Corresponding Tradition is one that yours truly is obsessed with. This brings the question of status of technical experts place in Islam into focus - and that is absolutely relevant in present times. Here is a post from this thread:
Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani wrote a detailed article on the confusion of some people in relation to this hadith in the al-Balagh journal. His student, Mawlana Nur al-Bashar, summarised it in his Arabic translation of Mawlana Ashraf 'Ali al-Thanawi's work against modernism, Al-Intibahat al-Mufidah fi Hall al-Ishtibahat al-Jadidah, available here. When Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi makes reference to the “hadith of cross-pollination” (hadith al-ta’bir), the translator, Mawlana Nur al-Bashar, writes in the footnotes:
The hadith of cross-pollination is what Muslim (Allah have mercy on him) narrated in his Sahih (4:1838), hadith no. 2364, in Kitab al-Fada’il, Bab Wujub Imtithal ma qalahu Shar‘an duna ma dhakarahu sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam min Ma‘ayish al-Dunya ‘ala Sabil al-Ra’y, from Anas and ‘A’ishah (Allah be pleased with them) that:
The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) passed by a group that were cross-pollinating, so he said: “If you did not [do so], it would be better.” Then [the dates on the trees] appeared bad, so he passed by them and he said: “What is [the matter] with your date-tree?!” They said: “You said such-and-such and such-and-such.” He said: “You are more learned of the matter of your world.” (أنتم أعلم بأمر دنياكم)
The intent of this hadith has confused many people, so they believe that it is necessary to follow the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) in that which relates to mere rituals, and as far as [monetary] dealings are concerned, it is not obligatory to follow him – and protection is from Allah, Exalted is He! – although he (upon him blessing and peace) was sent as one to be obeyed and followed in all matters, whether religious or worldly, because Islam is a complete religion, which has guidance and instruction for all parts of life, of rituals and dealings, politics and economics; and as for the distinction between religion and state, it is not at all from Islam.
The matter is only confusing to these people due to his (upon him blessing and peace) saying: “You are more learned of the matter of your world.” But when we analyse this hadith from [all] its routes, its true intent because clear to us. Here I will transmit for you the hadith in its length:
From Musa ibn Talhah from his father, he said: I passed with the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) by a group at the tops of date-trees, so he said: “What are these [people] doing?” They said: “They are cross-pollinating, making the male [part] in the female [part], so they are fecundated.” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: “I do not think that will have any benefit” (ما أظن يغني ذلك شيئا) They were informed of that, so they left it, and then the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) was informed of this, so he said: “If that is of benefit to them, then let them do it, for indeed, I only thought a thought, so do not take me to task for a thought, but when I narrate to you anything from Allah, adopt it, for verily, I never lie upon Allah (great and glorious is He).” (al-Sahih, by Muslim, Kitab al-Fada’il, Bab Wujub Imtithal ma qalahu Shar‘an..., no. 2361)
We learn from this hadith that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) did not issue them a sure command, rather, he only expressed an opinion, since he said: “I do not think that will have any benefit.”
This incident was narrated by Sayyiduna Rafi‘ ibn Khadij (Allah be pleased with him), and it appears in his narration according to Muslim: “Perhaps, if you were not to do [it], it would be better.” (no. 2362)
Ibn Majah (Allah have mercy on him) narrated in his Sunan (2:825, no. 2471) from Sayyidatuna ‘A’ishah (Allah be pleased with here), in which is: “If they were not to do [it], it would be better.”
Thus, we gather from these narrations that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) did not prohibit them from cross-pollination, a definitive prohibition, but he only expressed his personal opinion on that, that cross-pollination will be of no benefit at all rather it is possible the trees bear fruit without treatment with this action. And when the Sahabah (Allah be pleased with them) acted upon his opinion, due to their assumption of the obligation of following his command, he said thereupon: “indeed, I only thought a thought, so do not take me to task for a thought, but when I narrate to you anything from Allah, adopt it” and Sayyiduna Anas (Allah be pleased with him) narrated this meaning with his statement: “You are more learned of the matter of your world” and ‘A’ishah (Allah be pleased with her) with her statement: “When it is something from the matter of your world, then your position is [effective] therein, and when it is something from the matter of your religion, it is [delegated] to me.” (Sunan Ibn Majah 2:825, no. 2471) And ‘Ikrimah narrated from Rafi‘ ibn Khadij (Allah be pleased with him) with his statement: “I am but a man. When I command you something from your religion, adopt it, and when I command you something from my opinion, I am only a man.” ‘Ikrimah said: “Or the like of this.”
Thus, it becomes clear by these routes and narrations that his (upon him peace) saying: “You are more learned of the matter of your world” is related only to purely experimental matters in which the Shari‘ah has not passed the judgement of lawful or unlawful, rather has made it optional (mubah), and his (upon him blessing and peace) intent from it is that when he says something from these matters using his opinion and assumption, in that he says: “Probably this action will be useful” or “will be harmful,” his decree is not the decree of legislation (tashri‘), such that it is necessary to follow him, as it is not a definitive command.
Imam al-Nawawi (Allah have mercy on him) said:
The ‘ulama said: His (Allah bless him and grant him peace) saying: “from my opinion,” i.e. from the matter of the world and its livelihoods, not on legislation. As for what he said using his (Allah bless him and grant him peace) personal judgement (ijtihad), and he regards it as the Shari‘ah, it is obligatory to act upon it. Cross-pollinating date-trees is not from this category, rather from the category mentioned before it. All the while, the word “opinion” was only offered by ‘Ikrimah based on the meaning, due to his saying at the end of the hadith: “‘Ikrimah said: ‘Or the like of this,’” so he did not narrate the exact words of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace). The ‘ulama said: This statement was not a report, but was only a thought, as is explained in these narrations. They said: His (Allah bless him and grant him peace) opinion in the matters of livelihoods and his thought is like other than him, so it is not impossible for the like of this to occur. There is no deficiency in this. Its reason is their [i.e. the prophets] aspirations towards the Afterlife and its sciences. (Sharh al-Nawawi ‘ala Sahih Muslim 2:264)
The summary of this discussion is that his (upon him blessing and peace) saying: “You are more learned of the matter of your world” relates only to what has no connection with halal and haram, nor with the rights of the servants, rather relates to what is purely experimental, like choosing means to increase the yield in a land, and the process of farming, and cleaning the lands and taking care of them, and which animal is best for riding more frequently than other than it, and which medicine is more suitable for a certain illness, and what thing is more beneficial for the body, etc. Thus, these things are not connected to the deliverance of the message, so his (upon him blessing and peace) sayings in such matters are like a thought and an opinion, not legislation, although his opinion and thought are far superior to the opinion of other than him so long as what conclusively opposes his earlier opinion does not issue from him. And Allah knows best the truth.
This is summarised from what our shaykh, Shaykh al-Islam Muhammad Taqi al-‘Uthmani (Allah, Exalted is He, preserve him and maintain him), wrote in a detailed article of his in Urdu, published in the brilliant journal al-Balagh in its ninth instalment, in Ramadan of 1406 (1986 CE).
Al-Intibahat al-Mufidah fi Hall al-Ishtibahat al-Jadidah pp. 109-13