ټول حقوق د منډيګک بنسټ سره محفوظ دي
King Mansa Musa is famous for his Hajj journey, during which he stopped off in Egypt and gave out so much gold that the Egyptian economy was ruined for years to come.
Mansa Musa was the great-great-grandson of Sunjata, who was the founder of the empire of Mali. His 25-year reign (1312-1337 CE) is described as “the golden age of the empire of Mali” (Levztion 66).
While Sunjata focused on building an ethnic Malinke empire, Mansa Musa developed its Islamic practice.
Another custom was that the king would never give orders personally. He would pass instructions to a spokesman, who would then convey his words.
He never wrote anything himself and asked his scribes to put together a book, which he then sent to the Sultan of Egypt.
However, Mansa Musa had to face his own test of humility because it was required, when greeting the sultan, to kiss the ground. This was an act that Mansa Musa could not bring himself to perform.
Ibn Fadl Allah Al-Omari, who spent time with Musa in Egypt, reports that Musa had made many excuses before he could be persuaded to enter the sultan’s court.
In the end, he made a compromise by announcing that if he had to prostrate on entering the court, it would be before Allah only, and this he did.
Mansa Musa stood in a long tradition of West African kings who had made pilgrimage to Makkah and, like his predecessors, he traveled in style.
Ibn Battuta recorded the display of wealth, which included a large presence of bodyguards, dignitaries, saddled horses, and colored flags. He traveled with his senior wife, Inari Kunate, who brought with her five hundred maids-in-waiting.
The senior wife was also respected and feared, and rulers of different cities paid their tributes to her.
However, Ibn Battuta recorded that in Mansa Musa’s court, the Shari`ah was rather informally practiced in matters of marriage.
He records that Ibn Amir Hajib, a member of the Mamluk court, noted how Mansa Musa strictly observed prayer and knew the Qur’an, but had maintained “the custom that if one of his subjects had a beautiful daughter, he brought her to the king’s bed without marriage.”
Ibn Amir Hajib informed Mansa Musa that this was not permitted under Islamic law, to which Mansa Musa replied, “Not even to kings?” Ibn Amir Hajib said, “Not even to kings.” Henceforth Mansa Musa refrained from the practice.
Mansa Musa’s Hajj had a significant impact on the development of Islam in Mali and on the perception of Mali throughout Africa and Europe.
He was later accompanied back to Mali by an Andalusian architect, who is said to have designed the mosque at Timbuktu.
He also invited back with him four descendants of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), so that the country of Mali would be “blessed by their footprints.”
According to Levtzion, Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage is recorded in many sources, both Muslim and non-Muslim and from both West Africa and Egypt.
Mali also appeared on the maps of the Jews and Christians in Europe. In Mali, Musa is known for building mosques and inviting Islamic scholars from around the Muslim world to his empire (Levtzion 213).
- Levtzion, N.Ancient Ghana and Mali. London: Methuen & Co., 1973.