What Ed Husain wants his readers to believe is that Muslim opposition to music is only to be found among the “Islamic State, the Taliban, and other hardliners.” That’s not true. He leaves out any mention of the belief, among many Muslims, that Muhammad himself condemned musical instruments when he said: “There will be among my Ummah people who will regard as permissible adultery, silk, alcohol and musical instruments.” (Buhkhari, 5590). And all of these things he’s listed are, of course, prohibited. Many prominent Islamic scholars of the past who agreed that musical instruments were haram include Abu Hanifa, Al-Shafi’i, Ahmad bin Hanbal, Al-Tabari, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Al-Bukhari, Al-Tirmidhi, Al-Nawawi, Al-Bayhaqi, Al-Tahawi, and Al-Qurtubi.
Not all Muslim scholars agree with this view. Some who argue that music is in some cases halal (permitted) claim that this hadith relates only to the use of instruments in the mosques. At the time when Muhammad spoke about the matter, the polytheists — Unbelievers, whether Christians or pagans — used music and musical instruments as part of their worship. These scholars claim that Muhammad’s prohibition was meant to apply only to music that might be similarly used in Muslim worship; it was another way to distinguish the new faith of Islam from the practice of the “polytheists.”
However, the Hadith from Bukhari 5590 unambiguously condemns “musical instruments” — no matter where they are used — as being on the same level as ‘’adultery” and “alcohol.” It says nothing about allowing, in certain limited circumstances, the use of musical instruments. It is a flat prohibition.