End of XVII century

He is the progenitor. 
His nickname “Dilbaz” later turned into his surname. MollaAli Aga was born at the end of the XVII century. He was of advanced years when the Chief Commander and regent of the Sefevi Empire Nadir khan Afshar was staying in Gazakh. As the legend goes, the nickname (in Turkic-lakab) appeared after Nadir khan’s comment addressed to Molla Ali Aga. This comment is very popular not only in the Dilbazi family but also among all people of Gazakh and exists in different variations. The de- tails of this interesting story ascend to the remote past and are known to all the local people.
In 1724-1736 yy. the Gazakh province was part of the Osman Empire. Chapter “Gazakh” of the Osman finan- cial-tax “Registration book of the Tiflis vilayet” dating from 1725-1728 yy. contains the name “Ali Molla Khan oglu” among the inhabitants of the village Ismailly (near the village Kyzyl Gadjily) of the Agstafa section of Gazakh sanjak*.
It should be noted that “Khan oglu” is not a patronymic name but a surname in a Turkic manner. That is “Molla Ali of khan origins”.
The legend of the Dilbazi family has it that Ali Molla’s (or Molla Ali) father’s name was Alahyar Aga whereas ac- cording to another source - Abdurakhman Aga (these names can often be found in the next generations of the family).
The name of the village “Khanlyglar” comes from Molla Ali Aga. The story has it that the territory of the village was the place where the khans (rulers) of Gazakh would spend winter time. It is believed that the surviving toponym “Velikhan meshasi” (Velikhan’s forest) is connected with the name of the then ruler of Gazakh province-Veli khan Gazakhlar. The testimonies of the long livers recorded in the 70’s of the last century which claim the khan origins of their family can serve as another confirmation of the above-mentioned.
Near Tiflis Nadir khan entered the battle with the Osmans and his advance dispatch was defeated. The khan escaped thanks to the self-sacrifice of the warrior by the name Takhmaz who was from Gazakh and galloped alone in the direction of Gazakh and thus could fling off his pur- suers. On his way Nadir khan decided to overnight in Gazakh and to continue his way to Ganja.
After Nadir khan’s advance dispatch had been defeated the rumor spread that Nadir khan had been killed. The peo- ple of Gazakh rejoiced at this news as many of them sup- ported the Osmans and even fought in the ranks of their army. In the evening Nadir khan dressed in ordinary clothes began to look for a night’s lodging. Naturally he was looking for a safe place to stay and eventually found himself at Molla Ali’s house.
During supper the words ran high between Molla Ali and the neighbors who had come to his place. The host was speaking about what he thought of the khan and how the Osmans defeated Nadir. The guest was listening silently. In the morning Nadir khan thanked Molla Ali and continued his way. After some time the rumors about Nadir khan’s survival and his being in the military camp near the fortress of Ganja reached Gazakh.
On March 19-21 Nadir khan concluded a very beneficial treaty with Russia in his military camp in the neighborhood of Ganja. As a result, Iravan town was captured in May and on July 9 Ali Pasha abandoned Ganja. The Fortress of Tiflis surrendered on August 12. The Osmans retreated.
After the victory near Tiflis Nadir khan decided to visit the house in Gazakh where he had spent the night after los- ing the battle against the Turks in Gazakh. When Nadir khan with his guards approached that house the landlord was very surprised. Nadir khan asked Molla Ali if he had recognized him. Molla Ali said that it was impossible not to recognize him. Then Nadir khan asked him to recall where they could have met but Molla Ali could not. Then Nadir khan reminded him of the meeting when he was dressed in simple clothes and the conversation among the villagers when Molla Ali bad mouthed Nadir khan and supported the Osmans. As soon as Molla Ali heard this he immediately remembered the meeting and the conversation. After this Nadir khan asked him how he would act this time if Nadir khan’s army were fighting against the Osmans? Molla Ali Aga replied that he would anyway support the Osmans. Nadir khan smiled and said in Persian “Ajab dilbaz ast!..” which meant“what a man of strong spirit you are”!
The khan again overnighted at his place. In the morning as Nadir khan was getting ready to start he asked Molla Ali Aga:
-   Ali Aga do you have horses?
-   Yes, I do, Your Majesty. Two mares.
Having ordered to bring his sparegray Arab male horse Nadir khan presented it to Molla Aga with the following words:
-   It is a good horse. It will have good offsprings.
(As the story goes, the famous horse breed “dilbaz” which is included into the Azerbaijani encyclopedia originates from this male horse and two local mares).
Nadir khan also ordered his secretary to prepare the de- cree according to which the village where Molla Aga lived would become his property with all the necessary rights of possession.
As any decent person Nadir khan could not forget his savior - a brave warrior Takhmaz who risking his own life came to his rescue when he was trying to fling off the pursu- ers at the walls of the Tiflis fortress. He knew the village where Takhmaz was born and went there with his suite. Molla Ali Aga riding a beautiful Arab horse was among those who were accompanying the khan. The villagers met the khan with great honor and respect. The khan told the agsagals (elderly and respected men) about Takhmaz and his utmost loyalty and courage. He then inquired if Takhmaz had any relatives left in the village. They an- swered that receiving the news of Takhmas’s death his mother died of grief and that only his younger brother Subkhanverdi was alive.

At Nadir’s order Subkhanverdi was found and brought to the khan. The khan told him about his brother’s bravery and then asked him:
-  You are his brother. What can I do for you? Tell me if you have any wish?
-  Long live, great khan. Your good health and long life are quite enough for us, - Subkhanverdi replied respect- fully.
Nadir turned to his secretary: 
-   Prepare the decree. From now on this village will be- long to Subkhanverdi khan.
This, according to the existing class hierarchy, meant that having received the title of khan this young man was one step higher than aghalars and beks. The decree was written on the deer’s skin right on the spot. In an instant Subkhanvedi became khan and highly positioned in the province of Gazakh. After Nadir khan left Gazakh the nick- name “dilbaz” stuck firmly to Molla Ali. His descendants were popularly called “Dilbazogullary” (Dilbaz’s sons). This gave rise to the surname “Dilbazov” pronounced in the Russian manner and “Dilbazi” which is the Arabian ver- sion.
In the genealogical tree of the family we can trace gener- ations of two lines coming from his sons.
Molla Ali Aga also had a daughter who married to Akhmed Aga Shihi oglu (a famous ancestor of the noble Shyklinski family).She was the mother of prominent figures in the Azerbaijani literature - Kazim Aga Salika and mayor Mustafa Aga Arif. This fact is also mentioned in one of the autobiographical poems by Kazim Aga Salika (Shychlinski) (1781-1842) written in 1828 where he proudly speaks about the history of his famed family and points out that his mother belonged to the Dilbazi family.


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