Does the type of songs which we hear on TV or listen to on the radio
fall under the category of Haram (prohibited)?
The type of songs which we hear on TV or listen to on the radio falls under the category of Haram because it is diversion which stimulates sexual desire and arouses passion. These songs also lead to moral decline, sickening of the soul that divert it from performing noble deeds. They also help in the quick spread of corruption in Islamic environments.
What is the ruling on playing music which is not accompanied by singing?
Is it permissible to listen to it? How do you explain that some scholars excelled in music and that it was used as a cure for sick people?
It is prohibited to occupy oneself with playing music or listening to it whether accompanied by singing or not. The prohibition becomes all the more empathic if it is accompanied by singing as it ruins morals and corrupts true belief. It is true that some scholars excelled in the art of music. These include
Al-Faraby and other scholars who cannot be taken as role models for Muslims. They do not belong to the category of Muslim scholars in terms of knowledge of (Part No. 26; Page No. 217) `Aqidah (creed) and behavior like the Rightly Guided Caliphs (may Allah be pleased with them all) and the Imams of Salaf (righteous predecessors) like
Sa`id ibn Jubayr,
Ahmad ibn Hanbal,
Al-Awza`y and other Muslim scholars who practiced what they preached. These people provided an example for later generations to follow.
It is not permissible to use music as a cure for illnesses. A Muslim is not in need of such cure especially when there exists other lawful substitutes like Islamic songs, recitation of the Qur'an in melodious tones, and other forms that relax the mind, bring pleasure to the soul, and increase the faith in Allah and in His predestination.
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.