In the Name of Allah, the Infinitely Compassionate, Most Merciful.
the Sustainer of all worlds,
the Infintely Compassionate and Most Merciful,
Sovereign of the Day of Reckoning.
You alone do we worship
and you alone do we ask for help.
Guide us on the straight path;
the path of those who have recieved Your favour,
not the path of those who have earned Your wrath,
nor of those who have gone astray.
This is the first chapter of the Qur'an known as "al-fatiha" - the opening. The prophet called this chapter (surah) "the mother of the book".
It is a summary of the principles of the Qur'an. The first and foremost - highlighted in every single verse is the Divine Unity and Sovereignity. Showing that Allah is the only Power who can guide and bring success. The One to whom man is answerable on the "day of reckoning", thus comes the plea for guidance and a sense of continuity from being on the "path of those who have recieved" God's "favour."
Finally it highlights the essence of a being a "Muslim", the need for voluntary self-surrender to God for guidance and protection from misguidance. Formulated in the form of a prayer so it ought to be oft-repeated and contemplated.
Thus opens the Qur'an a prayer for guidance to the Lord of the Worlds... the response comes in the form of the rest of the Qur'an.