Ijma or Consensus is one of the four pillars of Islamic jurisprudence. The fundamental basis of any ruling is Quran and Sunnah, however, when there are no examples available from these to sources, then Islam encourages Ijma or…
consensus based upon reasoning and finally if there is no Ijma, then usually scholars end up reaching a conclusion based on Qiyas. Based on the hadith quoted in the question it appears that the Prophet believed that in fact the Islamic community will not agree to something which is incorrect.
According to Imam Al-Shafi: The adherence of the congregation (jama`a) of Muslims to the conclusions of a given ruling pertaining to what is permitted and what is forbidden after the passing of the Prophet, Peace be upon him (Cited in Kabbani, n.d.). Based on his understanding, Ijma cannot be carried out by a layperson; instead it is reached by a general agreement after a reasoned discussion between different scholars. Conversely the Quran says: “the majority does not know (aktharrun nass laa yalamun)”. Although the question indicates that there is a contradiction between the Ayah and hadith, but it is evident, that Ijma is not something which can be carried out by any group of Muslim, there are terms and conditions which have to be followed, and the belief of the prophet is reiterated when in his opinion an Ijma can only occur when the consensus is based on facts and reasoning.
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