"every day he stood at his gate in his dressing-gown, smoking a hookah and delivering five minute sermons "
GNU Free Documentation Licensehookah - Credit: vcuinsight.vcu

 A hookah is a water pipe used for smoking tobacco. It consists of a flexible tube that the smoke passes through, after being cooled and filtered by water in the bowl at the bottom.

Hookahs are commonly used throughout the Arab world.