Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) once mentioned:

I wish to inform you of an extremely important issue that has been addressed by the ‘Ulama. The foundation of our deen and its preservation lies in recognizing the works of the pious predecessors (Sahaabah, Taabi’een, A’immah Mujtahideen etc.), revering them and showing utmost respect to them. On account of them being the foundation upon which the deen rests (due to them conveying the deen to the coming generations) and due to these personalities being the means through which deen has reached us, we should exercise extreme caution when discussing them and ensure that no disrespect is shown to them at any time. (Malfoozaat Hakeemul Ummat 1/270)

Source: Ihyaauddeen.co.za