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Qadi (also known as Qazi or Kazi or Kadi) (Arabic: قاضي‎) is a judge or religious adjudicator who preaches and decides on Islamic religious matters. The judgment of a kazi must be based on ijma, the prevailing consensus of the ulema, Islamic scholars. The term qadi was in use right from the time of the Prophet Muhammad, and remained the term used for judges throughout Islamic history and the period of the caliphates.

The office of the qadi continued to be a very important one in every principality of the caliphates and sultanates of the Muslim empires over the centuries. The rulers appointed qadis in every region, town and village for judicial and administrative control and to establish peace and justice over the dominions they controlled.

The rulers of Muslim India also used the same institution of the qadi (or Kazi). The qadi (kazi) was given the responsibility for total administrative, judicial and fiscal control over a territory or a town. He would maintain all the civil records as well. He would also retain a small army or force to ensure that his rulings are enforced.

In most cases, the kazi (qadi) would pass on the title and position to his son, descendent or a very close relative. Over the centuries, this profession became a title within the families, and the power remained within one family in a region. Throughout India and Pakistan, we now find various Kazi families who descended through their famous Kazi (qadi) ancestors and retained the lands and position. Each family is known by the town or city that their ancestors controlled

Gurbani Quote

ਤਾ ਤੂ ਮ੝ਲਾ ਤਾ ਤੂ ਕਾਜੀ ਜਾਣਹਿ ਨਾਮ੝ ਖ੝ਦਾਈ ॥ ਜੇ ਬਹ੝ਤੇਰਾ ਪੜਿਆ ਹੋਵਹਿ ਕੋ ਰਹੈ ਨ ਭਰੀਝ ਪਾਈ ॥੨॥

ਸੋਈ ਕਾਜੀ ਜਿਨਿ ਆਪ੝ ਤਜਿਆ ਇਕ੝ ਨਾਮ੝ ਕੀਆ ਆਧਾਰੋ ॥ ਹੈ ਭੀ ਹੋਸੀ ਜਾਇ ਨ ਜਾਸੀ ਸਚਾ ਸਿਰਜਣਹਾਰੋ ॥੩॥
ਪੰਜ ਵਖਤ ਨਿਵਾਜ ਗ੝ਜਾਰਹਿ ਪੜਹਿ ਕਤੇਬ ਕ੝ਰਾਣਾ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ੝ ਆਖੈ ਗੋਰ ਸਦੇਈ ਰਹਿਓ ਪੀਣਾ ਖਾਣਾ ॥੪॥੨੮॥

Ŧĝ ṯū mulĝ ṯĝ ṯū kĝjī jĝṇėh nĝm kẖuḝĝ▫ī. Je bahuṯerĝ paṛi▫ĝ hovėh ko rahai na bẖarī▫ai pĝ▫ī.(2)

So▫ī kĝjī jin ĝp ṯaji▫ĝ ik nĝm kī▫ĝ ĝḝẖĝro. Hai bẖī hosī jĝ▫e na jĝsī sacẖĝ sirjaṇhĝro. (3)
Panj vakẖaṯ nivĝj gujĝrėh paṛėh kaṯeb kurĝṇĝ. Nĝnak ĝkẖai gor saḝe▫ī rahi▫o pīṇĝ kẖĝṇĝ. (4)(28)

You are a Mullah, and you are a Qazi, only when you know the Naam, the Name of God.

You may be very educated, but no one can remain when the measure of life is full. (2)
He alone is a Qazi, who renounces selfishness and conceit, and makes the One Name his Support.
The True Creator Lord is, and shall always be. He was not born; He shall not die. (3)
You may chant your prayers five times each day; you may read the Bible and the Koran.
Says Nanak, the grave is calling you, and now your food and drink are finished. (4)(28)

  • 1. "The Qazis and the Brahmins have lost their roles, and Satan now conducts the marriage rites, O Lalo." (SGGS p 722)
  • 2. "In this turbulent age of Kali Yuga, Muslim law decides the cases, and the blue-robed Qazi is the judge." (SGGS p 903)
  • 3. "He alone is a Qazi, who practices the Truth. He alone is a Haji, a pilgrim to Mecca, who purifies his heart. He alone is a Mullah, who banishes evil; he alone is a saintly dervish, who takes the Support of the Lord's Praise.(6)" (SGGS p 1084)
  • 4. "He may be a Qazi, a Mullah or a Shaykh, a Yogi or a wandering hermit wearing saffron-colored robes; he may be a householder, working at his job; but without understanding the essence of devotional worship, all people are eventually bound and gagged, and driven along by the Messenger of Death. (3)" (SGGS p 1169)