From Persian lit. command, authority, will, permission. At the time of the Ottomans, the word ‘farman’ was used in Ottoman Turkish to denote any order of the Ottoman Sultans. In the 15th century CE, the word was first used in its strict sense of a written document. Typically, such documents would open with an invocation to God and were addressed to a governmental official in the capital cities or in the provinces as well as to dependent/client rulers. In the Shi‘i Ismaili context, it refers to an address by the Imam to his community.