The succession of the rulers of Qatar
- Sheikh Mohammad bin Thani (1850-1878).
- Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammad Al-Thani (1878-1913).
- Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al-Thani (1913-1949). The first oil discovery in the country was made during his rule.
- Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah Al-Thani (1949-1960).
- Sheikh Ahmad bin Ali Al-Thani (1960-1972).
- Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al-Thani (1972-1995).
- Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani the Father Emir (1995-2013).
- Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani came to power on 25.6.2013.
Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammad Al-Thani
Founder of the Modern State of Qatar (1826-1913)
Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammad Al-Thani, Emir and founder of the modern State of Qatar, descended from the Tameem Tribe. Born in 1242 Hijra corresponding to 1826 AD, he acquired full capability in the management of the country's affairs since his youth, succeeded in guiding its policies with wisdom and steered the country during a period that witnessed major events and changes.
At the local level, he sought to turn Qatar into a single unified and independent entity. Under his leadership, Qatar emerged as a coherent and stable country whose tribes he assembled to usher its future and thus consolidating its existence and borders. Regionally, Sheikh Jassim adopted a shrewd policy in dealing with the two major powers competing to dominate the Arabian Gulf and its territories, namely the British Empire, which had to extend its influence through the Government of India, and the Ottoman Empire, which was seeking to retain its control of the region following the demise of the Portuguese influence in the sixteenth century.
Sheikh Jassim was appointed as a deputy governor of Qatar in 1876 and was granted as well by Sultan Abdul-Hamid a significant civil rank in 1888 and a higher one in 1893. This actually caused a kind of political tension in Sheikh Jassim’s relationship with Britain.
December 18, 1878 was a turning point when Sheikh Jassim took power. It was also the inception of the modern State of Qatar achieved as a result of Sheikh Jassim's assiduous efforts that led to gaining full recognition by both powers of Qatar's independence.
However, Sheikh Jassim adamantly opposed the Ottoman attempts to increase their influence in Qatar by appointing administrative personnel in Zubarah, Doha, Al-Wakrah and Khor Al-Odaid, or by establishing a customs post in Al-Badaa or reinforcing the Ottoman garrison. As a result, a crucial battle broke out between the Qatari tribes led by Sheikh Jassim and the Ottomans in Alwajbah 15 kilometers west of Doha on 25 March 1893. The Qataris fought bravely and defeated the ottomans, the battle became a turning point in the history of Qatar.
The era of Sheikh Jassim was marked by security, justice and welfare. Total renaissance and prosperity were then experienced in all social and economic aspects of life. That was clearly evident in the pearl diving business and Qatar became one of the major pearl exporters. Maritime transportation business and means developed. The Qatari port which was upgraded to cope with the growing import and export traffic requirements helped the development of this sector. More ships operated in the fields of trade, diving for pearl or transport. Businesses, resources and markets also thrived and diversified along with the population growth and urban expansion.
Sheikh Jassim died on July 17, 1913 after an eventful life and aromatic memory and was succeeded by his son Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al-Thani.
H.H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khaklifa Al-Thani, the Father Emir
- Born in Doha in 1952.
- Had his primary, preparatory and secondary education in Qatar and graduated from the Royal Saint Hearst Military Academy in the United Kingdom in July 1971.
- Joined the Qatari Armed Forces in 1971 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was appointed Commander of the First Mobile Regiment, known as Hamad Mobile Regiment.
- Played a major role in developing the Qatari Armed Forces, modernizing existing units, increasing the number of troops and military units and providing them with the most advanced weapons and training.
- Became Heir Apparent and Minister of Defense on the 31st of May 1977.
- Became Chairman of the Supreme Council for Planning which is considered the main building block in the establishment of modern states.
- Became Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth Welfare since its inception in 1979 and held that position until 1991. He gave considerable support to the youth and sports sector from this position and through clubs and various sports establishments.
- Being the patron of civilian and military sports in Qatar, he established the first Military Sporting Association, which had become a member of the International Military Sports Federation; out of his belief in the importance of the role played by this vital sector in the process of building and developing the society.
- Came to power on 27.6.1995.
- Sponsored several conferences in various fields, attended many Arab and Gulf gatherings, and visited many countries.
- Was awarded many decorations by a number of Arab and foreign countries in appreciation of his efforts in boosting bilateral relations and promoting cooperation with these countries.
- Abdicated power in favor of his Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani on 25.6.2013.