Abbas Bakihanov

Abbas Bakihanov

Azerbaijani scientist-educator, poet and writer
Date of Birth: 21.06.1794
Country: Azerbaijan

  1. Biography of Abbas-Quli Aga Bakikhanov
  2. The Tiflis period
  3. Return to Cuba
  4. The Enlightener
  5. Death
  6. Abbas-Quli Aga Bakikhanov passed away in 1847 in Cuba.

Biography of Abbas-Quli Aga Bakikhanov

Abbas-Quli Aga Bakikhanov was an Azerbaijani scholar, enlightener, poet, and writer. He was born on June 21, 1794, in the village of Amirajan near Baku, into a family of one of the Khans of Baku. He spent his early years in Cuba, at his father's estate. He received an excellent education, knowing Eastern languages, primarily Persian and Arabic, and was familiar with the works of great Iranian poets, as well as the works of Iranian scholars and philosophers. In 1819, he moved to Tiflis, where he began working as a translator in the office of General Yermolov.

The Tiflis period

Bakikhanov's time in Tiflis was fruitful. While serving in the military and diplomatic service, he closely acquainted himself with prominent cultural figures present in the Caucasus at the time, such as A. S. Griboedov and A. A. Bestuzhev. During these years, he mastered the Russian language, also studying French. Bakikhanov participated in Russia's wars with Iran and Turkey, took part in the Russo-Iranian peace negotiations in Turkmenchay (1828), and was promoted to the rank of colonel. In Tiflis, Bakikhanov had the opportunity to meet Georgian and Armenian writers, such as G. Orbeliani, A. Chavchavadze, N. Baratashvili, X. Abovian, as well as the poet Ya. P. Polonsky and the Polish revolutionary T. Lado-Zabłocki, who lived in the Caucasus. In 1833, he traveled around Russia, visiting Moscow and St. Petersburg, and also traveled to Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. Bakikhanov spent over six months in Warsaw, where he met Olga Sergeyevna Pavlishcheva, Alexander Pushkin's sister. At her request, Bakikhanov brought a letter from the Pushkin family to St. Petersburg and met the great Russian poet there in May 1834.

Return to Cuba

After returning from Warsaw, Bakikhanov lived in his hometown of Cuba for some time, where he organized a literary circle called "Gülüstan" ("The Flower Garden"). Poets and poetry lovers gathered around him. In Cuba, he completed a number of his literary works, including "Kitabi-Askeriyye," where prose is interspersed with lyrical poetic fragments. He also wrote scientific and journalistic works such as "Tahzib ul-ahlag" ("Improvement of Morals"), "Asrar ul-malakut" ("The Secrets of Heaven"), "Kanuni Kudsi," "Gülüstan-Irem," and a series of didactic stories in verse. His major scientific research work, "Gülüstan-Irem," dedicated to the history of Azerbaijan and Dagestan, was highly acclaimed by Russian and foreign scholars at the time.

The Enlightener

Most of Bakikhanov's scientific and journalistic works had an enlightening character. From the perspective of the scientific achievements of his time, he explained questions of astronomy, geography, and touched upon socio-ethical problems. In his didactic fables, he called for hard work and honesty, sharply criticizing the narrow-mindedness of rulers, careerism, cruelty, and arbitrariness prevalent in society. Bakikhanov was the first Azerbaijani enlightener of a new type. His enlightening mission was not only influenced by the traditional cultural values of the Muslim East but also nourished by the European and Russian spirit of enlightenment. It was characterized by an interest in accurate knowledge, natural sciences, social progress, and the works of progressive Russian artists.


Abbas-Quli Aga Bakikhanov passed away in 1847 in Cuba.