Single or mult-stemmed instrument used to vaporize or smoke tobacco. Hookah first started becoming popular in Persia during the Safavid dynasty
A hookah (hukka or huqqah) also known as a waterpipe, narghile, or Qalyan, is a single or multi-stemmed instrument for smoking flavored tobacco called shisha 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 _alyan in Safavid Iran. (Falsafi, II, p._277; Semsar, 1963, p._15).
Contributions by Mgreenbe, KeithTyler, and Dewet.