¡ Ḥā. Mīm.
1 Ghāfir is the first in a series of seven sūrahs that open with the Arabic letters ḥāʾ and mīm and are referred to collectively as the Ḥawāmīm. The Arabic letters ḥāʾ and mīm are among the separated letters (al-muqaṭṭaʿāt) that are found at the beginning of twenty-nine sūrahs and whose meaning is considered to be known only to God; see 2:1c. Some commentators connect all of the sūrahs that begin with ḥāʾ mīm to 39:63 —to Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth—and suggest that ḥāʾ mīm is a name for the keys of God’s treasuries (Q). Connecting ḥāʾ mīm to the separated letters at the beginning of other sūrahs, other commentators suggest that the letters alif lām rāʾ (a-l-r; 10:1; 11:1; 12:1; 13:1, 14:1; 15:1), ḥāʾ mīm (ḥ-m), and nūn (n; 68:1) combine to make the Divine Name al-Raḥmān, “the Compassionate” (Q). In this same vein, some suggest that each letter stands for a Divine Name that begins with that letter, such as, for
the letter ḥāʾ, al-Ḥamīd, “the Praised,” al-Ḥalīm, “the Clement,” and al-Ḥakīm, “The Wise,” and for the letter mīm, Mālik, “the Sovereign,” al-Majīd, “the Illustrious,” and al-Mutakabbir, “the Proud” (Q). Others say that ḥāʾ mīm is a name of the Quran (Q) or of this sūrah (R).