QATAR used to be a Christian Kingdom. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ sent the following letter in 7AH (see image) to King Almunthir ibn Sawi, the ruler of Qatar (which was part of the Kingdom of Bahrain, including Kuwait, Oman, UAE and Eastern Saudi):
“In the name of Allah the Most Merciful. From Muhammad the messenger of Allah to Almunthir ibn Sawi, Salamu Alaik.
I am praising Allah the only God and I bear witness that there is no true God except Allah and that Muhammad is his slave and messenger. I (Prophet Muhammad) remind you of Allah, that whomever follows an advice he is following it for himself, and whomever follows my messengers and obeys them he has obeyed me. My messengers have praised you with good, and I am interceding you about your people, so leave the Muslims on what they believe. And as long as you do good, we will not remove you from your position. Whomever chooses to follow Judaism or Magianism, he should pay the Jizyah.” [Ibn Katheer 6/327]
King Almunthir accepted Islam, and so did the majority of his people. Although he never met the Prophet ﷺ, he narrated hadeeth from his letters and died in the same month as the Prophet ﷺ, may Allah have mercy on him. The messenger who delivered the letter, the companion Al-Alaa ibn Alhadrami, became the next ruler.
Qatar’s Souq Waqif (Standing Market) is a restored centuries old large market where you’ll experience the thrill of living the old Arabian nights!
This is Qatar’s famous pearl fountain. Even before the discovery of oil and gas, Qatar used to be a rich nation due to the pearl industry, where Qatari divers were trained generation after generation on how to dive deep and collect pearls without any modern diving equipment! However, once Japan invented a technology to make farm-raised natural pearls without the need to dive, production costs dropped down, putting the rest of the world out of the pearl business!
Did you know that pearls were mentioned in the Quran?
“From both (seas) pearl and coral emerge.” [Ar-Rahman 55:22]
So let us thank Allah because He said:
“And it is He who subjected the sea for you to eat from it tender meat and to extract from it ornaments which you wear.” [An-Nahl 16:14]
No visit to Qatar is complete without going to Fanar Centre, a Masjid that is purposely built for non- Arabic speaking Muslims and non-Muslims, offering Islamic classes, Arabic language, library, da’wah museum, and designed in the style of the famous Samarra Masjid in Iraq with a climbable spiraling tower to attract people and tourists to learn about Islam! Every country needs one of these Masha’Allah!
[Source: Adapted from Dr. Waleed Abdulhakeem’s post on his Facebook page]