View Single Post
Old May 25th, 2010, 12:44 AM
Hajo Flettner
Status: Offline
Hookah Legend
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 4,746
Default Re: hookah spiritualality?

This a rather obscure topic that I can add just a little but the question is really what constitutes a narghile within this context. I say that because back distant antiquity and in some rather infrequently traveled portions of Latin America, Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa water filtered pipes are used for shamanistic purposes although they don't bare much resemblance to anything we smoke.

Insofar as real narghiles are concerned I suppose that particularly potent strains of nicotina rustica have been used in shamanistic rituals although I've not heard of such things.

I do know that some rather obscure and mystically inclined individuals associated with esoteric schools within Islam view smoking as conducive to contemplation but it would be wrong to say they view it as somehow spiritual. I do recall that in Turkmenistan I saw locally made narghiles inscribed with Koranic verse but that is a folk custom at odds with Islam as are a great many folk practices that have assumed religious importance. One could look at it the same way that various Christian rituals are best thought of as hold overs from Mithraism, Germanic/Baltic Heathenry and various deceased mystery cults of the Mediterranean.

I have known Mandaeans, Shabak, Yazidi & Ahl-e Haqq/Yārsān devotees and clerics that hold tobacco to be social good and a facilitator of calm reflection and has a result, an asset to pious living. Yet even they don't attach ritualistic significance to smoking and I can't say that my knowledge of those faiths is sufficient to say if those individuals i've spoken to are representative of the theology they maintain.

To me, tobacco is about aestheticism and an appreciation of craftsmanship and contemplation more then anything.
Reply With Quote