Shaykh Dr. Saalih al-Fawzaan, may Allah protect him, said after listening to a question about Muhammad al-‘Areefee, may Allah guide him:
My brother, myself, the people of knowledge, and other than myself refute those who have infractions, and they clarify the mistake. Their aim in this is not the person, nor to belittle his status, nor to detract from his personality. They don’t intend these things. We seek refuge with Allah from this. The intent is to clarify the truth.
So if a person makes a mistake, there is no deterrent from clarifying his mistake, and this is not something that subtracts from his worth. Rather, this is a notification for him and an aid for him in returning to the truth.
Thus, he benefits, and the reader and listener [to the rebuttal] benefit. The mistake is not left to circulate amongst the people, and there is no flattery in this affair. It is a must to clarify the truth and to make it clear. There is no flattery concerning the truth.
And this does not harm the one being refuted if he is from those who are levelheaded, those who seek the truth. However, if he doesn’t desire the truth, and he wants to give victory his desires, then we can’t do anything about that. (1)