second girl.
She said: “My name is Zarra.” When I asked why she was named thus, she said that she had been created for Abu Dharr Ghiffari. I asked the third and she said: “Salma.” I asked the reason she said that she was named thus as she is created from Salman Farsi.” Lady Sayyidah says that after that those girls took out some dates for me which were as big as a bread. Whiter than snow and more fragrant than musk.
Salman says that Lady Fatima gave one of the dates to me and said: “Break your fast with this date today and bring the seed to me tomorrow.” I took it from her and returned. Whenever I passed a group of companions they used to ask if I was carrying Musk, and I always replied in the positive. When I broke the fast with it, I could not find any seed in it. The following day I came again to Lady Fatima and stated that there was no seed in it.
She said: “How it could have any seed, because it was from the tree that the Almighty Allah has created in Paradise due to the supplication that my respected father has taught to me, and which I recite every morning and night. Salman said: “Please teach it to me also.” She said: “If you want that you should not have fever as long as you remain alive you must recite the following supplication regularly. It is as follows:
“In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. In the name of Allah the light. In the name of Allah light of the light. In the name of Allah light upon light. In the name of Allah Who is the controller of the affairs. In the name of Allah, the One Who has created the light from the light. Praise be to Allah, the One, Who created the light from light.
And sent down the light upon Tur in a written book in a scroll that is spread in a limited quantity upon the delighted prophet. Praise be to Allah, the One having celebrated power and by the pride which is well-known. And upon all sorrows and joys I am thankful. And may Allah bless our chief Muhammad and his purified progeny.”
Salman says that he learnt it and taught it to more than a thousand people of Mecca and Medina who were sick with fever. All of them were cured of their illness by the leave of Allah, the Exalted.
Ibn Babawayh has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) that a person asked him:
“O son of Allah’s Messenger, will you not tell us what was the reason Salman Farsi accepted Islam?
He replied: my father (a.s.) informed me that one day Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), Salman Farsi, Abu Dharr and a group of people from Quraish had congregated at the tomb of the Holy Prophet (S) when Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said to Salman Farsi: O Aba Abdillah will you not tell us the beginning of your story? Salman said: By Allah, O Amirul Momineen, if anyone other than you had asked, I would not have told anything.
I was a resident of Shiraz and the son of a farmer and my father loved me very much. One day I was going with my father to attend a festival of that town when by chance we passed by a monastery in which a man was screaming: I testify that there is no god except Allah and that Isa is the spirit of Allah and Muhammad is the beloved of Allah. Thus the description and praise of Muhammad permeated my flesh and blood and after that I was interested in neither eating nor drinking.
My mother asked: What is wrong with you son, that today you did not prostrate at the time of the rising of the sun? When I opposed her, she fell silent. When I went to my room, I saw a letter hanging from the roof. I asked my mother what that letter was. She said: O Ruzbah when we returned home after celebrating our festival, we found it hanging from the roof. So you don’t go near it. If you do so, your father will kill you. Salman said that he continued to argue with his mother. When night fell and my parents went to sleep, I arose and took up the letter. I saw written therein: In the Name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful.
It is a covenant from Allah with Adam that He will create a prophet from his loins who will be named Muhammad. He will teach the best of morals and restrain the people from idol-worship. O Ruzbah, go to the legatee of Isa, accept the Faith and leave the Majoosi15 religion. He (Salman) says that after this he screamed and fell down unconscious and his trouble increased. He says: Thus my father became aware of this and he cast me into a deep pit. He said: Come back to your religion or I would kill you. I told him: You do whatever you like with me.
The love of Muhammad will not leave my heart. Salman says: Before reading that letter I didn’t know Arabic and Allah, the Mighty and Sublime taught me this language from this day. He says: I remained in that pit and they used to throw small pieces of bread to me.
When my matter became prolonged I raised up my hands to the heavens and prayed: O my Lord, You have put the love of Muhammad and his legatee in my heart. So I beg you in their name that You hasten my deliverance and take me out from the condition I am in.
At that moment a person came to me dressed in white. He said: Ruzbah, get up. After that he held my hand and took me to the monastery. I began to recite: I testify that there is no god except Allah and Isa is the spirit of Allah and that Muhammad is the beloved of Allah. The person who resided in the monastery came to me and asked: Are you Ruzbah? “Yes,” said I.
He said: Go up. I went up and continued to serve him for two complete years. When it was the time of his death he said: I am going to die. I asked him: On whom are you leaving me? He said: I don’t know anyone who follows my beliefs except a monk who lives in Antioch. Thus if you meet him, convey my salutations to him and give him this tablet. Saying this he gave me a tablet. When he died, I gave him the funeral bath, shrouded and buried him and taking the tablet set out for Antioch.
When I reached the monastery in Antioch, I began to recite: I testify that there is no god except Allah and Isa is the spirit of Allah and that Muhammad is the beloved of Allah. The resident of the monastery came to me and said: Are you Ruzbah? “Yes,” said I. He said: Go up. I went up and continued to serve him for two complete years. When it was the time of his death he said: I am going to die. I asked him: On whom are you leaving me? He said: I don’t know anyone who follows my beliefs except a monk who lives in Alexandria.
Thus when you meet him, convey my salutations to him and give him this tablet. Saying this he gave me a tablet. When he died, I gave him the funeral bath, shrouded and buried him and taking the tablet reached the monastery he had indicated. Upon reaching there, I began to chant: I testify that there is no god except Allah and Isa is the spirit of Allah and that Muhammad is the beloved of Allah. Thus that monk came to me and asked: Are you Ruzbah?
“Yes,” said I. He said: Go up. I went up and continued to serve him for two complete years. When it was the time of his death, he said: I am going to die. I asked him: On whom are you leaving me? He said: I don’t know anyone in the world who follows my beliefs and indeed the birth of Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Abdul Muttalib is near. So if you meet him, convey my salutations to him and give this tablet to him.
When he died, I gave him the funeral bath, shrouded and buried him and set out taking the tablet with me. I met a group of people and I offered to serve them if they gave me food and water and they agreed. When their mealtime arrived, they tied up a sheep and beat it to death. After that they prepared Kebab with some of the meat and some they roasted red on the fire. When I declined to partake it, they said: Eat it! I told them: I am a monk and a young man that spent his life in a monastery and monks do not eat meat.
They began to beat me and were about to take my life when some of them said: Wait till the wine arrives. And know that he would not take wine also. When they brought the wine, I said: I am a monk and a young man who lives in a monastery and the people of monastery do not imbibe wine. They tied me up and decided to eliminate me. I said: O people, do not beat me or put me to death as I have confessed to be a slave of yours. And I agreed that I was a bondman of one of them.
That person saved me from those people and sold me to a Jew for three hundred dirhams. Salman says that the Jew asked me about my story and I told him about it and said that I had no fault except that I loved Muhammad and his legatee. The Jew said: Then know that I hate you and Muhammad. He took me outside his house where there was a huge quantity of sand. He said: O Ruzbah, if you are not able to shift all the sand till the morning next I will surely kill you.
Salman says: I spent the whole night shifting that sand from one place to another. When I was absolutely exhausted, I raised my hands to the sky and prayed: O my Lord, You have filled up my heart with the love for Muhammad and his legatee. So I ask you in their names, please hasten my deliverance and save me from this terrible situation. So Allah, the Mighty and Sublime sent a windstorm that transferred all the sand to the spot that Jew had specified. In the morning the Jew was surprised that I had shifted all the sand.
Then he said: O Ruzbah, since you have proved to be a sorcerer, I shall throw you out of this town so that you may not destroy the locals. Thus he externed me from there and sold me to a kind-hearted lady. She was very kind to me. She had an orchard which she put at my disposal and said: It is for you, you can take whatever you want from it or give to anyone or spend in charity.
Salman says that: I lived in that orchard for a very long time.
One day I was sitting there when a group of seven persons shaded by a cloud came towards me. I said to myself: By Allah all of them cannot be prophets but one of them is definitely a prophet. They moved forward and entered the orchard and the piece of cloud was also moving with them. The group that entered the orchard comprised of the Messenger of Allah (S), Amirul Momineen (a.s.), Abu Dharr, Miqdad, Aqil bin Abi Talib, Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib and Zaid bin Haritha.
They entered the orchard and began to eat the date fruits that had fallen from the trees. The Messenger of Allah (S) was saying: Eat the fallen date fruits and do not spoil anything that belongs to these people. So I went to my owner and said: Please give me a tray of fresh dates. She said: You can have six. Salman says that he took up a tray of fresh dates and said to himself: If one of them is a prophet he would not eat Sadaqah and he would not mind eating a present.
So I kept the tray before them and said: This is Sadaqah. The Messenger of Allah (S) said: Eat it. But he himself abstained from eating as did Amirul Momineen (a.s.), Aqil bin Abi Talib and Hamza bin Abdul Muttalib. Zaid was told to go ahead and eat. I said to myself that this was the first sign of prophethood. Then I went to my mistress and said: Give me another tray. She said: You can have six. Salman says that I picked up a tray and came to them and placed the fresh dates before them and I said: This is a present.
The Messenger of Allah (S) stretched out his hand and uttered: In the Name of Allah…eat. All of them began to eat the dates. So I said to myself: This is the second sign. After that when I moved towards his back, the Holy Prophet (S) became attentive to me and said: Ruzbah, are you looking for the mark of prophethood? “Yes,” I said. He displayed his shoulders and I saw the mark of prophethood on him and above it were some hair. Salman says that he fell down at the feet of the Messenger of Allah (S) and began to kiss them.
He (the Prophet) said: Ruzbah, go to that lady and say that Muhammad bin Abdullah is asking if she would sell this slave to him. So I went to her and said: Muhammad bin Abdullah is asking if you would sell this slave to him? She replied: I will not sell the slave except in exchange of four hundred date trees two hundred of which should be yellow and two hundred golden. Salman says that when he conveyed this to the Holy Prophet (S) he said: How easy is that which she has asked. Then he said: Arise, O Ali and gather all the date seeds.
Ali gathered all the seeds and sowed them in the ground. The Prophet told him to pour water on them which Ali did. He had hardly finished watering that the trees grew up so much that they began to strike one another. Then the Prophet told me to go to the lady and tell her: Muhammad bin Abdullah is saying: Take your thing and give me mine. Salman went and told the lady. She came out, saw the trees and said: By Allah, I will not sell him unless all the trees become yellow. Salman says: Jibraeel descended and touched his wings to those trees. All of them became yellow.
Then the Messenger told me: Go and tell her: Muhammad is saying: Take your thing and give me mine. Salman says that when I conveyed this to her she said: By Allah, one of those trees is more precious to me than your Muhammad and you. I said: By Allah, a day in the company of Muhammad is more precious to me than you and everything including you. After that the Messenger of Allah (S) emancipated me and named me Salman.”
Ibn Babawayh has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that Salman used to say: I am surprised about six things; three of them make me laugh and three make me cry. The three things that impel me to cry are separation of friends, and they are Muhammad (S) and his companions. Secondly: the terror of death and the circumstances after death. Third: To stand before the Almighty for accounting.
And the three things that make me laugh is firstly the man who is in pursuit of the world while death is in his pursuit. Secondly the one who is oblivious of the circumstances of the hereafter even though the Almighty Allah and His angels are not oblivious of this and they have surrounded his deeds. Thirdly, the one who opens his mouth to laugh and he does not know whether Allah is pleased with him or He is infuriated.
Shaykh Tusi has narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) through authentic chains of narrators that a companion of Salman fell ill. When he could not meet him for some days, he asked the people where he was. He was told that he was ill. Salman said: “Let us pay him a visit.” Thus people accompanied there and reached the place of that man to find him near his death. Salman addressed the Angel of death to be lenient and kind with the friend of Allah.
The Angel of death replied in a voice that was heard by all those who were present there: “O Abu Abdullah, I am kind to all believers and if I ever come before anyone in such way that he could see me, it will be you.”
Shaykh Ahmad bin Abi Talib Tabarsi has narrated in Ihtijaj that when the second Caliph after Huzaifa’s son, appointed Salman as the governor of Madayan and Salman accepted the post by the permission of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and departed for Madayan, the Caliph wrote a letter to him raising some objections.
Salman replied: “In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. This is a letter from Salman, the freed slave of the Messenger of Allah (S) to Umar bin Khattab. I received your communication in which you condemned me and written that you have appointed me as the governor of Madayan and follow the practice of the son of Huzaifa and emulate his way of governance. So how can I inform you of all the good and bad things even though the Almighty Allah has restrained me in His clear verses from all that you order me to do? And He says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا كَثِيرًا مِنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ ۖ وَلَا تَجَسَّسُوا وَلَا يَغْتَبْ بَعْضُكُمْ بَعْضًا ۚ أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَنْ يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ
“O you who believe! avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin, and do not spy nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah…”16
So it can never happen that I should disobey the Almighty Allah and obey you with regard to the son of Huzaifa.
And what you have written to me that I weave baskets and consume barley; these are not any such things about which one could criticize a believer and try to change these habits. O Umar, by Allah, I prefer weaving of baskets and consuming barley bread to usurping the rights of believers and claiming that which I don’t deserve, in the view of Allah. And it is nearer to piety. Indeed I have seen the Holy Prophet (S) that when he received barley bread he used to be happy and was never sorry at it.
And what you have mentioned that all that I earn I give it away in charity, it is only that which I am sending for the day of need and poverty (in hereafter). O Umar, I swear by Allah, I don’t care that the food that reached my mouth and goes down my throat is whether it is wheat flour or brain of a goat or barley husk. And what you say is that I have made the divine rule weak and degraded my self and made myself a public servant. So much so that the people of Madayan do not consider me as their ruler and they take me for a bridge over which they pass and place their loads upon it.
So you have written that all this causes weakness of and insult to the rule of Allah. So you should know that being humiliated in obedience of Allah, in my view is better than being exalted in the disobedience of Allah. And you also know that the Holy Prophet (S) used to have sympathy for the people and used to remain close to them and people used to obtain his nearness and sit close to him in spite of his majesty and prophethood. So much so that he was one among them. Due to his closeness with them the Prophet used to have ordinary food and wore coarse garments.
All Quraishite and Arabs and black and white were all equal in religion in the view of the Prophet. And I testify that I heard the Holy Prophet (S) say: “One who rules over seven Muslims after me and does not deal with them with justice and he meets the Almighty Allah, He will be infuriated with him.” So, O Umar, I hope to be relieved from the governorship of Madayan safely. And become same as you allege: one who considers his self to be lowly and one who serves in favor of Muslims. Therefore, O Umar, what would be the condition of one who is the caretaker of the whole Ummah after the Messenger of Allah (S)? Certainly the Creator of the Universe says:
تِلْكَ الدَّارُ الْآخِرَةُ نَجْعَلُهَا لِلَّذِينَ لَا يُرِيدُونَ عُلُوًّا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فَسَادًا ۚ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ
“(As for) that future abode, We assign it to those who have no desire to exalt themselves in the earth nor to make mischief and the good end is for those who guard (against evil).”17
And you should know that I am not inclined to their punishment and I don’t apply any legal penalty for them except through the advice of a leader and possessor of intellect.
Therefore, I have adopted the middle path among them on the lines of the same leader and I behave only with his practice. And I know that if the Almighty Allah desires the well being of this Ummah, He would have intended betterment and guidance for them, and then he would have appointed over them a ruler who is better and wiser than them and if this Ummah had feared the Lord of the worlds, and had followed their Prophet and recognized the truth, it would not have addressed you as the chief of believers.
Thus you may issue any command you like, it cannot be applicable to us except in this worldly life. Therefore do not become arrogant as Allah has given you respite, and instead of that do not show off about it. Know that the Almighty Allah will catch you for your injustice and oppression in the world and the hereafter and He will ask you about the deeds that you have sent ahead. And you will see the consequences of your deeds.”
Qutub Rawandi has narrated through authentic chains of narrators that Salman used to say that I was a resident of a village of Isfahan, named Ji and my father was the village headman. He loved me very much and kept me at home like girls are protected. I was a child and knew nothing about religion except for fire-worship which I used to see. So much so that my father got a building constructed. He had a farm. One day he said to me: “O son, I am so busy in this construction that I have no information about my agricultural lands.
So you go to the farms and instruct the workers in such and such manner. But don’t be late in returning.” So I set out for the farms. On the way there was a church in which I heard their voices. I asked: Who are they?” “They are Christians, and they are praying.” I entered the church to study their practice. I liked the way they worshipped and I stayed with them till sunset. My father sent people to look for me. I returned home at night without having visited our farms.
My father asked where I had been and I told him that I way on way to the farms when I passed by a church. I liked their method of worship and devotions. My father said: “O son, the religion of your ancestors is better than theirs.” I said, “No, by Allah, it is not so. They worship Allah, supplicate Him and recite the prayers. Whereas you worship fire, which you lit yourself and if you don’t pay attention to it, it goes out.” My father put me in chains and imprisoned me at home. I sent a messenger to the Christians and inquired from them where foundation of their religion lies?
They said it was in Syria. So I sent a message to them to let me know when they received visitors from Syria. They agreed to do so. After some days when traders from Syria visited the church, I was informed about it. I told them to inform me when they are about to return. They agreed and after some days when they were departing for Syria, I was informed about it. I removed the chains and joined their group which was on way to Syria. When I reached Syria, I asked: Who is the greatest scholar of this religion.
People directed me to the biggest chapel in charge of a Bishop. He was the most knowledgeable of them. I went to him and beseeched him to allow me to remain with him so that I can learn the points of truth. He accepted my request and I began to live with him, but he was an incapable person and ordered the fire worshippers to bring the charities to him, which they brought and he used to hoard them without giving them to the poor. Thus I remained with him for some days and he died.
When Christians came to bury him, I told them that he was not a righteous man. And I informed them about the treasure he had collected. They removed seven pots full of gold and crucified him and stoned him. In his stead, another scholar was appointed and I did not find anyone more pious than him. He was most religious and pious. I always used to be present in his service and was very fond of him. Till one day he was about to die when I asked him to whom he was entrusting me?
He said: O son, I don’t consider anyone better than the scholar at Mosul. Go to him and when you reach him you will find him like me. Saying this, he passed away from the world. I went to Mosul to that scholar and he was also similarly abstemious and pious. I told him that such and such scholar had sent me to him. He said: “O son, stay with me. I lived with him till the time of his death.
I asked him to whom he was entrusting him?” He said that he didn’t know any such person except one who lived in Nasibiyyan, so I should go to him. Thus after he died, I buried him and went to Nasibiyyan. I came to the monk of Nasibiyyan and told him that so and so scholar has sent me to him. He said: “O son, stay with me.” I lived with him till the time of his death. He was also extremely knowledgeable and a pious man.
When his death approached, I asked him to whom he was entrusting him? He said that he didn’t know any such person except one who lived in Amuriya Rum. “If you go to him you will find him like me.” After his death I went to Amuriya and found him like those scholars. I lived with for a long time and earned some goat and sheep and some money.
When his death approached, I asked him to whom he was entrusting me? He replied: “I don’t know of anyone who is like us in this time. But the time is near for the rise of the Prophet who will come from Mecca. And who will migrate to a place between two mountains, rich with many date trees. Many distinguishing signs will appear about that Prophet and the seal of prophets will be found on his back. He will not consume charity but accept gifts.
If you can reach there, you should do so.” Salman says: After burying him, I continued to live there till a caravan of Bani Kalab arrived from Arabia. I asked them to take me to Arabia in exchange of the things I possessed. They agreed to do so. So I accompanied them till Wadiul Qura. They began to oppress me and making me a slave sold me to a Jew. When I saw the date trees, I began to hope that it is the same place that was described to me. That the last of the prophets will arise from there.
Thus I remained with that Jew till one of the Jews of Wadiul Qura, a person of Bani Quraiza arrived and purchased me and brought me to Medina. When I reached Medina, I found it same as the monk had described to me. So I lived with that Jew for a long time. Till I heard that the Holy Prophet (S) has appeared in Mecca. Since I was a slave, I could not get more information about the Prophet.
Till the time the Holy Prophet (S) migrated to Medina and halted at Quba. I was working in one of the orchards of that Jew. One day the cousin of that Jew came to the orchard and said: May Allah kill Bani Qaila (Ansar) all of them have gathered around a person who has come from Mecca and they all consider him to be a prophet. By Allah when I heard this about the Prophet I began to tremble so hard that I was about to fall down before my master.
I asked: What is the fact? Who is that man from Mecca? My master slapped me at the chest and asked: Why are you concerned about it? Mind your own business. Thus at night I took a little food and came to the Messenger of Allah (S) at Quba. I asked: “I have heard that you are a superior person and there are some companions with you. I have some things of Sadaqah, which I have brought for you to eat.”
The Holy Prophet (S) told his companions to eat from it but himself did not touch it. I said that it was the first sign. Then I brought something else and said that since he did not eat anything from Sadaqah, I have brought it as a gift for him. So the Prophet ate from it as did his companions.
I said to myself that it is the second quality which the monk has told me of. I came to the Prophet for the third time when he was going with a bier. He was wearing two old garments and was accompanied by the companions. I began to circle the Prophet to see if the seal of prophethood was visible on his back. When I reached behind him, the Prophet understood through the intelligence of his prophethood that I was looking for that sign of prophethood.
So he removed the cloth from his shoulder and I could see the seal between his shoulders as the monk had told me. I fell down on seeing that; I kissed it and continued to weep. The Prophet said: O Salman, come before me. I returned to him and he said: Narrate your story for the benefit of the companions. I narrated my whole story to them. Then the Holy Prophet (S) said: O Salman, pay your master and obtain your freedom.
I came to my master and had myself freed with the condition that I will plant 300 trees for him and give 40 Awqiya of silver. Companions helped me with date saplings. Some gave me 30 and some 20. Thus all gave according to their position till they came to be 300. The Holy Prophet (S) said: I will plant myself. So I dug the ground where it was planned that the trees will be planted.
And the Prophet arrived there. I presented the saplings to His Eminence, and he planted each and I watered and threw soil on each; till we completed them all. And by the one who sent the Prophet with truth not a single was wasted. All grew into good trees. Then a person gave to the Prophet a piece of gold as big as an egg. So the Prophet asked where that Persian is who has freed himself from my master.
I came and the Prophet said: Take this gold and clear the debts that remain upon you. I asked: How can it be equal to the amount that I still owe? The Prophet replied: The Almighty Allah will bless it so much that it will repay all the debts owed by you. By the one in whose control my life is, I paid 40 Awqiya silver from that piece of gold and secured my freedom for that Jew.
Thus I was not able to take part in the Battles of Badr and Uhud. I came in the Khandaq Battle and participated in all battles thereafter. In another report, it is narrated from Salman that when it was time of the death of the monk of Amuriya, he said: “Go to Syria, there are two forests there.
A person comes out of one every year and enters another. At that time people suffering from chronic diseases wait on his way and get cure through his prayers. So you must also meet him at that time and ask him about the Hanif religion which is the religion of Ibrahim. I went to that glade and waited for him for a whole year, till that person came out on an appointed night and entered another.
He had hardly emerged when I put my arms around him and said: “May Allah have mercy on you, I want to know about the Hanif religion from you which is the religion of Ibrahim.” He said: “You have inquired something that people do not inquire in this age. Indeed, the time is near when a prophet will appear from the Holy Kaaba which is in the sanctuary of Mecca. And he will be sent with the religion about which you are inquiring. So if you meet him, it would be as if you have met Isa (a.s.).”
Through another chain of narrators it is mentioned in Al-Jaraih that when the Messenger of Allah (S) was staying at Quba and had said that till Ali does not join him, he will not proceed to Medina, when Salman used to ask the people about the Prophet at that time he had been enslaved to a Jew of Medina and he used to work in his date orchard.
When Salman came to know that Prophet was staying in Medina, he took a tray of dates and came to him and said: I have heard that you are poor people staying at this place, so I brought these dates as my Sadaqah, please eat from them. The Holy Prophet (S) told his companions to eat from it with the name of Allah, but he did not eat from it himself.
Salman watched all this with interest and remarked in Persian that it was the first sign. Then he filled the tray with dates and told the Prophet: I noticed that you did not partake from the dates of Sadaqah, so I have brought these dates for you as gift. The Prophet partook from them and also told his companions to follow suit.
After that Salman picked up the tray and remarked: This is the second sign. And he went to the back of the Prophet and noticed the seal of prophethood. And pleaded to the Prophet that he was enslaved to a Jew, so what he advises him? He said: Go and make a deal with him to free you at a cost, so that I can arrange it and have you freed. Salman came to his Jew master and said: I have become a Muslim and have started following the Prophet who has arrived in this town. So you will not be able to gain anything from me.
Please take an amount of cash and free me. He said that he would free him only if Salman planted 500 date trees for him. And that he would serve him only till they bear fruit; and also to give him 40 Awqiya of gold and each Awqiya is equal to 40 Mithqal. Salman reported this to the Prophet who said: Go and accept his conditions. Salman went there and made the agreement.
The Jew was under the impression that this will take a few years. Thus Salman remained with the Prophet according to that agreement. The Prophet said: Go and bring 500 seeds of date. I presented them. The Holy Prophet (S) said: Give them to Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and show me the place where the man wants the trees planted. The Prophet came to that place with Ali (a.s.) and Salman.
He made holes in the ground with his finger and told Ali (a.s.) to put a seed in each. Then he cast some earth on it and when he separated his fingers, water used to gush out of them. The same procedure was carried out with the next seed. When he finished with the second seed, the first used to become a tree. And when he sowed the third, the second grew into a tree and the first bore fruits.
In this way all the seeds were sowed and 500 trees grew up and fructified. When the Jew witnessed this strange phenomenon, he said: The Quraish are right that Muhammad is a magician (Refuge of Allah). He said: Now bring the gold. The Prophet picked up a rock which turned to gold by his miracle. The Jew said: I have not seen gold better than this. Then he weighed it and it was exactly 40 Awqiya, neither less nor more. Salman says that I returned with the Prophet a freed man and I began to live with him.
Shaykh Kishi has narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that Misab which is among the orchards owned by Lady Fatima (s.a.) is that same orchard which the Holy Prophet (S) had planted in order to get Salman freed. The Almighty Allah took it away from that Jew and restored it to the Messenger and he had given it to Lady Fatima (s.a.) and she had turned it into an endowment for the poor.
Ibn Shahr Ashob has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) for the tribe of Salman who lived in Gazron, wrote a document about this as follows: This is a document executed by Muhammad bin Abdullah which Salman has requested for him to execute. In the name of his brother, Mahar bin Qaroh bin Mahiya and for all his relatives who will come after him through his line and those who remain Muslims and follow the religion faithfully.
Peace be on you, I praise the Almighty Allah indeed the Almighty Allah had ordered me to testify that there is no god except Allah, the one who has no partner. I testify to it and also ask others to testify this. The command belongs only to Allah and He is one who has created everything and He it is that gives them death and He will enliven them again and all will return to Him one day.
After that many points were mentioned in praise of Salman. For example it was also mentioned that – shaving of head, paying of Jizya, accepting Khums and Ashar (10th part), and had exempted them from all taxes. Thus if they ask you for anything, you give it to them. If they call for help, help them. If they seek refuge, give it to them. If they commit a mistake, forgive it.
And if people act badly to them you restrain them. And give them 200 robes and 100 Awqiya silver every year from the Muslim Public Treasury because Salman is deserving of these honors on behalf of the Prophet. And in the last lines prayed for one who acts on this and cursed those who harass them. And this document was entrusted to Amirul Momineen (a.s.). Ibn Shahr Ashob has said that this document is still treasured with the descendants of Salman and people act according to the command of the Prophet and it is one of the miracles of the Holy Prophet (S).
If the Prophet had not known that his religion will spread all over the world, he would not have written such a document for those rulers who were not under his control at that time. It is mentioned in Rijal Kishi narrating from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that: “Salman has mastered the prior and latter sciences. And he was an endless ocean of knowledge he is from us Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Such was the level of his knowledge that one day he came across a man who was standing in a crowd.
Salman told him: O servant of Allah, seek the forgiveness of Allah from the act that you committed last night in the privacy of your house.” And then Salman went away from there. People told him that Salman had attributed evil to you but you did not refute him? He replied: Salman informed of that about which no one except Allah and me were aware of. In another report it is mentioned that it was Abu Bakr.
Through another authentic chain of narrators it is narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that he asked Fudail bin Yasar: Do you know what the statement that: Salman had the knowledge of the former and latter, means. Fudail said: It means that he had the knowledge of Bani Israel and knowledge of the Holy Prophet (S). Imam (a.s.) said: “No, it does not means this, on the contrary it means the knowledge of the Prophet and knowledge of Amirul Momineen (a.s.). And he was aware of the most extraordinary matters related to the Messenger of Allah (S) and Amirul Momineen (a.s.).”
Also, Shaykh Kishi and Shaykh Mufeed, had through authentic chains related from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that one day Abu Dharr came to the house of Salman. The bowl of Salman was full of soup and fat. During their conversation it so happened that the bowl overturned but nothing fell out of it. Salman straightened it and then continued talking. Abu Dharr was astonished at this. By chance that bowl again overturned but nothing fell out of it.
Abu Dharr’s astonishment increased and he arose from there in deep thought. Suddenly he saw Amirul Momineen (a.s.) there. Imam Ali (a.s.) asked Abu Dharr why he has come away from Salman and what had horrified him? Abu Dharr narrated the strange happening. Imam Ali (a.s.) said: If Salman informs you of the matters he knows, you will indeed say: May Allah bless the killer of Salman.
O Abu Dharr, Salman is the court of Allah on the earth. One who recognizes him is a believer and one who denies him is an infidel. Indeed Salman is from us, Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Shaykh Mufeed has narrated that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) came to Salman and said: “O Salman, welcome your companion and do not reveal to him the matters that they cannot bear.”
Kulaini, Kishi and Shaykh Tusi have through authentic chains of narrators narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that one day Salman was sitting with a group of Quraish in the mosque of the Prophet.
They were boasting about their superior lineage etc. till it was Salman’s turn. Umar bin Khattab said: “Tell us, O Salman, what is your parentage and family tree.” Salman said: “I am a son of an ordinary man. I was misguided and Allah guided me through the blessing of Muhammad. I was in hard times and the Almighty Allah made me self-sufficient for the sake of Muhammad. I was a slave and the Almighty Allah freed me through the goodwill of Muhammad. This is my lineage and descent.”
They were discussing this when the Holy Prophet (S) came out and Salman said: “O Messenger of Allah (S), how much I have been insulted by these people! I was seated in their company and they began to boast about their lineage and finally turned to me. And Umar bin Khattab asked such and such question.” The Holy Prophet (S) asked what reply he offered. Salman quoted his answer. The Prophet announced to Quraish: “The lineage of man is his religion and his valor are his good manners; and the root of man is intelligence: the Almighty Allah says:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ مِنْ ذَكَرٍ وَأُنْثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا ۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ
“O you men! surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other; surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty)…”18
If you are the most pious of them you are most excellent of them. Moreover, Kishi has narrated that when Salman used to see a camel called Askar, on which Ayesha mounted in the Battle of Camel he used to lashed it and express distaste about it. People asked Salman why he despised that animal? Salman replied: “It is not an animal, this Askar was son of Canan the Jinn, who has assumed this shape to mislead the people.”
Then he told the Bedouin owner of that camel, “Your camel is valueless here, take it to the boundaries of Hawwab and you will get whatever price you demand, there.” It is narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that the army of Ayesha purchased that camel for 700 dirhams at the time they were marching to confront Imam Ali (a.s.).19
Moreover Kishi has narrated through Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) from authentic chain of narrators that Salman married a woman of the Kinda tribe. When he reached her place, he saw a slave girl and that a curtain hung from the door. Salman said: Perhaps a sick person was lying there. Or you have brought the holy Kaaba over here. People said that the lady has put this curtain for herself. Salman asked: Who that slave girl is? People said: This woman was very rich, therefore she purchased this slave girl to serve her.
Salman said: I have heard from the Messenger of Allah (S) that a person who possesses a slave girl and who does not have relations with her or does not arrange for a husband for her, and if that slave girl falls to adultery, that person will be as much liable for that sin as that slave girl. And if one lends an amount to someone it is as if he has given half his wealth in charity. And if he gives a loan a second time it is like giving up all his wealth in charity. And fulfillment of right of the owner is that you take the money to his place and pay him there.
Kishi has narrated through authentic chain of narrators that one day someone mentioned Salman in the presence of Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) and the Imam said: He is Salman Muhammadi and he is from us Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Salman used to say that people have turned away from Qur’an to traditions, because they found Qur’an to be a lofty Book in which it is clearly mentioned that even the smallest deed will be accounted for even it is equal to a grain of rye. That is why you found the laws of Qur’an difficult and people turned to traditions which simplified the matters.”
Shaykh Kishi and Mufeed have narrated through authentic and reliable chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that one day, Salman was passing by the iron mongers lane in the Kufa market, and there he saw that a young man had fainted and people had surrounded him. People said to him: This youth had a fit, please recite some supplication in his ear, perhaps he will gain consciousness.
When Salman came near him, he became conscious. He said: “O Abu Abdullah, I am not suffering from the illness that these people think, but when I was passing by the iron mongers, I saw their hammers with which they pound the iron, and I recalled the statement of the Almighty Allah that is mentioned in Qur’an:
وَلَهُم مَّقَامِعُ مِنْ حَدِيدٍ
“And for them are whips of iron.”20
Thus I lost my senses due to the fear of Allah and I fell down unconscious.” Salman took that youth to be his brother and the sweetness of his love appeared in his heart only for the sake of the Almighty Allah. He cultivated his company and fulfilled the conditions of brotherhood, till that youth fell ill and Salman paid a visit to him. He sat down at his bedside and realized that he was on the verge of death. Salman said: “O Angel of Death, be lenient to my brother.” The Angel of Death replied: “O Salman, I am lenient and kind to every believer.”
Also, Kishi has through authentic chains of narrators, narrated from Musayyab bin Najiya that when Salman Farsi arrived as the governor of Madayan, all of us came out of the city to welcome him. When we reached Kerbala with him, Salman asked what that place was called. We told him that it was Kerbala. He said: It is the place of the martyrdom of our brothers. This is the point where they will place their belongings and it is here that their camels will be tied.
This is the place where their blood will be shed. It was on this land that prior good people were killed and it is here that the best of the coming generations will be martyred here. Thus we reached upto Harura with him, which was the place of conglomeration of the Khawarij of Naharwan. Salman asked what that place was called. “Harura,” we said. He said: “This is the place from where the worst of the people will rise up in revolt.” When they reached Kufa, he asked: Is this Kufa? We replied in the positive. He said that this was the dome of Islam.21
Once Salman Farsi (r.a.) passed by a group of Jews. They requested Salman (r.a.) to sit near them and relate whatever he heard from Muhammad (S). Longing for their becoming Muslims, Salman (r.a.) sat before them and said: Today, I heard from Muhammad (S) that the Lord of the world says: O My servants!
Does it not so happen that someone wants something from you but you do not intend to fulfill that need, but when he brings to you a person who is very friendly with You and who recommends his case, you fulfill the need? O My servants beware and know that My Messenger, Muhammad (S) and his brother Ali (a.s.) and thereafter his truthful Imams (a.s.) are the means of approaching Me from the entire creation and they are most honorable in My sight.
So, whoever has a need or whoever wants to be protected from any harm, should request Me in the name of Muhammad (S) and his pious progeny. I will fulfill his need in the best way. Hearing this, the Jews mockingly told Salman (r.a.): O Abu Abdullah! Then why do you not give the mediation of those persons and request God to make you the richest and wealthiest person in Medina?
Salman (r.a.) replied: I have requested Almighty Allah to grant me a thing greater than the kingship of the whole world and which is most beneficial and it is that He may grant me a tongue which may continue praising Him and give me a heart which may constantly thank Him and also a mind that may value His bounties and that I may be patient during hardships. Almighty Allah has answered my appeal and granted that, which is more valuable than everything in the world.
The Jews laughed at Salman (r.a.) and told him: You have indeed asked for a very great rank from your Lord. Now we want to test the truthfulness of your intention.
Just see, we are hitting you with this whip. Request your Lord to stop our hands from hitting you. Salman (r.a.) supplicated: O Lord! Grant me patience and forbearance in this calamity. The Jews began to hit Salman (r.a.) with their whips so much, that they became tired, but Salman (r.a.) said nothing except, O Lord! Grant me patience.
When the cursed ones got extremely tired, they said: O Salman! We never imagined that anyone could remain alive after such whipping. We wonder why you did not ask your Lord to prevent us from giving you so much pain?! Salman (r.a.) replied: Such request would be against patience. Rather, I am pleased with the respite given by God to you. I have requested Him to grant me forbearance.
After a while, the Jews once again took up their whips and advanced towards Salman (r.a.) saying: Now we will continue hitting you, till the time you either die or deny the messengership of Muhammad (S). Salman (r.a.) replied: I can never do the latter, I can never deny the messengership of Muhammad (S), because Almighty Allah has revealed this verse to Muhammad (S) in His Holy Qur’an: ‘Those who believe in the unseen’.
Hence your oppression is easier for me to bear, so that God may admit me to the group which has been praised in this verse. Hearing this, the cursed ones hit Salman (r.a.) till their hands could move no more. So they sat down and said: O Salman! Had God raised your rank because of your belief in Muhammad (S) He would have answered your supplication and prevented us from hitting you.
Salman (r.a.) said: You are extremely ignorant. How could the Most Mighty Lord accept the request quoted by you? Had He accepted it, it would have been against my desire. I appealed Him to grant me patience and He accepted my request. I never asked Him to prevent you from oppressing me. Had it been so, it would have been against my desire. Your imagination is quite wrong.
Thereafter they started hitting Salman (r.a.) for the third time. But Salman (r.a.) continued to recite the same supplication, that is, O Allah! Grant me patience to bear this oppression due to my love for Your selected friend, Muhammad (S). Then the Jews said: Woe unto you. Did Muhammad not allow you to speak something against your belief by way of dissimulation during such hard times?
Salman (r.a.) replied: Indeed God has given me such permission, but it is not obligatory. It is permitted that I may not allow you to fulfill your evil intentions and continue to bear this oppression, as it is better and more honorable in my sight. Hearing this, the cursed ones once again took up their whips and hit him so much that blood oozed out from his body. Then laughing more, they said: Why do you not request your God to prevent us from hitting you so that you may not have to utter what we want.
If you are true in your faith, God will not reject your supplication. So request Him, giving mediation of Muhammad and his progeny, to destroy us. Salman (r.a.) replied: I regard it bad to ask for your destruction, because perhaps there may be someone among you about whom God knows that he would believe after some time.
If I do as you say, it would mean that I asked for preventing that man from becoming faithful. After hearing this reply, the unfortunate and cursed ones said: Request God to destroy that man about whom He knows that he would not refrain from his high-handedness and rebellious haughtiness. In this way, you will be saved from what you fear.
Finally, when the Jews said so, a wall of the house in which they and Salman (r.a.) were present tore apart and Salman (r.a.) could see the Holy Prophet (S) and hear him saying: O Salman! Pray for the destruction of this community as none from them is ever going to come to the true path. It is just like the time when Prophet Nuh (a.s.) knew, after final investigation, that none from his community except those who put faith, would believe, he prayed to God for their destruction. Then Salman (r.a.) asked the Jews what kind of divine punishment they would like.
They replied: Ask your God so that He may turn all of these whips into pythons and every python may attack its owner and chew away his bones. Salman (r.a.) prayed accordingly. Consequently, Allah Almighty turned every whip into a big snake having two heads.
Every snake held the head of its holder in one mouth and with another mouth held the owner’s right hand that held the whip. Then the giant snakes broke and chewed their bones and finally swallowed them all. At that time, the Holy Prophet (S) addressed his audience and said: O group of believers! Almighty Allah has helped your brother-in-faith, Salman (r.a.) against twenty Jews and hypocrites.
Come, let us go and see the snakes which broke the oppressors’ bones and swallowed them up; the snakes that have been appointed by Allah to protect Salman (r.a.). When the Holy Prophet (S) and his companions reached the house in which Salman (r.a.) was oppressed, the snakes were killing the oppressors and the latter were screaming loudly. Hearing their screams, the Jews and hypocrites in neighborhood also had arrived there to see what was happening. But they could not go near them for fear of the deadly pythons.
When the Holy Prophet (S) reached there, all of them came out of that house and gathered in the street which was too narrow to accommodate all of them. But Almighty Allah due to the auspiciousness of the holy steps of the Holy Prophet (S) widened that street ten times. When the snakes saw the Holy Prophet (S), they jointly spoke out in pure language: Peace be on you, O Muhammad! O the leader of the formers and latters.
Thereafter, they saluted Amirul Momineen (a.s.): Peace be on you, O Ali, leader of the legatees. Thereafter, saluting the purified progeny of the Holy Prophet (S) they said: Peace be on your Pure and Pious progeny whom Allah has made the establisher of the affairs of the entire creation. May our salutations reach them. We are the whips of the hypocrites. Allah has turned us into snakes due to the prayer of this faithful, Salman (r.a.).
Then the Holy Prophet (S) said: All praise befits Allah Who brought this servant of His in my community. He, initially due to refraining from cursing and continuing forbearance and finally cursing the oppressors after getting totally disappointed, is like Prophet Nuh (a.s.). Then the pythons said: O Allah’s Messenger! We are extremely furious against these denier infidels. In the Kingdom of God, your and your legatee’s orders are binding on us.
We wish that you pray to God that He may turn us into those giant snakes of Hell who may override these infidels, whereby like here in this world, we may continue to crush them in the Hereafter. The Holy Prophet (S) replied: Your request has been accepted by God. Now throw out the pieces of the bodies of these oppressors out of your bellies and then go away into the lowest part of Hell so these oppressors may be more disgraced and that their disrepute may last longer.
When they will be buried in the burial ground of Muslims, many believers will take lesson by looking at their graves knowing that they were destroyed due to the curse of a great friend of Muhammad (S), that is, Salman (r.a.). Accordingly the snakes threw out the oppressors’ parts out of their mouths. Their relatives collected them and buried them. Many disbelievers became faithful and many hypocrites turned into true believers. Also many infidels turned more stone-hearted and said: This is clear magic.
The Holy Prophet (S) turned towards Salman (r.a.) and said: O Abu Abdullah! You are our special faithful brother. God’s special angels love you from their hearts. In their sight, your excellence is higher than that of the sun over all from down in earth upto high heavens when there is nothing like darkness all around with no sign of any cloud. You are greater than all who have been praised by God in the verse: ‘Those who believe in the unseen’.
Shaykh Tusi has narrated through authentic chains of narrators that a person said to Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.): “We used to often hear about Salman Farsi. Imam (a.s.) said: “Don’t say Salman Farsi, say Salman Muhammadi. Do you know why we remember him so much?” “No,” said the narrator.
Imam (a.s.) said: “It is because of three qualities: firstly he preferred the desire of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) to that of his own; secondly he used to love the poor and preferred them to the wealthy people. Thirdly, he loved knowledge and scholars. Indeed, Salman was an extraordinary man, and he used to avoid every falsehood and was inclined to truth. And he was a true Muslim, and he did not adopt any kind of polytheism.
Ibn Babawayh has narrated through correct chain of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said: “Once it so happened that there was an argument between Salman and another person. So that man asked: O Salman, what are you? Salman replied: Both of us have originated from an impure sperm and our end is filthy carrion. But when Qiyamat is established, the balance of deeds will be installed, so whosoever has more good deeds will be honored and whoever has less good deeds is unfortunate and degraded.
It is mentioned in the book of Husain bin Saeed through authentic chain of narrators that Salman Farsi used to say: If the worship of Allah and company of pious persons, who speak good things, had not been good, I would have wished for death.
Ibn Abil Hadid has narrated from Abu Wail that he said: I went along with a friend of mine to Salman and he said: If the Holy Prophet (S) had not prohibited us to go out of the way to serve the guest, I would have indeed done it for you. And it denotes getting something through difficulty that which he does not have. Then he brought a loaf of bread and ground salt unmixed with anything.
My companion said: It would have been better if Satar22 had been there with this. Salman pawned his pot and brought Satar. When we finished eating, my companion said I thank the one who made us content with the sustenance that He provided to us. Salman said: If you had been content on what Allah had destined for you, my pot would not have been pawned.
Moreover, Abil Hadid has mentioned that Salman was a subject of King Hurmaz of Iran and some say that he lived in Ji, a village of Isfahan. He was among the friends of the Holy Prophet (S). His agnomen was Abu Abdullah. When he used to be asked whose issue he was he used to reply that he was the son of Islam and a descendant of Adam. It is also narrated that he had remained as a slave of more than ten different people and was sold from one to another till he reached to the Holy Prophet (S).
Ibn Abde Barr has mentioned in Istiab from Hasan Basri that Salman used to receive 5000 dirhams annually from the Public Treasury. Whenever this amount was paid to him, he used to give it all in charity and obtain his livelihood through the labor of his own hands.
He possessed a sheet half of which he spread and with the other half he covered himself. He did not own his own house and lived in the shade of walls and trees. One day someone told him that a house can be constructed from him if he wished. He replied: I don’t need a house.
But that person insisted much on this and at last he said: I know what type of a house you require. Salman told him to describe it. He said: I will build such a house for you that when you stand up your head will touch the roof. And if you spread your legs they will reach to the walls.
Salman said: Yes, I want such a house. So the same type of house was constructed from him. Moreover it is mentioned in Istiab that the Holy Prophet (S) said: If religion had been in Suraiyyah star, Salman would have surely obtained it.” Also it is narrated from Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that Salman Farsi is like Hakim Luqman and it is narrated from Kaab al-Ahbar that Salman is brimming with knowledge and wisdom.
Kishi has narrated through reliable chains of narrators from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) was one who spoke to the angels and Salman was one with whom the angels spoke (Muhaddath). And it is narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that Salman being a Muhaddath means that the Imam used to mention traditions to him and teach him secretly and not that he received divine revelation directly.23
Moreover, it is narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) through authentic chains of narrators that people asked him about the fact that Salman was a Muhaddath. Imam (a.s.) said: The angels used to talk to him in his ear. In another authentic tradition he said: A big angel used to talk to him. The narrator said: If Salman was such, how Amirul Momineen (a.s.) must have been? Imam (a.s.): Mind your own business and have no concern with these things.
And in another tradition he said: An angel used inspire in his heart in such and such way. In another tradition he said that Salman was from among the Mutamusimeen, that he used to know about the circumstances of the people through wisdom. Through another authentic chains it is narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that Salman was knowing Isme Azam (the great name).
Moreover, it is narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) through authentic chains of narrators that Taqayyah was mentioned one day in the presence of Amirul Momineen (a.s.). Imam (a.s.) said: If Abu Dharr had known what belief Salman had, he would have indeed killed him. Even though the Messenger of Allah (S) had established brotherhood between them. So what do you think about others?24
Moreover, it is narrated through authentic traditions that Salman sent a proposal to the daughter of the second Caliph. He refused initially and then regretted it later and wanted Salman to accept it. But Salman said that he was not interested, he only wanted to see if the discriminations of the period of Ignorance and disbelief were still haunting him.
Ibn Babawayh has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that one day the Holy Prophet (S) asked his companions: Which one of you fasts all the year around? Salman said: I, O Messenger of Allah (S). The Prophet asked: Which of you prays the whole night?
Salman said: I, O Messenger of Allah (S). Then the Prophet asked: Which one of you completes the whole Qur’an everyday? Salman said: I, O Messenger of Allah (S). Umar was infuriated at this and he said: This person from Faras thinks that he can be proud on us Quraish? He is a liar. He never fasted most of the days, and sleeps most of the nights and on most days he did not recite the Qur’an.
The Messenger of Allah (S) said: He is like Hakim Luqman, you ask him and he will explain the matter. When Umar asked Salman, he said: As for fasting the year round, the fact is that I fast three days every month and the Almighty Allah says that one who does a good deed, He rewards with ten so it is equal to a whole year. In spite of the fact that I also fast through the month of Shaban and join it to the month of Ramadhan.
Remaining awake in prayer the whole night means that I sleep with ablution since I have heard from the Prophet that one who sleeps with ablution is like one who has prayed the whole night. Completing the Qur’an everyday means that everyday I recite Surah Ikhlas thrice, and I have heard the Prophet say that he said to Amirul Momineen (a.s.): O Ali, you are in my Ummah like Surah Ikhlas, one who recites it once has recited one-third of Qur’an and one who recited it twice, recited two-third of Qur’an and one who recited it thrice is like one who has completed the whole Qur’an.
O Ali, one who befriends you verbally has one-third of faith. One who befriends you with the tongue as well as the heart has achieved two-third of faith. And one who befriends you with the tongue as well as the heart and who helps you with his hands, has achieved complete faith. O Ali, by the one who sent me with truth, if the folks of the earth had loved you like the inmates of the heavens, the Almighty Allah would not have punished anyone with Hell. Umar was dumbfounded as if his mouth was filled with stones.
Ibn Babawayh has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Muhammad Taqi (a.s.) that one day Salman invited Abu Dharr and placed two loaves of bread before him. Abu Dharr began to turn the loaves here and there. Salman asked why he was turning the loaves in this way.
He said: I notice that they are not fully baked. Salman was infuriated: How you dare to turn about these loaves, by Allah, in this bread that water has worked which is below the heaven and angels had spread it and wind had conveyed to the clouds and the clouds have sprinkled it on the ground. And Raad and angels, have all worked with it and conveyed its drops to their respective places.
Then earth, wood, iron, quadrupeds, fire, fuel and salt etc. have worked in it; such that I cannot encompass them, so how you can give thanks to this bounty? Abu Dharr said: I repent before Allah, and ask you to forgive me for what I have said. Imam (a.s.) said: The next day, again Salman invited Abu Dharr and removed two pieces of dry bread from the bag, moistened them in his pot and brought them for Abu Dharr.
Abu Dharr remarked: How nice this bread is. If only it would have been accompanied with salt. Salman arose, went out and pawned his pot; then he brought the salt from that money. Abu Dharr sprinkled it on bread and began to eat saying: I praise the Almighty who gave us this sustenance with contentment. Salman said: “If you had been content, my pot would not have been pawned.”
It is mentioned in Basairud Darajat from Fazal bin Isa that: Once I and my father came to Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) and my father asked: Is it true that the Holy Prophet (S) has said that Salman is from us Ahlul Bayt (a.s.)? Imam (a.s.) replied: “Yes.” My father asked: “Was he from the progeny of Abdul Muttalib?” Imam (a.s.) said: “He was from us, Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).” Again he asked the same question and got the same answer. Again my father said: “I don’t get you.” Imam (a.s.) said: “You should know that he was from us, Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).”
And the Imam pointed to his chest and said, “It is not as you think. The Almighty Allah has indeed created our essence from Illiyyin and created the essence of our Shia from one grade lower than that. So he is from us and the essence of our enemies is created from Sijjin and the essence of their friends is created from one grade lower than that. Therefore they are from them and Salman is better than Luqman.”
It is mentioned in Rauzatul Waezeen from Ibn Abbas that: I saw Salman in my dream and asked him if he was Salman and he replied in the positive. I said you are not the one who was emancipated by the Holy Prophet (S). “Yes,” he said. I saw a crown of rubies on his head and he was wearing different types of robes and embellishments.
Then I said: O Salman, what a lofty grade the Almighty Allah has bestowed to you! Yes, he replied. I said: After believing in Allah and the Prophet, which act did you find to be the best in Paradise? He said: “After believing in Allah and the Prophet, nothing is better in Paradise than the love of Ali (a.s.) and his obedience.”
Moreover it is narrated from the Messenger of Allah (S) that Paradise is more eager for Salman, than Salman is eager for it. And Paradise is as much crazy about Salman as much as Salman is obsessed with it. Kulaini has through authentic chains narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that the Holy Prophet (S) established brotherhood between Salman and Abu Dharr, and told Abu Dharr not to oppose Salman.
It is narrated in Ikhtisas from Amirul Momineen (a.s.) through authentic chain of narrators that Asbagh bin Nubatah asked Imam Ali (a.s.) about the excellence of Salman. Imam (a.s.) said: what can I say about the one who is created from our Teenat (essence) and whose spirit is connected to ours? The Almighty Allah has made him special with knowledge of the first and the last and the outward and inward.” Imam Ali (a.s.) says: I went to the Holy Prophet (S) and Salman was also present there. A Bedouin came and removed Salman from his seat and himself sat down there.
The Holy Prophet (S) was infuriated at this so much that the nerve between his eyes swelled up and his eyes reddened and he said: “You are removing the one whom the Lord of the worlds loves? Whose love is announced in the heavens and whom the Messenger of God loves on the earth. O Bedouin you are removing such a person, that when Jibraeel comes down, he conveys the greetings of the Almighty Allah for Salman.
O Bedouin, Salman is from me and one who oppresses him is as if he has oppressed me and one who has hurt him has hurt me and one who has driven him away is like he has driven away me and one who had brought him near is like he has brought me near. O Bedouin, do not make a mistake about Salman; because the Almighty Allah has commanded me to inform him about the time of the death, calamities and lineage of the people and tell about things that separate the truth from falsehood.
Bedouin said: O Prophet of Allah, I never knew that the deeds of Salman were of such a level. Was he not a fire-worshipper and then he became a Muslim? The Prophet said: O Bedouin, I narrate the excellence of Salman from Allah and you still say that Salman was a Majus? Indeed he was never a Majus, he only displayed polytheism on the basis of Taqayyah and he kept his faith concealed, Have you not heard the Almighty say:
فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
“But no! by your Lord! they do not believe (in reality) until they make you a judge of that which has become a matter of disagreement among them, and then do not find any straitness in their hearts as to what you have decided and submit with entire submission.”25
So, O Bedouin, you should accept what I say and be from the thankful ones. And do not deny my statements or you will be eligible for divine chastisement. And obey the Prophet so that you may be of them too.26
Moreover, it is mentioned in Ikhtisas through reliable chain of narrators that one day Salman Farsi entered the gathering of the Messenger of Allah (S) and the companions paid respects to him and preferred him over others and escorted him to the front. And they honored him for the sake of the specialty that he possessed with the Prophet and his Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). After that arrived Umar and saw that Salman was seated at the best place in the gathering. He remarked: Who is this non-Arab seated like a chairman among the Arabs?
The Messenger of Allah (S) went up to the pulpit and said: “Since the time of Adam till date all the people are like the teeth of a comb and there is no excellence of Arab over non-Arab and neither for a white over black, except through piety. Salman is a never-ending ocean and an endless treasure. Salman is from us, Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Salman bestows wisdom and expresses arguments of truth.”
Moreover it is narrated in Ikhtisas that once a mention was made of Salman and Ja’far Tayyar in the presence of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) while the Imam was reclining on the pillow. Some were saying that Ja’far was more excellent. Abu Basir was also present there. He said: Salman was a fire-worshipper and then he became a Muslim. Imam (a.s.) sat upright and said angrily: “O Abu Basir, the Almighty Allah made Salman an Alawaite after being a Majusi, and made him a Quraishite after being a Farsi. So may Allah’s mercies be on him and indeed Ja’far has a lofty status in the view of Allah and he glides around in Paradise with the angels.”
Ibn Babawayh has narrated through authentic chain of narrators that one day Salman was seated with group of people when Amirul Momineen (a.s.) passed by mounted on the camel of the Prophet. Salman said: “Why don’t you get up and catching hold of his skirt you ask him questions about your religion? By the one who split the seed and created the creatures, no one except him will make you aware of the practice of the Prophet. Because he is knowledgeable about the earth and his task on the earth is all divine work, and through his blessings is the earth stable. If he goes away from you, you will not find knowledge and see everyone in denial mode.”
Ibn Abil Hadid has said that Salman passed away during the reign of Uthman in year 35 A.H. Some have said that it was in the beginning of 36 A.H. and some other say that he died during the reign of Umar. But the former statement is more popular.27
It is mentioned in Fadail Shazan bin Jibraeel from Asbagh bin Nubatah that he said: I was with Salman when he was the governor of Madayan in the beginning period of the Caliphate of Imam Ali (a.s.). He was appointed by Umar as the governor of Madayan during his reign and he continued in that post till the first part of the Caliphate of Imam Ali (a.s.). I went to him one day to find him ill and he passed away in the same illness.
I used to visit him regularly till his illness intensified and he told me: O Asbagh, the Messenger of Allah (S) has informed me that a dead man will speak to him when the time of my death is near. So I want to know if the time of my death is near. Asbagh asked him what he wished. Salman told him to bring a wooden plank and spread a sheet over it and lift me up like a bier and take me to the graveyard.
Asbagh says: I will do the same. After that I came out in haste and returned very soon and did what Salman had told me to do. I called for some people who carried him to the graveyard. When he was placed on the ground he told the men to make him face the Qiblah. Then he said aloud: “O folks of the old and decayed field, peace be on you. O those who are veiled from the earth, peace be on you.”
The next time he said: “Peace be on you O that group for which the earth is made as a place of eating. Peace be on you O that group for which the earth is made as a blanket. Peace be on you O that group who are being recompensed for their worldly deeds. Peace be on you on those who await for Israfeel to blow the horn so that you they come out of the graves.
I adjure you in the name of the Almighty Allah, the noble Messenger, I am Salman Farsi, the freed slave of the Holy Prophet (S) and the Prophet has informed that a dead man will speak to me when my death is near. So I want to know if my death is near. When Salman completed his discourse, a dead body spoke up from its grave: “Peace be on you, and the mercy of Allah and His blessings. O those who construct buildings for destruction and those are involved in the world. I can hear you, O Salman, and I am replying to you.
Ask me whatever you want, may Allah have mercy on you.” Salman said: “O one who speaks after his death, are you from the folks of Paradise or Hell?” He said: “I am from those whom the Almighty Allah has blessed with Paradise.” Salman said: “Tell me how you found the hardships of death and what did you see?”
He said: “Wait a bit, don’t make haste, because by Allah, the sawing of my body and cutting up with a scissor is easier than the hardship of death in my view. O Salman, the Almighty Allah gave me the good sense to perform good deeds in the world, fulfill the religious duties, recite the Qur’an and did good turns to the parents, abstained from unlawful acts and was terrified of oppressing others.
Day and night I strived to earn lawful livelihood because I feared the day I will have to appear for accounting before the Almighty Allah. Thus on a day when I was extremely happy with life, I fell ill and remained in that illness for some days till my life came to an end. At that moment a very ugly and horrible appearance came to me and stood suspended in air.
He gestured to my eyes and made me blind; then he gestured to my ears and I became deaf. He pointed to my tongue and I became dumb. I could neither see or hear or speak anything. My relatives began to weep and wail and my brothers and neighbors came to know about this. I asked that person: “Who are you that you are separating me from my family and property?” He replied: “I am the Angel of Death. I have to transfer you from the world to the hereafter.
Because your tenure on the earth is over and it is time for your death.” Meanwhile he was joined by two more persons; they were in a beautiful human form; one stood to my right and another to my left. They said: Peace be on you, and the mercy of Allah and His blessings. We have brought your scroll of deeds; you can read it yourself.” I asked; “What type of scroll is it that I have to read?” They replied: “We are the two angels that accompanied you every moment of your life.
We used to record your good and bad deeds and this is the same record.” I began to read the book of my good deeds. And it was held by the angel named Raqib. Thus as much I saw my good deeds, I used to be happy at them and then I began to peruse my bad deeds, which was held by the other angel, who is named Ateed. When I read it, I became very sad and finally began to weep.
The angels said: “Glad tidings to you, you shall have a good end.” The Angel of Death arrived and began to pull out the soul from my body and it was the most painful thing in the world. I was in that condition when my soul reached to my chest. Then the Angel of Death attacked me with a weapon such that if he had placed it on mountains they would also have melted. At last my soul was taken away through my nose. My family members began to weep and wail aloud. I was able to hear and see them.
When they wept more intensely, the Angel of Death addressed them: “Why are you weeping and wailing like this? By Allah, I have not done any injustice to him that you may protest. Don’t cry as I and you are all the servants of same God. If God had ordered you something about us, as He has commanded me about you, indeed you would also have obeyed Him with regard to me as I am obeying Him with regard to you.
By Allah, I have not captured his soul, except that his destined sustenance had ended and his appointed tenure was over and he has gone to the court of his Kind Lord, who will do what He wants about him and He is powerful over everything. So if you are patient, you will be rewarded, and if you are impatience and weep and wail, you will be sinful and I have to visit you many times.
I will take away your sons, daughters, fathers and mothers. Thus he moved away from my body taking my soul with him. Another angel came and took my soul from him and wrapped it up in a silk cloth and conveyed it to Allah in a flick of the eye. Then my soul was presented to the Almighty Allah and I was questioned about each of my small and big deed.
And I was asked about Prayers, fasting, Hajj, recitation of Qur’an, Zakat, Sadaqah and every act that I had performed during my life. And obedience of parents and wrongful murder, usurping the property of orphans, oppressing the people, worshipping at night, when others sleep, and whatever such deeds that I had performed were also subjected to an inquiry from my soul. After that my soul was sent back to the earth by the order of Allah.
Those who wanted to give me the funeral bath approached me, removed my clothes and began to bathe me. My soul called out: O men, be lenient with this weak body as I broke each of his nerve when I came out, and I didn’t come out of his body but that I shattered it. By Allah, if that person had been able to hear this voice he would never have bathed the body.
Then water was poured on my body and I was washed three times. And I was shrouded in three pieces of shroud and Hunut (anoint) was given and this was the ration with which I set out to the abode of the hereafter. Then he removed the ring from my right hand. Thus after completing my Ghusl, they entrusted my body to my elder son and said: May Allah reward you for the calamity of losing your father and bestow you endless divine rewards; then they wrapped me up in a white cloth and recited some devotions.
My family members and my neighbors were called to bid farewell to me. They came near me and bid farewell to me. Then I was placed on a wooden plank. At that time my soul was between my mouth and shroud. My funeral prayers were recited and then I was taken to the grave.
When I was placed in the grave, I witnessed a great terror, O Salman, as if I fell down from the sky to the earth. Then I was placed in the grave and the grave was closed with bricks and filled up with soil. My soul returned to my tongue and ear. When people were asked to move away from my grave, I felt a great regret and I said: Alas, if I had also returned with them. Someone said from the corner of the grave: It is not possible. And he recited the following verse of Qur’an:
لَعَلِّي أَعْمَلُ صَالِحًا فِيمَا تَرَكْتُ ۚ كَلَّا ۚ إِنَّهَا كَلِمَةٌ هُوَ قَائِلُهَا ۖ وَمِنْ وَرَائِهِمْ بَرْزَخٌ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ
“Haply I may do good in that which I have left. By no means! it is a (mere) word that he speaks; and before them is a barrier until the day they are raised.”28
Barzakh is the distance between the world and the hereafter. I asked who are you? He replied: I am Mamba, an angel, whom the Almighty Allah has appointed on all creatures so that after their death, their deeds may be shown to them so that I will seal the proof for them. He pulled me and made me sit up. And told me to write my deeds. I said I don’t remember anything. He said: Have you not heard the statement of the Almighty Allah that He made in the Holy Qur’an?
أَحْصَاهُ اللَّهُ وَنَسُوهُ
“…Allah has recorded it…”29
Then he said, I will dictate and you write down your deeds. I asked, “Where is the paper?” He pulled out a piece from the corner of the shroud and I saw that it was a piece of paper. And he said: “This is your scroll.” I asked, “From where can I get a pen?” He told me that my index finger was my pen. I asked, “Where is the ink?” He replied: “It is your saliva.” Thus he began to tell me about whatever I had done in the world, and nothing was missed by him as the Almighty Allah has said:
وَيَقُولُونَ يَا وَيْلَتَنَا مَالِ هَٰذَا الْكِتَابِ لَا يُغَادِرُ صَغِيرَةً وَلَا كَبِيرَةً إِلَّا أَحْصَاهَا ۚ وَوَجَدُوا مَا عَمِلُوا حَاضِرًا ۗ وَلَا يَظْلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدًا
“And they will say: Ah! woe to us! what a book is this! it does not omit a small one nor a great one, but numbers them (all); and what they had done they shall find present (there); and your Lord does not deal unjustly with anyone.”30
Then that angel took away the writing, placed a seal upon it and put it around my neck. I felt as if all the mountains of the world have been placed on my neck. I asked him: “O Mamba, why have you done this to me?” He replied: “Have you not heard what your Lord has said:
وَكُلَّ إِنْسَانٍ أَلْزَمْنَاهُ طَائِرَهُ فِي عُنُقِهِ ۖ وَنُخْرِجُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كِتَابًا يَلْقَاهُ مَنْشُورًا. اقْرَأْ كِتَابَكَ كَفَىٰ بِنَفْسِكَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكَ حَسِيبًا.
“And We have made every man’s actions to cling to his neck, and We will bring forth to him on the resurrection day a book which he will find wide open: Read your book; your own self is sufficient as a reckoner against you this day.”31
Mamba said: “It is a discourse with which you will be addressed and you will be presented for accounting. And the scroll of your deeds will be unfurled before your eyes and you will be your own witness for your self. Then Mamba went away from me and the angel named Munkar, arrived carrying an iron mace, which was so heavy that even if all the men and jinn try to move they cannot do so.
He told me in such a terrifying voice that if the people of the earth had heard they would have died of fright. He asked: Tell me who your Lord is? What is your religion? Who is your Prophet and who are your Imams? What were your beliefs in the world?” I was speechless due to fear and didn’t know what to reply.
Each joint of my body was shattered till the mercy of Allah came to my rescue, which supported my heart and made my tongue vocal. So I said: “O creature of Allah, why do you make me afraid: I witness that Allah is One and Muhammad Mustafa (S) is the Messenger of Allah. And I witness that the Lord of the worlds is my Lord and Muhammad Mustafa (S) is my Prophet. Islam is my religion, Qur’an is my Book, Kaaba is my Qiblah and Ali is my Imam.
I will meet my Lord on Judgment Day with the same beliefs.” The angel said: “Glad tidings for you, you have indeed got salvation.” Then he went away. After that the angel named Nakeer arrived and told me in such a terrifying voice: that like before my limbs entangled into one another. And he said: O man, narrate your deeds to me.
I was bewildered and could not say anything. Then the Almighty Allah removed the terror and inspired the answer: and He gave me the best Taufeeq and certainty. I said: O creature of Allah, be lenient with me as I am coming from the world. I witness that except for the One God, there is no other god and neither does he have a partner. And I witness that Muhammad (S) is the servant of Allah and His Messenger.
Paradise is truth, Punishment of Hell Fire is truth, Sirat is truth, Mizan (scale) is truth, accounting of creatures is truth, questioning of the grave is truth, enlivening of the dead on Judgment Day is truth, bounties of Paradise that the Almighty Allah has promised is a fact, and the chastisement that He has warned about in Hell is a fact, and there is no doubt that Qiyamat is imminent, and that the Almighty Allah will raise to life again, those who are in the graves. The angel said: “Glad tidings to you for perpetual blessings and rewards.” Then he made me lie down in the grave and said: “Sleep like a bridegroom.”
And he opened near my head a door into Paradise and door to Hell at my feet. And he said: “O slave of Allah, look at the bounties of Paradise that you will get and also look at the fire of Hell, which you have escaped.” Then he closed the door leading to Hell and left the door to Paradise open through which I regularly received fragrance of the blessings of Paradise.
He also widened my grave as far as the sight could perceive and then he went away from there. O Salman, I have not seen anything more worthy than these three things in the view of Allah: First: Praying on the cold nights; Second: Fasting on the hottest days; Third: Giving Sadaqah in such a way that the left hand should not come to know what the right hand has given.
This is all that I have experienced and I testify to the Oneness of Allah and Messengership of Muhammad (S); and I testify that death is imminent, so you must be contemplative about it and keep fearing the inquiry of your deeds by Allah. Thus concluded the discourse of that dead man. Salman said: Lay me down on the earth. When we placed his head on the ground, he said: “Give me the pillow.” We obliged him. Salman gazed at the heavens and said:
قُلْ مَنْ بِيَدِهِ مَلَكُوتُ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُوَ يُجِيرُ وَلَا يُجَارُ عَلَيْهِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
“Say: Who is it in Whose hand is the kingdom of all things and Who gives succor, but against Him Succor is not given, if you do but know?”32
“O One in whose control is the power of everything and to whom all go back and He is refuge to all and none gives refuge to Him. I brought faith on You and followed Your Prophet and testified to Your Book. And I have received all that You promised. O One, Who does not go back on His word. Take my soul to Your mercies and land me in the court of Your honor as I testify that there is no god except Allah, the One Who has no partner and I witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.”
When he concluded, his soul flew away to the abode of eternity and he joined the services of the Messenger of Allah (S) and the Holy Imams (a.s.). Asbagh says: We were shocked by these events when a person appeared riding a piebald pony whose face was under a veil.
When he came close to us, he greeted us and we replied. When he began to speak, we realized that it was Amirul Momineen, Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.). He said: “Arrange for the funeral rites of Salman.” We began to prepare for the same and tried to procure shroud and anointments. His Eminence, said: “No need for all that, we have it with us.”
So we brought the wooden plank and water. The Imam performed the funeral bath himself and shrouded the body. Then he stood in the front and we followed behind him in the funeral prayers. After that His Eminence, placed the last remains in the grave with his own hands.
When we were returning from the funeral, I said: “O Amirul Momineen (a.s.), how did you come here and who informed you of Salman’s death?” The Imam said: “O Asbagh, I adjure you in the name of Allah that you will not reveal this secret as long as I am alive.” I asked, “O Amirul Momineen (a.s.), will I pass away before you?”
He replied: “No.” “Then you may put me under the oath. I will not disclose it to anyone, till the Almighty Allah does not issue the command about you and He is powerful over everything.” Then the Imam said: The Prophet (S) had informed me that Salman will pass away at that time. I recited the prayer at Kufa mosque and went home and went to sleep.
I dreamt that someone was saying: Salman has passed away. I woke up at once and mounted my pony taking the necessary items for the funeral, like the shroud and camphor etc. and set out from there. The Almighty Allah made Madayan very near and I reached here so soon.” Saying this His Eminence, disappeared from my sight and I could not understand whether he went to the heavens of the earth. When I reached Kufa I heard that the same day the Imam reached Kufa and prayed the Maghrib Prayer there.33
Ibn Shahr Ashob has narrated from Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari that one day Amirul Momineen (a.s.) prayed the Morning Prayer with us and turning to us said: “O people, may Allah reward you for the calamity of the passing away of Salman.”
This made the people talk among themselves. Ali (a.s.) tied the turban of the Prophet and wore his garments, took up his staff and tied up his sword, mounted the Prophet’s she camel, Ghazba, and told Qambar, count ten steps, Qambar says that when I reached to ten, we had reached the door of Salman.
Zazan has also narrated that when time approached for the death of Salman, I asked him who would give the funeral bath to him? He replied: “One who bathed the Messenger of Allah (S). I said: “You are in Madayan and he is in Medina?” Salman said: “O Zazan, when I pass away and you close my lips you will hear a voice.” So when I closed his mouth after his death I came to the door and saw Amirul Momineen (a.s.). He said: O Zazan, Abu Abdullah Salman, has entered the mercy of Allah.”
When he removed the sheet from Salman’s face, Salman smiled. Imam Ali (a.s.) said: “Bravo, O Abu Abdullah, when you meet the Prophet you narrate to him all that passed on his brother at the hands of his Ummah.” After that Imam Ali (a.s.) began his funeral rites. When he recited the funeral prayers, I heard his Takbir in a loud voice. Then we saw two persons with the Imam.
We asked who they were and we were told that it was Ja’far, brother of Ali (a.s.) and the other was Khizr. And they are accompanied by seventy thousand rows of angel, each row having a thousand angels. It is mentioned in Mashariqul Anwar that when Imam Ali (a.s.) removed the sheet from Salman’s face, he smiled and tried to get up. Imam Ali (a.s.) told him to go back to his condition of death, so he reverted to his former condition.
Qutub Rawandi has narrated that one morning Amirul Momineen (a.s.) came to the mosque of Medina and said: “I saw the Prophet in my dreams, saying that Salman has passed away from the world. And Salman has made a bequest to me that I will perform his final rites. So I am going to Madayan to fulfill his wishes.
Umar said: “Take his shroud from Baitul Maal.” Imam Ali (a.s.) said, “It is already arranged.” Then he came out of Medina with a group of companions and set out for Madayan. People returned to Medina and Imam Ali (a.s.) came back before Noon. And he said: “I have buried Salman.” Many refused to believe this story so much so that after some days, a letter arrived that Salman had died that day and a Bedouin had performed his last rites. All were astounded on being informed of this.
It is narrated from Saad bin Abi Waqqas in Rauzatul Waizneen that he paid a visit to Salman when the latter was ill. He found him crying. “O Abu Abdullah,” asked Saad, “Why are you crying?” Although when the Holy Prophet (S) passed away from the world, he was satisfied with you and you are going to him to Hauze Kauthar.”
Salman said, “I am not crying due to death and neither am I sorrowful of the world. It is because the Holy Prophet (S) has taken oath from us and said that each of you should possess the necessary luggage as travelers usually have. And I can see those things around me that make me sad.
There was a mat, a cup and a pot with him. Shaykh Kishi has through reliable chains of narrators, narrated that Salman said: “The Holy Prophet (S) said: ‘When it is time of your death, some groups will visit you and find good and bad smell. They would not be consuming food. That is they will be angels.’”
Then Salman took out a small bag and said: “The Messenger of Allah (S) has gifted it to me.” And it was a nice fragrance. And he said: “Dissolve it in water.” Then he sprinkled it around himself. Then he told his wife to shut the door. She arose and obliged him. When she returned, she found that his soul had flown to the holy abode.
We should know that according to traditions it seems that Abu Dharr was the second most important companion of the Prophet. His name, according to the most reliable report was Jundab bin Junadah, and his agnomen was Abu Dharr. He was a member of the Arab tribe of Bani Ghiffar.
Kulaini has narrated through authentic chains from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that the Messenger of Allah (S) told one of his companions: Shall I not tell about the story of the conversion of Salman and Abu Dharr to Islam? He said he was aware of the story of Salman, and would like to know how Abu Dharr embraced Islam.
And he made a mistake of not asking about the account of both the companions. The Messenger of Allah (S) said: He used to graze his sheep at Abu Batan Markah, which is at a distance of one station from Mecca. Suddenly a wolf attacked his flock from the right and Abu Dharr chased him away with his staff.
Then he attacked from the left and Abu Dharr striked it with his staff and said: I have not seen a worse wolf that you. The wolf began to speak by the miracle of the Prophet: By Allah, the people of Mecca are worse than me. The Almighty Allah sent a messenger to them and they say that he is a liar. They call him names and consider him incapable. When Abu Dharr heard this, he told his wife to pack some victuals, pot and staff.
Taking these items he set out for Mecca on foot to investigate the information he had received from the wolf. Thus after many hardships and a long distance he at last entered Mecca. He was feeling extremely thirsty. On reaching the Zamzam well, he pulled out a bucket of water and saw that the bucket was full of milk. He thought that it was a proof of what the wolf had said.
And it was also a miracle of the Prophet. Thus he drank the milk and came to a corner of the mosque. He found a group of Quraish and sat down with them. They were talking ill of the Prophet as the wolf had mentioned. They were occupied in this whole day. In the evening, Abu Talib arrived and when they saw him, they said: Keep quiet, Muhammad’s uncle is here!” So they fell silent. When Abu Talib arrived, they began to converse with him.
After dusk when Abu Talib took their leave, Abu Dharr also followed him. He turned to me and asked: “What do you want?” “I am searching for the Prophet who has appeared among you,” I said. “What do you want from him?” he asked. I said: “I want to start believing in him, testify to his truthfulness and follow him.” Abu Talib asked, “Will you really do this?” “Doubtlessly,” said I.
So he said: “Come tomorrow at the same time and I will take you to him.” Abu Dharr says that he spent the night in the holy mosque of Mecca and joined the gathering of the same infidels in the morning. Like the previous day, they again began to talk ill of the Messenger of Allah (S) and when Abu Talib arrived, they stopped their discussions and began to converse with him.
Thus when Abu Talib arose from there I also set out with him. Like the previous day he again asked the same question and I replied in the same way. Then he asked with emphasis if I would indeed act on what I was saying and I agreed. So he took me to a house in which Hamza was present. I greeted him and he asked the purpose of my visit. I gave the same explanation.
So he asked me if I testified to the Oneness of Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah? I said: I testify that there is no god except Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Hamza took me to the house in which there was Ja’far Tayyar. I greeted him and he also asked the purpose of my visit. I again offered the same explanation. He told me to recite the two testimonies (Shahadatain) and I recited the same.
Ja’far took me to the house of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and he also first asked about the purpose of my visit and then asked me to recite the dual formula of faith. Then he took me to the house in which the Messenger of Allah (S) was seated. I greeted him and took my seat. The Messenger of Allah (S) also asked me about the purpose of my visit and then taught me the dual Kalimah (Shahadatain).
I recited the same and the Prophet said: O Abu Dharr, go back to your native place, and by the time you reach, there your cousin would have passed away from the world and except for you there will no heir. Take his property and live with your family, till the time I declare my prophethood. After that you can join me. So Abu Dharr returned home to find that the son of his uncle had expired.
He took charge of all his property and continued to live there till the Holy Prophet (S) migrated to Medina and the religion of Islam gained popularity. After that he came to Medina and met the Prophet. Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) said: This was the account of Abu Dharr’s acceptance of Islam. And the narrator felt sorry that he had declined to hear about the account of Salman’s acceptance of faith. Then he requested the Prophet to mention the story of Salman also, but the Prophet refused to oblige him.
Ibn Abde Barr, a great Sunni scholar, has mentioned in Istiab, from the Messenger of Allah (S) that Abu Dharr was an example of the piety of Prophet Isa (a.s.) in this community. According to another tradition, he was a facsimile of Isa bin Maryam (a.s.) in piety. Moreover it is also narrated that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said: Abu Dharr has obtained some such sciences which people cannot bear and he has placed some knots over it, so that nothing comes out of it.
Ibn Babawayh has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that one day Abu Dharr came to the Prophet and Jibraeel (a.s.) was speaking to the Prophet in private in the form of Dahiya Kalbi. Abu Dharr thought that it was really Dahiya Kalbi talking about some confidential matters so he went away from there. Jibraeel said: O Messenger of Allah (S), Abu Dharr passed away from here and did not even greet us? If he had greeted we would have replied to him. O Prophet, there is a supplication of his which is famous among all the folks of the heavens. When I go away you ask him.
So when Jibraeel flew away to the heavens, Abu Dharr arrived there again and the Prophet asked him why he had not greeted them previously. He said: I thought that perhaps you had called Dahiya Kalbi for a private meeting. I didn’t like to disturb you. The Prophet said: “It was Jibraeel and he complained about you for not having greeted us.”
Abu Dharr felt very sorry. The Messenger of Allah (S) asked: “What is that supplication through which you supplicate Allah, about which Jibraeel said that it was well known among the folks of heavens?” He said: I recite this:
“In the name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful. O Allah! Indeed I ask You for safety and faith from You. And the testimony from Your Prophet and release from all the calamities. And thankfulness upon salvation and needlessness from evil people.”
It is mentioned in Tafsir Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) that: Once the Holy Prophet’s (S) close and sincere companion, Abu Dharr Ghiffari, approached the Prophet and said: O Allah’s Messenger! I have sixty female sheep.
If I take them for grazing to the forest, I cannot bear separation from your honor. On the other hand, if I hand them over to any shepherd for grazing, I fear he may behave harshly with them and not graze them properly. Please suggest what I should do to overcome this confusion. The Holy Prophet (S) replied: You yourself go and graze them. So Abu Dharr went with his animals to the jungle and returned on the seventh day.
The Holy Prophet (S) asked him: O Aba Zar! What did you do with your animals? The latter replied: A very strange thing happened. When I was busy performing my prayer, a wolf attacked them. I became perplexed and could not instantly decide whether I should interrupt my prayer or continue it, overlooking the fate of my sheep. Finally I preferred the prayer. At that time Satan inserted doubt in my heart saying: If the wolf eats up your animals, you will lose your source of sustenance.
I told the Satan: In any case my faith in the Oneness of God, in His Prophet, in his cousin Ali (a.s.) and his progeny would remain with me and so also my love and friendship with them and my enmity towards their enemies. So, in such a case, losing and missing every other thing of the world would be easy for me to bear.
I continued my prayer. What I then saw was that a wolf caught hold of a sheep but at the same time a tiger jumped on the wolf and tore it into two pieces, freed the lamb and sent it to its group and told me: O Aba Zar! Continue your prayer and do not worry about your animals, as Allah Almighty has appointed me to protect them until you finish your prayer.
Upon hearing this, I busied myself with my prayer. This surprised me to an extent known only to Allah Almighty. When I completed my Prayer, that tiger came to me and said: Go to the Holy Prophet (S) and tell him: Allah Almighty has given honor to your companion and the protector of your Shariat and has appointed a tiger to protect his animals
Hearing this event all in the audience were surprised. Then the Holy Prophet (S) said: O Aba Zar! I, Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain (a.s.) believe in what you said. But those who were hypocrites said: This is the result of a preplanned affair between Muhammad (S) and Abu Dharr (r.a.).
He wants to deceive us in this way. Twenty of them decided to go and look personally into the reported matter about the sheep. Let us see, they said, whether a tiger really protects the sheep when Abu Dharr is engaged in Prayer. They themselves observed that the tiger was taking rounds near Abu Dharr; that the tiger sends back any lamb to the flock when separated so long as Abu Dharr prays.
They themselves saw that when Abu Dharr finished his worship, the tiger called on him and said: Take care of your sheep. They are safe. Then that tiger addressed the hypocrites saying: O group of hypocrites! Did you deny that Allah Almighty may make me an obedient servant of one who is the friend of Allah, His Prophet, Ali (a.s.) and their progeny and of those who take intercession so that I should take care of his animals?
I swear by the Holy Being, Who has given honor and excellence to Muhammad (S) and to his purified progeny and declare that Almighty Allah has made me a slave of Abu Dharr to such an extent that if he orders me to tear all of you into pieces, I would do so instantly. I swear by that Being, swearing by Whom is the highest of all swearing, and announce that if Abu Dharr requests Almighty Allah giving mediation of Muhammad (S) and his purified progeny that He may turn the water of all the oceans into the oil of Zambaq and Baan and turn all the mountains into musk, amber and camphor and to turn the branches of all the trees in the world into emeralds, Almighty Allah would never turn down his request and would do whatever he asks.
When Abu Dharr (r.a.) came to the Holy Prophet (S), the latter told him: O Aba Zar! Since you have obeyed Allah properly, He has made an animal your slave so that it may prevent your enemies from attacking you and thus you are the best of those persons in whose praise Almighty Allah had said: “…and keep up prayer…”
Kulaini has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) that Abu Dharr said: “I am sick of the world and I denounce it. Except for two loaves of barley bread, from which I eat one in the morning and one at night. Except two garments of woven hair, from which one I tie to the waist and cover myself with another.”
Moreover, it is narrated through good chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that Abu Dharr in his sermon used to observe: O seeker of knowledge, there is nothing in the world whose merit does not benefit and its demerit does not harm, except for the one that the Almighty Allah blesses. Therefore seek that about which you hope would benefit you.
O seeker of knowledge, your family, wealth and property should not make you so much involved, because on the day you will be separated from them you will be like a guest who stays the night with some people and separates from them the next morning. And except for a little sleep from which you will awake soon there is no difference between death and resurrection.
O seeker of knowledge, before that day send good deeds on the day you will stand to give account of your deeds. And on that day you will get the reward of your deeds and will be recompensed for all that you do
Moreover, it is narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) through authentic chains of narrators that a man asked Abu Dharr why people were inclined to death?
Abu Dharr replied: Because you have attached yourself to the world and destroyed your hereafter. And that is why you don’t want to be transferred from the world to the hereafter. Then that man asked: How we would be presented before Allah?
He replied: It would be like a traveler who returns home and the sinners among you like the runaway slave who is brought back to his master. Then he asked: What will be our condition before the Lord? Abu Dharr replied: “Present your deeds according to the Book of Allah as He says:
إِنَّ الْأَبْرَارَ لَفِي نَعِيمٍ. وَإِنَّ الْفُجَّارَ لَفِي جَحِيمٍ.
“Most surely the righteous are in bliss, and most surely the wicked are in burning fire…”34
That man asked: “Where is the mercy of Allah?” He replied: “Near the righteous.” Moreover it is narrated from the same Imam that a person wrote to Abu Dharr to bestow him with some new knowledge. Abu Dharr replied: “There is no end to knowledge and there are countless sciences, but if possible you should not wrong one you befriend.” He said: “Have seen anyone wronging one that he likes?” “Yes,” said Abu Dharr, “Your life is most beloved to you, when you disobey Allah, you cause harm to your self.”
It is narrated from the same Imam that there was a man in Medina, who used to attend the mosque of the Prophet. One day he entered the mosque and said: O Allah, remove my loneliness and grant me a good companion. When he finished supplicating, he saw a person seated in the corner of the mosque. He approached him and saluted and asked: O servant of Allah, who are you? Abu Dharr said: I am Abu Dharr. That person said: Allah is the greatest.
Allah is the greatest. Abu Dharr asked him why he recited the Takbir. He replied: When I entered the mosque, I had prayed that the Almighty Allah should honor me with your meeting. Abu Dharr said: I was more rightful of saying the Takbir as I am the deserving companion. Indeed I have heard from the Messenger of Allah (S) that he said: I and you will be standing on an elevated place on Judgment Day, till the people complete their accounts. O man, go away from me, because Uthman has banned my company, and I don’t want you to have any problem.”
Through trustworthy chains of narrators, it is narrated from the same Imam that one day Abu Dharr came to the Prophet and said: “O Messenger of Allah (S), the climate of Medina does not suit me, do you allow me to take my nephew and move to the area of tribe of Mazniya?”
The Holy Prophet (S) said: “I fear that a group of Arab riders will attack you and kill your nephew; and that you will return in bad state and stand before me leaning on your staff. And say: The son of my brother has been killed by the oppressors and they have seized our animals.” Abu Dharr said: “If Allah, wills the best will come about.”
At last the Messenger of Allah (S) allowed him and he left Medina with his wife and nephew. When he reached the Mazina tribe, after some days a group of riders from Farara tribe attacked them and Uyyana bin Haseen seized his sheep and slew his nephew. They also kidnapped his wife who was from the Bani Ghiffar tribe. At last Abu Dharr rushed to the Messenger of Allah (S) and narrated the story to him.
He displayed the point of the spear with which he had been hit and it had almost reached his stomach. Thus Abu Dharr leaned on his staff and said: “Allah and His Messenger had spoken the truth, it happened as you said. Now I stand before you leaning on my staff.” The Holy Prophet (S) called the Muslims for help and they rushed out of Medina, pursued the Farara tribe, and seized back from them all they had plundered from Abu Dharr. They also killed a group of idolaters.35
It is narrated from continuous reports of Shia as well as Sunni scholars that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: The sky has not shaded and the dusty earth has not borne the weight of any speaker more truthful than Abu Dharr.” And Ibn Babawayh has through authentic chains of narrators narrated from Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Abu Dharr is the Siddiq of this Ummah.”
Shaykh Tabarsi has narrated through authentic chains of narrators that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “O Abu Dharr, I only prefer for you that which I prefer for myself.
I find you weak bodied, so don’t become the leader of even two persons and never become the trustee of orphans’ properties.”
Ibn Babawayh has narrated through authentic chains of narrators that a person asked Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) if Abu Dharr was better or Ahlul Bayt (a.s.)? Imam (a.s.) asked: “How many months are there in a year?” He replied: “Twelve.” Imam (a.s.) asked: “How many of them are sacred?” The narrator said: “Four.”
Imam (a.s.) asked: “Is the month of Ramadan included in them?” The narrator said: “No.” The Imam (a.s.) asked: “Sacred months are superior or the month of Ramadan?” “Month of Ramadhan,” replied the narrator. Imam (a.s.) said: “Same is the case of us, Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) that no once can be compared to us.” One day Abu Dharr was sitting in the company of the companions of the Prophet. They were discussing the excellence of this Ummah.
Abu Dharr said: “The best person of this Ummah is Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) and he is the distributor of Paradise and Hell and he is Siddiq and Farooq of this Ummah and the Divine Proof on this Ummah.” When the hypocrites heard this, they turned away from him and alleged that he was lying. So Abu Amala Bahili arose and went to the Prophet and reported the statement of Abu Dharr and narrated the denial of those people. The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “The green sky has not shaded and the dusty earth has not borne the weight of any speaker more truthful than Abu Dharr.”
Moreover it is narrated through authentic chains of narrators that a person asked Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) about this same tradition if the Holy Prophet (S) had really mentioned thus. Imam (a.s.) replied, “Yes.” So the reporter asked, “Then what is the position of the Messenger of Allah (S) himself, Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and Hasan and Husain?” Imam (a.s.) said: “Our example is like that of the month of Ramadhan whose one night is equal to a thousand nights.” All senior companions are like the sacred months and thus no one can be compared to us, Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).”
In the book of Hasan bin Saeed it is narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that one day a person came to Abu Dharr and gave him glad tidings that his sheep have multiplied much. Abu Dharr said: “I am neither pleased at their increase and nor am I fond of them. On the contrary I prefer only that which is less and sufficient. Because I heard from the Messenger of Allah (S) that he said: “Kindness to relatives and trustworthiness will be present on both the edges of Sirat, when such a person passes on it who has been very kind to his relatives and who has not betrayed anyone’s trust, the Sirat will not put him into Hell.”
According to correct chains of narrators, it is narrated from the same Imam that during the period of the Messenger of Allah (S) one day Abu Dharr condemned a person for having a mother who was black. The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “O Abu Dharr, do you ridicule him about his mother?” Abu Dharr threw himself on the ground and wept and smeared his face and head with dust. At last the Prophet was pacified.
Shaykh Tusi has narrated through reliable chains of narrators that people told Abu Dharr: O companions of Messenger of Allah (S), how did you begin your day?” He replied: “I began the day in two bounties. One that the Almighty Allah has concealed my sin and another that people praise me. And one who becomes proud of his praise is under a misunderstanding.
Shaykh Kishi has narrated through authentic chains from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that one say Abu Dharr went in search of the Messenger of Allah (S) and found him sleeping in an orchard. He wanted to know if the Prophet was really sleeping, so he broke a dried piece of wood; the Prophet raised up his head and said: O Abu Dharr are you trying to joke with me? Do you not know that I also see your deeds in sleep as I see them when I am awake? My eyes sleep, but my heart does not.”
Ibn Babawayh has narrated through authentic chains from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that most of the worship of Abu Dharr was in contemplation of praise of the Almighty Allah and to seek lessons from nature.
Qutub Rawandi has narrated from Abu Dharr that he said: “One day, I and Uthman came together to the Prophet. The Messenger of Allah (S) was seated in the mosque and we sat down near him. After sometime Uthman went away and continued to sit there. So the Messenger of Allah (S) asked me what confidential conversation was I having with Uthman?
I said: I was reciting a chapter of Qur’an. His Eminence said: Very soon he will become inimical to you and between you two the most unjust will go to Hell. So I said: Indeed we belong to Allah and to Him we shall return. So I asked the Prophet which of us would be more oppressive? The Holy Prophet (S) said: O Abu Dharr, speak the truth even though it is bitter. So much so that you meet me on Judgment Day with the oath that I have taken from you.”
Through authentic chains of narrators it is narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that Abu Dharr cried so much due to the fear of Allah, that his eyes were hurt. People asked him to pray that the Almighty Allah cures his eyes. Abu Dharr said: “I don’t care.” So they asked him which calamity has made him oblivious of his eyes.
He said that he was confronted with two great questions and they concerned Paradise and Hell. Ibn Babawayh has narrated from Abdullah bin Abbas that one day the Messenger of Allah (S) was seated in Quba Masjid and companions were sitting around him. He said: “The first to enter from this door will a man of Paradise.”
When companions heard this a group of companions arose to try to enter first. The Holy Prophet (S) said: The group that enters now and competes with each other and informs me about the Roman month of Azar will be the one to enter Paradise. So Abu Dharr entered with that group. The Messenger of Allah (S) asked which Roman month was it? Abu Dharr said: Azar was over.
The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “I know that, but I wanted the companions to know that you are from the folks of Paradise. And why you shouldn’t be when you will be removed from my sanctuary due to your love for my Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and you will live in solitude and die in loneliness, and a group of Iraqians will complete your last rites. And that group will be in my company in Paradise which the Almighty Allah has promised to the righteous.”
Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that in the Battle of Tabuk, Abu Dharr was left behind at a distance of three day’s travel, because he was on thin and weak camel. When he realized that the animal cannot reach to the caravan he hoisted his luggage on his back and set out on foot. When it was day, and the sun arose high, Muslims saw him approaching.
The Holy Prophet (S) said: It is Abu Dharr and he is very thirsty. Take water to him as soon as possible. People brought water for him. He drank it and came running to the Prophet. He was carrying the pot. The Messenger of Allah (S) asked: O Abu Dharr, you are carrying water, then why were you thirsty?”
Abu Dharr said: “On the way I passed a rock on which rain water had collected. When I tasted I found it very cool and sweet so I vowed that till my beloved, the Prophet of Allah, does not drink it, I will not do so.” The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “O Abu Dharr, may Allah have mercy on you, you will live in strange land and you will die in solitude and you will be raised alone and you will be sent to Paradise alone and some people of Iraq will perform your last rites.”
Reliable biographers have narrated that Abu Dharr went to Syria during the time of Umar and he stayed there till the time of Uthman. When he learnt of the corruption of Uthman’s rule, especially the ill-treatment of Ammar, he began to denounce the third Caliph openly and talk about his high-handedness.
When Abu Dharr witnessed the injustice of Muawiyah he used to condemn him and encourage people to love and devotion of Imam Ali (a.s.). He used to narrate the excellence of Ali (a.s.) and he had inclined many people to Shiaism. It is famous that it is according to the efforts of Abu Dharr that we find some Shias in Syria and Jebel Amil.
Muawiyah complained about him to Uthman and said that if Abu Dharr stayed there for some more time he would mislead the people from Uthman. Uthman replied: “When you receive my letter, you should make Abu Dharr sit on a fast camel and send him with a nasty driver. He should make the camel run continuously till he reaches Medina. Abu Dharr should not be able to sleep, so that he may forget us and he may remain restless for sleep.”
When Muawiyah received this letter, he called Abu Dharr and mounted him on the bare back of a refractory camel and handed him to a nasty driver to take him to Medina. Abu Dharr was tall but very thin. At that time he had aged and his hair had turned grey. So the driver continued to drive the camel fast. There was no saddle or litter upon it, therefore Abu Dharr’s thighs were injured. So much so that his flesh broke away.
It was in such a condition that he reached Medina. When people brought him to Uthman he said: “May no one be pleased to see you O Jundab.” Abu Dharr said: “My father had named me Jundab, but the Messenger of Allah (S) had called me Abdullah.” Uthman said: “You claim to be a Muslim and allege that we say that the Almighty Allah is poor and we are wealthy? When did I claim thus?”
Abu Dharr said: “I never issued such a statement, but I witness that I heard the Messenger of Allah (S) that when the descendants of Abil Aas reach upto thirty, they would use the funds of the Almighty Allah to obtain power and consider the people as their servants and practice dishonesty in the religion of Allah. After that the Almighty Allah will save the people from their clutches. And Ali Ibn Ibrahim has mentioned in his Tafsir:
وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَكُمْ لَا تَسْفِكُونَ دِمَاءَكُمْ وَلَا تُخْرِجُونَ أَنْفُسَكُمْ مِنْ دِيَارِكُمْ ثُمَّ أَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ تَشْهَدُونَ. ثُمَّ أَنْتُمْ هٰؤُلَاءِ تَقْتُلُونَ أَنْفُسَكُمْ وَتُخْرِجُونَ فَرِيقًا مِنْكُمْ مِنْ دِيَارِهِمْ تَظَاهَرُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ بِالْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ وَإِنْ يَأْتُوكُمْ أُسَارٰى تُفَادُوهُمْ وَهُوَ مُحَرَّمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ إِخْرَاجُهُمْ ۚ أَفَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِبَعْضِ الْكِتَابِ وَتَكْفُرُونَ بِبَعْضٍ ۚ فَمَا جَزَاءُ مَنْ يَفْعَلُ ذٰلِكَ مِنْكُمْ إِلَّا خِزْيٌ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ أَشَدِّ الْعَذَابِ ۗ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ.
“And when We made a covenant with you: You shall not shed your blood and you shall not turn your people out of your cities; then you gave a promise while you witnessed. Yet you it is who slay your people and turn a party from among you out of their homes, backing each other up against them unlawfully and exceeding the limits; and if they should come to you, as captives you would ransom them- while their very turning out was unlawful for you. Do you then believe in a part of the Book and disbelieve in the other? What then is the reward of such among you as do this but disgrace in the life of this world, and on the day of resurrection they shall be sent back to the most grievous chastisement, and Allah is not at all heedless of what you do.”36
Ali bin Ibrahim has mentioned that these verses were revealed about Abu Dharr and Uthman due to the fact that when Abu Dharr entered Medina in a bad condition and stood before Uthman leaning on his staff, at that time, an amount of 100000 dirhams was piled before Uthman from the Public Treasury and his companions were eyeing the money, expecting it to be distributed among them.
Abu Dharr asked: “What money is it?” He replied: “It is an amount of 100000 dirhams brought for me from the surrounding areas and we are waiting for an equal amount so that I can spend it in any way I like.” Abu Dharr asked: “O Uthman, what is more 100000 dirhams or four dinars?”
He replied: “100000 dirhams.” Abu Dharr said: “Do you remember I and you had visited the Prophet one night to find him extremely worried and he did not even speak to us. When we visited him the next morning, we found that he was very happy and satisfied. We said: May our parents be sacrificed on you. Why was His Eminence so gloomy last night and that he is happy this morning?”
The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Last night, I had received four dinars of public wealth and I was not able to distribute it. I feared that if I died in that condition and that money should remain with me what my position will be. By now it is given away, so I am comfortable.” Uthman turned to Kaab al-Ahbar and asked: “What is your opinion about one who paid the Zakat applicable on his wealth? Is anything else obligatory on him?”
And according to another report he said: “O Kaab, what restrains the Imam to sanction some amount to the Muslims from Public Treasury and retain some amount so that he may give it to whomsoever he likes according to the exigencies of time?” Kaab said: “There is no problem if you melt them into gold and silver ingots.” Abu Dharr brought down his staff on Kaab’s head and said: “O son of a Jewess, what concern have you to interfere in the affairs of Muslims? The statement of the Almighty Allah is correct or your words? When He says:
وَالَّذِينَ يَكْنِزُونَ الذَّهَبَ وَالْفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنْفِقُونَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَبَشِّرْهُمْ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ. يَوْمَ يُحْمَىٰ عَلَيْهَا فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ فَتُكْوٰى بِهَا جِبَاهُهُمْ وَجُنُوبُهُمْ وَظُهُورُهُمْ ۖ هٰذَا مَا كَنَزْتُمْ لِأَنْفُسِكُمْ فَذُوقُوا مَا كُنْتُمْ تَكْنِزُونَ.
“…and (as for) those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in Allah’s way, announce to them a painful chastisement. On the day when it shall be heated in the fire of hell, then their foreheads and their sides and their backs shall be branded with it; this is what you hoarded up for yourselves, therefore taste what you hoarded.”37
When Abu Dharr recited these verses, Uthman said: “You have become a nasty old man, you have gone mad. If you had not been a companion of the Prophet I would have put you to death.” Abu Dharr said, “O Uthman, you are a liar, you cannot kill me. My beloved, the Holy Prophet (S) had informed me that neither can anyone make me deviate from my religion nor kill me. As for my intellect, it is that I remember well the tradition that the Messenger of Allah (S) has stated about you and me.”
Uthman asked: What is it?” Abu Dharr replied: “I never issued such a statement, but I witness that I heard the Messenger of Allah (S) that when the descendants of Abil Aas reach upto thirty, they would use the funds of the Almighty Allah to obtain power and consider the people as their servants and practice dishonesty in the religion of Allah.
And they will distribute the amount among themselves. They will interpret the Qur’an wrongly. They would enslave the people and take dishonest persons as their advisors and dispute with the righteous.” Uthman asked: “O companions of the Prophet, has anyone of you heard this tradition from the Prophet.” All denied having heard such a thing in order to please Uthman. Uthman said: “Call for Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.).” When he arrived, Uthman said: “See what this aged liar is uttering.”
Imam Ali (a.s.) said: “It is enough Uthman, you cannot accuse him of lying, because I have heard the Holy Prophet (S) say about him: “The green sky has not shaded and the dusty earth not borne the weight of any speaker more truthful than Abu Dharr.” All the companions present there said: “By Allah, Ali is right, we have indeed heard this from the Messenger of Allah (S).” Abu Dharr began to weep and he said: “You are all eyeing this money greedily and accuse me of lying and attributing falsehood to the Holy Prophet (S).”
Then he asked the hypocrites: “Which of you is best?” Uthman said: “Do why think that you are better than us?” “Yes,” said Abu Dharr. “Since I have separated from my beloved Prophet, I am wearing the same robe. I have not sold away my religion in exchange of the world and you have created heresies in the religion of God.
You have destroyed the religion for the sake of the world and spent public wealth in wrong ways. The Almighty Allah will ask you and He will not ask me.” Uthman at last asked: “I adjure you in the name of the Prophet, tell me the truth.” Abu Dharr said: “Even if you had not adjured me I would have stated the truth.”
Uthman asked: “Which city do you like most?” “The city which is the sanctuary of God and sanctuary of the Messenger, I wish to worship there till death.” Uthman said: “I will not send you there, because you have no respect in my eyes.” Abu Dharr fell silent. Uthman again asked: “Which place you hate most?” “Rabza,” he replied, “where I had lived in infidelity.” Uthman said: “I will send you there.” Abu Dharr said: “I told you the truth whatever you asked me.
Now you must also tell me truly whatever I ask you. If you send an army to confront the enemy and I am also in that army and if I am taken a prisoner and the enemy demands one-third of your wealth to release me, will you pay that amount to get me freed?” “Yes,” said Uthman. Then he asked: “If they ask for half of your wealth?” “Yes,” said Uthman. Then he asked: “If they ask for all of your wealth?” Uthman said: “I will give up all my wealth as a ransom to get you released.”
Abu Dharr said: “Allahu Akbar, my beloved the Messenger of Allah (S) told me one day: O Abu Dharr what your condition will be when you will be asked about your favorite place and you will say that it is Mecca. So your residence there will not be accepted. Then you will be asked which you hate most and you will say that it is Rabza and that you will be sent there only?”
I asked: O Messenger of Allah (S), would such a time really come to pass?” He replied: “Yes, by the one in whose control my life is, this would really come to pass.” I said: “O Messenger of Allah (S), on that I will take out my sword and fight Jihad valiantly.” But the Holy Prophet (S) said: “No, keep quiet and don’t oppose anyone, if he is a black slave. Indeed between you and Uthman the Almighty Allah has revealed a few verses of Qur’an and the Holy Prophet (S) recited the verses mentioned above.
And their connection with this incident is obvious to all. Thus is Abu Dharr’s exile from Medina and his dialogue about his ransom. So Uthman ordered Marwan bin Hakam to extern Abu Dharr and his family from Medina and send him to Rabza. And he emphasized that none of the companions should go to see him off. But Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) disobeyed Uthman along with a particular group of people.
They went to say farewell to Abu Dharr and comforted him in his troubles. Thus Muhammad bin Yaqub Kulaini has narrated that when Abu Dharr set out from Medina, Amirul Momineen (a.s.), Imam Hasan (a.s.), Imam Husain (a.s.), Aqil, brother of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and Ammar Yasir accompanied him to see him off and at the time of farewell, Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said: “O Abu Dharr, you became angry for the pleasure of Allah, so you must hope for rewards only from Him.
These people feared that you might take control of their world and you feared them for the sake of your religion and you secured your religion from them, that is why they externed you and subjected you to troubles. By Allah, if the paths of the earth and sky are closed for one who is righteous, the Almighty Allah appoints calamities for him.
O Abu Dharr, your reality and loneliness and your being aloof from falsehood is your companion.” Then Aqil said: “O Abu Dharr, you know that we, Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) consider you dear and we know that you are devoted to us and you honor us for the sake of the Prophet and except for some truthful ones, all have disregarded it. So your reward is upon the Almighty Allah and you are being exiled as a result of the love of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), may Allah reward you for it.
O Abu Dharr, know that running away from troubles is cowardice and to ask for immediate release is due to hopelessness. Therefore, do not allow despair and cowardice near you and say: Allah is sufficient for me, the best of the protectors. After that Imam Hasan (a.s.) said: O Uncle, we all know how those people have dealt with you and the Almighty Allah is aware of everything.
Remove the remembrance of the world through the remembrance of His separation. And ease the hardships of the world through hope in comforts of the hereafter, and be patient in difficulties. So that when you meet the Holy Prophet (S) he should be pleased with you.” Then Imam Husain (a.s.) said: “O Uncle, the Almighty Allah is able to change this hardship into comfort. But every act of Allah is in accordance with the exigencies suited for every day and every occasion.
These people stopped you from their luxury and you prevented them from spoiling your religion. How needless you are from that from which you were prevented and how needful they are from that which is secured from them. May you find patience good, which is the best good deed and it is from noble qualities. Give up grief and sadness which is of no use. Then Ammar said: “May Allah subject to loneliness and trouble one who has subjected you to this trouble and may He terrify one who has terrified you.
By Allah, nothing prevents one to state the truth except the love and desire of the world. And by Allah, the worship of Allah is in the congregation of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and the kingship of the world is for those who obtain power over it through force. That group called people to materialism and they came and entrusted their religion to them; so they suffered loss in the world as well as the hereafter and it is a terrible loss.” Abu Dharr said: “Peace be upon you all and the mercy and blessings of Allah. May my parents be sacrificed on these countenances. Indeed, when I see you all, I am reminded of the Holy Prophet (S). I have nothing to do with Medina except your company and devotion.
Uthman dislikes my stay in Medina just as Muawiyah despised my stay in Syria. Uthman swore that he would send me out of Medina to some other place and I was hoping that he would send me to Kufa. But he feared that I will wean away Kufians from the obedience of his brother. So he didn’t like and accept my going there and he swore that he would send me to a place where I have no companion and where I cannot meet any of my friends. By Allah, I don’t want any company except that for Allah. And when Allah is with me, I don’t care for my loneliness. He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne and is powerful over everything. Salutations on the Messenger of Allah (S) and his purified progeny.”
Shaykh Mufeed has narrated through his chains from a Syrian man that when Uthman externed Abu Dharr from Medina and sent him to Syria, he used to preach to us moral stories and when he began he first praised and glorified the Almighty Allah and invoke blessings on Muhammad and Progeny of Muhammad and then say: “So to say: We were living in ignorance before the revelation of divine book and before the Holy Prophet (S) could be sent to us.
In the period of Ignorance, we were such that we fulfilled the covenants and spoke the truth and observed the rights of neighbors. And honor the guests and adopt equity with the poor. And made them share our wealth. When the Almighty Allah revealed the Book and sent His Prophet (S) to us, we found those practices to be liked by Allah and the Prophet and the followers of Islam more deserved to follow those practices.
And they remained on that practice for a long time, so much so that the tyrant rulers created such heresies which were never seen before and they destroyed the practice of the Prophet. They falsified one who spoke the truth and gave preference to the impious over the righteous servants of God. O Allah, whatever you have for me if it is better; call me to Yourself before something is changed by me in your religion.
Or I might alter a practice of Your Prophet.” And he repeated this in public many a times and these statements were reported to Muawiyah by Habib bin Muslima. Abu Dharr was accused of instigating the people against Muawiyah and Muawiyah wrote to Uthman about it and Uthman told him to send Abu Dharr to Medina. When he was brought to Medina, he was exiled from Medina to Rabza.
Moreover it is narrated from some Syrians that when Uthman sent Abu Dharr to Syria, he used to stand among the people everyday and dispense good advice and encouraged them obedience of the Almighty Allah. He used to time and again speak about the excellence of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) that he had heard from the Messenger of Allah (S) and attract the people to become attached to these holy personalities. When Muawiyah learnt of these activities, he wrote to Uthman: “So to say: People gather around Abu Dharr every morning and evening and he preaches such things.
If you are in need of the people of Syria, you must immediately recall Abu Dharr, or he would soon wean away the people from me and you.” Uthman replied: “As soon as you receive my reply, send Abu Dharr to me immediately. Was Salaam.” When this letter arrived, Muawiyah summoned Abu Dharr and read out Uthman’s letter to him. He said: “Go to Medina as soon as possible.” Abu Dharr returned, loaded his belongings on the camel and set out from there.
People of Syria had gathered around him and they were saying: “O Abu Dharr, may Allah have mercy on you.” Abu Dharr said: “He had sent me to you in anger and now I being recalled to be punished. I think that such dealings will continue between me and him, till a pious man is laid to rest or till people are saved from the mischief of a corrupt man.” With these words he departed from there. When general public learnt that Abu Dharr was leaving Syria, they ran out to see him off and they came upto Daire Maran. Abu Dharr halted there and the people also camped there.
Abu Dharr recited the prayers with them and he led the prayers. After prayers, he said: O people, I advise you that which is beneficial to you. I don’t want to prolong the discussion. And he said: I praise the Creator of the worlds. The audience also said: Praise be to Allah. Then he testified to the oneness of Allah and prophethood of the Prophet. People also followed him in this.
Then he said: I witness that resurrection is truth, Paradise is truth, Hell is a fact and I confess to all that the Messenger of Allah (S) had brought from the Lord. And I make all of you witnesses on this belief of mine. All said: We testify to all that you have said. Then Abu Dharr said: “All of you who die on these correct articles of faith should get the glad tidings of salvation, provided he does not co-operate with the sinner and must not hold the actions of oppressors to be good and neither should he help them.
O people, along with your prayer and fasting you must consider it necessary to be angry with the people for the sake of the Almighty, when you see that they are disobeying the Almighty Allah and you must not please your rulers through those actions that invite the anger of the Almighty Allah. If people create heresies in the religion of Allah, whose reality is unknown to you, you must be aloof from them and condemn them even if they are hard on you and throw you out of their court and deprive you of their bestowals and exile you from their towns so that the Almighty Allah is pleased with you.
Because the Almighty Allah is more majestic and higher than all and it is not proper for anyone to please a creature and anger Him. May Allah forgive me and you, I entrust you all to the Almighty Allah and invoke His mercy for you.” People said: “May the Almighty Allah grant you health and may He have mercy on you. O Abu Dharr, O companion of the Messenger of Allah (S), would you not like us to take you back to our city?
And protect you from the mischief of the enemies?” Abu Dharr said: “May Allah have mercy on you. Go back, because I am more patient on calamities than you are. You must never fall into disunity.” With these words, he set out from there and reached Medina and came to Uthman. Uthman said: “May Allah not give the eyes such a lifespan.”
This saying was common about aged people among the Arabs. Abu Dharr said: “By Allah, my parents did not survive that long. But may Allah, not keep alive one who disobeys Him and becomes a slave to his selfish desires.” Kaab al-Ahbar arose and said: “O old man, are you not afraid of Allah that you speak in this way in the presence of the chief of believers?” Abu Dharr beat his staff upon Kaab’s head and said: “O son of a Jew, who are you to interfere in the affairs of Muslims. By Allah, Judaism has not left your heart.”
Uthman said: “By Allah, I and you will not live in the same city. You have become senile and mad. Take him away! Mount him on the bare back of a camel and drive it to Rabza with speed, so that he may live there alone without any companion or helper till the Almighty Allah does with him what He likes.”
Thus he was thrown out disrespectfully and beaten with sticks. Uthman ordered that no should accompany him to the gates of the city. When Amirul Momineen (a.s.) came to know about it, he wept so much that his beard became wet with tears. And he said: “Does such a behavior befit a companion of the Prophet?
Surely we belong to Allah and to Him we shall return.” Then he came to see him off with Imam Hasan (a.s.), Imam Husain (a.s.), Ubaidullah, Qatham, Fazl and Abdullah, sons of Abbas. When Abu Dharr saw them, he came and began to weep in their separation and said: May my parents be sacrificed on these countenances, when I saw these faces, I used to be reminded of the Messenger of Allah (S) and I used to be surrounded by blessings.
Then he raised his hands to the sky and said: “O Allah, I am devoted to them. Even if they cut me into pieces, I will not give up their love for the sake of Your obedience and seeking the rewards of the Hereafter. You all may go back now, may Allah have mercy on you. I pray to the Almighty Allah that He bestows me with Caliphate among you, the best of Caliphate. Then they said farewell to Abu Dharr and returned from there weeping in his separation.
Shaykh Kishi has narrated through authentic chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that Uthman called his two freed slaves, gave each of them 200 dinars to go to Abu Dharr, convey his greetings to him and ask him to take the amount and use it as he wished. They brought Uthman’s message. Abu Dharr asked: “Has he given the same allowance to all Muslims?”
“No,” said the servants. Abu Dharr said: “I am also a Muslim and it is not lawful for me to take more than what the others are given.” “Uthman says that it is his personal wealth and swears by the One, except whom there is no god that nothing unlawful is included in it.” Abu Dharr said: “I don’t need this money and I began this day in such a condition that I am needless of all the people.”
The servants said: “May Allah make you prosperous, this money will help you, as we cannot see anything with you with which you may obtain comfort.” Abu Dharr said: “There are two loaves of dry barley bread under this mat, some days old. What will I do with these gold coins? By Allah I will not take them and Allah knows that I am not powerful on less or more.
Indeed, I began this morning with needlessness; and love for Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) and his progeny, who are the guides of humanity and are themselves guides, pleased at the pleasure of Allah and the best creatures of the Almighty. They guide the people with truth and behave with justice. I have heard the Messenger of Allah (S) say thus about them. And it is extremely shameful for an old man to lie. So take this money back and tell him that I neither need this nor any other money he has, till I will meet my Lord and He will judge between me and him.”
Shaykh Mufeed has narrated that when Abu Dharr was brought from Syria to Uthman he asked: “O Abu Dharr, which is your favorite town?” Abu Dharr replied: “The city to which I migrated.” Uthman said: “You can never remain in the city in which I reside.” Abu Dharr said: “You may send me to Mecca, the sanctuary of God.”
Uthman said: “This is also not acceptable.” Abu Dharr said: “Send me to Kufa as companions of the Prophet reside there.” “No,” said Uthman. Abu Dharr said: “I don’t like any other place and I will not like to go there.” Uthman said: “Go to Rabza.” Abu Dharr said: “The Messenger of Allah (S) has commanded me to accept the command of tyrants and allow myself to be taken wherever I am taken, even if my nose and ears are cut off like that of a black slave.” At last Abu Dharr left for Rabza and after remaining there for sometime came back to Uthman. He saw two rows of people standing before Uthman.
Abu Dharr said: “O Uthman, you threw me out of this city and sent me to a place which is neither tillable nor do I possess animals except for a few sheep and neither do I have a servant except for a freed slave girl. And neither is there any shade except that of the trees. Therefore, give me a servant and some sheep so that I may arrange to live off them.” Uthman turned his face away.
Abu Dharr went to the other side and completed the proof by repeating his demand. But Uthman didn’t relent. Habib bin Muslima said: “O Abu Dharr, I give you a thousand dirhams, a servant and 500 sheep.” Abu Dharr said: “Give them to someone who is more in need. I don’t want anything from you; I only ask from Uthman the right which the Almighty Allah has fixed for me in His Book.”
At that moment Imam Ali (a.s.) entered and Uthman told him: “Why don’t you take this fool away from me?” “Who is a fool?” asked Imam Ali (a.s.). “Abu Dharr,” replied Uthman. Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said: “He is not a fool. I heard the Messenger of Allah (S) say that: The green sky has not shaded and the dusty earth not borne the weight of any speaker more truthful than Abu Dharr.
O Uthman, consider him to be the believer of the people of Firon. If he lies, it will harm him only and if he is truthful, some of what he promises will indeed befall you.”
Shaykh Kishi has narrated through Abdul Malik bin Abu Dharr Ghiffari through authentic chains that when Uthman tore up a number of copies of Qur’an, Amirul Momineen (a.s.) called me and asked me to bring my father.
When I conveyed the message of Imam Ali (a.s.) to my father he hastened to the Imam immediately. His Eminence, said: “O Abu Dharr, a great matter has occurred in Islam today! They have torn up the Book of Allah and placed a piece of iron in it. It is incumbent on the Almighty Allah to apply iron to the body of one who has applied iron to the Qur’an and cut it up into shreds.”
Abu Dharr said: “I have heard from the Messenger of Allah (S) that the tyrants who had ruled on Musa (a.s.) fought against the family of the prophet and overpowered them and they continued to slay them for a long time. At last the Almighty Allah sent some youths upon them who had come from another town and they confronted them. And O Amirul Momineen (a.s.), in this Ummah you are like them.” Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said: “O Abu Dharr, so you have predicted my death?” He said: “By Allah, I know that from the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) people will initiate the killings with you.”
Moreover, through authentic chains of narrators, it is narrated from Huzaifa bin Usaid that he says: I saw Abu Dharr clinging to the knob of the Kaaba and saying: I am Jundab, one who knows me, knows me and one who does not know me should know that I am Abu Dharr son of Junadah. I have indeed heard from the Messenger of Allah (S) that: Whosoever deviated from me for first, second and third time would be among the followers of Dajjal (anti-Christ). Indeed, the example of my progeny in this Ummah is like that of the Ark of Nuh. One who boarded it was saved and one who left it was drowned. I have conveyed whatever I was supposed to convey.”38
Ibn Abil Hadid has narrated from Ibn Abbas that when Uthman exiled Abu Dharr to Rabza he also prohibited everyone to see him off; and he appointed Marwan bin Hakam to take Abu Dharr out of Medina. Thus everyone was cowed down by Uthman’s fear and no one went out to see off Abu Dharr.
But His Eminence, Ali (a.s.), Imam Hasan (a.s.), Imam Husain (a.s.), Aqil and Ammar Yasir accompanied him. When they came to Abu Dharr, Imam Hasan (a.s.) began to speak with Abu Dharr. Marwan said: “Perhaps you are unaware that Uthman has prohibited talking with this man? If you were unaware you should know it now.” Amirul Momineen (a.s.) whipped Marwan and said: “Get out from here, may Allah humiliate you and put you into the fire.” Marwan came to Uthman infuriated and reported everything to him.
Uthman was also enraged. When Amirul Momineen (a.s.) returned to Medina after saying farewell to Abu Dharr, people told him that Uthman was enraged with him for having accompanied Abu Dharr.” Imam Ali (a.s.) said: “His anger on me is like the fury of the horse which chews at the reins. But how much ever he may chew, it is of no use to him.” Thus when he met Uthman, he asked: “Why did you send my messenger and disregarded my command?”
Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said: “Your messenger wanted to send me back, therefore I sent him back. And since your command was against the command of Allah, I could not have acted on it.” There was a heated exchange between Uthman and Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and Imam Ali (a.s.) arose from the meeting in anger. Since the dispute was of no good consequence a group of companions pacified both the parties.
Moreover, Ibn Abil Hadid has narrated that Abu Dharr’s exile to Syria through Uthman was due to the fact that when Uthman began to misappropriate public wealth, and started distributing money according to his wish to Marwan and other hypocrites, Abu Dharr began to protest about it in streets and publicly recite the following verse of Qur’an:
وَالَّذِينَ يَكْنِزُونَ الذَّهَبَ وَالْفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنْفِقُونَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَبَشِّرْهُمْ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ.
“…and (as for) those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in Allah’s way, announce to them a painful chastisement…”39
Uthman continued to receive reports of these protests, but he was busy in his affairs and he paid no attention to Abu Dharr, but when many complaints piled up, Uthman sent a freed slave to Abu Dharr and told him to refrain from these activities. Abu Dharr said: “Uthman restrains men from reading the Book of Allah. And he stops me from condemning one who disobeys the command of God. By Allah, if I please the Almighty it would be more preferable to him than to please Uthman. Rather than I keep Uthman pacified and make God angry. Uthman was further infuriated by this, but he did not confront him due to some exigency.
Then one day Uthman asked in his assembly: “Is it allowed for the Imam to borrow something from Baitul Maal which he may later repay?” Kaab al-Ahbar said that there was no problem in it. Abu Dharr said: “O son of two Jews, will you teach us our religion?” Uthman said: “O Abu Dharr, this is the limit of your harassment to me and my companions.” Then he ordered that Abu Dharr should be exiled to Syria. In Syria, Abu Dharr observed the unholy behavior of Muawiyah and began to condemn him too.
One day Muawiyah sent 300 gold coins to Abu Dharr. Abu Dharr told the messenger: “If it is my share, which you did not give me this year, I will accept it and if it is a gift and favor from you, I am not in need of it.” And he returned it. When Muawiyah constructed the Green Palace in Damascus, Abu Dharr said: “O Muawiyah, if it is made from the wealth of Allah, you have been dishonest, and if you have got it made from personal wealth, you have been extravagant.”
In the same way, Abu Dharr used to say in Syria, some heresies have appeared in this age, which are neither according to the Book of Allah nor conform to the practice of the Prophet. I see that truth is being trampled upon and falsehood is being popularized. The truthful are regarded as liars and the share of the righteous is given to the sinners.” At last Habib bin Muslima Fehri said to Muawiyah: “Abu Dharr will mislead the people of Syria from you, so you must do something about him.”
Moreover, it is narrated from Julam bin Jundal that: During the reign of Uthman I was the agent of Muawiyah in Qansarin. One day I came to Muawiyah for some errand. Suddenly I heard someone screaming at the door: “A line of camels is coming to you on which is loaded the fire of Hell. O Allah, curse those who restrain others from evil but themselves act upon it.”
This infuriated Muawiyah and he asked: “Do you know this man?” “No,” I replied. Muawiyah said: “He is Jundab bin Junadah. He comes every day to the entrance of my palace and calls out in the same manner.” Then he ordered that he should be eliminated. Some people caught hold of Abu Dharr and brought him to Muawiyah. Muawiyah said: “O enemy of Allah and Messenger. Everyday you come and talk in this way? If I could kill any companion of the Prophet without the permission of Uthman, I would have killed you.
But I will take permission from Uthman about you.” Julam says: “I tried to see Abu Dharr, because he was from my tribe. When I saw him, he was wheat complexioned and tall and thin man. His beard was sparse and due to old age his waist had become absolutely thin.” Thus in reply to Muawiyah, Abu Dharr said: “I am not the enemy of Allah and the Messenger. On the contrary, you and your father is the enemy of Allah. You accepted Islam for convenience, whereas you were really infidels.
And the Messenger of Allah (S) had often invoked curse on you and prayed that may you never become satiated by eating. The Messenger of Allah (S) had informed that when the ruler of this Ummah will be one with big eyes and long neck, he will be a glutton and he would never feel satiated. At that time the people of my Ummah should beware of his mischief. Muawiyah said: I am not that person. Abu Dharr said: “Only you are that same one, the Messenger of Allah (S) has informed me that it is you.
One day you passed the Prophet and I heard that the Prophet was saying: O Allah, curse this man and never make him satiated of food except in grave. Then I heard him say that his abode was in the Fire. Muawiyah laughed at this and ordered Abu Dharr to be taken into custody. After that he wrote about all this to Uthman who called him to Medina as was previously mentioned.
Shaykh Tusi has narrated that Abu Sahla said: I set out for Hajj with Salman. When we reached Rabza, we went to visit Abu Dharr. Abu Dharr said: “After me, mischief will appear. When it occurs, it is must upon you to remain attached to the Book of Allah and the leader of religion, Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.); and you must not leave them, because I have heard the Messenger of Allah (S) say: Ali is the first of those who believed in me and he testified before all others.
On Judgment Day he would be first to shake hands with me. He is the Siddiq Akbar of this Ummah and the Farooq Azam who separates the truth from falsehood. He is the king of believers and master of property of hypocrites.40
Ibn Babawayh has narrated from Naeem bin Qanab that he said: I went to Rabza to visit Abu Dharr and saw a lady there.
I asked where Abu Dharr was. She said that he had gone out. Suddenly I saw him coming pulling two camels behind him. Each of the camels had a water skin hanging from their necks. I arose, greeted him and then sat down again. When he entered the house, I heard that he was telling his woman as the Prophet had said that: Woman is like a curved bone, if you try to straighten it, it will break, and if you leave it as it is, you will benefit from it.
Then he placed a bowl before me containing a roasted animal like Asfar and he told me to eat as he himself was fasting. Then he performed two rakats prayers and after that he came and began to eat. I said: “Wow, I never knew that a person like you could lie in this way. You said that you were fasting!” Abu Dharr said: I have fasted three days in this month and thus earned the reward of fasting for the whole month. Now I have the choice of fasting the remaining days or not.”
Ibn Tawus has through authentic chains narrated from Muawiyah bin Thaliba etc. that when Abu Dharr was in his terminal illness, we went to visit him and asked him to make his bequest. He said: I have appointed Amirul Momineen as my legatee. I said: Do you mean Uthman? “No,” I call only Amirul Momineen, who is the rightful chief of believers, that is Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.). He is the spring of the world through whom the earth is stable and inhabited.
Only he is the divine scholar of this Ummah. If he goes away from you, you will see endless evil and corruption in the world.” I said: “We know that you love much the one whom the Holy Prophet (S) loved. Tell me whom do you love most?” He replied: “The most beloved to me in the world is that oppressed elder whose rights have been usurped by the people, that is Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.).”
Barqi has narrated through correct chains of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that one day in Rabza, people saw Abu Dharr watering his mule. They asked him if he had no servant to do this? He replied: I have heard from the Messenger of Allah (S) that he said: Every morning the quadrupeds supplicate: O Allah, give me a master who feeds and gives me water, and who does not put a load more than which I could bear. That is why I water him myself.”
Shaykh Kishi has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) said in favor of Abu Dharr: “The green sky has not shaded and the dusty earth not borne the weight of any speaker more truthful than Abu Dharr. He will live alone, enter Paradise alone and will be raised alone.” He used to publicly announce the excellence of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and say that only he is the legatee and Caliph of the Holy Prophet (S). That is why he was externed from the sanctuary of Allah and the Prophet and he was made to mount the bare-backed camel to be taken to Medina.
He used to regularly call out that rows of Hellfire are being brought for you. And he used to say that I heard from the Messenger of Allah (S): When the descendants of Abil Aas reach upto thirty, they would corrupt the religion of Allah; consider the people as their servants and consider the wealth of Allah as their own. That is why he was killed in starvation and poverty and he continued to observe patience.
Moreover it is narrated that when the time of Abu Dharr’s death approached he told his wife to slaughter a sheep and to cook the mutton, and when he was dead, to go and sit on the road to Iraq and say to the first caravan that arrives: O servants of Allah, a companion of the Prophet has passed away in this area. Please could you take the trouble to perform his last rites? Then Abu Dharr said: The Messenger of Allah (S) had informed me that I would die in a strange land and some righteous people of his Ummah will perform my last rites.
Then Al-Qama bin Aswad Nakhai has narrated that we were traveling for Hajj with Malik Ashtar along with some other believers. When we reached Rabza, we found a lady by the road. She said: O servants of Allah, O righteous Muslims, a companion of the Prophet, Abu Dharr has passed away in this strange area. And there is no one who can help me with his final journey.
So we looked at each other and thanked Allah for giving us such an opportunity. But we were much aggrieved at this and said: Verily we belong to Allah and to Him we shall return. Thus we went along with that poor lady and began to perform the last rites of Abu Dharr. There was a dispute among us as each of us wanted to shroud him with his own money. At last it was decided to share the expenses equally.
After that we jointly performed his funeral bath. After that Malik Ashtar led the funeral prayers and we buried him. Then Malik Ashtar stood by his grave and said: O Allah, this Abu Dharr is the companion of Your Messenger, he worshipped with Your worshippers and fought Jihad with the polytheists for Your pleasure and he did not make any change in any of Your dispensations. But he opposed through his tongue and heart, all the innovations that were created in Your religion by the hypocrites.
That is why he was oppressed and thrown out of his hometown in degradation after being deprived of his rights. And he continued to live in a strange land. O Allah, destroy the glory and power of the one who deprived him of his rights and who externed him from the place of his migration and the sanctuary of the Messenger. We all raised our hands.
Then the lady of the house brought the roasted animal and said: Abu Dharr had adjured you not to step out of this house till you don’t partake this dish. So we partook from it and then returned from there. Shaykh Tusi has narrated this incident from Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.).
It is mentioned in Rauzatul Waezeen that someone asked Abu Dharr at the time of his death, where his property was.
He replied: “It is my deed.” People said: “We are asking you about silver and gold.” Abu Dharr said: “I never passed any day on the earth in possession of anything. I have heard from my beloved, the Messenger of Allah (S) that he used to say: “The treasure of man is his grave.”
Ibn Abil Hadid has narrated through another report that they reached Abu Dharr when he was yet alive.
Abu Dharr told them: “I have heard the Messenger of Allah (S) tell some people among whom I was also there: one of you will die in loneliness and a group of believers will be present to perform the last rites. And all of those among whom the Holy Prophet (S) issued this prophecy have passed away in their native towns, except me.
So I am that man. If I or my wife had possessed a garment sufficient to act as my shroud, I would never have accepted anyone giving me a shroud. And I adjure you in the name of Allah, that none of you should give me a shroud who has served as a ruler. Or who has served as a leader of a group or have been a friend of an oppressor or had served as a messenger of an oppressor.
There was an Ansari man in that group who had never participated in any type of rulership. He said: O respected Uncle, I will shroud you in this same sheet that I have covered myself with and the two pieces of cloth that are present in my luggage. Their thread was spun by my mother and I have myself woven those clothes. Abu Dharr said: “All right, only you must give me the shroud.”
Shaykh Mufeed has narrated from Abu Amama Bahili that when Uthman sent Abu Dharr to Rabza, Abu Dharr wrote a letter to Huzaifa bin Yaman: In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. So to say: O brother, fear Allah, as is wont to be feared so that your weeping is more and free the heart from the attachments of the world and remain awake at nights in the worship of Allah and impose hardships on your body in obedience of the Lord, because He is deserving of this weeping and austerity; one who knows that Hell is for those on whom the Almighty Allah is angry, that is why his weeping and austerity and remaining awake at nights in worship is more.
Till he comes to know that the Almighty Allah is pleased with him. And he is deserving for it who knows that Paradise is for one with whom the Almighty Allah is pleased. That is why he is inclined to truth. Perhaps through this he may achieve salvation and in order to obtain the satisfaction of Allah he may consider it easy to leave his family and property and his wakefulness of nights and fasting of the days, and consider it easy to fight Jihad with oppressors and apostates.
So much so that he should come to know that the Almighty Allah has made Paradise compulsory on him all this cannot be known except after death. And one who wants to be in vicinity of divine mercy in Paradise and in the companionship of prophets, it is necessary for him to become just as I have described. O my brother, you are from those whom I can confide my sorrow and complain to them that these oppressors have helped each other in causing pain to me.
Indeed, I have myself seen and heard the oppressions of these oppressors and if I refused them, they deprived me of their bestowals and exiled me from one place to another, separating me from my brothers and relatives and threw me out from the sanctuary of Allah and His Messenger. And I seek refuge from the Almighty that my complaint should be registered with Him that they have acted in this way with me. I tell you that I am pleased with what the Almighty Allah has chosen for me and whatever He has commanded for me.
I am describing my circumstances to you so that you may pray to Allah for my and other people’s salvation and that you may supplicate the Almighty Allah to bestow me and other Muslims with that which is more beneficial and whose consequence is better. And peace be upon you.”
In reply to this, Huzaifa wrote: In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. So to say: O my brother, I received your letter in which you warned me of my return in Judgment Day and emphasized fearing disobedience of God.
You encourage me to adopt all such actions in which my well being lies. O brother, you have always been the well wisher of me and all Muslims and had always been affectionate for us all and have always been fearful with regard to us. You have always commanded good and refrained from evils.
But no one is guided to the pleasures of the Almighty except that they be from Allah and no one escapes His anger and chastisement except through His mercy and forgiveness. Therefore I ask Him for myself and special friends and all the people of this Ummah, His general blessings and encompassing mercy. My brother, through your letter we came to know whatever oppression you are meted out, like being exiled to a strange land etc. all this was extremely sad for us.
My brother, if I knew that your problems could be solved through wealth, I would have most willingly sacrificed all my wealth for you. By Allah, if it had been possible to share your woes, and if I can take up half of your problems, I would have asked them for it. But all these matters are only as much for us as is acceptable to the Almighty Allah. O brother, we and you together should petition the court of the Almighty and become inclined to His rewards and save ourselves from His chastisement.
Indeed, they will soon torture us and very soon they will cut off the fruits of life from our bodies and summon us in the court of Almighty and we would have to submit. Then our deeds will be presented before Allah and we shall be helpless of the deeds that we have sent in advance. O brother, do not regret whatever has been wasted by you and don’t be aggrieved at whatever pains you have received.
On the contrary ask the Almighty Allah to give you a good reward for them and continue to hope for a great reward from Him. O brother, I find death better than worldly life for yourself and myself, because countless mischiefs have appeared that are approaching continuously like dark nights. People of the world have prepared their steeds and are trampling the wealth of the world with their hooves. In these mischiefs, swords will be unsheathed and death will overpower the people. One who comes out or is involved with them or who rides through them, will be doubtlessly killed.
And Arab tribes, whether they be townsmen or gypsies, will take part in these mischiefs, and in that period the most oppressive will be the most respected and one who is the most pious, will be the most degraded. Therefore may the Merciful Allah keep us in His refuge from such circumstances, in which the condition of the people would be such. Indeed, I will not omit praying for you in any position, because the Almighty Allah has commanded in the Holy Qur’an and promised its fulfillment:
ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ
“Call upon Me, I will answer you; surely those who are too proud for My service shall soon enter hell abased.”41
Therefore we seek refuge of Allah from His disobedience in worship and deviation from His obedience. We pray that the Almighty Allah may give me and you salvation and a goodly end. And peace be upon you.”
Ali bin Ibrahim and Kulaini have narrated that Abu Dharr had a son named Zar. He died in Rabza. When Abu Dharr had buried him, he stood besides his grave and placing his hand on his grave said: O Zar, may Allah have mercy on you; you were a dutiful son of your parents and when you passed away from the world, I was satisfied with you. Your separation has not put me to any loss and except for the Merciful Lord, I don’t have any need from anyone nor do I seek any benefit from anyone that I should be perturbed with any loss.
If after death, there had been no hardship and fear, I would have liked to be in your place. I am aggrieved not because of you and I don’t weep for your separation but I weep upon you. If only I had known what questions were posed to you and what replies you offered. O Allah, You had made some duties obligatory on him and also made him responsible for some of my rights.
O my Lord, I have forgiven him my rights, You also forgive Your rights to him and forgive me, because you are more deserving of generosity and mercy.
Abu Dharr owned some sheep through which he subsisted along with his family. But once they all were destroyed in some epidemic.
His wife also expired in Rabza. So he lived alone with his daughter. She says that three days passed but they did not get a grain to eat. When hunger overpowered us my father said: Come dear, let us go to wilderness, perhaps we would find some grass there which we can consume.
So I took my father and went into the desert, but we could not find anything. So my father gathered some sand and placed his head on it. When I glanced at him, I saw that he was near to his death. I began to weep and I asked: Father dear, what will I do in this lonely desert? He said: Don’t worry, after I die, a group of Iraqis will arrive and they will perform my last rites, because my beloved, the Messenger of Allah (S) had informed me during the Battle of Tabuk.
Daughter dear, when I have departed for the heavenly abode, cover me with a sheet and sit on the road to Iraq. When the caravan arrives, you must say: Abu Dharr, companion of the Prophet has died in this wilderness. Abu Dharr’s daughter narrates that a group of the people of Rabza came to visit my father and asked: O Abu Dharr, what are you suffering from, what is your complaint? Abu Dharr replied: I am suffering from my sins.
They asked: What do you want? He replied: I want the mercy of my Lord. People said: If you like, we can get you a doctor. He said: It is the doctor who has made me sick. The Almighty Allah is the physician and all the pain is due to Him only. Then his daughter narrates that when my father saw the Angel of Death, he said: Welcome to a friend who has arrived when he was most needed.
Deliverance may not be for one who regrets meeting you. May the Almighty Allah convey me next to His mercy through him. By your right, you know that I had always been eager to meet you and I have never despised death. His daughter says that when he passed away, I covered him with a sheet and waited on the road. Some people arrived and I told them: O Muslims, Abu Dharr, companion of the Prophet has passed away. They alighted from their mounts and wept in his grief.
Then they performed his last rites and buried him after prayers. Malik Ashtar was also among them. It is narrated from Malik that: I shrouded him in a cloth I used to carry around and it was worth 4000 dirhams. His daughter says that I used to remain on his grave in such a way that whenever he used to pray during his lifetime, I also prayed in the same way and fasted as he had fasted in his lifetime.
One night I saw him that after the Midnight Prayer he was reciting the Qur’an like he recited during his lifetime. I asked: Father dear, how did the Almighty Allah deal with you? He replied: I was presented to my Merciful Lord and He was happy with me and I was satisfied with Him. He granted me many blessings and honored me. But my daughter, you must perform good deeds but never feel proud. Often history has mentioned wife of Abu Dharr instead of his daughter.
Ahmad bin Athim Kufi has narrated that those who participated in the final rites of Abu Dharr were: Ahnaf bin Qays Tamim, Saa-sa bin Sauhan al-Abdi, Kharija bin Salat Tamimi, Abdullah bin Muslima Tamimi, Hilal bin Malik Nazle, Jarir bin Abdullah Bajali, Aswad bin Yazid al-Khafi and Malik bin Ashtar bin Harith etc. These people at once washed Abu Dharr and arranged for his shrouding. After the burial, Malik bin Ashtar standing by the side of the grave delivered a speech which referred to Abu Dharr’s affairs and a supplication about him. After the praise of the Almighty Allah he said:
“O Allah, Abu Dharr was a companion of Your Prophet and a believer in Your Books and Your Prophets. He fought very bravely in Your way, remained steadfast to Your Islamic laws and never changed or distorted any of Your commands.”
“O my Lord, seeing some conventions of the Book and the tradition he raised his voice and drew the attention of those responsible for the Ummah towards making improvements, as a result of which they tortured him, drove him from place to place, humiliated him, turned him out of the country of Your dear Prophet and put him to extreme hardships. At last he breathed his last in a state of utter loneliness in a deserted place.”
“O Allah, grant Abu Dharr a big portion of those heavenly blessings, which You have promised for the believers and take revenge on one who has banished him from Medina and given him full deserved punishment.”
Malik Ashtar prayed for Abu Dharr in his speech and all those who were present there said: “Amen.”
Ibn Abde Barr has mentioned in Istiab, that Abu Dharr passed away in 31st or 32nd year Hijri and Abdullah bin Masud performed his funeral prayer. Some have said that he died in 34 Hijri but the former report is more accurate.
Excellence of Miqdad had been mentioned in the previous chapters. And among the companions there is none equal to him after Salman and Abu Dharr. Ibn Athir has mentioned in Jamiul Usul that his agnomen was Abu Saeed. Some have also said that it was Abul Aswad. He was the son of Marwah bin Thalaba bin Matrud bin Amara Kindi. Some have said that he was from the Qasa-a tribe. Some state that he was a native of Hadhramaut.
Since his father had a treaty with Kinda tribe, he became associated with that clan. And since Miqdad was an associate of Aswad bin Abde Yaghus Zuhri, he began to be called as Zuhri. And that is why he was also known as Ibn Aswad. Some have said that Aswad had brought him up. And Ibn Abde Barr has stated that he was a slave of Aswad bin Abde Yaghus. And since Aswad had adopted him as a son, Miqdad was called as Ibn Aswad.
The Islam of Miqdad was earliest and he had participated in Badr, Uhud and other battles along with the Messenger of Allah (S). He was an accomplished, noble and senior companion of the Prophet. He passed away in 32 Hijri in Jarf which is at a distance of one Farsakh from Medina. After his death, people carried him to Medina and buried him at Baqi Cemetery. At the time of his death, his age is mentioned to be seventy years. Upto here we had quoted the statements of Ibn Athir.
Kulaini has narrated through authentic chains from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that the Messenger of Allah (S) had married Zaba-a daughter of Abdul Muttalib to him.
Ibn Babawayh has narrated through authentic chains from Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) that once Jibraeel came to the Prophet and said: O Messenger of Allah (S), your Lord sends you His greetings and says that: Virgins are like fruits on the trees.
When they are ripe, the best thing to do with them is to pluck them from the trees. If you don’t, the wind will spoil them and the sun will destroy them. In the same way when virgins reach maturity, there is no recourse except to give them husbands. If it is not done, it would not be possible to keep them safe from corruption.
The Messenger of Allah (S) mounted the pulpit and delivered a sermon and informed them about that which the Almighty Allah had commanded. So people asked: O Messenger of Allah (S), to whom should we marry our daughters? He replied: “With those who are compatible to them.” They asked: “Who are their equals?”
His Eminence, replied: “Believers are compatible and equal to each other.” Then he came down and married Zaba-a to Miqdad bin Aswad. Then he said: “I have married my cousin to Miqdad so that marriage becomes an easy matter. That people do not care for lineage etc. and they may give the hands of their daughter to anyone from the believers.”
Kulaini has narrated through authentic chains from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that one day Uthman said to Miqdad: “Refrain from criticizing me and praising Ali, or I would send you back to your first master.” When it was time for the death of Miqdad, he told Ammar Yasir: “Tell Uthman that I am going back to my first master; that is to the Almighty Allah.”
Shaykh Tusi has narrated that when people paid allegiance to Uthman, Miqdad said to Abdur Rahman bin Auf: By Allah, whatever passed on the Ahlul Bayt of the Prophet, its equal is not found anywhere else. Abdur Rahman said: What concern do you have with all this?
Miqdad said: By Allah, I love them because the Messenger of Allah (S) loved them. And by Allah, seeing their conditions, I feel so sad that I cannot describe it, because Quraish was honored over all the people due to them. Then all conspired together to usurp the rulership of the Holy Prophet (S), Abdur Rahman said: Woe be unto you, by Allah, I have made these efforts only for you and did not like the Caliphate to go to Ali. Miqdad said: By Allah, you ignored the one who would have guided the people to truth and ruled them with justice.
By Allah, if I had supporters, I would have indeed fought the Quraish in the same way as I had fought in Badr and Uhud. Abdur Rahman said: May your mother mourn for you! O Miqdad you should leave such talks lest people become deviated and there is serious mischief.
By Allah, I fear that dispute will appear among the people because of you. The narrator says that when Miqdad arose from that meeting, I went to him and said: O Miqdad, I will support you. He said: May Allah have mercy on you, what I intend cannot be obtained through two or three persons. After that the narrator went to Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and reported his dialogue with Miqdad. Imam (a.s.) prayed for Miqdad.
It is mentioned in Ikhtisas quoting from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that: The position of Miqdad in this Ummah is the position of the Arabic letter of Alif in Qur’an, such that no other letter is like it. In the same way no one is having the perfection of Miqdad.
And Shaykh Kishi has narrated through authentic chains that there was no one among the companions who had not committed an inappropriate deed, except for Miqdad bin Aswad, as his heart with regard to truth was like an iron slab. Moreover through authentic chains of narrators, it is narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: O Salman, if your knowledge is exposed to Miqdad, he would become an infidel.
Moreover through good chains of narrators it is narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that all companions of the Prophet apostasied after the Messenger of Allah (S) except for three: Salman, Abu Dharr and Miqdad. The narrator asked: What do you say about Ammar? Imam (a.s.) replied: He was also somewhat inclined to apostasy. Then he said: If you want such a person who never had any such doubt, it is Miqdad.
Salman thought that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) had command on the Isme Azam (great name of Allah) if he prays through them, indeed the earth will swallow those hypocrites. Then why he was helpless before them? When this matter passed his mind people caught his collar and put a rope around his neck. So much so that there developed a hole in his neck. Amirul Momineen (a.s.) passed by him and he said: O Abu Abdullah it is because of the thought that passed through your mind.
Pay allegiance to Abu Bakr. Then Salman paid allegiance. And Amirul Momineen (a.s.) ordered Abu Dharr to remain silent in such a way that his critics may not be able to shake him. But he did not accept and he continued to express the truth till Uthman did with him what he did. After that some companions again became inclined to truth and the first of these were Abu Saasan Ansari, Abu Amr and Sheeter. In the same way their number came to seven and except for them none who believed in the rightfulness of Amirul Momineen (a.s.).
- 1. Surah Shura 42:23
- 2. Surah Kahf 18:107
- 3. The author says: This tradition requires interpretation: Perhaps it implies that if they had not supported Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that day and all had pledged allegiance of Abu Bakr, the Almighty Allah would have sent chastisement on the people and no one would have survived. And whatever is mentioned in this report about Ibn Masud is opposed to other reports that condemn him and there is doubt in his integrity.
- 4. Surah Raad 13:39
- 5. Surah Baqarah 2:97
- 6. Surah Baqarah 2:97
- 7. Surah Baqarah 2:97
- 8. Surah Baqarah 2:97
- 9. Surah Alaq 96:6-7
- 10. Surah Baqarah 2:109
- 11. Surah Baqarah 2:207
- 12. Surah Tin 95:6
- 13. It is very likely that he would not have understood the secrets of that knowledge and he would have denied it, and it would have led to his infidelity.
- 14. These traditions tell us about the level of the knowledge of those personalities, therefore no one should harbor doubts about them which could lead one to sin.
- 15. Fire worship
- 16. Surah Hujurat 49:12
- 17. Surah Qasas 28:83
- 18. Surah Hujurat 49:13
- 19. The author says: This matter is also from the miracles of Salman, that years before the Battle of Jamal he had informed about the incident and had also identified Ayesha’s camel.
- 20. Surah Hajj 22:21
- 21. The author says: Shaykh Kishi has narrated a lengthy sermon of Salman in which he has spoken of the rights of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and the oppressors of the Ummah and the usurpers. And most incidents and oppressions that befell the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), and the uprising of Bani Umayyah and their mischief mongering and the uprising of Bani Abbas and most of the past and future events like the killing of Nafs-e-Zakiyyah and the advent of Qaim Aale Muhammad and the sinking of the army of Sufyani at Baidah etc. which are mentioned in authentic traditions and which shall be mentioned in the account of occultation, if Allah, the High allows.
- 22. It is a grass used as a vegetable by poor people.
- 23. The author says: Perhaps the negation is about direct address by the angel without the mediation of the Almighty Allah and the angel used to talk to Salman as mentioned previously.
- 24. This tradition is also like the previous one, that Abu Dharr would not have been able to bear the divine secrets that Salman was cognizant of. This tradition also most likely implies the excess knowledge of Salman. And Allah knows best.
- 25. Surah Nisa 4:65
- 26. The author says: It is not unlikely that Bedouin may imply Umar as usually this word was used to denote him due to Taqayyah.
- 27. The statements of Ibn Abil Hadid and others with regard to the death of Salman do not seem to be true. While it is proved that Salman was the governor of Madayan till the beginning period of the Caliphate of Imam Ali (a.s.) as is clear from the report after this.
- 28. Surah Mominoon 23:100
- 29. Surah Mujadila 58:6
- 30. Surah Kahf 18:49
- 31. Surah Bani Israel 17:13-14
- 32. Surah Mominoon 23:88
- 33. The author says: This report contains many extraordinary points: for example the incident Salman’s death during his Caliphate and his coming from Kufa, which is against general belief but since this report contains many useful points, I have included it.
- 34. Surah Infitar 82:13-14
- 35. The author says: Abu Dharr’s opposition to the Holy Prophet (S) negates his usual character. Perhaps it was in the initial period of his life in Islam when his faith was yet to be perfected. And it is also possible that it was to show the miracle of the Prophet or to show the priority of divine rewards to the comfort of the world.
- 36. Surah Baqarah 2:84-85
- 37. Surah Taubah 9:34-35
- 38. The author says: ‘Time’ implies the second time, thus it means fighting against Amirul Momineen (a.s.).
- 39. Surah Taubah 9:34
- 40. The author says: The mention of Salman in this report is surprising due to some reasons as is very much obvious for those who are knowledgeable.
- 41. Surah Momin 40:60