According to Muslim legal doctrine, the qadi or judge is a public official whose primary responsibilities entail the administration of justice on the basis of the divinely revealed law of Islam, known in Arabic as the shari ʿa. Eligibility for this office has been traditionally restricted to male jurists of majority age who have a reasonably comprehensive knowledge of the doctrine of their particular school of law. Because Islamic law construes the qadi as an agent of the legitimate governing authority, the government usually reserves the right to appoint qadis for the towns, cities, or regions under its control. In many historical and cultural contexts, judicial hierarchies have been established with the creation of one or more "chief judges" whose responsibility is to appoint and oversee the conduct of subordinate judges. While in theory, the qadi is empowered to adjudicate cases involving every legal issue—both civil and criminal—addressed by the shari ʿa, in practice the qadi's authority extends only as far as the shari ʿa is actually applied as the law of a given Muslim society. In many medieval and modern contexts, government institution and application of far-reaching secular legal codes have limited the jurisdiction of the qadi to areas of personal status (i.e., marriage, divorce, child custody, and inheritance) and the supervision of religious endowments (waqf).
see also shariʿa.
1. A Muslim judge appointed by a ruler or government because of his knowledge of Muslim law.
2. A name sometimes given to an adherent of Ahmadīy(y)a.
("judge," in Arabic.) In Islam, an educated shaykh responsible for deciding issues of Islamic law. In a civil context, a judge.