FIRMAN (an adaptation of the Per. ferman, a mandate or patent, cognate with the Sanskrit pramana, a measure, authority), an edict of an oriental sovereign, used specially to designate decrees, grants, passports, etc., issued by the sultan of Turkey and signed by one of his ministers. A decree bearing the sultan's sign-manual and drawn up with special formalities is termed a hatti-sherif, Arabic words meaning a line, writing or command, and lofty, noble. A written decree of an Ottoman sultan is also termed an irade, the word being taken from the Arab. irada, will, volition, order.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)