Mansa Musa, commonly known as Mali’s Musa Keita I, was the Mali Empire’s tenth Sultan. He is thought to be one of the wealthiest people ever to walk the face of the earth. He was a member of the Keita Dynasty, and he rose to power after Abu-Bakra-Keita II went on an expedition to discover the Atlantic Ocean, leaving Musa as his deputy and never returning. Musa ruled during a time when Europe was in the midst of a financial crisis, and his kingdom prospered thanks to abundant gold and salt deposits. After performing the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, which was a tough task at the time, Mansa Musa became well-known in Europe and West Africa. His cavalcade comprised of approximately 60,000 troops, slaves, and followers that followed him through the kingdoms en route, where he lavishedly spent and gave charity to the destitute, disrupting the region’s economy. He became famous for annexing neighboring states and instituting reforms in his kingdom that were in keeping with Islamic practices. He also erected a number of mosques and madrasas, some of which are still in use today. He was particularly interested in Timbuktu, which he transformed into a hub for trade and education in West Africa. Unfortunately, his successors did not last long and were defeated by invaders from Morocco and the Songhai dynasty.
Childhood and Adolescence
Musa Keita was Mansa Musa’s father, and he was born into the Keita Dynasty of Mali in the 1280s. Sundiata Keita, the founder of the Malian Empire, had a brother named Abu-Bakra-Keita, who was his grandpa. Faga Laye, his father, was a minor figure in the kingdom. Mansa Musa, on the other hand, succeeded to the throne in 1312 thanks to the custom of selecting a deputy when a king travels on a pilgrimage or important mission and is gone for an extended length of time.
He was appointed as Abu-Bakra-Keita II’s deputy, but he never returned from an expedition to explore the Atlantic Ocean. As a result, the throne was passed down to Musa Keita, who was given the title of Mansa, which means King, and became the 10th Sultan of the prosperous West African nation.
Accession, Empire Expansion, and Rule
When Musa came to power, Europe was in the midst of a civil war-induced economic disaster. The West African state, on the other hand, was awash in riches thanks to enormous quantities of gold, precious stones, and salt. What is now Ghana, Mauritania, and Mali were formerly part of his realm.
He strengthened his power by annexing Timbuktu and regaining control of Gao. During his reign, he is said to have captured 24 cities and their surrounding villages, stretching his kingdom over 2000 miles and including parts of Nigeria, Ethiopia, Chad, and Gambia in addition to his original borders. He took on numerous titles as he grew in power, including ‘Emir of Melle,’ ‘Lord of the Mines of Wangara,’ and ‘Conqueror of Ghanata.’
He built diplomatic links with North Africa, allowing for unparalleled Trans-Sahara trade, which enriched his kingdom and brought prosperity to his people. His main sources of revenue were gold and salt, both of which were plentiful throughout his realm.
He set out on a mission to establish mosques and madrasas throughout his kingdom and the areas he conquered. The ‘Sankore Madrasah’ in Timbuktu and the ‘Hall of Audience’ in Niani are two architectural marvels that arose under his reign.
Timbuktu quickly established itself as a hub for trade and education in the Sub-Saharan African region. Its markets grew, and it spread Islamic culture and religion to its neighbors. Timbuktu’s University of Sankore became well-known, attracting intellectuals from Africa and the Middle East.
Despite the fact that his kingdom was conquered after his death, his rich legacy lingered on for decades, and there are mausoleums, libraries, and mosques that bear witness to his golden reign of dominance to this day.
Pilgrimage to Mecca
Musa was a devout Muslim who made a pilgrimage to Mecca in the years 1324-1325. The grandeur with which he went about his quest marked him apart from his peers. He is claimed to have traveled with a great cavalcade of men and animals, including 12,000 slaves carrying gold and treasures given out as alms in the Arab cities he passed through on his trip to the holy city. In every city where he halted on a Friday, he also erected a new mosque.
His journey was reported by eyewitnesses, and his fame spread far and wide, eventually reaching Europe and establishing Mali as a wealthy and prosperous nation. He accumulated so much wealth and power that he became one of history’s most powerful and influential rulers.
Musa was given the desired title of ‘Al-Hajji’ after completing his pilgrimage to Mecca, and he learned about traditional Islam as a result of his journey. He returned to Mali with a group of North African philosophers and architects to reform Islam and help the country grow.
Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage to Mecca, the holy city, was a watershed moment in his life. He was inspired by the event to reform Islam in his country and construct great mosques like as the iconic Djinguereber Mosque, which still remains today.
Personal History and Legacy
Mansa Musa is reported to be one of the wealthiest people who has ever lived on the planet. In today’s money, his fortune is estimated to be worth almost $ 400 billion. He had two boys with his wife, Inari Kunate.
The actual date of Mansa Musa’s death is unknown. He died around the year 1337, according to historians’ calculations, after reigning for 25 years. His oldest son, Mansa Maghan, succeeded him and carried on his tradition. However, due to domestic warfare and invading troops from Morocco and the kingdom of Songhai, his successors were unable to retain his empire, which remained in a condition of decadence.
Musa I of Mali Net Worth
He concentrated his efforts at Timbuktu, where he constructed schools, mosques, and a university. He constructed the famed Djinguereber Mosque, which is now part of the University of Timbuktu.
According to legend, a descendant of Muhammad travelled to Timbuktu to teach Malian Muslims, but he failed the Madrasa entrance exam and had to study for three years before becoming a student.
When he came to Cairo, he spent so much gold and gave so much to the poor that the city took years to recover from the increased inflation.