Although the peninsula land mass that makes up Qatar has sustained humans for thousands of years, for the bulk of its history, the arid climate fostered only short-term settlements by nomadic tribes.
Islam was spread in the entire Arabian region by the end of the 7th century resulting in the Islamization of the native Arabian pagans. With the spread of Islam in Qatar, the Islamic prophet Muhammad sent his first military envoy, Al Ala Al-Hadrami, to Al-Mundhir Ibn Sawa Al-Tamimi, the ruler of Bahrain (which extended from the coast of Kuwait to the south of Qatar, including Al-Hasa and Bahrain Islands), in the year 628, inviting him to accept Islam as he had invited other kingdoms and empires of his time such as Byzantium and Persia. Mundhir, in response to Muhammad, announced his acceptance of Islam, and the inhabitants of Qatar became Muslim, heralding the beginning of the Islamic era in Qatar. However, it is likely that some settled populations in Qatar did not instantaneously convert. An important seventh-century saint and mystic, named Isaac of Qatar, became a leader in the Syrian church.
The Abbasid era (750–1258) saw the rise of several settlements, including Murwab.
In medieval times, Qatar was more often than not independent and a participant in the great Persian Gulf–Indian Ocean commerce. Many races and ideas were introduced into the peninsula from the sailors of Sindh, East Africa, South and Southeast Asia, as well as the Malay archipelago. Today, the traces of these early interactions with the oceanic world of the Indian Ocean survive in the small minorities of races, peoples, languages, and religions, such as the presence of Africans and Shihus.
The Portuguese ruled from 1517 to 1538, when they lost to the Ottomans.
Emergence as an independent state
Qatar did not emerge as a separate political entity until the mid-19th century when the British recognized Sheikh Mohamed bin Thani