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Kadi System

Kadi system is a hereditary system in the management of Mosques and Islamic parishes in China. It is mainly practiced in some areas of Qinghai Province and Gansu Province in Northwest China.

It goes like this: in a certain Islamic parish, there is a person called Kadi, who is a leader of the highest authority and also a religious leader. When carrying out administration over the parish, Kadi has three posts under him, namely imam, Khatib and Muezzin. They are administrators responsible for everyday religious affairs. Among them, imam is mainly responsible for preaching religious scriptures; Khatib is mainly responsible for leading the mass Muslims to recite religious scriptures; and Muezzin is responsible for calling the Muslims to everyday rites such as prayer and worship. Beyond them, Kadi is responsible for interpreting religious laws and supervising religious rites and at the same time he is also the highest judge of the religious court in the region, which is the reason why he is also called general master.

In the first beginning, Kadi was elected via voting, but later Kadi system was integrated with Tusi system, an already existing unreligious local political system. And thus Tusi (local rulers of some ethnic minorities in China) usually took the position of Kadi. Later on, Kadi was developed into a hereditary system.

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