A hookah, nargile in Turkish or shisha is a single or multi-stemmed (often glass-based) water pipe for smoking shisha (a type of tobacco). The concept of filtered smoke through a pipe originated in India and later developed into the modern hookah in Iran, hookah has gained immense popularity, especially in the Middle East and is gaining popularity in the USA, UK, and elsewhere. Today, some of the highest quality and most extravagant hookah pipes come from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iran and Turkey. The hookah operates by water filtration and indirect heat. It is used for smoking fruits.
In India in the court of the Mughal emperor Akbar (1542 - 1605 AD) following the European introduction of tobacco to India, Hakim Abul Fateh Gilani a descendant of Abdul Qadir Al-Gilani came from Baghdad to India who was later a physician in the court of Mughal raised concerns after smoking tobacco became popular among Indian noblemen, and subsequently envisaged a system which allowed smoke to be passed through water in order to be 'purified'. Gilani introduced the hookah after Asad Beg, then ambassador of Bijapur, encouraged Akbar to take up smoking.
The jar at the bottom of the hookah is filled with water sufficient to submerge a few centimetres of the body tube, which is sealed tightly to it. Deeper water will only increase the inhalation force needed to use it. Tobacco is placed inside the bowl at the top of the hookah and a burning charcoal is placed on top of the tobacco. Some cultures cover the bowl with perforated tin foil or a metal screen to separate the coal and the tobacco, which minimizes inhalation of coal ash with the smoke. This may also reduce the temperature the tobacco is exposed to, in order to prevent burning the tobacco directly.