Commending Innovators Is a Great Danger Even If You Do Not Sit With Them – By Shaikh Saaleh Al-Fawzaan
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Imaam Al-Barbahaaree (rahimahullaah) said:
‘If you see a man speaking well of Ibn Abee Du’aad, Al-Mareesee, Thumaamah, Abul Hudhail or Hishaam Al-Footee or any of their adherents, beware of him because he is an innovator. These people were upon apostasy, so leave this man who spoke well of them and whomever he mentioned of them.’ 
‘If you see a man speaking well of Ibn Abee Du’aad, Al-Mareesee, Thumaamah, Abul Hudhail or Hishaam Al-Footee….’ Shaikh Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) commented on this statement of Imaam Al-Barbahaaree (rahimahullaah) as follows:
If you see a man commending the people of evil and the scholars of misguidance, such as these off shoots of the Jahmiyyah, then know that he is a sinful one, a corrupter and a misguided one. (That is) because he does not praise them except that he loves them and approves of their path. And if you see a man commending Ahlus Sunnah, such as the likes of Imaam Ahmad and Ibnul Mubaarak, and likewise commending the Scholars of the Taabi’een and those who came after them, then know that he is a person of goodness. (That is) because he commends not Ahlus Sunnah except that he loves the Sunnah and adheres to it.
This teaches us a lesson in (view of the fact that) some of the brothers or some of the students of knowledge commend some of the innovators or the people of desires and deviated views, whilst not examining their views and orientations. They attack and find fault with the people of goodness because they lend an ear to those who find fault with them and believe them. This is a severe danger. If you find fault with the people of goodness – the people of knowledge and Ahlus Sunnah- and commend the people of deviated views and orientations, then this is a severe danger even if you do not sit with them. So this is from that which we should be mindful of, which many people have fallen into at present.
Shaikh Muhammad Bin Haadi (may Allaah preserve him) stated:
Yes, Ahlus Sunnah used to test the people with the scholars of the Sunnah. So whoever praised them (i.e. the scholars of Sunnah) it is hoped that he is upon goodness. And whoever defames them, then he is upon other than this (i.e. upon other than goodness). The books of the Sunnah are replete with this. This is well known. Whoever rejects it is deceived, similar to one who wants to cover the sky with a mat, whilst he will never be able to do so. 
[Explanation of the Creed: Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank (may Allaah grant him and his wife abundant mercy)
[It-haaful Qaaree Bitta’liqaat Alaa Sharhis Sunnah Lil Imaam Barbahaaree (rahimahullaah)Vol 2. page:237-238]