Al-Ghumaaree said in "Bida'i at-Tafaaseer" (pg. 180-181) unveiling the state of al-Kawtharee
"And we used to be amazed with al-Kawtharee, due to his knowledge and comprehensiveness of his investigation. As we used to dislike in his severe partisanship to the Hanafiyyah, a partisanship that exceeded the partisanship of az Zamaksharee for the Mu'tazila. Up to the point that our beloved friend, al-Haafidh Abu al-Faidh, used to say about him, 'crazy for Abu Haneefah (majnoon Abee Haneefah)'.
And when I was gifted with his book, "Ihqaaq al-Haqq" to do with refuting the letter of Imaam al-Haramain over his choosing the Shaafi'ee madhhab, I found him calumninating the genealogy of Imaam ash-Shaafi'ee, and he quoted as-Saajee on that. So I took him up over this calumny, and I said to him, 'indeed your abuse over this genealogy is not a scholarly refutation.' So he said to me, 'a sectarian refuting a sectarian'
And this is his statement, and he acknowledges his partisanship!
And I visited him one time in his house, I and the noble Sayyid Muhammad al-Baaqir al-Kattaanee, and there arose a discussion between us over scholarly issues. And al-Haafidh ibn Hajr was mentioned, so Sayyid Baaqir showed his amazement at ibn Hajrs memorisation and his commentary to Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, and I supported him in that. So he (Kawtharee) diminished the value of the aforementioned commentary. He said, 'ibn Hajr used to depend upon extremities (al-Atraaf or maybe obscure routes) in his gathering of the different routes of a hadeeth.'
And this is not correct.
And he mentioned that he - i.e. al-Haafidh ibn Hajr - used to follow women in the roads, and he used to flirt with them. And that he (one time) followed a woman thinking that she was beautiful, until she arrived at her house and he was behind her, and she removed her burqa, and she turned out to be an ugly black woman, so he returned, frustrated!
And the reason behind this attack, is that al-Haafidh used to attack some of the hanafiyyah in his books of biography. for example "Duraral Kaaminah" and "Raf' al-Israar". He said (for example) about al-Ainee al-Hanafee, "that he used to take the manuscript pages of "Fath al-Baaree" from some of his (i.e. ibn Hajr) students, and use them in his Sharh. So when al-Haafidh came to know of this, he forbade giving these pages to his students.
And worse than this, al-Kawtharee accused Anas bin Maalik (RA), with senility and feeble-mindedness, because he related ahaadeeth that contradict the madhhab of Abu Haneefah!
And worse than this is that he tried to make a fabricated hadeeth authentic, because it implied the tidings of Abu Haneefah ....and our beloved friend wrote a refutation of him (and it is called "bayaan talbees al-Muftaree Muhammad Zaahid al-Kawtharee" as occurs in "Fath al-Mulk al-'Alee" [page 119] where it says, "the introduction was completed in one volume"!!), in which he collected his scholarly errors, and his self-contradictions that arose from his hateful partisanship." [End of his words]
So know that this is a glimpse of the state of al-Kawtharee, upon whom the innovators heavily depend. But know that he cannot be depended upon due to his extreme partisanship and hatred of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa'ah which led him to abuse more than three hundred scholars of the past, some of them sahaabah, and including the famous Imaams. This is all documented in the work by the great scholar al-Mu'allamee (RH) in his 'tankeel'