by: Marik Widget • 194
A hookah (hukkā or huqqah) also known as a waterpipe, narghile, or Qalyān (Persian: قلیان), is a single or multi-stemmed instrument for smoking flavored tobacco called Mu‘assel (also known as Shisha شیشه) in which the smoke is passed through a water basin (often glass based) before inhalation. The origin of the hookah is India, Pakistan and Persia, or at a transition point between the two. The word hookah is a derivative of "huqqa", which is what the Indians used to call it. According to author Cyril Elgood (pp. 41, 110), who does not mention his source, it was Abul-Fath Gilani (d. 1588), a Persian physician at the Indian court of the Mughal emperor Akbar, who “first passed the smoke of tobacco through a small bowl of water to purify and cool the smoke and thus invented the hubble-bubble or hookah. Nevertheless, a quatrain of Ahli Shirazi (d. 1535) refers to the use of the ḡalyān in Safavid Iran. (Falsafī, II, p. 277; Semsār, 1963, p. 15). Smoking the hookah has gained popularity outside of its native region, in India, Pakistan and the Middle East, and is gaining popularity in North America, South America, Europe, Australia and South Africa.
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