Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr

Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr

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 Umais. He became the adopted son of the fourth and last Rashidun caliph, Ali ibn Abi Talib and became one of his supporters.



When Abu Bakr died, Asma bint Umais married Ali ibn Abi Talib (Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law). Ali adopted Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, who later became one of his staunchest 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 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 ibn Ashter, 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[1] believe that Malik was poisoned by Muawiyah I.

Ibn Abi Bakr was easily defeated by Amr. Amr's soldiers were ordered to capture him and bring him, alive, to Muawiyah I. 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 [2]. However, Shi'a accounts say that the Muawiyah I who later became the first Umayyad Caliph was the actual killer of Ibn Abi Bakr [3].

Sunni Muslim view

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 (but actually perpetrated by Marwan ibn al-Hakam) against the Muslim petitioners from Egypt, ibn Abi Bakr rushed back with the petitioners to Madinah where he initially took part in the uprising against Uthman. 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's residence.[4]

The history is related as follows:

A group of seven hundred Egyptians came to complain to Caliph `Uthman about their governor Ibn Abi Sarh’s tyranny, so `Uthman said: "Choose someone to govern you." They chose Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, so `Uthman 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 to the governor of Egypt. They searched him and found a message from `Uthman to ibn Abi Sarh ordering the death of Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr and some of his friends. They returned to Madinah and besieged `Uthman. `Uthman acknowledged that the camel, the slave, 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.[5]

Shi'a Muslim view

Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr "Kabra Mubarak"

The Shi'a praise Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr 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.

According to a Shi’a Muslim author:

`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. [6].

His tomb is located in a Mosque in Cairo, Egypt.

See also


  1. ^ Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Ismaili Studies in London[1]
  2. ^ The Succession to Muhammad pp. 268
  3. ^ Middle East & Africa to 1875632–661
  4. ^ [
  5. ^ [ Uthman ibn Affan
  6. ^ Restatement of History of Islam : Death of Malik


External links

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