A lot of scholars of Sunnah such as Al-Abaani, Ibn Baaz, Ibn al-Uthaimeen and al-Fawzaan had praised and commended and recommended a lot of famous preachers ascribed to the Salafi dawah. These great scholars had defended them greatly and also refuted those who criticised and spoke ill of them.
For instance, sheikh Al-Abaani profusely praised Salman al-Awdah in the muqadimmah of his book “Sifatu Salatin- Nabiyyi” for refuting the Ikhwaani, Muhammad al-Gazaali, when the latter spoke ill and made jest of some of the ahadith of the Prophet, sallaa Allahu alayhi wa sallama. He also defended him in some of the sittings of “Silsilatatu al-Hudaa wan-Nur” where in the sheikh frowned at labelling Salman al-Awdah an Ikhwaani.
However, when his true colour became clear to him, the sheikh recanted and admitted that his manhaj is actually Ikhwaani, although he may not be a card carrying member.
The sheikh initially also had good opinion of Safar al-Hawaali.He strongly defended him when he was accused of calling the Algerian people to demonstration against their authorities. The sheikh severely refuted the brother who was discussing this with him. However, it later became obvious to the sheikh that he was actually calling to khaarijism in a modern way, i.e, modern khaarijsm according to the terminology of sheikh Al-Abaani himself.
Similarly, sheikh Ibn Baaz and sheikh Ibn al-Uthaimeen both spoke well of and praised Salman al-Awdah and Safar al-Hawaali so much so that Ibn Baaz would refer to Safar al-Hawaali as “the young Ibn Taimiyyah” However, they both later recanted their position and warned against them when they both and others started inciting the youths against the rulers.
Sheikh al-Fawzaan would commend and speak good of al-‘Areefi and Salman al-Awdah. However, he later warned against them so that the youths would not fall for their heresies.
Summarily, brethren ,don’t be deceived when some people try to deceive and mislead you with the previous praises of those great scholars on those people.
May Allah make our feet firm on the path that pleases Him, the path of the Prophet, his companions and their students.