[About the Correct Balance Between the Sahih Hadith and the Fiqh of the Eminent Fuqaha of This Umma.]
You, if you are a lay Muslim, probably consider the collections of ‘Sahih Bukhari’ and ‘Muslim’ to be the earliest, most authoritative or ‘canonical’ collections of hadith or alleged sayings of the Prophet. In fact, the earliest collection of hadith is by the Hanafis, and then the famous ‘Muwatta’ of Imam Malik. The very first book written after the generation of the Sahabah (companions of the Prophet) was the ‘Kitab Al Athar’ of the Hanafis, containing numerous hadith, and as with the ‘Muwatta’ of Malik, with very short chains as well as their application to jurisprudential considerations.
The danger of harassing Muslims by insisting that hadith is ‘Sahih’ so ’how dare you not believe in it or follow it’ is manifest in the fact that it is not only hadith narrations which can be Sahih (and nor are by any means all or even most sahih hadith and narrations in the collections of Bukhari and Muslim. Again, this is a consensus of Sunnis and admitted by Imam Bukhari in the full title of his Sahih – which is called the ‘Short version of the book’) – the ‘Satanic Verses’ incident is graded as Sahih by hadith masters such as Ibn Hajar and historians such as Imam Tabari … alike – but they knew and articulated clearly that being sahih did not mean ‘true’ but merely that the chain was correct – the content and meaning could well be rejected, as it is in this case. But a person nowadays, suitably mislead by the Salafi movement could be incited, as Ibn Taymiyyah was, to mistake it’s ‘sahih’ status for it’s acceptability and thus to believe that the Prophet compromised on the issue of monotheism [as in the case of the Satanic Verses] – an impossibility rejected by all orthodox Muslims.