In the name of god, the most gracious, The dispenser of grace: (1)

1 - According to most of the authorities, this invocation (which occurs at the beginning of every surah with the exception of surah 9) constitutes an integral part of "The Opening" and is, therefore, numbered as verse I. In all other instances, the invocation "in the name of God" precedes the surah as such, and is not counted among its verses. - Both the divine epithets rahman and rahrm are derived from the noun rahmah, which signifies "mercy", "compassion", "loving tenderness" and, more comprehensively, "grace". From the very earliest times, Islamic scholars have endeavoured to define the exact shades of meaning which differentiate the two terms. The best and simplest of these explanations is undoubtedly the one advanced by Ibn al-Qayyim (as quoted in Mandr I, 48): the term rahman circumscribes the quality of abounding grace inherent in, and inseparable from, the concept of God's Being, whereas rahrm expresses the manifestation of that grace in, and its effect upon, His creation-in other words, an aspect of His activity.

AS REPORTED in a great number of authentic Traditions, the Prophet was wont to describe this suruh as "equivalent to one-third of the whole Qur'an" (Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Hanbal, Abu Da'ud, Nasa'i, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah). It seems to have been revealed in the early part of the Mecca period.
1. SAY: "He is the One God:
2. "God the Eternal, the Uncaused Cause of All Being. (1)

1 - This rendering gives no more than an approximate meaning of the term as-samad, which occurs in the Qur'an only once, and is applied to God alone. It comprises the concepts of Primary Cause and eternal, independent Being, combined with the idea that everything existing or conceivable goes back to Him as its source and is therefore, dependent on Him for its beginning as well as for its continued existence.

3. "He begets not, and neither is He begotten;
4. "and there is nothing that could be compared with Him. (2)

2 - Cf. note 2 on 89:3, as well as surah 19, note 77. The fact that God is one and unique in every respect, without beginning and without end, has its logical correlate in the statement that "there is nothing that could be compared with Him" - thus precluding any possibility of describing or defining Him (see note 88 on the last sentence of 6:100). Consequently, the quality of His Being is beyond the range of human comprehension or imagination: which also explains why any attempt at "depicting" God by means of figurative representations or even abstract symbols must be qualified as a blasphemous denial of the truth.