You mentioned in one of your articles that the prophet(SAW) was infallible in matters of religion, however you mentioned that he (SAW) could make mistakes in worldy matters. Where do you make the distinction when the Prophet(SAW)refers religious matters or worldly matters when there is no separation in islam between the profane and the sacred? And what if the Prophet (SAW) gave a ‘personal’ opinion about a religious matter which could be a mistake?
Islam deals with the moral and spiritual guidance of humanity; therefore, the separation of what is profane and sacred are related to religion. Worldly matters are an altogether different thing. For example:
Narrated Um Salama: The Prophet said, “I am only a human being, and you people have disputes. May be some one amongst you can present his case in a more eloquent and convincing manner than the other, and I give my judgment in his favor according to what I hear. Beware! If ever I give (by error) somebody something of his brother’s right then he should not take it as I have only, given him a piece of Fire.” – Sahih Bukhari
The distinction is fairly simple: the mundane versus the spiritual. Of course, in some instances these aspects may intermix in one way or the other but generally speaking there is a difference. The Prophet (pbuh) – when teaching the religion – was clear on what was religious and what was not. This is exemplified in the hadith noted above. As to his personal opinion, it never entered the religion. If he did or said something that needed correction then God rectified it with explicit verses.
God forgive you [Prophet], why [would you] grant them leave before it was [clearly] apparent to you who was truthful and [as a result] you [could] determine who were the liars? – Al Tawbah 9:43
If such verses reveal that the Prophet was redressed on various aspects of his mission we could rest assured that the revelation (Qur’an and Sunnah) is the determining factor for what is religion and what is not and that no other element may infringe upon this. The Prophet was a human being who functioned as such within the environment and circumstances that was his existence. As a Messenger of God, he was divinely inspired and guarded from anything distorting that message.
Tell them [O Prophet,]: ‘I am not aware of whether the punishment that you are being warned against is close at hand or my Lord will allow some time before it. [This information relates to the ghayb – i.e., the hidden. He is] Aware of this ghayb and He does not reveal this ghayb to anyone. As for those, whom He selects as messengers, [they are not allowed to say anything regarding the timing of the implementation of this punishment, of their own accord] because He guards them from the front and from behind, to ascertain that they have delivered the messages of their Lord and He keeps a strict control over whatever is with them [in their surroundings] and keeps a strict count of all things’.As for the messengers whom He has chosen, He guards them from the front and from behind to make sure that they have delivered the messages of their Lord. – Al Jinn 72:27-28
I hope this helps.
God knows best.