Islamic Expansion into Africa, Mali, and Mansa Musa

Islamic Expansion into Africa

Between 639 and 642 the Arabs used both a combination of force and generosity to conquer Egypt. The Islamic caliphate was attracted to the Nile valley. By 750 more than one millions Arabs moved to Egypt. Egyptians then started to convert Muslims. Other than spiritual reasons, they also converted Muslim for economic and practical reasons.

Islamic Mali 1200-1450

  • In 1235, King Sundiata constructed Mali. Mali was a successor state to the ruined kingdom of Ghana. Mali was built on the upper Niger River. Mali had a rich agriculture base. The rainfall in this section was better in the twelfth century than what it is now, and the temperature was not as severe. There was a secure food supply and trading route which ensure population growth and employment opportunities necessary to become successful. Sundiata who ruled Mali from 1235 until 1255 was the brother of 12 royal which he killed 11 and only spared the life of one because it was said that he would not last to live as an adult. Sundiata's forces made Mali the winner of the struggle among the Ghanaian successor states. After he stopped ruling his son Mansa also known as "Emperor" began to rule.

Mansa Musa

Mansa Musa was the one who put Mali on the map. Both literally and figuratively. He was able to that during his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324. He visited Egypt and made a powerful impression on the Arab world. He did that by all the camels, elephants, servants and courtiers, and plenty of gold he had. Musa was able to learn about the Mediterranean world and Islams role in it. He was aiming to do more than to just enable a West African emperor to make the pilgrimage to Mecca and fulfill one of the five pillars of Islam. He wanted to strengthened Mali's connections to the principal cities of the Middle East. He was very successful in doing that. He wanted to turn Mali into a learning environment and many poets, mathematicians etc come to Mali. Musa built new mosques in Timbuktu and Gao and also built flat roofed houses which attracted many permanent residents.

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