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In the chanceries of pre-modern Muslim states, the structural arrangement of documents was not followed with the same sense of consistency and obligatory convention.

The question whether the functional, structural, and formal elements of medieval and early modern European decrees can also be used to describe farmāns issued by chanceries of Islamic states is thus not settled.

This mention followed a strict pattern which in its classic form developed in Safavid chanceries. The transition to the dispositio was advanced by expressions like “arzānī daštīm ke” or “moqarrar farmūdīm ke.” The end of the dispositio admonishes the addressee to take the ruling of the farmān seriously (dar ʿohda šenāsand or qadaḡan dānand etc.).

Firstly the respective person as the carrier of one or two professional or social qualities was introduced, namely through expressions with compound nouns (tarkībāt-e esmī), the first descriptive element of which was linked to a second such as panāh or dastgāh: for instance, welāyat-panāh wa ḥokūmat-dastgāh was employed for a governor. Finally followed the dating, preceded by the formula “taḥrīran fī.” The dating in early farmāns also followed a locatio (such as be-maqām-e Ūjān in a document by Tīmūr (Fekete, 1977, p. 3, dated 804/1401), but this is rarely found in documents after the 15th century. The word fī (in) was occasionally replaced by the naming of the day or directly by the month of the lunar hejrī calendar, with the respective Arabic epithet.

In historical as well as contemporary administrative and political usage the term often denotes a royal or governmental decree, that is a public and legislative document promulgated in the name of the ruler or another person (e.g., prince, princess, governor) holding partial elements of sovereignty.

In the Persophone chanceries of Islamic times and also, following their example, many Turcophone (Ottoman, Chaghatay) chanceries, the word farmān was invariably the standard nomenclature for such documents.

Usually the mention of the addressee was followed by the opening of the narratio, introduced with “ . In pre-Mongol Persia, this chronology followed the Yazdegerdī and the Jalālī era.

In most farmāns the addressees and the incumbents (beneficiaries) of the documents were mentioned explicitly.Heribert Busse has delineated a hypothetical formulary of Persian farmāns as follows: “The beginning opens with the invocatio, the invocation of God, followed by the intitulatio, i.e., the name and the title of the promulgator. The arenga is followed by the narratio, which explains the circumstances or the previous history of the document’s promulgation.In the arenga, the obligations of the ruler to his subjects and the religious commandments are expounded with general phrases . This is followed by the dispositio, the intention of the ruler, which is the actual legal mandate.The final segment of the document is made up by the eschatocol, the declaration of the date (datatio), and sometimes the declaration of the place of issue” (Busse, 1961, p. Corresponding to European practice, the invocation () form the eschatocol.

Protocol and eschatocol are independent from the document’s content, while the portions between these two segments are related to its content, and in the terminology of diplomatical research are usually called context or text.

The modern Persian names of months were adopted in 1925 (see CALENDARS). Farmāns were chiefly written on paper, whose quality changed with technological alterations over the centuries.