Judicial system plays important role in a society as far as development of strong political setup, promotion of economic prosperity and achievement of justice are concerned. Societies and States do not prosper without peace and cannot survive without justice and its proper administration.
Prof. Hitty, in his book “Histort of Arab” has commented that the department of judiciary was established by Abu Bakar (RA) for the first time in Islamic History and he appointed Hazrat Umar (RA) as the first Chief Justice of Islamic State. Later on it gradually developed Hazrat Umar himself established Judiciary as an independent organ, free from the clutches of the executive branches of the state.
Prof. Hitty, in his book “Histort of Arab” has commented that the department of judiciary was established by Hazrat Umar (RA) fro the first time in Islamic History. The view is absolutely incorrect. This supreme department was established by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) himself, when he appointed Ma’az bin Jabal as the Judge of Yaman.
Definition of Qazi (QADI)
(i) General Definition:
The word Qadi or Qazi (Judge) is derived from the word Qada and he is bound ot interpret the law in all sincerity and also follow it meticulously.
(ii) According to Jam-ul-Jawami
Qazi is a religious judge working under the guidance of the Shariah.
Appointment of Qazi
(i) A Qazi may be appoint by Imam, Caliph, Sultan or the Governor, if he has been vested his power.
(ii) A non- Muslim rules or governor may also appoint him as Qazi
Qualifications of Qazi
According to the author of hidaya, qazi must possess qualifications necessary to a wit.
(i) He must be a Muslim.
(ii) He must spend a blameless life.
(iii) He must be adult free man and not a slave.
(iv) He must have roughly learnt the law.
(v) He must act gracefully.
(vi) He must produce his decision of the case in writing.
(vii) He must not exercise any way of corruption.
(viii) He must be impartial.
(ix) He must not allow the parties to come to see at his residence.
(x) He must not be consulted in the court of law.
(xi) He must not give his decision in ambiguous form.
(xii) He must not be a short-tempered.
(xiii) He must not differentiate between different sectors.
(xiv) He must have capability to maintain the equality.
(xv) He must believe in Lord and have firm faith.
(xvi) He must know norms of Justice.
(xvii) He must have the knowledge of rules of interpretation.
(xviii) He must have power of decision.
Powers of A Qazi/Judge
Limited or particular powers can be granted to a Qazi. Through tees powers, a Qazi uses jurisdiction so as to dispense of justice. These Power are:
(a) Power to appoint deputy Qazi
(b) Power to dismiss deputy Qazi.
(c) Power to adjudicate upon particular kind of cases.
(d) Power to use jurisdiction within a specific area.
(e) Power to use jurisdiction for a limited period.
(a) Power to Appoint Deputy Qazi:-
If it has been allowed by the head of an Islamic State and if it is necessary for dispensation and achievement of Justice, a Qazi can appoint deputy Qazi.
(b) Power to Dismiss Deputy Qazi:-
Qazi does not only enjoy power to appoint deputy Qazi, but he also has power to dismiss the deputy Qazi.
(c) Power to Adjudicate Upon Particular Kind of Cases:-
A Qazi can be given powers to adjudicate upon some particular kind of cases. It means that the Qazi cannot adjudicate upon other kinds of cases.
(d) Power to Use Jurisdiction within A specific Area:-
A Qazi can be granted powers to use jurisdiction within a specific area. It means that the Qazi cannot use jurisdiction out of such specific area.
(e) Power to use jurisdiction for a limited period
A Qazi can be given power to use jurisdiction for a limited period of time and such power cannot be used after expiry of such limited period of time.
Duties of Qazi
According to Dr. Iqbal and Fakhrul Islam following are the duties of Qazi;
(i) He is custodian of the property and person of minor, insane, idiots etc.
(ii) He must look after the waqf properties in the interest of concerned beneficiaries.
(iii) He must manage the affairs of waqf and fulfil the objects of waqf.
(iv) He must appoint ideal person for his assistance.
(v) He must execute the bill
(vi) He must appoint executor for the execution of bills, state, orders and other decisions.
Can Woman Be a Qazi
According to Hanafis a woman may become qazi, as she possesses the qualification of a witness. But she is not competent to pass orders of Hadd and Retaliation because in such matters, her evidence is not admissible. While Shafis say that she is altogether disqualified for the office.
To conclude, it can be stated that Qazi is a religious judge, and, therefore, a Qazi is duty bound to use his powers and perform his duties in accordance with Shari laws. In fact, a Qazi has to work independently and impartially so as to dispense of justice among the common masses.