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Askia Muhammad I (ca. 1443 – 1538), born Muhammad Ture or Mohamed Touré in Futa Tooro, later called Askia, also known as Askia the Great, was an emperor, military commander, and political reformer of the Songhai Empire in the late 15th century. He was from the Soninke ethnic group. Askia Muhammad strengthened his empire and made it the largest empire in West Africa's history. At its peak under his reign, the Songhai Empire encompassed the Hausa states as far as Kano (in present-day Northern Nigeria) and much of the territory that had belonged to the Songhai empire in the west. His policies resulted in a rapid expansion of trade with Europe and Asia, the creation of many schools, and the establishment of Islam as an integral part of the empire.

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  • Askia Muhammad I (ca. 1443 – 1538), born Muhammad Ture or Mohamed Touré in Futa Tooro, later called Askia, also known as Askia the Great, was an emperor, military commander, and political reformer of the Songhai Empire in the late 15th century. He was from the Soninke ethnic group. Askia Muhammad strengthened his empire and made it the largest empire in West Africa's history. At its peak under his reign, the Songhai Empire encompassed the Hausa states as far as Kano (in present-day Northern Nigeria) and much of the territory that had belonged to the Songhai empire in the west. His policies resulted in a rapid expansion of trade with Europe and Asia, the creation of many schools, and the establishment of Islam as an integral part of the empire.
  • Askia Muhammad I (ca. 1443 – 1538), born Muhammad Ture or Muhammed Touré in Futa Tooro, later called Askia, also known as Askia the Great, was an emperor, military commander, and political reformer of the Songhai Empire in the late 15th century. He was from the Soninke ethnic group. Askia Muhammad strengthened his empire and made it the largest empire in West Africa's history. At its peak under his reign, the Songhai Empire encompassed the Hausa states as far as Kano (in present-day Northern Nigeria) and much of the territory that had belonged to the Songhai empire in the west. His policies resulted in a rapid expansion of trade with Europe and Asia, the creation of many schools, and the establishment of Islam as an integral part of the empire.
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  • Askia Mohammad I
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  • Askia Muhammad I (ca. 1443 – 1538), born Muhammad Ture or Mohamed Touré in Futa Tooro, later called Askia, also known as Askia the Great, was an emperor, military commander, and political reformer of the Songhai Empire in the late 15th century. He was from the Soninke ethnic group. Askia Muhammad strengthened his empire and made it the largest empire in West Africa's history. At its peak under his reign, the Songhai Empire encompassed the Hausa states as far as Kano (in present-day Northern Nigeria) and much of the territory that had belonged to the Songhai empire in the west. His policies resulted in a rapid expansion of trade with Europe and Asia, the creation of many schools, and the establishment of Islam as an integral part of the empire. After Sunni Ali Ber died, Sunni Baru, his son and intended successor, was challenged by Muhammad because he was not seen as a faithful Muslim. This gave one of Sunni Ali Ber's generals, Muhammad Ture, a reason to challenge his succession. General Ture defeated Baru and ascended to the throne in 1493. General Ture, later known as Askia Muhammad I or Askia the Great, subsequently orchestrated a program of expansion and consolidation which extended the empire from Taghaza in the North to the borders of Yatenga in the South; and from Air in the Northeast to Futa Djallon in Guinea. Instead of organizing the empire along Islamic lines, he tempered and improved on the traditional model by instituting a system of bureaucratic government unparalleled in Western Africa. In addition, Askia established standardized trade measures and regulations, initiated the policing of trade routes and also established an organized tax system. He was overthrown by his son, Askia Musa, in 1528.
  • Askia Muhammad I (ca. 1443 – 1538), born Muhammad Ture or Muhammed Touré in Futa Tooro, later called Askia, also known as Askia the Great, was an emperor, military commander, and political reformer of the Songhai Empire in the late 15th century. He was from the Soninke ethnic group. Askia Muhammad strengthened his empire and made it the largest empire in West Africa's history. At its peak under his reign, the Songhai Empire encompassed the Hausa states as far as Kano (in present-day Northern Nigeria) and much of the territory that had belonged to the Songhai empire in the west. His policies resulted in a rapid expansion of trade with Europe and Asia, the creation of many schools, and the establishment of Islam as an integral part of the empire. After Sunni Ali Ber died, Sunni Baru, his son and intended successor, was challenged by Muhammad because he was not seen as a faithful Muslim. This gave one of Sunni Ali Ber's generals, Muhammad Ture, a reason to challenge his succession. General Ture defeated Baru and ascended to the throne in 1493. General Ture, later known as Askia Muhammad I or Askia the Great, subsequently orchestrated a program of expansion and consolidation which extended the empire from Taghaza in the North to the borders of Yatenga in the South; and from Air in the Northeast to Futa Djallon in Guinea. Instead of organizing the empire along Islamic lines, he tempered and improved on the traditional model by instituting a system of bureaucratic government unparalleled in Western Africa. In addition, Askia established standardized trade measures and regulations, initiated the policing of trade routes and also established an organized tax system. He was overthrown by his son, Askia Musa, in 1528.
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