The irony is that scholars were more strict on Islamic jurisprudence, but Islamic law is ever less relevant to Muslims today. As well, widespread ijtihad is the norm because the world has changed so much from Muhammad’s time. What’s the minimum amount needed to be stolen for a hand to be chopped off? What about the specific number of camels or sheep one need to give in zakat? These are far less relevant to Muslims than Muhammad’s life details, the promised rewards and punishments for various deeds, the authentic duas that he made, and so on.
Yet due to the intentional laxity of the scholars, weak and fabricated hadith were spread eagerly among Muslims in order to encourage worship and “being a better Muslim.”
Does reading Ayat Al Kursi really mean an angel will protect you all night? (Tirmidhi, weak hadith). Can we be sure that whoever is in the state of jihad gets continuous reward equal to a fasting and praying person? (Muslim) How about whoever worships on Laylatul Qadr getting all their sins forgiven? Is there any way to know for sure if Muhammad really said these things? What about the punishment for touching a woman being worse than getting hit by a nail in the head? (Tabrani). Or that riba is worse than incest with one’s mother (mentioned in the article)
We really don’t know. And that’s the big problem with hadith today.