Because of its strategic position, and because of its wealth of dates, palm-trees and pearls, the area was a favorable place for immigration. Also many emigrant waves originated from this area. Those emigrants included Caledonians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Hittites, and Phoenicians. The land of Qatif was inhabited since the Stone Age.
In the year 3000 B.C., there developed a state in Bahrain that was mentioned by the texts of the Assyrians, Acadians, and Sumerians. This state was subjected to the rule of the Acadians and the Babylonians. After the destruction of the Babylonians this state assumed full independence. In 1440 BC this state was destroyed after a stable period of 380 years. Assyrians ruled this land from 1000 BC till 600 BC.
The ancient and pre-Islamic era
• 600-560 BC.
Nabokhadnasr ruled the area.
• 560-520 BC.
Korus built the Persian Empire; he then invaded Iraq, Syria, and Egypt and the Persian Gulf.
• 562-485 BC.
Persians transfer trading to the Red sea, which destroyed the prosperous economy of the gulf. Darius, the king of the Persians, dug a canal linking the Red sea to the Nile.
• 331 BC.
The gulf is prosperous again after Alexander The Great had destroyed the Persian Empire. Alexander order a fleet to built to occupy the land of Bahrain, but his early death cancelled the project.
In this era, the region had enjoyed independence and prosperous economy. Al-Jerha –which was in the place of Today Qatif- became on the richest cities on Earth. The Greeks described it saying that they are the richest Arabs, and they are decorating their homes walls, roofs and doors with gold, silver and gems. Prosperity remained until the Romans had occupied the southern parts of Arabia (today’s Yemen) thus shifting the trade routes away from the gulf.
• 46 BC – 266 AD.
More Arabic tribes immigrated to the region. The tribes of Abdul-Quais were the dominant in the whole land of Bahrain.
• 266 AD.
Ardeshir Babek unifies Iran into a strong empire, which had polarized the world into two poles much like the cold war in this century. Arabian Iraq was under the control of the Persians while the Arabs of Syria and Palestine was under the rule of the Romans. Qatif had remained under the Persian control until the poet-king Amrou Al-Qais invaded it.
• 300 AD.
Troops from Yemen attack the Persians in the gulf and weakened the rule of the Persian Empire over the gulf. The people of Bahrain get independence and form an army that invaded the Iranian coast of the gulf.
• 370 AD.
Sabur the second, king of Persia, retaliates. He made an army that killed the Arabs in the Persian coast, cross the gulf and invaded Qatif and Hajjar (Al-Hasa), committing genocides there. He then pushed his armies deep in Arabia, killed who ever was in his way, and exiled whole tribes. The Persian rule continued till the era of Islam.
The Dawn of Islam
In the sixth year after Hijra -Hijra is when the prophet Mohammed moved to Medina in 622 AD- the prophet Mohammed sent Al-Ala Al-Hadhrami with a letter to Al-Mundhir bin Sawa, the ruler of Qatif and Bahrain who was appointed by the Persians. The Letter was to explain Islam and offers the people of Bahrain to convert to Islam. Al-Ala helped explaining Islam to Al-Mundhir who was convinced with the new religion and converted to Islam. He also asked his people to do so after explaining what is Islam. Most of the people chose to convert to Islam, but some remained as Christian, and Pagans and lived there unharmed and was not forced to do so. Since then, Bahrain joined the Islamic state. Al-Mundhir remained a ruler, and Bahrain came out of the Persian rule peacefully.
• 7 H.
A group of AbdulQais tribes (people of Bahrain –including Qatif) visits the prophet in Medina. The prophet said that they are the best people in the east; they entered Islam not by force but by convection.
• 9 H.
Al-Ala becomes the ruler of Bahrain after the death of Al-Mundhir.
• 10 H.
Another group from Bahrain visits the prophet.
• 11-40 H.
After the death of the prophet, many Arabic tribes revolted and rejected Islam and converted back to their previous religions, but the tribes of Bahrain remained Muslim. One tribe –Rabia- revolted in Bahrain and attacked Qatif and Hajar (Al-Hasa) and occupied them. Al-Ala came back with enforcements from Medina and liberated Bahrain except for the Al-Zara fort, which was liberated years after in the era of Caliph Omar bin Al-Khattab. In year 17 H., Al-Ala made a disastrous offensive against the Persians without consulting the central government in Medina, so Caliph Omar had him resigned. 23 H. After that the area lived in peace until Imam Ali, the fourth Caliph, was assassinated during prayer in year 40 H.
Era of the Ummayads and Kharijis
• 40-67 H.
Ummayads ruled Qatif, and the area never knew peace in that era. The people were the subject to the tyranny of the Umayyad rulers because of the people’s support for Imam Ali.
• 67 H.
Kharijis –who revolted against Imam Ali- invade Qatif and commit mass genocides.
• 72 H.
The ummayad Caliph Abdul-Malik bin Marwan defeates the kharijis and invade Bahrain.
• 86 H.
Kharijis invade Bahrain.
• 105 H.
Kharijis invade Al-Yemama in central Arabia, which provokes the Umayyads to fight. Ummayads won the war and get Bahrain back to the Ummayds’ rule.
The Era of the Abbasids
The Abbasids –descendants of Al-Abbas, uncle of the prophet- revolt against the Umayyads. Supported by most Islamic states they ended the ummayads dynasty in the entire Islamic world except Andalusia where AbdulRahman Al-Dakhil made a second ummayad state.
• 151 H.
Bahrain revolts, but Al-Mansour –the Abbasid caliph- puts out the rebellion and kills the civilians, women, and POWs.
• 191 H.
Haroun Al-Rashid puts out another revolt in Bahrain.
• 249 H.
State of Al-Zunj is established in Basra
• 254-270 H.
State of Al-Zunj distracts the attention of the Abbasids thus the people of Bahrain had a peaceful era.
State of Qurmutids
• 281-287 H.
A man named Yehya claiming to be a messenger from the Imam gets assistant form a rich man in Qatif named Al-Jenabi. They try to play on the religious feelings of the people to establish their independent rule. They were exposed in 283 H. Yehya was captured, but Al-Jenabi had escaped.
After he was released, Yehya went to the Bedouins and joined Al-Jenabi. They both used money to recruit the Bedouin tribes and formed a strong army that invaded Qatif and established the state of Qurmutis. Many of the people of Qatif escaped and joined the Abbasids’ army that was sent by Al-Mutadhid. The Qurmuties army defeated the Abbasids. In the same year the Qurmutis invaded Al-Hasa.
• 301 H.
Al-Jenabi was assassinated. A military council “Al-Agdaniya” ruled the state until Saed the son of Al-Jenabi reaches adulthood. Later on, Sulaiman the younger brother of Saed had overthrown his brother and became the ruler. He was recognized by “Al-Agdanya” and by the Fatmids –the rulers of Egypt, and enemies of the Abbasids.
• 314 H.
Sulaiman transfer the capital to Al-Hasa
• 315 H.
Sulaiman invades Oman and shows their brutality against all the people of Bahrain and Oman. The extended their brutality to the pilgrims. They attacked pilgrims to kill them and steal them.
• 317 H.
Qurmutids attack Mecca, kill the pilgrims, and steal the holy black stone from Kaaba and took it back to Qatif. The black stone remained there till year 339 H. Those wrongdoings had angered the fatimids so they withdraw their recognition and cancelled their alliance. The Abbasids used the situation to negotiate with Qurmutids and asked them to return the black stone and for mutual recognition with. The Qurmutids recognized the Abbasids and get in alliance with them but refused to return the black stone.
• 332 H.
Sulaiman dies and his brother Ahmed became the ruler. Ahmed returned the black stone in 339 H, which improved his relations with the Fatimids.
• 358 H.
Sabur, son of Sulaiman, makes a coup against his uncle, but a counter coup restores Ahmed to the throne.
• 360 H.
Relations with Fatimids worsen. Al-Asam, ruler of the Qurmutids joins the Abbasids in an offensive against the Fatimids. They succeded in capturing Syria from the Fatimids.
• 366 H.
Fatimids defeat the Qurmutids in a 6-year war. Al-Asam flees to Al-Ramla where he dies. In Bahrain the Qurmutids overthrow the family of Al-Jenabi and declare their loyality to the Fatimids.
• 375 H.
Qurmutids attack the Abbasids and capture Kufa, but the Abbasids liberate it.
378 H. Abbasids form an army of mercenaries and Bedouins. This army defeats the Qurmutids and shrink their influence to Al-Hasa only.
• 398 H.
Beacsue of the weakness of the Qurmutids, and the shortage of their income, their Bedouin allies revolt. Tribes of Thaalab –on the previous allies- capture Al-Hasa and destroy the state of the Qurmutids. They established their own state.
• 450 H.
Tribes of Akil destroys the rule of the Thaalabis.
State of Ayounids
• 466 H.
Abdullah Al-Ayouni establish the state of Ayounids in Al-Hasa. The Abbasids and the Turks assisted him.
• 500 H.
Al-Fadhl, son of Abdullah, transfers his capital to Qatif, then to Awal (today’s state of Bahrain). In his reign, the state extended to Kuwait.
• 513 H.
Capital is back to Qatif.
• 531 H.
Mohammed -son of AlFadhl- is assassinated. The state was divided into two, on in Al-Hasa and the other in Al-Qatif.
• 587 – 605 H.
Mohammed bin Abi Al-hussain unites Qatif and Al-Hasa. He restores the glory of the Ayounids, and extends the state to Najd -central Arabia-. The state was divided again after his assassination in 605 H.
• 640 H.
Conflicts inside the Ayounids family gave the chance to the tribes of Asfour to establish their state and destroy the state of Ayounids.
• 820 H.
Tribes of Jabr rules Al-Hasa and Al-Qatif.
• 1506 AD (912 H.)
The Portuguese appears in the waters of the gulf. They invaded Hurmoz.
• 927 H.
The Portuguese capture Qatif and Bahrain. The built many forts, some of them is still exist today like the one in Tarut island.
• 1535 AD. (941 H.).
People of Qatif ask for the help of the Ottoman Sultan Sulaiman.
• 1550 AD
The Ottoman fleet defeats the Portuguese in Yemen and Oman. Qatifians revolt and gets the Portuguese out of Qatif by the time the Ottoman army reaches it. The Portuguese presence was still in Bahrain (Awal islands) and Hurmoz. They attacked Qatif and captured it. The Portuguese remained in the gulf until 1625 AD. In that year Shah Abbas, king of Iran, defeated the Portuguese and captured their last fort in Hurmoz. He was assisted by a new emerging power, the English.
The era of The Ottoman Turks
During the Turkish rule the area suffered from high taxes and corrupted government. The area was under a feudal system, where local rulers controlled everything and the Turks get the Taxes.
• 1073 H.
Tribes of Bany Khalid captures Qatif with the assistance of the governor of Basra. He invaded Al-Hasa in 1074 H.
• 1076 H.
The turks re-capture Qatif.
• 1080 H.
Bany Khalid tribes capture Qatif again.
• 1172 H.
Orayur the ruler of Bany Khalid attacks Al-Darea to destroy the Wahabis. The Wahabis protected by Mohammed ibn Saud defeated him.
• 1204 H.
The ruler of the Saudis, Abdulaziz, orders his son Saud to attack Al-Hasa. Saud captured al-Hasa and defeted Bany Khalid.
• 1206 H.
Saudi Army captures Qatif.
• 1207 H.
The Saudis destroy the state of Bany Khalid.
• 1211 H.
The Turkish governer of Basra Sulaiman Basha fails to capture Qatif and Al-Hasa.
• 1217 H.
Sauids raids southern Iraq.
• 1217 H.
Saudis occupy Al-Hijaz (today’s western Saudi Arabia)
• 1226-1228 H.
Ordered by the Turks, Mohammed Ali -the governor of Egypt- send an army led by his son Ahmed Toson to Hijaz. He failed to defeat the Saudis, but his second offensive in 1228 succeeded in defeating the Saudis
• 1233 H.
The armies of Mohammed Ali invade Najd and arrest the Family of Saud. They exiled them to Egypt. The continued and captured Qatif and appointed the tribe of Bany Khalid as rulers of Qatif. Later on the Egyptians doubted the intention of Bany Khalid and attacked Qatif again. They captured Qatif with the assistance of the English. Ruling Qatif, which was separated from Egypt by the deserts of Arabia, proved costly so the Egyptian armies withdraw leaving Bany Khalid tribe as rulers of Qatif.
• 1826-1824 AD (1242-1240 H)
The pirate Rahma forces Bany Khalid to pay tributes. Later, Bany Khalid allied with Al Khalifa –rulers of Bahrain- and destroyed the Pirates force.
• 1830 AD (1245 H).
The second Saudi State in Najd launch an offensive against Bany Khalid and captures Qatif. Saudis also defeated the pirates tribe Al-Amayer.
• 1859 AD (1274 H)
Abdullah Al-Mdawi, the Sauid ruler of Qatif tries to invade Bahrain, but the English fleet defeats him.
• 1866 AD.
The English fleet attack Qatif Port and destroys the ships.
• 1871 AD.
Midhat Basha, governor of Baghdad occupies Qatif and restores the Turkish rule. Qatif was annexed to the province of Basra.
• 1910 AD.
Qatif leaders reject a British offer of protection.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
• 1913 AD.
The army of King Abdulaziz (Ibn Saud) occupies Al-Hasa and Al-Qatif, and the Turks weakened by the World War withdraw.
• 1914 AD.
Ottoman Turkey falls; it lost the World War I.
• 1915 AD.
Treaty of Qatif. King Abdulaziz and The british attachee Percy Cox agree to a treaty similar to the protection treaties signed with other gulf sheikdoms.
• 1927 AD.
Britain recognize the independence of King Abdulaziz as the King of Hejaz and Sultan of Najd and its satellites.
• 1932 AD, Sept. 22.
King Abdulziz unites the sultunate of Najd and kingdom of Hejaz into one unit. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was declared. This day was to be the Saudi national day.
• 1940 AD.
The capital of eastern province is transferred from Qatif to newly established Khobar.
• 1955 AD.
Dammam becomes the Capital of Eastern Province.
• 1975-1980 AD.
The rise of Oil price initiates an economical expansion, which transferred the kingdom from the middle age to the 20th century. Qatif and the rest of the kingdom’s cities became modern cities.
• 1992 AD.
The new system of districts makes Qatif oasis a district with Qatif City as its capital.