The poetry of sensual pleasures, inherent in the Muslim East, sounds in the very word hammam. It is hot there, it is beautiful there, there are many different intricately decorated rooms, there is a cult of purity of the body combined with the luxury of ornaments, marble, gold, mosaic of floors. There you can spend the whole day enjoying your body, socializing, the aroma of herbs and coffee. There, bath attendants and bathhouse attendants work wonders. They do massages there. There they enjoy their rest in a way that is not customary in any other bath in the world.
The history of hammams dates back to the Prophet Muhammad himself, who declared "Purity is half of faith" "The warmth of the hammam increases fertility and, accordingly, the number of admirers of Islam." Perhaps these words of the prophet led to the fact that Muslims built baths everywhere, remaking the surviving baths and captured temples of other religions, decorating and improving them.
The device of the hammam is an open palm, five rays diverge its niche eyvana from the center. So the baths themselves were open to everyone: rich and poor, locals and strangers. The tradition of accessibility was laid by the caliphs of the Umayyad dynasty, in the countries of Islam it is preserved today. And, most likely, the oldest of the hamams unexpectedly opens before travel lovers with a blooming garden of the kusair-aman oasis, preserved in the waterless desert near the Dead Sea.
The charm of the East and its traditions already attracts a tired traveler to the decorated vaults of the bathhouse, but European cultural tradition suggests that it is a good idea to learn the rules of conduct in this place before entering.
Islamic baths were built next to the mosque, revenues were shared with the church and for the construction of new baths. Perhaps that is why the hammam is a kind of club, a place of social events and family holidays. It is in the bath that the first tooth of the son is washed, a dear guest is invited here (and in the East all guests are dear), they come before the long journey, before wearing new clothes … A sumptuous ritual accompanies the visit of the bride to the hammam before the wedding, her vestments are donated by the groom's parents and dressed only once a day before the wedding, just as we have bridesmaids, but they do not catch the bouquet, but throw coins into the fountains and pools of the hammam. It is believed that soon they will also get married and the marriage will be successful.
The procedure that Avicenna spoke about: "If you exercise, lead a healthy lifestyle and do not forget to visit the bath, there is no need for medicines" in the hammam includes 5 (according to the number of eyvans) sequential actions:
Tepidarium, temperature 28-34°C
In a traditional Islamic bath, it is not customary to walk around without a telak or barber. In the Islamic bath, you can not appear naked. A European should understand that a naked person in a bath is an insult to tradition and all those present. In the locker room, the telak helps to wrap the body with three sheets (they call the cloth – pestamal): on the belt, on the chest and on the head. In our time, not in every, as they say, "Turkish bath" you will meet a telak, but they can kick you out, as in the good old days. The floor in the hammam is hot, it is customary to move along it in wooden sandals. Wearing shoes, they move on to communication, conversation, backgammon, chess and other games.
The caldarium is where the heated soup is waiting
Paying tribute to the game and conversation, the hot marble floors go to the caldarium, the next room of the hammam. There is always a hot stone bed of soup, on which joints and muscles warm up, lying on which you want to check what you are capable of. Perhaps the craving for feats and energy attract the Arabs (who are actually inhabitants of sandy deserts) to warm pools, and then to the hararu.
Harara – steam room with a temperature of 70-100o
The steam room of the Muslim bath, its air is saturated with fog, heat and here … Can remove the top two towels, the fog hides the body. Can… but only in the male part of the hammam, the fog hides the body, but… harara "cleanses the body and soul of evil spirits." The ubiquitous telak will not miss the moment when it is time: – welcome, you are waiting for
Ancient oriental execution – massage
An octagonal marble, heated table awaits its victim. Telak wears a stiff kese mitten woven from horsehair, coconut palm or loofah fibers and stamens of date trees. With this tool, worthy of the executioners of the European Inquisition, he rubs the skin of his victim. Even our contemporaries are horrified: "The sight is monstrous: thick gray sausages of dirty skin fly from under the mittens."
Then, the telak discards the mitten and slaps his palm all over the body, in the good old days the palms of the Arab bathhouse attendant were rubbed with pomegranate peel, which gave the hands coarseness and roughness. Telak crumples the whole body, he is ready to take out the soul of the client, twist the joints and break the bones, he presses with his knees, beats with his fists – he shows his unique art. The Arabs and their followers were so proud of their bathhouse attendants that they exempted the Telaks from any taxes. In fact, the art of the telac is to work with the human body at the very edge of pain, but never to cross it. Many Muslims who have lived to a ripe old age owe the flexibility and youth of the body to their bathhouse attendants. Execution of telah allows you to throw your legs to the neck, bend the joints in a way that they cannot bend, break bones so that the bones do not break even after the bath, relax the muscles, allowing the remnants of any stress and stagnation to leave the body.
The load, often exceeding a good sports workout, alternates with relaxation. According to the rules of good tone of Muslim baths, moans from pleasure during relaxation can be made, and the torture of massage should be tolerated silently, as befits real men.
Convinced that his art has produced the desired effect and, perhaps, rejoicing in the resilience of the client, the body passes it into the hands of the barber.
Alone with the Barber
In the good old days, the barber, secluded in one of the small niches, soaped the client, but the soap did not rub in, but flowed down the skin after the massage, immediately the barber poured a huge amount of water on the client's body, washing off the soap, and fatigue, and the burden of the years lived. The barber's duties included shaving, hair removal, and cleaning the soles of the feet. Hair removal according to the Eastern tradition involves the removal of all body hair, it is believed that in a hot climate it is more hygienic to live without hair. Muslims are also sure that by removing corns and keratinized skin from the soles, they push evil spirits to leave the human body and go into the ground, cleansing the foot relieves migraine and fatigue.
You can wash off all traces of cosmetic procedures, re-immersing the body in soapy foam and water flows, lie down in the pool. In the large hammams there are pools with different temperatures.
Telah escorts a client who feels like a newly born to the jamekian rest room, maslak, keifu – the names are different, apparently, the cultural traditions of Muslims in matters of rest are not as cruel as in massage. Here, the finder can fill his head with the latest news, a pleasant conversation, a game of backgammon or bones, drink aromatic coffee.