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Mūsā ns is widely thought about the wealthiest male in history. He made his wealth and that that Mali recognized through a long and extravagant trip to Mecca in 1324, the 17th year the his reign as emperor the Mali. Mūsā’s rule identified the golden e of Mali.

Like two mansolu (rulers of Mali) before him, Mūsā I undertook the hajj as an action of devotion in line v Islamic tradition. Furthermore, his hajj in 1324 was in some ways an action of solidarity that confirmed his link to various other rulers and also peoples transparent the Islamic world.

Mūsā I’s trip caravan come Mecca in 1324 made up some 60,000 people and also an immeasurable amount of gold. He quit in Cairo along the way, and his luxurious spending and gift giving was so extensive that the diluted the value of yellow by 10 come 25 percent and influenced Cairo’s economic climate for at least 12 years afterward.

Upon his return in 1324, Mūsā I’s pious pilgrimage motivated him come commission two huge mosques in Timbuktu and also Gao. He encouraged his subjects’ immersion in scholarship, the arts, and also the Qurʾān. He intended to abdicate the throne and return to Mecca but died before he to be able to carry out so.

Mūsā I’s hajj left a lasting impression of Mali’s splendour on both the Islamic and European worlds. In Mali he supported trans-Saharan profession that additional increased the empire’s wealth. Under his reign, Mali overcame the neighbouring kingdom the Songhai. His religious devotion added to the spread of Islam throughout West Africa.

Mūsā i of Mali, Mūsā additionally spelled Musa or Mousa, likewise called Kankan Mūsā or Mansa Musa, (died 1332/37?), mansa (emperor) the the West African empire of Mali indigenous 1307 (or 1312). Mansa Mūsā left a realm significant for that extent and also riches—he built the great Mosque at Timbuktu—but he is best remembered in the middle East and Europe for the splendour the his trip to Mecca (1324).

Pilgrimage to Mecca

Mansa Mūsā, either the grandson or the grandnephew that Sundiata, the founder of his dynasty, pertained to the throne in 1307. In the 17th year of his regime (1324), he set out on his famous pilgrimage come Mecca. It was this expedition that awakened the human being to the stupendous wealth of Mali. Cairo and also Mecca received this imperial personage, who glittering procession, in the superlatives to work by Arab chroniclers, practically put Africa’s sunlight to shame. Traveling from his resources of Niani top top the top Niger river to Walata (Oualâta, Mauritania) and also on to Tuat (now in Algeria) prior to making his means to Cairo, Mansa Mūsā to be accompanied through an superior caravan consists of 60,000 men including a personal retinue that 12,000 enslaved persons, every clad in brocade and also Persian silk. The emperor self rode ~ above horseback and also was directly preceded by 500 enslaved persons, each carrying a gold-adorned staff. In addition, Mansa Mūsā had actually a baggage train the 80 camels, each transferring 300 pounds the gold.

Mansa Mūsā’s prodigious generosity and piety, and also the good clothes and exemplary action of his followers, did no fail to develop a most-favourable impression. The Cairo the Mansa Mūsā saw was rule by among the greatest of the Mamlūk sultans, Al-Malik al-Nāṣir. The black emperor’s an excellent civility notwithstanding, the meeting in between the 2 rulers might have ended in a serious diplomatic incident, for so absorbed was Mansa Mūsā in his spiritual observances that he was just with an obstacle persuaded to salary a official visit to the sultan. The historian al-ʿUmarī, who saw Cairo 12 years after the emperor’s visit, uncovered the occupants of this city, with a populace estimated at one million, still singing the praises of Mansa Mūsā. So lavish to be the emperor in his spending the he flooded the Cairo sector with gold, thereby causing such a decline in its value that the sector some 12 year later had actually still not completely recovered.

Rulers the West african states had actually made pilgrimages come Mecca before Mansa Mūsā, yet the effect of his flamboyant journey was come advertise both Mali and also Mansa Mūsā well past the african continent and also to stimulate a desire among the Muslim kingdoms of north Africa, and amongst many the European countries as well, to with the source of this significant wealth.

Conquest the Songhai kingdom

Mansa Mūsā, whose empire was among the biggest in the human being at that time, is report to have actually observed the it would take a year to take trip from one end of his realm to the other. When this was probably an exaggeration, the is well-known that during his trip to Mecca one of his generals, Sagmandia (Sagaman-dir), expanded the empire by recording the Songhai funding of Gao. The Songhai kingdom measured several numerous miles across, so the the conquest meant the acquisition of a huge territory. The 14th-century traveller Ibn Baṭṭūṭah detailed that that took around four month to travel from the northern borders of the Mali empire to Niani in the south.

The emperor to be so overjoyed by the brand-new acquisition the he chose to hold-up his return to Niani and to visit Gao instead, over there to obtain the personal submission that the Songhai king and also take the king’s two sons together hostages. At both Gao and Timbuktu, a Songhai city almost rivalling Gao in importance, Mansa Mūsā i was delegated Abū Isḥāq al-Sāḥilī, a Granada poet and architect who had actually travelled through him indigenous Mecca, to build mosques. The Gao mosque was constructed of charred bricks, which had actually not, until then, been provided as a material for building in West Africa.


Timbuktu, Mali: great Mosque
Great Mosque, constructed by Emperor Mūsā i of Mali in 1327, Timbuktu, Mali.

Under Mansa Mūsā, Timbuktu grew to it is in a an extremely important advertising city having actually caravan relations with Egypt and also with every other crucial trade centres in north Africa. Side by side v the encouragement of trade and also commerce, learning and the arts obtained royal patronage. Scholars who were greatly interested in history, Qurʾānic theology, and also law were to make the mosque of Sankore in Timbuktu a to teach centre and also to lay the structures of the university of Sankore. Mansa Mūsā probably passed away in 1332.

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The organization and smooth management of a purely African empire, the establishing of the college of Sankore, the expansion of trade in Timbuktu, the architectural technologies in Gao, Timbuktu, and Niani and, indeed, transparent the totality of Mali and in the subsequent Songhai empire are all testimony come Mansa Mūsā’s superior bureaucratic gifts. In addition, the ethical and religious principles he had taught his subjects sustained after his death.