A Fat'h Ali Shah Qajar firman in Shikasta Nastaʿlīq script, January 1831

A firman (Persian: فرمانfarmân), or ferman (Turkish),[1] at the constitutional level, was a royal mandate or decree issued by a sovereign in an Islamic state, namely the Ottoman Empire. During various periods they were collected and applied as traditional bodies of law. The word firman comes from Persian فرمان meaning "decree" or "order".

On a more practical level, a firman was, and may still be, any written permission granted by the appropriate Islamic official at any level of government. Westerners are perhaps most familiar with the permission to travel in a country, which typically could be purchased beforehand, or the permission to conduct scholarly investigation in the country, such as archaeological excavation. Firmans may or may not be combined with various sorts of passports.

Origins of firmans in the Ottoman Empire

In the Ottoman Empire, the Sultan derived his authority from his role as upholder of the Shar'ia, but the Shar'ia did not cover all aspects of Ottoman social and political life. Therefore, in order to regulate relations and status, duties and dress of aristocracy and subjects, the Sultan created firmans.[2]

Other Languages
العربية: فرمان
azərbaycanca: Fərman
български: Ферман
bosanski: Ferman
català: Firman
čeština: Firman
Deutsch: Ferman
Ελληνικά: Φιρμάνι
español: Firmán
français: Firman
hrvatski: Ferman
italiano: Firmano
עברית: פירמאן
Nederlands: Firman
polski: Firman
română: Firman
русский: Фирман (указ)
slovenščina: Ferman
српски / srpski: Ферман
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Ferman
Türkçe: Ferman
українська: Фірман