Ibn Hajar and other scholars who slipped into Ta’weel are not declared to be disbelievers and the Madh-hab of the scholar is that which he holds before death:
16- Al-Saaboonee then stated in his fifth article (may Allaah guide him and grant him success): “Yet, hope Salafee brothers would escape the burden of misleading the Ummah and declaring the Imaams of the Muslims and scholars of Fiqh, Hadeeth, and Tafseer (exegesis of the meanings of the Qur’aan) who follow the Madh-hab of Al-Asha`irah, to be disbelievers. What would we gain if we split the line of the Muslims and accuse someone like the Shaykh of Islaam Ibn Hajar Al-`Asqalaanee, the commentator of Al-Bukhaaree, of disbelief? He then referred to some other scholars and said: “All those and other revered Imaams followed the Madh-hab of Imaam Al-Ash`aree … “
Answer: None of the Salafee scholars declares the scholars concerned to be disbelievers. Rather, they uncover their mistakes as regards Ta’weel (allegorical interpretation) of many Attributes and explain that they are contrary to the Madh-hab of Ahl-ul-Sunnah (adherents to the Sunnah). Thus, they do not declare them to be disbelievers or disrupt the unity of the Ummah or even split their lines. Rather, this is advice for the sake of Allaah and His slaves, an illustration of the truth, refutation of the claims of their opponents through textual and logical evidence, performance of what Allaah (Glorified and Exalted be He) obliged scholars to do, including explaining the truth, carrying out Da`wah (calling to Islaam), and guiding to Allaah’s Way. Hence, if the advocates of truth refrain from unfolding the truth, those on the wrong side will persist in their mistakes and others would imitate them in their mistakes. In turn, those who refrain from unfolding the truth would draw on themselves the sin of withholding the truth, a sin that Allaah (Glorified be He) warned those who commit it in His saying: Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidence 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. 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. Moreover, Allaah (Exalted be He) took the covenant from the People of the Book to make the truth known and clear to mankind, and condemned them for throwing it away behind their backs and also warned us against following them… read more here.