(hard "H" that should have a dot beneath it) is used in the Quran to mean rope
and metaphorical usages associated with it. It is derived from the root habala
, which refers to ropes
made from weaving fibers into a continuous cord used to fasten things. The figurative usage of rope
in the Quran refers to religion
, as in: And hold fast to the rope of God, all together, and do not separate
is also used when describing the ignominy of the wife of Abû Lahab (the Prophet’s inveterate enemy): And his wife, the carrier of firewood, around her neck shall be a rope of palm fiber
(111:4-5), an allusion to her lot in the Afterlife. Pharaoh’s sorcerers attempted to bewitch the eyes of a gathered audience, in a competiton of sorts with Moses, by producing ropes that appeared to slither like serpents (20:66). One of the most gracious statements of the Quran describes God’s closeness to human beings, a grace beyond description but that also signifies that God is fully aware of everything we do and every secrete motivation and thought that moves through our minds or ekes out from the deep centers of the complex human creature. In this verse Habl refers to a major vein: Truly We created man, and We know the promptings of his soul, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein (50:16).