325. When the news of killing of Muḥammad ibn Abī Bakr  reached Amīr al-mu’minīn, peace be upon him, he said: Our grief over him is as great as their (i.e. the enemy’s) joy for it, except that they have lost an enemy and we have lost a friend.
 In the year 38 A.H. Mu‘āwiyah sent ‘Amr ibn al-‘Āṣ to Egypt with a large force. ‘Amr ibn al-‘Āṣ called Mu‘āwiyah ibn Ḥudayj for assistance. They brought together the supporters of ‘Uthmān and waged a war against Muḥammad ibn Abī Bakr and captured him. Mu‘āwiyah ibn Ḥudayj beheaded him and stitching his body into the belly of a dead ass, burnt it. Muḥammad was at that time twenty-eight years old. It is reported that when the news of the tragedy reached his mother, she fell into a great rage and indignation. And ‘Ā’ishah, his paternal sister, took a vow that, as long as she was alive, she would never eat roasted meat. She cursed Mu‘āwiyah ibn Abī Sufyān, ‘Amr ibn al-‘Āṣ and Mu‘āwiyah ibn Ḥudayj after every prayer.
When Amīr al-mu’minīn heard the news of Muḥammad’s martyrdom he became immensely sad. He wrote in very grieved language to Ibn ‘Abbās who was at Baṣrah about the tragic death of Muḥammad ibn Abī Bakr.
Hearing the news of Muḥammad’s martyrdom Ibn ‘Abbās came from Baṣrah to Kūfah to offer his condolences to Amīr al-mu’minīn.
One of the spies of Amīr al-mu’minīn came from Syria and said: O’ Amī al-mu’minīn! When the news of Muḥammad’s murder reached Mu‘āwiyah, he went to the pulpit and praised the group who took part in his martyrdom. The people of Syria rejoiced so much at hearing the news that I had never seen them in such delight before.
Then, Amīr al-mu’minīn uttered the above saying. He further said that although Muḥammad was his stepson, he was like his own son. (aṭ-Ṭabarī, vol. l, pp. 3400—3414; Ibn al-Athīr, vol. 3, pp. 352—359; Ibn Kathīr, vol. 7, pp. 313—317; Abu’1-Fidā’, vol. l, p. 179; Ibn Abi’l-Ḥadīd, vol. 6, pp.82—100; Ibn Khaldūn, vol. 2, part 2, pp. 181—182; al-Istī‘āb, vol. 3, pp. 1366—1367; al-Iṣābah, vol. 3, pp. 472—473; al-Ghārāt, ath-Thaqafī, vol. l, pp. 276—322; Tārīkh al-khamīs, vol. 2, pp. 238-239)
We have written before (in the footnote to Sermon No. 68) concerning the biography of Muḥammad ibn Abī Bakr.