On 8th of the Islamic month of Safar in 35 AH, the loyal Iranian disciple of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Salman Farsi, or the Persian, passed away in Mada’en in Iraq, where his mausoleum still stands today, with the Prophet’s famous hadith inscribed in bold letters on its walls, reading “Salman minna Ahl al-Bayt”, which means “Salman is from us the People of the Blessed Household,” an honour that was not bestowed on any Arab companion of the Prophet.
Salman, whose name was Rouzbeh, fed up with the weird rites of the Zoroastrians, left his hometown Shiraz in search of the true religion after becoming acquainted with Nestorian Christians. He travelled widely and learned the tenets of monotheism from several hermits in Syria, who had retreated into isolated desert monasteries in order to preserve the monotheist teachings of Prophet Jesus (PBUH), after Paul the Hellenized Jew had distorted the Gospels to coin the absurd belief of trinity.
When death approached the last such hermit, he advised Salman to travel to Arabia and await the advent of the Last and Greatest of Prophets. On arrival in Arabia, he was kidnapped by Jews and sold into slavery. For long years he toiled in cultivating date-palms, until one day he encountered enlightened visages speaking of monotheism and divine justice.
A spark lit Salman’s heart, and in order to test the visitors, he offered them some dates as “sadaqa” or charity, since he had read in the scriptures that alms and charity are forbidden for the Last Prophet and his progeny. The Prophet gave the charity dates to his companions to eat, while he himself, along with his cousin and son-in-law, Imam Ali (AS), politely declined the offer. Salman beamed with joy at finding the ultimate goal of his quest, and this time took some dates and offered the Prophet and the Imam as gifts, which they accepted. Salman immediately recited the two-fold testimony of faith, saying: “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”, thus becoming a Muslim.
The Prophet paid a big amount of money and met other conditions of the miserly Jew to procure the release of Salman, who thereafter loyally served the cause of Islam. It was on the advice of this faithful Iranian Sahabi that the Muslims dug the Khandaq or trench around the most vulnerable part of Medina, when a 10,000 plus force of pagan Arab and Israelites tried to attack the Prophet and obliterate Islam.
After the passing away of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), Salman was among the few Muslims who were loyal and steadfast to Islam and the cause of Imam Ali (AS). He was appointed as governor of Mada’en or Ctesiphon, the former Sassanid capital in Iraq.