Giving Priority to one’s Reputation over Clarity in the Religion Destroys one’s Religion!
Bismillaah Al-Hamdulillaah wa salatu wa salaamu ‘ala rasulullaah
Giving Priority to one’s Reputation over Clarity in the Religion Destroys one’s Religion!
Student Abul-’Abbaas Moosa Richardson (hafidhahullaah Ta’aala) – may Allaah support all the Salafee scholars and students in their clarifying of the truth – relayed a tremendous benefit during the course of refuting the Jahmee doubts of the misguided Yusuf Estes (may Allaah guide him and rectify his affairs). [Below is a short summary:]
Giving priority to one’s reputation over clarity in the Religion is from the Shaytan - no doubt! Our religion is opposed to this kind of approach in dealing with our mistakes.
Abul-’Abbaas, who is a student of Shaikh Rabee’ bin Haadee al-Madkhalee (hafidhahullaah Ta’aala) among others scholars in Makkah, relayed the following tremendous gem of an advice from Shaikh Rabee’, the flag-bearer of al-Jarh wa Ta’deel in our time, and the Muhaddith.
Abul-’Abbaas said that Shaikh Rabee’ used to order his students to read and memorize the following hadeeth for the purpose of implementation [and to read the explanation of this amazing hadeeth by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (rahimahullaah)]:
Narrated by Ka’b in Malik (radiallaahu Ta’aala ‘anhu): Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
Ma` Dhi`baani Jaa`ee’ani Ursila fee Ghanamin bi Afsada Laha min Hirsil Mar`ee ‘alal Maali wa Sharafee li Deenehi(Two hungry wolves let loose on a pack of sheep would not be more harmful and destructive than the focus of a man over his wealth and his honor, and how that would destroy his Religion).
[Jamee' at-Tirmidhee, no. 2376; declared Hasanun-Saheeh by at-Tirmidhee, and authenticated by Al-Albaanee, rahimahumullaah] 
May Allaah preserve Shaikh Rabee’ and all the living Salafee scholars, and may Allaah reward Abul-’Abbaas for relaying that tremendous hadeeth and its benefits.
And how often is it sadly witnessed these days that a caller makes an error in ‘aqeedah/Manhaj, and so Allaah – The Most Kind, The Most Merciful - sends him a slave (or slaves) from amongst His slaves to correct him and advise him for the safety of his own akhira (in addition, of course, to refuting the falsehood for the preservation of the Religion)?
Instead, we often witness the misguided one arrogantly refusing to correct his error, favoring (giving priority to) his reputation or his wealth over the Deen of al-Islaam! So this misguided one continues upon his misguidance, choosing instead to falsely attribute to the Religion of Al-Islaam something it is free from and to misguide others rather than declare Islaam free from his bid’ah by repenting and declaring his error (so that those whom the error reached may also repent if they fell for his falsehood so they may attain safety in the akhira)!
Allaah, Subhannahu wa Ta’aala, said:
فَلْيَحْذَرِ الَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنْ أَمْرِهِِ أَنْ تُصِيبَهُمْ فِتْنَةٌ أَوْ يُصِيبَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيم
…And let those who oppose the Messenger’s (Muhammad) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.) (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials) befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them.
(An-Noor, ayah 63)
Imam Ahmad (rahimahullaah Ta’aala) said:
“Do you know what Fitnah is? The Fitnah is Shirk. Perhaps if he rejects something from his (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saying, some deviation will fall into his heart and he is destroyed.”
From the insightful statements regarding this above well-known athar is the statement of the grandson of al-Mujjadid (The Reviver), al-Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab (rahimahumulllaah).
In referring to this opposition that Allaah – ‘Azza Wa Jall - warned against, and that Imam Ahmad used in criticizing those who give precedence to the statements of others above the command of Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab said this:
“…shows that it leads to deviation of the hearts, which causes a person to become a Disbeliever!
So this evil has become extremely widespread, particularly amongst those who claim attachment to knowledge. They do whatever they can to prevent people from acting upon the Book and the Sunnah, and they block people from following the Messenger (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and from honouring and respecting his commands and prohibitions.” [ Fathul-Majeed (2/532)]
Allaah, al-Haqq, has told the truth!
Reflect upon the state of the deviants who have been refuted in the last decade or so - those who refused to repent and refuse to declare their error in calling to opposing the Messenger’s ‘Aqeedah and Manhaj - and compare their apparent state and their statements today to their apparent state and their statements back then when they were first or earlier advised. Their apparent state and their statements have gotten much worse! Wallaahul Musta’aan!
These deviants were originally advised concerning their bid’ah, their errors in manhaj, errors in ’aqeedah, and false principles, etc… but they rejected the Nasiha – which is in itself a characteristic of the disbelievers, as mentioned by Shaikh Saalih al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah ta’aala) in his Commentary on Kitab at-Tawheed.
What is their state now? Some of them are making mass takfeer and speaking out against the rulers and slandering the scholars, some of them are declaring haram “halal,” some of them are calling to Democracy, some of them are calling the Qur`an and Sunnah coarse, and that the Qur`an needs to undergoe a new tafseer, some of them are saying the Jews and Christians are our brothers in Eeman, some of them are calling to Wahdat al-Adyaan (Unity and compromising of the religions), some of them are saying Salafiyyah does not get you into Jannah, and some of them have imitated the evil, despicable Raafidah in reviling Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq! Aoodhubillaah! Aoodhubillaah!
Did you notice the statements of Shirk included among their errors today!
Do not ever doubt that Allaah’s Warning is The Truth!
And do not ever doubt that Allaah’s Promise is The Truth!
وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقّا ً وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّهِ قِيلا
Allaah’s Promise is the Truth, and whose words can be truer than those of Allaah? (Of course, none). (An-Nisa`, ayah 122)
From the Speech of Allaah, ‘Azza Wa Jall, what follows are the two scenarios concerning those who conceal the truth or call to misguidance:
نَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْتُمُونَ مَا أَنزَلْنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالْهُدَى مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا بَيَّنَّاه ُُ لِلنَّاسِ فِي الْكِتَابِ أُوْلَائِكَ يَلْعَنُهُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَلْعَنُهُمُ اللاَّعِنُونَ
Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, they are the ones cursed by Allaah and cursed by the cursers. (Al-Baqarah, ayah 159)
إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُوا وَأَصْلَحُوا وَبَيَّنُوا فَأُوْلَائِكَ أَتُوبُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَنَا التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ
Except those who repent and do righteous deeds, and openly declare (the truth which they concealed). These, I will accept their repentance. And I am the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful. (Al-Baqarah, ayah 160)
In addition to all those undesirable consequences this person would distance himself from by repenting and openly declaring his error, furthermore by him doing so Allaah Ta’aala would not only accept his repentance but also raise him – which is the complete opposite of what shaytan whispers to this misguided person. So take note of this plot from the many plots of ash-Shaytan!
Again, the truth is that Allaah would forgive this person, and raise him.
As Shaikh Muhammad bin ‘Umar Baazmool (hafidhahullaah Ta’aala) said:
“…If he accepts the (truth), humbles himself, returns to the (truth) and repents to Allaah, then Allaah will raise his status if He (The Most High) wills, because Allaah raises one who humbles himself in His presence. But if he oppresses and transgresses, then this man is from Ahlul Bid’ah; (so) how can you shed tears for him and that he has been lowered (in the eyes of the people)? Subhaanallaah!” 
“Ya ikhwaan, finding the likes of Nu’aim bin Hammad (rahimahullaah Ta’aala) in our times - subhanAllaah!! – seems like an impossibility. A man of his stature, that after his tawbah [he] wrote 13 books [clarifying his past mistakes so as to warn the people of not following his errors]. Or the likes of Abul-Hasan Al-Ash’aree (rahimahullaah), [who wrote] in the region of 55 books [and 3 for the same purpose], ya ikhwaan.
Finding that character and that kind of ikhlaas in our time, Oh brothers, is something extremely rare. Shaikh Rabee’ [bin Hadee al-Madkhalee] waited for Abul-Hasan Al-Ma`rabee. The scholars waited for al-Maghrawee. The scholars waited for ‘Adnaan ‘Ar’oor. The scholars waited for ‘Abdur-Rahman ‘Abdul-Khaliq. Waited and waited, but alas the era of the likes of Abul-Hasan Al-Ash’aree of old and the era of the likes of Nu’aim bin Hammad, and the era of the likes of those great individuals who had Ikhlaas and had this true sincerity and humility. Wallaahi, it seems that it is rare to find it in our times – this types of individuals. Rare.” 
Shaikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-’Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah Ta’aala) erred in an important issue of ‘aqeedah. He erroneously stated with his tongue – even though it was not his belief, and this was proven in the way he used to explain his own false statement – that the Maa’iyah of Allaah (Allaah being with His creation) is Dhaatiyah (with His Self). And this is from the errors of the Hoolooliyah (the deviant group who deviantly believe that Allaah dwells within His creation). And this is a statement of disbelief, apostasy, for it is rejection of what is in the Qur`an and Sunnah!
Allaah is above His creation in His Self, and He is with them by way of His knowledge and support and hearing and seeing.
When Shaikh al-’Uthaimeen was refuted - and refuted harshly by Shaikh Hamood At-Tuwaijiree (rahimahullaa Ta’aala) - Shaikh al-’Uthaimeen requested a copy of the refutation, read it with all its proofs, approved of it in its entirety, recognized his own error, refuted his own error, and he praised and endorsed the book, praised the one who refuted him, and even recommended that his own refutation of his own error be included in the publishing of Shaikh Hamood At-Tuwaijiree’s book. The then-Mufti Shaikh ‘Abdul-Azeez Ibn Baaz (rahimahullaah Ta’aala) also endorsed the book, which is available to this day.
And this is why we love these scholars, because they were attached to the haqq (truth), and they preferred the truth over their reputation. They put Al-Islaam above themselves. Their attitude wasn’t let us brush this under the rug. No! Not only would that be obstruction of the spreading of the pure Islaam, but also they feared meeting Allaah on the Day of Judgement with these errors in ‘aqeedah and having misled others into these errors of ’aqeedah.
Allaah, The Most High, said:
فَإِنْ آمَنُوا بِمِثْلِ مَا آمَنتُمْ بِه ِِ فَقَدِ اهْتَدَوا وَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا هُمْ فِي شِقَاق ٍ فَسَيَكْفِيكَهُمُ اللَّهُ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
So if they believe in the like of that which you believe, then they are rightly guided, but if they turn away, then they are only in opposition. So Allaah will suffice you against them. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. (Al-Baqarah, ayah 137)
The Prophet (salallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: …This Ummah will break up into 73 sects, all in the hellfire except for one. They said, “Which one is that, oh Messenger of Allaah?” He said: Those on that which I am upon today, and that which my companions are upon. [At-Tirmidhee, Al-Haakim; authenticated by Al-Albaanee]
So this preferring the truth over one’s reputation takes Ikhlaas, Eeman, Taqwah, character, humility, and a truthful concern for the clear guidance of others. A true caller should – undoubtedly – have a desire to direct others to the truth and clarity, not to his own reputation and confusion. He should call to Allaah – upon insight – and not to himself or anyone or anything else.
Allaah, The Most High, said:
قُلْ هَذِه ِِ سَبِيلِي أَدْعُو إِلَى اللَّهِ عَلَى بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِي وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
Say (O Muhammad): “This is my way; I invite unto Allaah (Tawheed) with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me. And Glorified and Exalted be Allaah (above all that they associate as partners with Him). And I am not of the polytheists.”
(Yusuf, ayah 108)