Al-Fatiha (The Opening) - Chapter 1: Verse 1
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful."
This verse is not a simple statement of fact nor does it merely convey information. It is, like surah al-Fatiha, a prayer and a supplication that depicts the state of mind of a sensible, morally alert person as he or she sets out on any worthwhile undertaking. It is the natural yearning of human nature which the revelation has couched in words of incomparable beauty. One cannot think of any other combination of words to match the beauty of Bismillahi-r Rahmani-r Rahim and which so adequately articulates our innate human need and emotions.
When a person consciously and sincerely calls upon Allah's help in these words, he is first and foremost warned that whatever he intends to do must accord with Allah's will and correspond to His command; it must not contravene His will and law. When supplicating to Allah in these words, a person uses two of His most important and beautiful names or attributes: ar-Rahman and ar-Rahim. An appeal to Allah's grace and mercy ensures that Allah will bless the supplicant and aid him in making his works flourish. If there are deficiencies in carrying out a task, Allah will save him from any harmful consequences and enable him to accomplish it successfully. He will save him from the guile of Satan and make his efforts beneficial for him in this life and a means of winning His pleasure in the life Hereafter. Any undertaking not accompanied by the supplication Bismillahi-r Rahmani-r Rahim is therefore quite understandably deprived of all these advantages and blessings.
"Pondering Over The Qur'an: Surah al-Fatiha and Surah al-Baqarah" - Amin Ahsan Islahi