Molla Panah Vagif – poet and statesman – Qarabag
Molla Panah Vagif – poet and statesman

During his visit to Shusha on March 16, 2021, President Ilham Aliyev reviewed the repair plan of the mausoleum of Molla Panah Vagif. This project is conducted by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. The mausoleum was vandalized in 1992 during the occupation of the city by Armenian armed forces. The reconstruction completion is planned for summer 2021. presents an article dedicated to the great Azerbaijani poet and statesman Molla Panah Vagif. 

Vagif was born in 1717 in Salahli village (present Gazakh district of Azerbaijan).
Vagif is an artistic pseudonym, which means “Knowledgeable”.
[А. Dadashzade. Singer of life. Thoughts about Vagif. Publishing house of the Academy of Sciences of the Azerbaijan SSR. Baku – 1968, p.13]
He was one of the most influential and reliable figures of the khanate and served in the palace of Karabakh khan for 27 years.
[А. Dadashzade. Singer of life. Thoughts about Vagif. Publishing house of the Academy of Sciences of the Azerbaijan SSR. Baku – 1968, p.15]
Founder of realism genre in Azerbaijani poetry, statesman and diplomat, he held the position of wazir (senior adviser) of Karabakh khan. Vagif had opened a school in Shusha. He was renown for his astronomy and engineering knowledge and also was fluent in several foreign languages.

“Vagif was recognized as a particularly experienced engineer. The khan’s palace, residential buildings and castle walls were established by him in Shusha”.

[А. Berje, A few words about Transcaucasian Muslim poets, “Qafqaz” newspaper, 1868, №3 // İt was quoted for the singer of life Araz Dadashzade (Thoughts about Vagif), Baku 1968, p. 3]
The people has invented a proverb about him: “Not every educated person can be considered Molla Panah Vagif.” With his participation, a defense alliance against Iran was signed between the khanates of Karabakh, Georgia, Talysh and Iravan.  He also initiated negotiations with Russia to gain its support.

Poems written in syllable meter are typical for Vagif’s poetry. At the same time, his ghazals, mukhammas and mustazads (different kinds of poems) prove that he had perfectly learned the Aruz meter. In addition, Vagif is the author of a number of Qoshma (national Azerbaijani poem).

In 1797, the power in Karabakh was seized by Muhammad khan Javanshir, the son of Ibrahim khan’s younger brother, and Vagif was executed in Shusha.
After Vagif’s execution, the manuscripts of his poems had been destroyed or looted. However, a number of his poems remained in the memory of the ashugs, and some people collected his works and transcribed to a special notebooks, called “jungs”. Dozens of “jungs”, as well as manuscripted anthologies with Vagif’s poems are preserved in the Manuscripts Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Museum of Literature of Azerbaijan.

Vagif was buried in Shusha, and in January 1982 a mausoleum was constructed over the poet’s grave. The place where the memorial was established is called “Jidir plain”.