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Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr (Arabic: محمد بن أبي بكر) (631–658) was the son of Abu Bakr, who was the senior companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and first Rashidun Caliph. His mother was Asma bint Umays. He became the adopted son of the first Imam, and fourth Rashidun caliph, Ali ibn Abi Talib and became one of his lifelong supporters.
Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr had a son named, Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr (not to be confused with the Islamic prophet Muhammad's son Qasim ibn Muhammad). The daughter of Al-Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, Umm Farwah, was the mother of the sixth Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq.
After the Battle of Siffin, Ali ibn Abi Talib appointed Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr as the Governor of Egypt, then a newly conquered province of the Islamic empire. In 658 CE (38 A.H.), Muawiyah I, the then Governor of Syria, sent his general 'Amr ibn al-'As and six thousand soldiers against Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr. Muhammad asked Imam Ali for help. Ali is said to have instructed his foster son to hand the governorship over to his best general and childhood friend, Malik al-Ashtar, whom he judged better capable of resisting Amr ibn al-As. However, Malik died on his way to Egypt. The Shi'a and Institute for Shia Ismaili Studies in London's Shia'ism researcher Wilferd Madelung believe that Malik was poisoned by Muawiyah I.
Ibn Abi Bakr was eventually defeated by 'Amr ibn al-'As. 'Amr's soldiers were ordered to capture him and bring him alive, to Muawiyah I. However, a soldier named Mu'awiya ibn Hudaij is said to have quarreled with the prisoner and killed him out of hand. Ibn Hudayj was so incensed at Ibn Abi Bakr that he put his body into the skin of a dead donkey and burned both corpses together, so that nothing should survive of his enemy. However, Shi'a accounts say that the Muawiyah I who later became the first Umayyad Caliph was the actual killer of Ibn Abi Bakr.
Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr was a pious Muslim who supported the Rightly Guided Caliph, Ali ibn Abi Talib. He had spent considerable time in Egypt and was part of the delegation that complained about the activities of the governor of Egypt to the third Caliph Uthman ibn Affan. The Caliph promised to immediately dismiss the Egyptian governor and replace him with Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr. However, after sensing betrayal from Uthman ibn Affan (but actually perpetrated by Marwan ibn al-Hakam) against the Muslim petitioners from Egypt, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr rushed back with the petitioners to Madinah where he initially took part in the uprising against Uthman ibn Affan. After realizing his error in getting involved in the Siege of Uthman, he repented and withdrew from the uprising, although he had already led the group of rebels inside Uthman ibn Affan's residence.
The history is related as follows:
A group of seven hundred Egyptians came to complain to Caliph Uthman ibn Affan about their governor Ibn Abi Sarh’s tyranny, so Uthman ibn Affan said: "Choose someone to govern you." They chose Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, so Uthman ibn Affan wrote credentials for him and they returned. On their way back, at three days' distance from Madinah, a messenger caught up with them with the news that he carried orders from Uthman ibn Affan to the governor of Egypt. They searched him and found a message from Uthman ibn Affan to ibn Abi Sarh ordering the death of Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr and some of his friends. They returned to Madinah and besieged Uthman ibn Affan. Uthman ibn Affan acknowledged that the camel, the servant, and the seal on the letter belonged to him, but he swore that he had never written nor ordered the letter to be written. It was discovered that the letter had been hand-written by Marwan ibn al-Hakam.
The Shi'a praise Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr for his devotion to `Ali and his resistance to all the other caliphs who the Shi'a believe to be usurpers. Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr was a pious Muslim who supported the Imam of his time, Ali ibn Abi Talib, even though his father Abu Bakr and his sister Aisha were among the enemies of `Ali, Ibn Abi Bakr was faithful to his stepfather. And he was in Ali's army in the Battle of Jamal, against his biological sister who was rebelling: Aisha.
According to a Shi'a Muslim author:
More detail about these events are available on the Uthman ibn Affan wiki page.
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