Peace and infinite blessings dear,
You pose magnificent questions, and I’m glad your inquiries are so deep rooted in complexity and reflection.
One of the key ideas that Muslims tend to disagree on is this notion of infallibility. In fact, one of my friends Luis has asked me something regarding this notion, and I hope I can clarify it for both you and him. And when I do, it will most definitely help you further understand Muhammad’s character inshaAllah.
Technically, infallibility implies that an entity – or a person – has the potential of making “mistakes,” but doesn’t necessarily make them. The reason why many Muslims believe that Muhammad (or perhaps, even particular individuals in Muhammad’s family) is an infallible character is because this concept helps preserve and protect the message of Quran as well as the deliverer of Quran, which many find extremely important.
But this notion of “mistakes” in the religion of Islam, or in light of Quranic Text, is not the way in which we necessarily perceive it to be today. We have this very odd way of understanding sin and mistakes, and I’d like to further clarify why it’s so important that we thoroughly define this idea of making mistakes so that we can come to an agreement regarding Muhammad and his character.
When or if you notice (in surah Naml) the way in which Moses begs before God to forgive him after having done an incident that made him asses that “he has wronged his own soul” (sidenote: you can find further details regarding this scenario on the second page of surah Naml), we notice how Allah responds to his request and forgives him. Later on in the surah, Allah “whitens” the soul of Moses by depleting any sense of injustice or wrongdoing that resides in his guilty conscious. After articulating this whole idea of making mistakes, I’ve come to recognize that Muhammad, just like Moses of Abraham or Noah, are human beings that “make mistakes,” but also quite don’t.
To sum it up, the fact that one recognizes a “good” decision over a decision that is “bad” is a part of the mechanism associated with taqwa. When one recognizes that he or she has executed a decision that did not turn out well (because of that guilt feeling we feel deep inside, which is part of our fitra, or natural instinct) and afterward ask Allah for forgiveness, this decision no longer becomes a scab that holds a weight of faulty-ness on our nafs. But when one makes a decision that is displeasing to his/her soul (and one will recognize those actions or decisions that cause that feeling) but is too proud to recognize the “mistake,” it becomes understood as a “thulm,” or wrongdoing (but not because we have made the mistake, but because we have failed to recognize that without calling to Allah for guidance and forgiveness, it becomes a burden on our soul).
Hence, to answer your question, I believe the reason why Muhammad – just like other Prophets mentioned in the Quran – is so successful and wise in the sight of Allah is because they recognize when it is they feel that have “wronged their own soul” (which is a humble way of saying, Allah, take the wheel, for I am not a perfect entity like You). And when they do good and justice, they thank Allah with much revere-ness.
Therefore, I wouldnt argue the idea that Muhammad has acted or spoken contradictory to the Quran; for if he had, he wouldn’t have been sent to his people “as a warner, or a mercy.” With regards to hadith, if there are any narrations that would argue otherwise, I would humbly suggest to leave them to the side, for Quran is our primary source (in that hadith must compliment the principles of Quran, not the other way around).
God bless. – Dee.