Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 May 2022
Officials in the Sultanate may be classified as bureaucrats, judges, scholastics and clerics. Bureaucrats included the senior minister (vizier) whose fiscal authority diminished over time; bureau secretary (katib)—record keeper with fiduciary oversight; comptroller/supervisor (nazir) of fiscal departments; and chancellor (‘confidential secretary’: katib al-sirr) of the document bureau/foreign office. The civil judiciary was staffed by the judge/magistrate (qadi); notaries/court witnesses (shahid-s) who advised him on cases; market inspector (muhtasib) with oversight of commodity standards and pricing; and jurisconsult (mufti) charged with writing responses to legal queries (fatwas). Formal learning was conducted by the professor (mudarris) in a college of Law (madrasa); and repetitor (muʿid) who drilled textual recitation. Clerical offices included the prayer leader (imam); preacher of the Friday sermon (khatib); and Qurʾan reciter (muqriʾ). Individuals with leanings toward mysticism (Sufism) often joined an order (tariqa).