(Arabic: "one who concludes or finalises"; also spelled kadi, cadi, and cf. Spanish alcalde)
Islamic judge; during the Caliphate, appointed either directly by the khalif (Caliph) or indirectly by a high-ranking official of the Caliphate.
It was the purpose of the qadi to resolve all disputes which were brought to his attention, whether mundanely secular or profoundly religious. In modern times, a qadi is a state-employed "justice of the peace", usually only sitting in judgement on issues of marriage, divorce or inheritance.
See also ulama.