What is a Hookah?
A hookah also known as a waterpipe, narghile,Qalyan, or shisha (شیشه) is a single or multi-stemmed instrument for smoking flavored tobacco in which the smoke is passed through a water basin (often glass based) before inhalation. The tobacco smoked is referred to as shisha. The Origin of the hookah is at India, 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 in the past. 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 and the Middle East, and is gaining popularity in North America, South America, Europe, Australia and South Africa. Nargileh derives from the Persian word nārghile, meaning coconut, which in turn is from the Sanskrit word nārikela (नारिकेला), suggesting that early hookahs were hewn from coconut shells. In Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina the hookah is called "lula" or "lulava" in Romani, meaning "pipe," the word "shishe" refers to the actual bottle piece. In Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria, na[r]gile (на[р]гиле; from Turkish nargile) is used to refer to the pipe. Šiša (шиша) usually refers to the tobacco that is smoked in it. The pipes there often have one or two mouth pieces. The flavored tobacco, created by marinating cuts of tobacco in a multitude of flavored molasses, is placed above the water and covered by pierced foil with hot coals placed on top, and the smoke is drawn through cold water to cool and filter it. This, "narguile", is also the common word in Spain, where hookah is also referred to as "cachimba", though Moroccan immigrants in Spain use the word "shisha". Shisha (شيشة), from the Persian word shīshe (شیشه), meaning glass, is the common term for the hookah in Egypt, Sudan and the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf (including Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, UAE, and Saudi Arabia), and in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Somalia and Yemen. In Iran/Persia, hookah is called "ḡalyān" (Farsi:قلیان). Persian qalyan is included in the earliest European compendium on tobacco, the tobacolgia written by Johan Neander and published in Nederlands in 1622. It seems that the water pipe overtime also acuquired an Iranian connotation as in eighteenth-century Egypt the most fashionable pipes were called Karim Khan after the Iranian ruler of the day. This is also the name used in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. In Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, a hookah is called chillim. In India and Pakistan the name most similar to the English hookah is used: huqqa). (हुक़्क़ा /حقّہ). In Maldives, hookah is called "Gudugudaa". Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hookah