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And Allah knows what could have been the position of the Muslims in that battle had they not dug
the trench, which was no sooner seen by the Quraish than they were stunned by despair. The forces of the
enemy still remained in their tents for a month, unable to take Al-Madiinah, until Allah sent them one
night a storm which devastated their tents and tore them asunder.
Then Abu Sufyaan announced to his forces that they should return to where they had come from.
They were despondent and frustrated.
During the excavation of the trench, Salmaan took his place among the Muslims while they dug and
removed the sand. The Prophet (PBUH) was also taking part in digging where Salmaan was working in a
group. Their pickaxes could not smash a stubborn rock, in spite of the fact that Salmaan was of strong
build and hard working. A single stroke of his would break a rock to pieces, but he stood in front of this
stubborn one. He let all those around him try to break it, but in vain. Salmaan went to the Prophet
(PBUH) to ask him to divert the trench around that stubborn and challenging rock. The Prophet (PBUH)
returned with Salmaan to see the rock himself. When he saw it, he called for a pickax and asked the
Companions to keep back from the splinters. He said, "In the name of Allah," and then raised his blessed,
firm hands gripping the pickax and let it fall.
The rock broke, making a great light. Salmaan said that he himself saw that light shining upon Al-
Madiinah. The Prophet (PBUH) raised the pickax and gave a second blow and the rock broke more. At
that moment the Prophet (PBUH) said loudly, "Allahu akbar - Allah is the Greatest - I have been given
the keys to Rome; its red palaces have been lit for me and my nation has vanquished it."
The Prophet (PBUH) struck his third blow. Then the rock shattered and its glittering light was seen!
The Prophet (PBUH) told them that he was now looking at the palaces of Syria, San'aa' and others like
them, and the cities of the world over which the banner of Islam would flutter one day. The Muslims
shouted in deep faith, "This is what Allah and His Prophet have promised us!"
Salmaan was the originator of the project to dig the trench, and he was associated with the rock out
of which poured some secrets of the unseen and of destiny. When he called the Prophet (PBUH) to break
it, he stood by the side of the Prophet (PBUH), saw the light, and heard the glad omen, and he lived to
see the prophecy fulfilled and abided in its living reality. He saw the great capitals of Persia and Rome
(Byzantium), the palaces of San'aa', Syria, Egypt, and Iraq. He saw every place trembling with the
blessed ecstasy which was issuing forth from the high minarets in all parts of the world, spreading the
light of guidance and goodness.
And here he is sitting there in the shade of a tree before his house in Al-Madiinah telling his guests
about his great adventures in the quest for truth, explaining to them how he abandoned the religion of his
Persian people for Christianity and then for Islam. How he abandoned his father's wealth and estate and
threw himself into the arms of the wilderness in the quest for the release of his tension and soul. How he
was sold in a slave market on his way to search for truth. How he met with the Prophet (PBUH) and how
he came to believe in him. Now let us approach his great court and listen to his grand tale which he is
I come from Isfahan, from a place called Jai, and I was the most beloved son of my father, who was
a figure of high esteem among his people. We used to worship fire. I devoted myself to fire worship until
I became custodian of the fire which we lit and never allowed to be extinguished.
My father had an estate. One day, he sent me there. I passed by a Christian church and heard them
praying. I went in and saw what they were doing. I was impressed by what I saw in their prayers. I said,
"This is better than our religion." I did not leave them until sunset, nor did I go to my father's estate, nor
did I return to my father until he sent people to search for me.
I asked the Christians about their affair and prayers which impressed me, and about the origin of
their religion. They answered, "In Syria." I said to my father when I returned to him, "I passed by people
praying in a church of theirs, and I was impressed by their prayer, and I could see that their religion is