as for imaam maalik ibn anas, he said:
1. "truly i am only a mortal: i make mistakes (sometimes) and i am correct (sometimes). therefore, look into my opinions: all that agrees with the book and the sunnah, accept it; and all that does not agree with the book and the sunnah, ignore it."28
2. "everyone after the prophet (pbuh) will have his sayings accepted and rejected - not so the prophet (pbuh)."29
3. ibn wahb said: "i heard maalik being asked about cleaning between the toes during ablution. he said, 'the people do not have to do that.' i did not approach him until the crowd had lessened, when i said to him, 'we know of a sunnah about that.' he said, 'what is that ?' i said, 'laith ibn sa'd, ibn lahee'ah and 'amr ibn al-haarith narrated to us from yazeed ibn 'amr al-ma'aafiri from abu 'abdur-rahman al-hubuli from mustawrid ibn shaddaad al-qurashi who said, 'i saw the messenger of allaah (pbuh) rubbing between his toes with his little finger.' he said, 'this hadeeth is sound; i had not heard of it at all until now.' afterwards, i heard him being asked about the same thing, on which he ordered cleaning between the toes."30
28)ibn 'abdul barr in jaami' bayaan al-'ilm (2/32), ibn hazm, quoting from the former in usool al-ahkaam (6/149), & similarly al-fulaani (p. 72)
29)this is well known among the later scholars to be a saying of maalik. ibn 'abdul haadi declared it saheeh in irshaad as- saalik (227/1); ibn 'abdul barr in jaami' bayaan al-'ilm (2/91) & ibn hazm in usool al-ahkaam (6/145, 179) had narrated it as a saying of al-hakam ibn 'utaibah and mujaahid; taqi ad- deen as-subki gave it, delighted with its beauty, in al- fataawaa (1/148) as a saying of ibn 'abbaas, and then said: "these words were originally those of ibn 'abbaas and mujaahid, from whom maalik (may allah be pleased with him) took them, and he became famous for them." it seems that imaam ahmad then took this saying from them, as abu daawood has said in masaa'il of imaam ahmad (p. 276): "i heard ahmad say, 'everyone is accepted and rejected in his opinions, with the exception of the prophet (pbuh)'."
30)from the introduction to al-jarh wat-ta'deel of ibn abi haatim, pp. 31-2.