Meaning of ‘Association’
God has set the Quran apart through its distinct arrangement, style and structural unity, as well as through its contents, the ease with which it can be memorized, its impact, and the inability of its contemporaries, or anyone else for that matter, to meet the challenge to produce something comparable to it. He has declared the Quran above doubt and suspicion, free of contradiction and, hence, of indisputable reliability, its verses clear and unambiguous. The Quran's authenticity does not depend, nor should it depend, on any narrative, however well-attested it might happen to be. Its definitive certainty is founded on the fact that it is the speech of God to which no falsehood can gain access in any way whatsoever. The Prophet received it through Gabriel, and as he began reciting it to others at God's command, he inspired in them the desire to memorize and recite it, to teach it and circulate it both orally and in writing. Yet it was God who undertook to gather it together in the Prophet's mind, causing him to recite it properly, making its meanings clear, and preserving it.
The things the Prophet (peace be upon him) said and did, he said and did in response to specific situations that arose in people's daily lives; none of them occurred in a vacuum. Hence, they were necessarily tied to practical situations of one sort or another. This is one of the most significant aspects of the distinction that must be made between the Quranic text, which for the most part contains universal principles, and the ‘'prophetic text,' which issued for the most part from concrete, changing circumstances.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) pointed three times towards his chest and said, "Taqwa (piety) is here".[Muslim]
One might be deceived by searching for taqwa of a person by looking at the way he dresses, or in his countenance and shape, or in his external appearance. But the true centre and source of taqwa is within his chest - in his qalb. The Prophet has drawn our attention with emphasis towards this key point by pointing towards his chest three times.
Humility was an obvious characteristic of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Perhaps nothing shows his humility better than the choice he was given by God at an early stage of his prophethood. Abu Hurayrah reports that:
The Prophet was sitting with the angel Gabriel when he looked up into the sky and saw another angel descending. Gabriel said to the Prophet: "This is the first time this angel has ever come down since he was created." The angel said: "Muhammad, your Lord has sent me to give you a choice: shall He make you a king and a Prophet, or a servant of His and a Messenger?" Gabriel signalled him to be humble before his Lord. The Prophet said: "I prefer to be a servant of God and His Messenger." (Related by Ahmad.)