A pistol belonging to Sheikh Jassim bin Muhammad bin Thani, founder of the State of Qatar
20th century
Object Name: Belgian pistol
Period: 20th century
Date: 1900 - 1913
Provenance: Made in Belgium
Dimensions: 12.5cm x 20.5cm x 3cm\xa0
Medium: steel,wood
Registration Number: QNM.2014.805
Place Of Discovery/Findspot:  Qatar
This pistol once belonged to Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed bin Thani. Made in Belgium, it consists of a steel barrel with wooden grips. The word ‘police’ is written in Arabic on the barrel of the gun alongside the Ottoman tughra (Sultan’s insignia). The Ottoman Empire received 8,000 steel revolvers with wooden handles like this example between 1908 and 1914.
Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani, founder of the State of Qatar, was born around 1827 in Muharraq, Bahrain. His mother was Sheikha Noura bint Fahad Al Buafrah Al Bukowara. Sheikh Jassim was raised in Fuwairat, north-eastern Qatar, where he learnt the Holy Qur‘an, Islamic law and literature, alongside the skills of horse riding, falconry, hunting and trade. In 1871 he began supporting his ageing father in running the country, eventually succeeding him on 18 December 1878.

Sheikh Jassim was known for his intelligence and observance of Islamic values. He prized education and the opportunities it offered to individuals and nations. On becoming leader, he built mosques, hosted scholars, published books on Islamic law and founded charitable projects. Sheikh Jassim was an outstanding diplomat and military commander. He dedicated himself to uniting the Qatari people and to establishing and defending the nation. Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed bin Thani passed away on 18 July 1913, leaving behind 16 sons and three daughters.