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Sunnis and Shias are considered to be Muslims, but then you have Qadiani who claim to be Sunnis and Alawis who claim to be Shia, but all within their respective schools have declared them kafir. How do we make sure that only real Muslims are answering or do you have to be Muslim to answer?

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  • By the number of down votes, I take it this didn't go down too well with some people :) this was not an attack on anyones belief etc it was to provoke thought and dialogue
    – Abu Nooh
    Jun 23 '12 at 13:10
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    Remember votes (both up and down) on Meta have an entirely different meaning than on the main site. Especially for questions on meta. Don't take it pesonally. You brought up an important issue, that had to be addressed sooner or later.
    – Flimzy
    Jun 23 '12 at 18:27
  • None taken personally at all :) I respect peoples different opinions even if contrary to mine.
    – Abu Nooh
    Jun 24 '12 at 13:30
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What is a real Muslim?

All Muslims think of themselves as real Muslims.

Another point, why should we not accept answers from non-Muslims if they are correct?

Filtering answers according to the person's beliefs (or lack of them) is highly discriminatory and bordering on ad hominem attacks.

Answers should be judged on their own individual merits, rather than on who the answerer is. The SE format should take care of that.

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  • As a Muslim are willing to take your rulings from a non-muslim, would you send your children to a church to learn about Islam?
    – Abu Nooh
    Jun 23 '12 at 13:09
  • @abushahin - If a non-Muslim (or even a Muslim for that matter) gave me advice that was bad I would not take it regardless of his identity. And if that hypothetical church had a good, well known, well reviewed teaching program that was better than anything else around then sure, I would. Asking questions here is only half the battle. Reviewing the different answers and doing your own thinking and research on them before accepting any is the other half. Lazy fatwa hunters need not apply. Jun 24 '12 at 9:11
  • I understand your point, I just want to dig deep and find out if Islam allows for muslims to take answers about Islam from non-muslims, as Islam claims to have answers for everything then surely it has a say whether you are allowed or not. To derive your own opinions and Hukms (rulings) in Islam requires a lot of work and an understanding of the arabic language (Mujtahid) to do Ijtihad! Not to be taken lightly.
    – Abu Nooh
    Jun 24 '12 at 13:28
  • @abushahin - True. That is what works so well in the SE format. Answers that show greater understanding and diligence will naturally float to the top, regardless of who wrote it. After all, how would we really know he is a Muslim? Because he wrote so in his profile? So it is far better to simply ignore that issue and concentrate on what truly matters; the quality of the answer itself. Jun 25 '12 at 2:30
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We had this very discussion on Christianity.SE when it first started beta, and we came to a simple conclusion (You can see the relevant meta discussion here) (adapted for Islam.SE):

Islam Stack Exchange is not a game show. We aren't here to vote people off the island. For the purpose of this site, please assume that the answer to "is X Muslim?" is always the same as "does X self-identify as Muslim?" It's the only way a group with such diverse cultures and beliefs can get along and do something productive.

I think the only way to run a successful site is to adopt the same policy here.

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There's no reason to make sure that only "real Muslims" are answering; what matters is the answer, not the person it comes from. If anybody posts an answer that is wrong or outright harmful, it will be voted down (and possibly even deleted) by the community.

We don't want to divide the ummah, and I see no reason why those who follow Ahmad shouldn't be allowed to use the site, even if I (personally) disagree with a lot of their beliefs. Regardless of what others tell me, I won't treat anyone who claims to be Muslim as a kafir without clear evidences, nor do I recommend we as a community do so either.

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