The gold diwani text on this firman comprises verses from the Qur'an. The black diwani documents that the Grand Vizier Ayas Pasha who served Sultan Suleyman, was to be honoured and granted with 1,000 akce to come from the property of an Ahmad al-Mulk who was murdered in Cairo. Ayas Pasha was to be given this in addition to further income from provincial estates.
The illumination of the tughras of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent remained close to that of his father Selim I for the first decade of his reign (until circa 1530). It then developed however and the tughra is said to have reached its most classic and lavish form under Sultan Süleyman's regin, in keeping with the artistic splendour of the period (M. Ugur Derman, Letters in Gold. Ottoman Calligraphy from the Sakip Sabanci Collection, Istanbul, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1998, p.38). Atil writes that there are two types of tughra of Süleyman. The first is the simple type - rendered either in gold or black and used on the majority of his official correspondence and firmans. These were written by nisancis chosen for their knowledge in writing and codifying laws and not for the calligraphic skill.
The second category, into which this falls, is expertly rendered and decorated in the hand of a master tugrakes, assisted by an illuminator. These are generally transcribed in blue, black or gold diwani and the format of the tughra is consistent - with the same proportions used for the sere, tug, beyze and kol, the letters always in blue often outlined in gold. The interstices between the letters are decorated with flora and scrolls (Esin Atil, The Age of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, New York, 1987, p.38). Spectacular examples exist in the Topkapi Sarayi Müzesi (Atil, op.cit., nos.1-5, pp.39-42). Another example, dated AH 966/1559-60 AD, is in the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha. A further firman, similar in style to ours but without the Qur'anic verses within the text, is in the Khalili Collection (J.M.Rogers, Empire of the Sultans. Ottoman Art from the collection of Nasser D. Khalili, exhibition catalogue, Geneva, 1995, no.102, pp.158-59).