I asked my father a question, and he referred me to this site. I want to congratulate you on this very noble and useful effort.
As I recall, When The Holy Prophet (PBUH) came to Medina, He found that the date farmers use to graft their crop. He advised them against this. At the end of the year, the farmers came to him with the complaint that the yield was bad, and the Prophet answered by saying that he had only expressed his opinion, and that he was human like all of them.
I want to know whether this Hadith is authentic or not. I Intend to use this argument in an upcoming debate ” The greatest person of this Millenium” And I am arguing for Our Holy Prophet, so I’ll need substantiable references too as to where I can find this Hadith in wirting.
Please as time is short, reply to me by email too.
The referred narrative is reported by Ima’m Muslim in his “Sahih” (Kitab al-Fadha’il). Unfortunately, I only have Arabic texts of the narratives and am, therefore not in a position to give the number of the Hadith, as per any translations. I am therefore giving the complete text and translation of the narrative. Muslim reports:
حَدَّثَنِي رَافِعُ بْنُ خَدِيجٍ، قَالَ قَدِمَ نَبِيُّ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْمَدِينَةَ وَهُمْ يَأْبُرُونَ النَّخْلَ يَقُولُونَ يُلَقِّحُونَ النَّخْلَ فَقَالَ ” مَا تَصْنَعُونَ ” . قَالُوا كُنَّا نَصْنَعُهُ قَالَ ” لَعَلَّكُمْ لَوْ لَمْ تَفْعَلُوا كَانَ خَيْرًا ” . فَتَرَكُوهُ فَنَفَضَتْ أَوْ فَنَقَصَتْ – قَالَ – فَذَكَرُوا ذَلِكَ لَهُ فَقَالَ ” إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ إِذَا أَمَرْتُكُمْ بِشَىْءٍ مِنْ دِينِكُمْ فَخُذُوا بِهِ وَإِذَا أَمَرْتُكُمْ بِشَىْءٍ مِنْ رَأْىٍ فَإِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ ” . قَالَ عِكْرِمَةُ أَوْ نَحْوَ هَذَا . قَالَ الْمَعْقِرِيُّ فَنَفَضَتْ . وَلَمْ يَشُكَّ. (المسلم، باب وجوب امتثال ما قاله شرعا دون ما ذكره من معايش الدنيا على سبيل الرأي، رقم الحديث ٥٨٣١)
… Rafi` ibn Khudaij reports that when the Prophet (pbuh) arrived in Medinah, the Medinans used to pollinate the date trees. The Prophet (pbuh) asked them: What is it that you are doing? They said: We have being doing it [since long]. The Prophet (pbuh) said: [I think] it would be better if you do it not. So they stopped doing it, which spoiled the dates. They mentioned this to the Prophet (pbuh). He said: I am only a human being. When I give directions in matters of your deen (religion), you should follow them and when I tell you something on my own (that is when I express my opinion), [you should consider them and take your own decisions]. I am but a human being [I am not aware of everything].” (Muslim, Kitaab al-Fadhaail, Narrative No. 5831)
I hope this helps.
2nd March 1999