Qadi

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Qadi

 

(Arabic, “judge”; in Persian and Turkish, qazi). In Muslim countries, a judge whose decisions are based on Islamic law (Sharia). In the Middle Ages the qadi was also a notary and cared for orphans or assigned them to guardians; he also saw to the execution of sentence in civil and criminal cases. In the 19thand early 20th century, with the development of the new civil courts, the qadi’s function was limited to the deciding of questions involving family and religious law, and occasionally inheritance. In several Muslim countries (for example, Egypt, Tunisia, and Turkey) the office of qadi was eliminated when Sharia courts were abolished (in Turkey, in the 1930’s; and in Egypt and Tunisia, in the 1950’s).