Mali to Mecca
Mansa Musa Makes the Hajj
Explore the achievements of two Islamic empires during the Middle Ages in a problem based learning adventure!

By Alix E. Peshette

Student Guide
Task
Process
Resources
Learning Advice
Technology
Product(s)
Evaluation


Council of:
Arts
Commerce
Knowledge
Religious Faith
Transportatio
n


Teacher Guide
The Standards
Introduction
Task
Process
Resources
Product(s)
Evaluation
Technology
Vocabulary




Introduction

In the fourteenth century, the African Empire of Mali was a glittering jewel of scientific, mathematical, architectural, cultural and artistic achievement. Ruling over this glorious center of learning and culture was the devoutly Muslim ruler Mansa Musa.


In 1324 AD, Mansa Musa, fulfilled one of the five pillars of Islam by making the Hajj or holy pilgrimage to Mecca. Become a member of Mansa Musa's court and participate in this once-in-a-lifetime journey to the holy city of Mecca!


As a problem-based learning experience, this unit uses the historically accurate event of Mansa Musa, Ruler of Mali, making the Hajj or holy pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324 AD. Legend has it that Mansa Musa's entourage included 60,000 members of his court, including 500 men who proceeded him, each carrying a six-pound solid gold staff. Behind this awesome spectacle came eighty camels, each bearing three hundred pounds of gold dust. When Mansa Musa passed through the Egyptian city of Cairo, he was so lavish with his gifts of gold that the price of gold fell and the Egyptian economy was affected for more than two decades!


Students are challenged to become councilors in Mansa Musa's court and are charged with preparing a report on the short- and long-term effects of this journey on the future of the Empire of Mali. Through research and group collaboration, students will become knowledgeable about the glories and achievements of the African Islamic Empire of Mali and the Muslim Empire centered in the Arabian Peninsula.