Mecca, a city of Saudi Arabia is a sacred place where the Muslims annual holy gathering called the Hajj takes place. It is believed that a Muslim is supposed to take a visit at this holy place at least once in his or her lifetime. Being a Muslim Mansa Musa an empire of the medieval kingdom of Mali also made such an important visit to Mecca during his reign. On his pilgrimage it is said that he carried a lot of gold with him, and he spent it lavishly. Though, the gold was spent in such a way, the result of his pilgrimage was of great significance to his kingdom. It brought in a great change to his empire. But still his lavish spending of gold brought a negative impact in Egypt. This paper will analyze Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage to Mecca by discussing its advantages and its disadvantages. I will start by discussing the advantages that this pilgrimage brought into the Malian Kingdom. These advantages were the recognition of Mali in other countries which contributed to trade, the strengthening of Islam and the promotion of education. After that I will discuss about its disadvantages which are spending gold at the expense of Malians and also the impact that it brought to Egypt’s gold trade.
To begin, with Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage is considered as one of the greatest in the medieval times. Rose E. Dunn (2004) has emphasized this view by stating that “[T] he hajj of Mansa Musa sum’s up Mali’s important place among the kingdoms of Africa and Asia in Ibn Battuta’s time” (p. 113). Obviously his pilgrimage to Mecca was really important to his kingdom. From his pilgrimage and the spending of gold made Mali to be recognized outside of Africa as one of the richest and greatest kingdoms of that time. This recognition may have led to the establi...
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...a promoted education in his Kingdom by bringing Arab scholars who helped him to build the Universities which made its Capital Timbuktu becoming the center of Islamic learning. However, his spending of the gold left a negative impact in Egypt’s gold market and Egypt’s economy became unstable for more than a decade. So his pilgrimage benefited his people at the same time it affected other states. Though that is the case, Mansa Musa left a legacy that will still be remembered not only in Mali or Islam but also in the World history.
Dunn, R. E. (2004). The Adventures of Ibn Battuta: Mali. In C. J. Korieh & R. C. Njoku (2nd Ed), African History (pp. 113-125). USA: Cognella-University Readers Inc.
BBC Worldservice.com. The Story of Africa: Mali. Retrieved January 21st, 2014 From http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/specials/1624_story_of_africa/page79.shtml