Askia Ishaq I

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Askiya Ishaq I
Emperor of the Songhai Empire
Reign 1539 – 1549
Predecessor Askiya Ismail (ruled 1537–1539)
Successor Askiya Dawud (ruled 1549–1582 or 1583)
Died 1549 (died a natural death)
Issue Abd al-Malik
Dynasty Askiya Dynasty
Father Ashiya al-hajj Muhammad
Extent of the Songhai Empire, circa 1500.

Askia Ishaq I was ruler of the Songhai Empire from 1539 to 1549, elected Askia following the death of Askiya Ismail. He was the fifth ruler of the Askiya Dynasty which had the town of Gao as its capital.

Askiya Ishaq I was completely ruthless as a ruler and executed any official whom he considered as a threat. The Tarikh al-Sudan gives this description: "If he imagined anyone was making the least move against the throne, he would, without exception, have him killed or banished. This was his consistent practice."[1]

Askia Ishaq briefly occupied the Mali Empire capital in 1545/6.[2]

After a request from the Moroccan sultan Muhammad Al-Arak, to cede the salt mines of Taghaza, Ishaq I sent a group of 2000 mounted men to raid a market town in the Dara valley of southern Morocco with instructions to avoid killing anyone. This was intended as a show of strength.[1]

Askiya Ishaq I died in the town of Kukiya[3] and was buried there.[4] He was succeeded by his brother Askiya Dawud.


  1. ^ a b Hunwick 2003, p. 137.
  2. ^ Wilks,Ivor. Wangara, Akan, and Portuguese in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries (1997). Bakewell, Peter, ed. Mines of Silver and Gold in the Americas. Aldershot: Variorum, Ashgate Publishing Limited. p. 28. 
  3. ^ The town of Kukiya is believed to have been near the modern village of Bentiya on the eastern bank of the Niger, north of the Fafa rapids, 134 km south east of Gao. Bentiya is located at 15°20′56″N 0°45′36″E / 15.349°N 0.760°E / 15.349; 0.760
  4. ^ Kâti 1913, p. 175.