The only Hadith we are to uphold as a source of law for our religion is the Quran alone. People who recognize this truth do not put any weight on any Hadith besides the Quran. However, when we talk to people who still ascribe to such narratives, it may be beneficial to show the examples in their own Hadith literature where the prophet reprimanded his followers for following his actions or words. Below are a couple examples.

Additional Prayers

In the below narration, the prophet reprimanded people for following his actions in additional Salat because he thought that it would become obligatory upon them if they did.

Narrated `Aisha the mother of the faithful believers: One night Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) offered the prayer in the Mosque and the people followed him. The next night he also offered the prayer and too many people gathered. On the third and the fourth nights more people gathered, but Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) did not come out to them. In the morning he said, “I saw what you were doing and nothing but the fear that it might be enjoined on you stopped me from coming to you.” And that happened in the month of Ramadan.

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ يُوسُفَ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا مَالِكٌ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ عُرْوَةَ بْنِ الزُّبَيْرِ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ أُمِّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ـ رضى الله عنها أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم صَلَّى ذَاتَ لَيْلَةٍ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ فَصَلَّى بِصَلاَتِهِ نَاسٌ، ثُمَّ صَلَّى مِنَ الْقَابِلَةِ فَكَثُرَ النَّاسُ، ثُمَّ اجْتَمَعُوا مِنَ اللَّيْلَةِ الثَّالِثَةِ أَوِ الرَّابِعَةِ، فَلَمْ يَخْرُجْ إِلَيْهِمْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم، فَلَمَّا أَصْبَحَ قَالَ ‏ “‏ قَدْ رَأَيْتُ الَّذِي صَنَعْتُمْ وَلَمْ يَمْنَعْنِي مِنَ الْخُرُوجِ إِلَيْكُمْ إِلاَّ أَنِّي خَشِيتُ أَنْ تُفْرَضَ عَلَيْكُمْ ‏”‏، وَذَلِكَ فِي رَمَضَانَ‏.‏

Sahih al-Bukhari 1129
https://sunnah.com/bukhari:1129

Fasting Al-Wisal

The following example not only claims that Muhammad did not require food or drink like normal humans, but he also forbade his people from fasting like he was claimed to have done.

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said (to his companions), “Do not fast Al-Wisal.” They said, “But you fast Al-Wisail.” He said, “I am not like you, for at night my Lord feeds me and makes me drink.” But the people did not give up Al-Wisal, so the Prophet (ﷺ) fasted Al-Wisal with them for two days or two nights, and then they saw the crescent whereupon the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “If the crescent had delayed, I would have continued fasting (because of you),” as if he wanted to vanquish them completely (because they had refused to give up Al Wisal).

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا هِشَامٌ، أَخْبَرَنَا مَعْمَرٌ، عَنِ الزُّهْرِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ لاَ تُوَاصِلُوا ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالُوا إِنَّكَ تُوَاصِلُ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ إِنِّي لَسْتُ مِثْلَكُمْ، إِنِّي أَبِيتُ يُطْعِمُنِي رَبِّي وَيَسْقِينِي ‏”‏‏.‏ فَلَمْ يَنْتَهُوا عَنِ الْوِصَالِ ـ قَالَ ـ فَوَاصَلَ بِهِمُ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَوْمَيْنِ أَوْ لَيْلَتَيْنِ، ثُمَّ رَأَوُا الْهِلاَلَ فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ لَوْ تَأَخَّرَ الْهِلاَلُ لَزِدْتُكُمْ ‏”‏‏.‏ كَالْمُنَكِّلِ لَهُمْ‏.‏

Sahih al-Bukhari 7299
https://sunnah.com/bukhari:7299

It is worth pointing out that the Quran specifies that all humans, including messengers, required food for their bodies.

[25:20] We did not send any messengers before you who did not eat food and walk in the markets. We thus test you by each other; will you steadfastly persevere? Your Lord is Seer.

 وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ إِلَّا إِنَّهُمْ لَيَأْكُلُونَ الطَّعَامَ وَيَمْشُونَ فِي الْأَسْوَاقِ وَجَعَلْنَا بَعْضَكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ فِتْنَةً أَتَصْبِرُونَ وَكَانَ رَبُّكَ بَصِيرًا

Don’t Follow Muhammad’s Opinion

In this example, the Hadith literature clearly states that Muhammad advised that his statements should not always be followed.

Musa b. Talha reported: I and Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) happened to pass by people near the date-palm trees. He (the Holy Prophet) said: What are these people doing? They said: They are grafting, i. e. they combine the male with the female (tree) and thus they yield more fruit. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: I do not find it to be of any use. The people were informed about it and they abandoned this practice. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) (was later) on informed (that the yield had dwindled), whereupon he said: If there is any use of it, then they should do it, for it was just a personal opinion of mine, and do not go after my personal opinion; but when I say to you anything on behalf of Allah, then do accept it, for I do not attribute lie to Allah, the Exalted and Glorious.

حَدَّثَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ الثَّقَفِيُّ، وَأَبُو كَامِلٍ الْجَحْدَرِيُّ – وَتَقَارَبَا فِي اللَّفْظِ وَهَذَا حَدِيثُ قُتَيْبَةَ – قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَوَانَةَ عَنْ سِمَاكٍ عَنْ مُوسَى بْنِ طَلْحَةَ عَنْ أَبِيهِ قَالَ مَرَرْتُ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِقَوْمٍ عَلَى رُءُوسِ النَّخْلِ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ مَا يَصْنَعُ هَؤُلاَءِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالُوا يُلَقِّحُونَهُ يَجْعَلُونَ الذَّكَرَ فِي الأُنْثَى فَيَلْقَحُ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ مَا أَظُنُّ يُغْنِي ذَلِكَ شَيْئًا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَأُخْبِرُوا بِذَلِكَ فَتَرَكُوهُ فَأُخْبِرَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِذَلِكَ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ إِنْ كَانَ يَنْفَعُهُمْ ذَلِكَ فَلْيَصْنَعُوهُ فَإِنِّي إِنَّمَا ظَنَنْتُ ظَنًّا فَلاَ تُؤَاخِذُونِي بِالظَّنِّ وَلَكِنْ إِذَا حَدَّثْتُكُمْ عَنِ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا فَخُذُوا بِهِ فَإِنِّي لَنْ أَكْذِبَ عَلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Sahih Muslim 2361
https://sunnah.com/muslim:2361

Rafi’ b. Khadij reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) came to Medina and the people had been grafting the trees. He said: What are you doing? They said: We are grafting them, whereupon he said: It may perhaps be good for you if you do not do that, so they abandoned this practice (and the date-palms) began to yield less fruit. They made a mention of it (to the Holy Prophet), whereupon he said: I am a human being, so when I command you about a thing pertaining to religion, do accept it, and when I command you about a thing out of my personal opinion, keep it in mind that I am a human being. ‘Ikrima reported that he said something like this.

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ الرُّومِيِّ الْيَمَامِيُّ، وَعَبَّاسُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْعَظِيمِ الْعَنْبَرِيُّ، وَأَحْمَدُ بْنُ، جَعْفَرٍ الْمَعْقِرِيُّ قَالُوا حَدَّثَنَا النَّضْرُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عِكْرِمَةُ، – وَهُوَ ابْنُ عَمَّارٍ – حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو النَّجَاشِيِّ، 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 ‏.‏

Sahih Muslim 2362
https://sunnah.com/muslim:2362

Maroof

The following Hadith literature states that obedience is only obligatory if the command is according to the Book of Allah and that if it is Maroof, what is recognized as good and righteous. In the example below, the prophet assigned someone to be a commander, therefore, giving this person authority over their platoon. Yet, the Hadith states that the people were told to renounce Muhammad’s designation if the commander is not leading according to the Book of God and if his orders are not “maroof” ( الْمَعْرُوفِ ) what is universally recognized as good and righteous.

It has been narrated on the authority of Yahya b. Husain who learnt the tradition from his grandmother. Umm Husain. He said’: I heard her say: I performed Hajjat-ul-Wada’ in the company of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). He said a lot of things (on this occasion). Then I heard him say: If a maimed slave is appointed a commander over you the narrator says: I think she said: ” a black stave” who leads you according to the Book of Allah, then listen to him and obey him.

وَحَدَّثَنِي سَلَمَةُ بْنُ شَبِيبٍ، حَدَّثَنَا الْحَسَنُ بْنُ أَعْيَنَ، حَدَّثَنَا مَعْقِلٌ، عَنْ زَيْدِ بْنِ أَبِي، أُنَيْسَةَ عَنْ يَحْيَى بْنِ حُصَيْنٍ، عَنْ جَدَّتِهِ أُمِّ الْحُصَيْنِ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُهَا تَقُولُ، حَجَجْتُ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم حَجَّةَ الْوَدَاعِ – قَالَتْ – فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَوْلاً كَثِيرًا ثُمَّ سَمِعْتُهُ يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ إِنْ أُمِّرَ عَلَيْكُمْ عَبْدٌ مُجَدَّعٌ – حَسِبْتُهَا قَالَتْ – أَسْوَدُ يَقُودُكُمْ بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ فَاسْمَعُوا لَهُ وَأَطِيعُوا ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Sahih Muslim 1838e
https://sunnah.com/muslim:1838e

It has been narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: It is obligatory upon a Muslim that he should listen (to the ruler appointed over him) and obey him whether he likes it or not, except that he is ordered to do a sinful thing. If he is ordered to do a sinful act, a Muslim should neither listen to him nor should he obey his orders.

حَدَّثَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا لَيْثٌ، عَنْ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ، عَنْ نَافِعٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهُ قَالَ ‏ “‏ عَلَى الْمَرْءِ الْمُسْلِمِ السَّمْعُ وَالطَّاعَةُ فِيمَا أَحَبَّ وَكَرِهَ إِلاَّ أَنْ يُؤْمَرَ بِمَعْصِيَةٍ فَإِنْ أُمِرَ بِمَعْصِيَةٍ فَلاَ سَمْعَ وَلاَ طَاعَةَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Sahih Muslim 1839a
https://sunnah.com/muslim:1839a

It has been narrated on the authority of ‘All who said: The Mersenger of Allah (ﷺ) sent an expeditionand appointed over the Mujahids a man from the Ansar. (While making the appointment), he ordered that his work should be listened to and obeyed. They made him angry in a matter. He said: Collect for me dry wood. They collected it for him. Then he said: Kindle a fire. They kindled (the fire). Then he said: Didn’t the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) order you to listen to me and obey (my orders)? They said: Yes. He said: Enter the fire. The narrator says: (At this), they began to look at one another and said: We fled from the fire to (find refuge with) the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) (and now you order us to enter it). They stood quiet until his anger cooled down and the fire went out. When they returned, they related the incident to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). He said: If they had entered it, they would not have come out. Obedience (to the commander) is obligatory only in what is good.

وَحَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ نُمَيْرٍ، وَزُهَيْرُ بْنُ حَرْبٍ، وَأَبُو سَعِيدٍ الأَشَجُّ – وَتَقَارَبُوا فِي اللَّفْظِ – قَالُوا حَدَّثَنَا وَكِيعٌ، حَدَّثَنَا الأَعْمَشُ، عَنْ سَعْدِ بْنِ عُبَيْدَةَ، عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، عَنْ عَلِيٍّ، قَالَ بَعَثَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم سَرِيَّةً وَاسْتَعْمَلَ عَلَيْهِمْ رَجُلاً مِنَ الأَنْصَارِ وَأَمَرَهُمْ أَنْ يَسْمَعُوا لَهُ وَيُطِيعُوا فَأَغْضَبُوهُ فِي شَىْءٍ فَقَالَ اجْمَعُوا لِي حَطَبًا ‏.‏ فَجَمَعُوا لَهُ ثُمَّ قَالَ أَوْقِدُوا نَارًا ‏.‏ فَأَوْقَدُوا ثُمَّ قَالَ أَلَمْ يَأْمُرْكُمْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنْ تَسْمَعُوا لِي وَتُطِيعُوا قَالُوا بَلَى ‏.‏ قَالَ فَادْخُلُوهَا ‏.‏ قَالَ فَنَظَرَ بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَى بَعْضٍ فَقَالُوا إِنَّمَا فَرَرْنَا إِلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مِنَ النَّارِ ‏.‏ فَكَانُوا كَذَلِكَ وَسَكَنَ غَضَبُهُ وَطُفِئَتِ النَّارُ فَلَمَّا رَجَعُوا ذَكَرُوا ذَلِكَ لِلنَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ لَوْ دَخَلُوهَا مَا خَرَجُوا مِنْهَا إِنَّمَا الطَّاعَةُ فِي الْمَعْرُوفِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Sahih Muslim 1840b
https://sunnah.com/muslim:1840b

The Quran tells us that the obeying of even the messenger is conditional. That we are only to obey him in righteous orders. This means if someone attributes a saying to the prophet, if the commandment is not righteous, it must be rejected.

[60:12] O you prophet, when the believing women (who abandoned the disbelievers) to seek asylum with you pledge to you that they will not set up any idols besides GOD, nor steal, nor commit adultery, nor kill their children, nor fabricate any falsehood, nor disobey you in righteous orders ( مَعْرُوفٍ ), you shall accept their pledge, and pray to GOD to forgive them. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

 يَاأَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِذَا جَاءَكَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتُ يُبَايِعْنَكَ عَلَىٰ أَنْ لَا يُشْرِكْنَ بِاللَّهِ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَسْرِقْنَ وَلَا يَزْنِينَ وَلَا يَقْتُلْنَ أَوْلَادَهُنَّ وَلَا يَأْتِينَ بِبُهْتَانٍ يَفْتَرِينَهُ بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِنَّ وَأَرْجُلِهِنَّ وَلَا يَعْصِينَكَ فِي مَعْرُوفٍ فَبَايِعْهُنَّ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُنَّ اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

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