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MUHTASIB. A holder of the office of al-hisbah, an executive function falling roughly between the offices of qadi (judge) and wdli al-mazdlim (mazdlim court magistrate), the muhtasib was charged with enforcing public morality, overseeing the public welfare, and supervising the markets, fulfilling thereby the community's collective obligation to command the good and forbid evil ("al-amr bi-al-ma'ruf wa-al-nahy `an al-munkar"). The muhtasib had no jurisdiction to hear legal cases per se but only to ...more

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