Habib means a friend. The opposite of habib in Urdu is ‘raqeeb’ meaning a rival, especially in the context of love.

Bahadur Shah Zafar has written a very poignant ghazal using these words:

na kisi ki aankh kaa nuur hoon
na kisi ke dil kaa qaraar hoon
jo kisi ke kaam na aa sakaa
main vo ek musht-e-gubaar hoon

na to mai.n kisii kaa habiib huu.N
na to mai.n kisii kaa raqiib huu.N
jo biga.D gayaa vo nasiib huu.N
jo uja.D gayaa vo dayaar huu.N

न किसी की आँख का नूर हूँ
न किसी के दिल का करार हूँ
जो किस्सी के काम न आ सका
मैं वोह एक मुश्त-ए-गुबार हूँ

न तो मैं किसी का हबीब हूँ
न तो मैं किसी का रकीब हूँ
जो बिगड़ गया वो नसीब हूँ
जो उजड गया वो दयार हूँ

Rough English Translation:

I’m not the light in anyone’s eyes, I’m not the peace in anyone’s heart, I am that handful of dust that is of no use to anyone.

I am no one’s friend, I am no one’s rival, I am the destiny gone wrong, I am the place where everything is ruined.

In  some Middle Eastern countries, people address each other as ‘habibi’, almost meaning sweetheart.

Habib Faisal is also the name of an Indian Hindi screenwriter and director. He directed Do Dooni Chaar, a Bollywood movie released in 2010 starring Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor. He co-wrote Siddharth Anand’s Salaam Namaste. He also wrote director Shaad Ali’s Jhoom Barabar Jhoom starring Abhishek Bachchan and Preity Zinta, and Siddharth Anand’s Ta Ra Rum Pum starring Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukherjee. He also wrote Band Baaja Baaraat which was released in late 2010.

And Habib Tanvir was one of the most popular Indian Urdu, Hindi playwrights, a theatre director, poet and actor. He is the writer of plays such as, Agra Bazar (1954) and Charandas Chor (1975). A pioneer in Urdu, Hindi theatre, he is most known for his work with Chhattisgarhi tribals, at the Naya Theatre, a theatre company he founded in 1959 in Bhopal, and went on to include indigenous performance forms such as nacha, to create not only a new theatrical language, but also milestones such as Charandas Chor, Gaon ka Naam Sasural, Mor Naam Damad and Kamdeo ka Apna Basant Ritu ka Sapna.