Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr(631–658 CE)(10-38 Hijri) was the son of Abu Bakr and Asma bint Umais. He became Ali ibn Abi Talib’s adopted son and one of his supporters.
When Abu Bakr died, Asma bint Umais married Ali ibn Abi Talib (Hazrat Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law). Ali adopted Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, who later became one of his staunchest supporters and one of the early Shi’a.
Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr had a son named, Qasim ibn Muhammad . The mother of the sixth Shi’ah Imam, Ja’far Al-Sadiq, was the daughter of Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr.
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 sent his general Amr ibn al-As and six thousand soldiers against Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr.
Muhammad asked Ali ibn Abi Talib 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. Shi’ahs and Wilferd Madelung (1) believe that Malik was poisoned by Muawiyah .
Ibn Abi Bakr was easily defeated by Amr. Amr’s soldiers were ordered to capture him and bring him, alive, to Muawiyah . However, a soldier named, Muawiya ibn Hudayj, 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 who later became caliph was the actual killer of Ibn Abi Bakr.
The Shi’a praise young man for his devotion to `Ali and his resistance to a caliph the Shi’a believe to be a tyrant. Though his father Abu Bakr and his sister Aisha were considered enemies of `Ali by Shi’a, Ibn Abi Bakr was faithful to his stepfather.
`Ali loved Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr as his own son and his death was felt as another terrible shock. `Ali prayed for him, and invoked God’s blessings and mercy upon his soul.
1. Wilferd Madelung, a scholar of Islam. He was born in Stuttgart, Germany.