A number of fatwa questions, especially older ones, ask for rulings about particular matters, but do not specify which (if any) school they're actually seeking answers from. These questions are often just seeking a general ruling, and they end up with a large number of single-opinion answers based around particular scholars/schools.

(I hate these on principle, but the community keeps encouraging them so whatever: That's a whole other discussion.)

My concern, in this case, is for those cases when the questioner has actually accepted an answer. For example,

In the above question, the question has exactly one answer (clearly coming from a Shi'ite perspective) which is upvoted and accepted. However, the questioner had not mentioned at all what (if any) school she's interested in ruling-wise.

My general strategy in such cases has been to modify the question to match the accepted answer; this has, however, recently met with some backlash. Leaving the question as-is, however, really isn't helpful: While this may be a perfect answer for the questioner (she did accept it after all), many of the people asking that exact particular question (as phrased) would not necessarily be interested in a Shi'ite ruling.

Under the general Stack Exchange principle of making a Q&A repository for the ages, this is problematic, as it basically just ensures that many (most?) of the people who are finding our site via search engines etc. will just… not get what they want. Or, worst case scenario, think that they are getting what they want without ever realizing it's a Shi'ite ruling.

What exactly should we be doing with such questions?

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    How do we cater users who are not aware of the different schools of belief and are asking irrespective of school? Assuming they did some research and have a detailed question. – Bleeding Fingers May 9 '15 at 15:55
  • What do you mean by "backlash?" Should I take it as a funny thing or a serious thing? :) – servant-of-Wiser May 9 '15 at 17:19
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    @servant-of-Wiser Just a tongue-in-cheek way of expressing "I did a thing and someone disagreed with me." Don't take it too seriously :) – goldPseudo Mod May 9 '15 at 17:20
  • Diverting Shia traffic, just because the question has a Shia answer is not at all good idea. That's what I mean to infer. Let them come, but notify them properly, but let the questioner do the editing part. until then "Close as unclear" Read more – servant-of-Wiser May 9 '15 at 18:09
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    @servant-of-Wiser The whole point of having editing privileges is so problematic posts can be fixed quickly. What possible advantage is there to leaving a problematic post unfixed for a (possibly long) period of time when a simple edit can save it? – goldPseudo Mod May 9 '15 at 18:12

In regard to your significant question that asked

What should be done about fatwa questions where the questioner doesn't specify any particular school, but the accepted answer is specific to one?

It could be surveyed from different aspects which I explain some of them briefly which are shown in below:

  • First of all, I should mention that such questions which do not specify any particular school, could be considered as some different aspect.
  • An aspect would be related to the perspective of Sunni. In other word, I reckon it would be related to a Sunni questioner (not always, haply at majority of times) (although s/he should be Shia as well) Or it could be said that the intention of the questioner is that s/he is looking for the responses from different schools. And perhaps s/he intends to compare the responses from different schools. Or even it could shows that it is not significant for him or her that who this answer is from.
  • Eventually according to my personal opinion, I assume we should leave such questions to be opened in order to showing the site as a fair site, not quite a strict site and allow them to be shown even though different users intend to reply them from different sects. Even I assume it could make it more attractive for the readers of the site. Meanwhile, we ought to notice that it is not supposed to be argued in the answers, haply users ought to write their sect’s perspectives, not to argue each other. (Otherwise as a law of Islam SE, it would be on hold or closed if …).
  • Allowing the question to stay open just to attract more answers that only tackle "some different aspect" of the question opens up its own can of worms. See relevant meta discussion here: meta.islam.stackexchange.com/q/1595/22 – goldPseudo Mod May 30 '15 at 17:22

Seeing how such questions can affect the system and order of the site, I would most likely simply close such questions as unclear "what you are asking". I cannot see any other solution other then forbidding such questions with some exceptions.

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    After the questioner has accepted the answer, closing it as "unclear" I don't think is a good idea. plz think over. – servant-of-Wiser May 9 '15 at 17:21
  • @servant-of-Wiser the question should be clear to most of the user visiting and reading the question. Not just the OP. Therefore, even if an answer is accept the question can be unclear. – Bleeding Fingers May 9 '15 at 17:50
  • @servant-of-Wiser regardless of whether an answer is accepted or not, an answer is only as good as the question asked. – مجاهد May 9 '15 at 17:50
  • agree, first close the question, but don't delete it, then in the comment just ask which school do you want?. Simple problem solved. Also notify that "As is, the current answer is answering in a X view, so ask a specific question." – servant-of-Wiser May 9 '15 at 18:07
  • @servant-of-Wiser I am not arguing deletion, and of course the comment section should serve it's purpose, this is by default understood, or I should say that this matter should be understood by default. but over all if Fatwa questions are not banned and we choose to keep allowing them, then my argument for the type of (fatwa) questions described by goldPseudo is to be voted as unclear. – مجاهد May 9 '15 at 18:12

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