Currency has always been vital for trade and progress to happen ever since time immemorial and has gone through many changes throughout history. Qatar’s history with the monetary system goes way back in time.
It all started between 644 to 656 Common Era, mostly known as CE during the era of Uthman Caliphate. If there is one thing that has remained in the long history of the currency of the State of Qatar from the caliphate era to today’s modern-day, it's the name of the coins – Dirhams– that still hold their place till date. The standards of the bimetallic dirhams got established during the Caliph Omar/Umar’s period. Dinar was the other coin that was similarly used back then, too. The dirham (silver) and dinar (gold) remained as the coins for trade and other activities and was used in the Muslim world for close to 1,500 years!
The uniformity in the look of these Islamic coins took place during the Omar caliphate era and it was officially sanctioned for the Dirham to be made out of pure silver and to weigh 3 grams. These Islamic coins formed the basis of national and international trade in the Middle East and for transactions around much of the world, too, as historical records have seen its use by multiple nationalities and tribes.
There has been evidence of Arab coins being found in Russia and as far as the Baltic states, too. Slowly, paper currency, which was initially introduced to the world by China during the Gaykhatu Empire rule, started to make its way into the mainstream during the Ottoman Caliphate, around the 19th century in Turkey where they first printed notes in 1842. This was the beginning of the currency notes in the world.
Although paper money always faced opposition with respect to the Sharia Law, it was eventually accepted due to global trade and increasing demands.
Here is a glance at the timeline of the currency of Qatar, from the time of its origin until today.
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