THE FIRST CHAPTER OF THE QURAAN
The name of the chapter means 'The Opener', but has a lot of other meanings as well.
'The Opener' as it is the opening chapter of the Quraan, and secondly the daily formal prayers begin with the recitation of this chapter. Here it is:
In the name of ALLAH, the Gracious, the Merciful.
All praise is due to ALLAH alone, Lord of all the worlds.
The Gracious, the Merciful.
Master of the Day of Judgment.
You alone do we worship and You alone do we implore for help.
Guide us in the straight path,
The path of those on whom You have bestowed Your favours, those who have not incurred Your displeasure and those who have not gone astray.
These are the words that the Almighty God has begun His final Book with, introducing Himself first, and note there that His first introduction to us is His being the MOST Merciful. We know that God gets angry and punishes too, but like at one point God told the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that His mercy overcomes His anger.
And as a sign of His mercy He Himself teaches us what is the best thing to ask Him for, and the best way to ask for it, and that is, guidance to live this life in the best manner, in a manner that pleases Him, and in turn get the favours and rewards that He has kept for us.
Now when we are really seeking this guidance, and go on to begin reading rest of the Quraan, God opens the doors of guidance for us. It opens our heart for what is to come ahead, and that guidance is only for those who truely are looking and searching for it and are open to it, shunning their preconceptions, and keeping any prejudice they have, aside.
May God guide us all, Aameen!
Above is what I understood at my Quraan class, there have been volumes written explaining the depths of this first chapter of the Quraan. Plz see a detailed explanation of AlFatiha by IBN KAHEER
or Download the explanation of the whole Quraan@ Tafsir Ibn Kaheer Downloadable