Bismillah I-Rahman I-Rahim (In the name of Allah, the all-Compassionate, the all-Merciful)
Unless specified, my source is http://www.qafila.org/imam-john-yahya-ederer-and-his-article-on-permissibility-of-music/
With regards to the claim that the hadith is mu‘allaq and hence not an official hadith of his collection, the scholars of the sciences of hadith (‘Ulum al-Hadith) have rejected this on the grounds that Hisham al-Ammar, from whom Bukhari narrates the hadith, was one of his teachers. Ibn al-Salah says:
There is no discontinuity in this at all, from the perspective that al-Bukhārī met Hishām and heard from him, and we have explained in the book Ma‘rifat ‘Ulūm al-Hadīth that when meeting and hearing is found, along with the absence of tadlīs (a narrator’s omission of intermediaries between himself and his teacher), what he narrates from him will be treated as [actual] audition in whatever wording it is, just as the statement of a Sahābī: ‘The Messenger of Allāh said’ is treated as having heard him.
Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani mentions NINE reliable Hadith-transmitters besides Bukhari who narrated this hadith from Hisham ibn ‘Ammar. To quote Ibn al-Salah: “This hadith itself is known to be connected in clear words in [routes] besides the route of al-Bukhari”.
Imam lbn Hajar al Haythami gathered all the hadiths relating to the prohibition of musical instruments (he enumerates around forty) in his Kaff ar-Ra’a’ ‘an Muharramat al Lahwa was-Sama’ (Prohibiting People from the Forbidden Distractions and Singing) and concludes: “All of this is explicit and compelling textual evidence that musical instruments of all types are unlawful”.
To give a small sample of these hadiths:
- Verily, Allah has forbidden wine, gambling and the drum. (graded saheeh)
- Verily, Allah prohibited wine, gambling and the kuba, and every intoxicant is prohibited. (graded sound by al-Albani)
- Verily, Allah has prohibited for my Ummah wine, gambling, a drink distilled from corn, the drum and the lute (guitar). (graded as sound by al-Albani)
- Verily, I did not prohibit weeping, but rather I forbade two voices which are imbecilic and sinfully shameless: one a voice [singing] to the accompaniment of musical amusement (lahwa) and Satan’s [wind] instruments: the other, a voice [wailing] due to some calamity, accompanied by striking the face and tearing the garments. This [weeping of mine] stems from compassion, and whoever does not show compassion will not receive it. (graded as reliable by al-Albani)
The Reliability of Hisham al-Ammar
Br. Yahya Ederer has cast doubt on the reliability of Hisham, saying:
Imam al-Thahabi mentions [in Mizan al-I’tidaal] that Hisham bin Ammar used to be a veracious narrator, then he changed. He has narrated 400 hadiths that have no basis. He used to not narrate unless someone paid him. He was accused of changing the text. Imam Ahmad said he was reckless. Some narrated that he said the Qur’an has words from Gabriel and Muhammad ﷺ and is created speech.
Hisham only changed from reliable* (he was a khatib in the central masjid of Damascus btw!) to unreliable when he got senile from old age. Bukhari, however, collected hadith from him when he was much younger. Regarding his “changing of the text”, this was again due to senility: “[W]hen informed that a certain wording of a hadith was narrated by him, he began to accept that it was his narration, despite not having heard it in that way”. (Mawlana Zameelur Rahman) This is the context of Ibn Hajar’s criticism of Hashim’s reliability, to which Ederer later refers.
Besides, there is another authentic route to the hadith that bypasses Hisham. Also, Hisham did NOT say that the Qur’an contains created speech from Jibril (as) and Muhammad (saw). He only said that the utterance of the Qur’an by Jibril (as) and Muhammad (saw) is created, like all human speech. Al-Dhahabi defended him in this respect.
The Reliability of ‘Atiyyah ibn Qays
To quote Mawlana Zameelur Rahman in response to Ederer:
The narrations of ‘Atiyyah ibn Qays are included in all six famous collections of hadīth. Ibn Hibbān included him in his work on trustworthy narrators, al-Thiqāt, and Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalānī referred to him as “trustworthy” (thiqah). Moreover, Imām al-Tirmidhī said about a narration transmitted only through ‘Atiyyah ibn Qays: “It is a hasan sahīh hadith.”
wAllahu ‘alim (and Allah knows best).
*Yahya ibn Ma‘in and al-‘Ijli described him as “trustworthy” (thiqah), the former adding that he is extremely intelligent; al-Nasa’i said: “there is no fault in him”; al-Daraqutni said: “[he is] reliable, of immense stature”; and Abū Hatim said: “reliable”.