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Shaykh Faraz Rabbani from SeekersHub addresses this question in the video below. This question is answered until roughly minute 11:50.
“How do you understand God correcting the Prophet in the Quran if the Prophet doesn’t make mistakes?”
Sh. Faraz Rabbani:
“How do we understand Allah correcting the Prophet?
Simply put, corrections are not only of mistakes. Because things are not just binary: things aren’t just right and wrong; good decision, bad decision. Sometimes there are degrees of choices.
And in each of the situations where the Prophet was corrected by Allah, it was not a case of right and wrong; but rather it was a case of Allah directing the Prophets to what was not just better but even better.
So, for example, the surah—whose very title is ‘Abassa—that begins with a correction of the Prophet, so to speak.
Allah says: “He frowned and turned away when the blind man came to him.” [Quran 80:1-10, summarized]
So, did he do something wrong? No. Rather, the Prophet made a good choice, a rational choice, a considered and beneficial choice: that he had been talking to some people who were disbelievers and they were not listening. He was hopeful that they would listen and be guided from disbelief to belief.
The blind man who came—Sayyidouna Abdullah ibn Maktoum, [may Allah be pleased with him] one of the blind companions—was already a believer.
And where is there a greater obvious benefit? By the standards of benefit and harm and consideration on the degrees of benefit—between taking someone from disbelief to belief, from damnation to salvation—or from taking someone from high degree of faith righteousness and virtue to a higher degree of faith righteousness and virtue?
The choice of the Prophet was a sound choice.
However, Allah corrected it, not because the Prophet was wrong, but that there is a yet higher consideration than the obvious or even than the considered choice, which Allah explains in the verses that come after. This benefit–the subtle benefits of the increase of faith–are no less than the obvious benefit of going from disbelief to belief.
Because the degrees of actions are not just in the outward and palpable; but the reality of actions is in accordance with their intentions. This companion came with a magnificent intention: that he wanted nothing short of closeness to Allah, nothing short of light and absolute guidance.
And in that correction is a great wisdom right? That we don’t look at the world merely in terms of the material, but this world is meanings and those meanings have broader connotations. And of course there’s other aspects as well and this castigation is not a rebuke in the sense of a putting down right, but this is of […] raising someone…
And similarly […] when the Prophets were corrected, they were not corrected because they disobeyed or did wrong but rather Allah is directing them to what is superior and reaffirming the degree of deference that is due to the Divine, even for the best of servants.
And also in it is a reminder: that it doesn’t matter what station you reach–even if someone reaches the station of being made a Prophet of Allah by Allah!—even then the servant is a servant in every state.
Keep watching to learn more. This question is answered until roughly minute 11:50.
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(From Ask About Islam archives)
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