Sa'id of Mogadishu

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Sa'id of Mogadishu
Title Imam
Ethnicity Somali
Era Medieval
Region Horn of Africa/Arabian peninsula
Religion Islam
Main interest(s) Islamic philosophy, polemics

Sa'id of Mogadishu (Somali: Saciid min Muqdisho, Arabic: سعيد من مقديشوSa'iid min maqadīshū) was a 14th-century Somali scholar and traveler.


Sa'id was born in Mogadishu the capital of Ajuran Empire on 1301.

Sa'id left Mogadishu as a teenager to study in Mecca and Medina, where he remained for 28 years gathering knowledge and gaining many disciples.[1] His reputation as a scholar earned him audiences with the Amirs of Mecca and Medina.[2]

Sa'id is said to have afterwards travelled across the Muslim world and visited Bengal and China. During his stay at a mosque on the westcoast of India, he encountered fellow Muslim traveller Ibn Battuta. According to scholar Peter Jackson, Sa'id might have during this occasion shared with Battuta accounts of his travels in China and detailed the political landscape and succession of the Yuan Dynasty, information which Battuta would eventually add in his own chronicles.[3] Sa'id may have died on 1361 or 1365


Sa'id of Mogadishu was a famous Somali scholar and traveller. He is said to be the first Ambassador for Africa in China and first African to study the Mandarin language and first African to translate the Mandarin language with a native African language like Somali. He is also known to make the Somali merchants leaders in the commerce between Asia and Africa.


  1. ^ History of Medieval Deccan, 1295-1724: Mainly cultural aspects edited by P. M. Joshi pg 7
  2. ^ Between the Middle Ages and modernity: individual and community in the early By Charles H. Parker, Jerry H. Bentley pg 160
  3. ^ Travels of Ibn Battuta - Review by Peter Jackson, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society pg 264