Very few thinkers have influenced the history of West Africa as has the Algerian scholar Al Moghili who lived in the second half of the 15th century. Great ideas resonate through history much like the echo of drums between chains of mountains. Each reverberation provides fresh impetus for action. When ideas are implemented through great men and women, history is transformed and human affairs are reshaped. Al Moghilis ideas, implemented through Askiya Muhammed (also known as Askiya the Great) fundamentally changed the course of West African history and provided the inspiration for reformist movements in, Mali and Sene-Gambia in modern times.
In the mid-15th century, the empire of Mali disintegrated and Songhay emerged as the largest and most powerful of West African states. It was an ancient kingdom that had maintained its independence through the Mali period. Al Yaqubi, writing in the 9th century, describes Songhay as an important African kingdom ruled by a Muslim. Another historia