Mehreen Ganny introduces an outstanding Muslim scholar, who was the first person to translate the Quran into a foreign language (Persian) and who contributed immensely towards the development of a Muslim state
The Imam, the flag of flags, the inheritor of Islam, the wise judge, the knowledgeable scholar, and one from the house of the Prophet (sa) are the titles given to Salman Al-Farsi (rta) by our Prophet (sa).
Salman Al-Farsi (rta), born in an influential family of Persia, was raised following the Magian religion. He was truly devoted to his religion, until the day he passed by a church and heard some men praying. He got drawn to the way the Christians worshiped and realized that Christianity was better then the religion of his forefathers. He left home with a group of Arabs to search for the origin of Christianity, which was in Syria.
On the way to Syria, he was sold to a Jewish man, who later sold him to his nephew from the tribe of Banu Qurayzah in Yathrib. Because of being imposed with harsh duties of slavery, he did not know about the call to Islam going on in Makkah, until the day, when he overheard his master talking to his nephew about a person claiming to be the last prophet.
When our Prophet (sa) migrated from Makkah and reached Yathrib, Salman offered him some dates as Sadaqah. Our Prophet (sa) gave them to his companions, not leaving any for himself. Then again Salman went with more dates and said that this was a gift. Our Prophet (sa) ate the dates himself and gave also to his companions. The strict honesty of our Prophet (sa) led Salman to accept Islam.
Salman played an important role in the struggles of the Muslim State. At the battle of the Trench (Khandaq), using his Persian skills, he came up with a brilliant military strategy of digging a ditch around Madinah to keep out the Quraish army. This led Muslims to victory and saved Madinah.
Salman became known as ‘Salman the good.’ He was a great scholar, who lived a rough and harsh life. He wore only one cloak and lived under a tree. He used to say that he was surprised to observe so many people spending all their life for the lower world, without a thought about the inevitable death, which one day will take them from this world. At night, Salman prayed. If he would get tired, he would start making Dhikr by tongue. When his tongue would get tired, he would reflect and ponder on Allah’s power and greatness in creation. He would then say to himself: “Oh, my ego, you took your rest; now get up and pray.” He would continue this cycle all night long.
He was known for his vast knowledge and wisdom. Kab Al-Ahbar said: “Salman is stuffed with knowledge and wisdom like an ocean that does not dry up.” During the lifetime of our Prophet (sa), Salman Al-Farsi (rta) translated the Quran into Persian. He was the first person to translate the Quran into a foreign language.
Being raised in an influential family let Salman (rta) to be a major figure in the expansion of Persian Empire of his time. His thirst for truth, even before the appearance of our Prophet (sa), led him to give up his comfortable life and even suffer the humiliation of slavery.