We begin with the name of Allah:
We seek help from Allah by calling upon Him.
Shirk is the opposite of this; people seek help of those other than Allah.
When we say بسم الله, Shaitan loses any control or power over us. Remembrance of Allah should fuel our every step forward in this life.
الرحمن: The Most Merciful
الرحيم: The Mercy-Giving
These are the two names & attributes of Allah.
بِسْم الله الرحمن الرحيم is at the start of every chapter in the Quran, and is part of two Surahs separately as verses: Surah al-Fatihah, and Surah an-Naml. The only chapter of the Quran which does not begin with بِسْم الله is Surah at-Tawbah.
الحمد is all Praise which belongs to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.
رب is another name and attribute of Allah mentioned in this chapter and it means the Master, the Owner, and the King.
The Most Merciful’s -الرحمن- Mercy surrounds everything and everyone in this universe, no exceptions. The Mercy-Giving -الرحيم- is exclusively for the believers, both in this world and the next.
مالك يوم الدين is the Sole Owner of the Day of Judgment who’ll bring the entire creation to account for their actions in the worldly life. So all that is not settled today shall be settled tomorrow in the presence of our Lord, and His witnesses.
It is Allah alone we worship and pray to, and it is Allah alone we seek refuge in from the trials of this worldly life. We ask Allah to guide us to the right path which has many benefits including:
•Being counted among the ranks of the righteous people,
•turning to Him collectively as believers (the prayer says, “Guide us..”, and not, “Guide me alone..”,
•showing solidarity with the believers of the past, present, and the future because our Lord is One.
We ask Allah to guide us along the straight way, upon which the prophets, the truthful ones, the martyrs, and the righteous people walked previously.- that is the path favoured by the Lord.
We also seek refuge in the Lord and beseech Him to protect us from the path of all those who incurred His wrath due to their arrogance, and the path of all those who were led astray due to ignorance.
In a Hadith Qudsi, Allah says:
“I have divided prayer between Myself and my servant into two halves, and My servant shall have what he has asked for..”
-part of the narration from the Book of Salah in Sahih Muslim
“..قَالَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى قَسَمْتُ الصَّلَاةَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ عَبْدِي نِصْفَيْنِ وَلِعَبْدِي مَا سَأَلَ..”
جزء من الحديث القدسي في كتاب الصلاة من صحيح مسلم