This is one of most frequently abused Arabic phrase used in our daily lives by almost all the “muslims” throughout the world. I used the word 'abused' because unfortunately this word is used as a ritual before undertaking any new task just as "la ilaha ilalah" used for baptizing a new born child into the "muslim" fold. No doubt BismilahiRehmaniRahim contains a magical formula for the one who understands its true spirit and implements it in their daily routine work. If the essence of this phrase is understood and followed religiously, it can add wonders to our work and there will be no failure, but only success.
It is important to know our system of consciousness [Allah] before indulging in any task. Suppose you eat cyanide simply by uttering Bismi allah ir Rehman ir Rahim without identifying its characteristics; the System of Consciousness (Allah) will not be Rehman and Rahim. If we fail to identify our system and the system of cyanide then the Allah will be dangerously conquering or overpowering (Qahar) for us.. Similarly without knowing how to drive a car, one attempts to drive by just uttering the phrase Bismi allahir Rehman nir Rahim will it be Beneficent and Merciful ? Again the answer is NO. The entire message of Harmony and Peace (Islam) revolves around the term Allah (System of Consciousness) and if we don't understand the essence of the Allah we shall not understand anything. We won't be obeying or respecting anything and we will not be able to learn anything. Serving Allah without identifying or recognizing it is tantamount to blind or idol worship. In short we will not progress or succeed unless we understand or identify or be aware of the all important term Allah. I have discussed the term Allah in detail in Surah Ikhlaas.
ALLAH - The System of Consciousness.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
AL-REHMAN - الرَّحْمَٰنِ refers to the vastness of nature’s unprejudiced motherly nourishment to its children evolving in the womb of vast Nature or evolving in an evolutionary cycle. Rehman is Giver or Manifestation of Knowledge, Guidance
AL-RAHEEM - الرَّحِيمِ refers to its effect of His evolutionary process works only on those who grasp its teaching, guidance and follow it. Raheem is the degree which is given by the Rehman to its qualified deserving candidates. Its an effect of Rehman's Rehmat. Whenever the word al-Rahman and derivatives occur in the book Quran it signifies guidance and knowledge.
Rehman is the Possessor of vast knowledge plus Educator that guides / directs / teaches / compiles the evolution process (rehmat) through Quran (not the book of 114 chapters, and al-Raheem is the Owner of Rehmat (natural guidance) just like A Hakeem is the owner of Hikmat AND WORKS OR LEAVES AN EFFECT LIKE HAKEEM ON US.
I AM NOT THAT MUCH KNOWLEDGEABLE TO DESCRIBE OR DEFINE THE VERY DEEP MEANING OF REHMAN AND RAHIM
IF WE DON'T UNDERSTAND THE SYSTEM (ALLAH) WHICH IS BASED ON CAUSE AND EFFECT, WE WILL SUFFER TREMENDOUSLY FOR FOLLOWING ALLAH BLINDLY. IN OTHER WORDS WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND ALLAH BECAUSE - WHAT YOU SOW, SO SHALL YOU REAP.
THE SYSTEM (ALLAH) DOES NOT WORK ACCORDING TO OUR WHIMS AND FANCIES OR BY PERFORMING SENSELESS RITUALS TO PLEASE GOD. BUT BY IDENTIFYING THE SYSTEM AND ACCORDINGLY UNDERSTANDING ITS NEEDS, HELPS US TO SERVE (IBADAT) ALLAH IN A BETTER WAY.
BLINDLY FOLLOWING OR SERVING ALLAH WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING IT WILL LEAD US TO A STATE OF STAGNATION (JAHANNUM). AND THIS TANTAMOUNTS TO IDOL WORSHIP.