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DIWAN. A term of uncertain derivation, used throughout Islamic history to cover a number of institutions and practices, diwan can most inclusively be defined as a collection of a homogeneous body of written materials or an administrative office that produces such a collection. In the sense of a written body of materials, diwan was, and to a lesser extent still is, used in the literary sphere to denote a collection of poetry (or, sometimes, prose). In the bureaucratic world, it denotes an arch ...more

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