He was an emperor of the Mali empire and thought to be the richest man ever. He is most famous for his pilgrimage to Mecca which he took in 1324, the seventeenth year of his reign. The wealth he displayed during his journey left eyewitnesses awestruck, it was this journey that showcased his extreme wealth to the world and made him a popular figure.
When he returned from Mecca he brought back Arab scholars, government bureaucrats, architects. One of the Arab scholars that returned with him was an architect named Ishaq El Teudjin who introduced advanced building techniques to mali. He designed several buildings for the emperor included the still standing great mosque at Timbuktu, the largest city in the empire. Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage boosted Islamic education in Mali by adding mosques, libraries, and universities.
The awareness of Musa by other Islamic leaders brought increased commerce and scholars, poets, and artisans, making Timbuktu one of the leading cities in the Islamic world during the time the most advanced from Spain to central India were Muslim. Timbuktu was the center of Islamic Sub-saharan Africa.