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The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Firman \Fir"man\ (? or ?), n.; pl. Firmansor. [Pers. ferm[=a]n.] In Turkey and some other Oriental countries, a decree or mandate issued by the sovereign; a royal order or grant; -- generally given for special objects, as to a traveler to insure him protection and assistance. [Written also firmaun.] [1913 Webster]