Mansa Musa, the ruler of Mali, made the hajj in 1324, traveling to the Muslim holy city of Mecca. From Mali to Mecca the distance was more than 2,800 miles, mostly across the Sahara desert.
Mansa Musa Embarks on a Journey to Mecca
MAR 10, 1324
Mansa Musa, riding a majestic horse, led a caravan of a hundred camels, every one of them carrying three hundred pounds of gold dust.
MAR 11, 1324
On the journey with him were family members, doctors, teachers, friends, soldiers, and around 60,000 slaves. Hajj is a highly important trip for Muslim believers to make.
The caravan stopped at Cairo (Egypt). While in Cairo, Mansa Musa gave out gold currency to the people of that city in return for nothing. He had given out so much gold, that he nearly ruined the value of money in that area.
Mansa Musa Nearly "Ruins" the Value of Currency.
MAR 12, 1324
Return to Mali and Timbuktu
When Mansa Musa returned from his Hajj, he had been inspired by the religious beauty of Mecca and wanted to make Mali a powerful Muslim empire.
Timbuktu was a city on the north-south trade routes on the edge of the Sahara, north of the Niger River.
MAR 13, 1324
Mansa Musa decided to turn Timbuktu into a city featuring marvelous mosques, and an Islamic university that scholars from everywhere would one day travel to see. Timbuktu attracted many visitors and became known as the "Pearl of Africa".