Is there anywhere a rule or a post where it says that questions about software (related to Islam) are off-topic?

I mean we are a Q&A site on the subject of Islam, not a Fatwa site, but if somebody visits our main page he would primarily that Islam SE is indeed a fatwa site and not at all related to stackoverflow, so one wouldn't even think about software.

But I assume that many people have known stackoverflow long before getting to know Islam SE and many Muslim people are software developers so, why shouldn't questions related to Islam for example building a data-base for Quran references or problem with the Arabic language (I've lately seen a question where somebody had a difficulty to search in a data base for the word إياك -which we read at least 34 times a day- and apparently wanted to do a search based on alif without hamza اياك).

So again are questions related to programming or software development -related to Islam off-topic, is there a ceratin rule on that?

1 Answer 1


Robert did a good write-up of the basic problem with this sort of issue here. I would highly recommend reading it if you have not already done so.

In short, in order for this site to work, it needs a clear focus (in this case, Islam). We want to build a comprehensive database of information about Islam, which means attract experts in Islam as well as questions about Islam.

The problem is that literally any topic can be related to Islam. You can probably go through every single topic that already has a dedicated SE site, and tack "…for Muslims" on the end of it:

And so on.

You could also do the same with "…for Programmers," or "…for Chefs," or "…for Physicists."

But for the most part, that's not helpful to anyone. If I have a programming question, even if I'm writing this program as a Muslim, I'm interested in the expertise of programmers. I would fully expect to get a far better answer from a community of expert programmers than I would from a community of Islamic scholars; and even if I could pick the brains of Islamic scholars who also happened to be expert programmers, I doubt I'd get anything out of them that I couldn't've gotten from expert programmers who aren't necessarily Islamic scholars (of which there are far more, and who are far easier to find).

Using the example question you provided, I see absolutely nothing in there that requires any sort of Islamic expertise: The issues appear to be entirely due to (a) programming, and (b) the Arabic language. Sending the questioner to Stack Overflow (or maybe Arabic.SE if we had one, but that's a tenuous link at best) would probably give him a far better chance at getting a proper answer than sitting here waiting for an Islamic scholar who just happened to also be a database programmer and just happens to have experience writing search algorithms for Arabic text.

  • Ok but sometimes it seems there's not a real clear cut... And yes I read Roberts post but didn't link it to the topic at least not while I was thinking about my question.
    – Medi1Saif Mod
    May 24, 2016 at 6:16
  • @Medi1Saif Yeah, the lines aren't completely black and white. Some topics would make sense to ask from the perspective of an Islamic scholar who also happens to have expertise that would fit in another SE topic domain. But I just don't see software programming being in that gray area, at least not for the example question provided.
    – goldPseudo Mod
    May 24, 2016 at 6:18
  • I think your argument is stronger, as it has some good logical basis, while mine -in this case- had a more emotional basis... don't forget I'm half Arabic ;). And yes I do agree about the example question totally.
    – Medi1Saif Mod
    May 24, 2016 at 6:21

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