Cadi (qāḍī), a judge in a maḥkama or Mahommedan ecclesiastical court, in which decisions are rendered on the basis of the canon law of Islam (sharī `a). It is a general duty, according to canon law, upon a Moslem community to judge legal disputes on this basis, and it is an individual duty upon the ruler of the community to appoint a cadi to act for the community. According to Shāfi`ite law, such a cadi must be a male, free, adult Moslem, intelligent, of unassailed character, able to see, hear and write, learned in the Koran, the traditions, the Agreement, the differences of the legal schools, acquainted with Arabic grammar and the exegesis of the Koran. He must not sit in a mosque, except under necessity, but in some open, accessible place. He must maintain a strictly impartial attitude of body and mind, accept no presents from the people of his district, and render judgment only when he is in a normal condition mentally and physically. He may not engage in any business. He shall ride to the place where he holds court, greeting the people on both sides. He shall visit the sick and those returned from a journey, and attend funerals.
On some of these points the codes differ, and the whole is to be regarded as the ideal qualification, built up theoretically by the canonists.
See Mahommedan Law; also Juynboll, De Mohammedaansche Wet (Leiden, 1903), pp. 287 ff.; Sachau, Muhammedanisches Recht (Berlin, 1897), pp. 687 ff.
(D. B. Ma.)