The on-topic page says:

For the purposes of this site, "Islam" includes all groups that identify themselves as Muslim; do expect to see answers from multiple points of view unless a certain perspective is explicitly requested in the question.

which seems motivated by Why Sectarianism is Ruining Your Site where Aarthi writes:

For the purpose of this site, assume that each sect's hadith are valid, and that each sect's accepted imams are reliable.

Now I'm a mathematician, so when someone says all, I assume they know what that word means. E.g. it includes:

I.e., I interpreted the on-topic page to mean literally "all groups that identify themselves as Muslim", no matter how few people the group has, and no matter how contradictory their beliefs are to mainstream beliefs.

G. Bach commented otherwise, suggesting a bunch of Islamic groups which might be excluded: Ahmadis, Bahai, perhaps universal Sufis, modernists and other ... heretical religious groups playing by different rules.

We just had a Baha'i-related question pop up: Do Baha'i consider Joseph Smith to be a Messenger of God? (now closed and automatically deleted as "RemoveDeadQuestions").

I guess we're faced with the trade-off: (a) be inclusive, and open the door to crackpots, or (b) be exclusive, and find a way to determine which versions of Islam are excluded.

Question: Are there any groups of Muslims excluded from Islam.SE?

For this meta post, I'm starting the dialogue. I'm asking if there's any group whatsoever ("that identify themselves as Muslim") that's excluded from Islam.SE. I.e., proof of concept that we wish to exclude some group that identifies as Muslim.

Relevant post from meta.Christianity.SE:

I think the absolute minimum bar for defining a "group" (sect/denomination/tradition, etc) would be two references to their existence, at least one of which has to be third party. -- Caleb ♦

There's also Should Mi.Yodeya/J.SE maintain its solely orthodox standing? and a bunch of linked posts.

  • 3
    "Now I'm a mathematician, so when someone says all, I assume they know what that word means. E.g. it includes: (Hypothetically) Self-proclaimed Shaykh Jeff McMuslim ibn Islam and his one-man Islam" Would you also include a person who insists on calling themselves a Muslim, and all his religious activities consist of burning/covering in filth mushafs, ridiculing Muhammad and wishing torture on him for being the evil liar he considers him to be? If someone with that religious outlook answered a question on islam.se, I would consider it off-topic; clearly a line has to be drawn somewhere.
    – G. Bach
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 8:04
  • @G.Bach: Hence this question to establish precedent. Can we agree that some version of Islam (e.g. "flying spaghetti Islam") is officially excluded from this site? (And perhaps we should rephrase the sentence in the site's on-topic page to match.) Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 8:55
  • For what it's worth, ISIS are explicitly Muslims according to Al-Azhar, one of the most respected bodies of authority of Sunnism.
    – G. Bach
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 19:43
  • Are you looking for missing sects?
    – Ahmed
    Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 21:18
  • @G.Bach Christianity SE had a user who called himself Christian but had no observable beliefs in common with any other branch of Christianity. (He was some form of Christian Atheist, who viewed "the Christ" as a philosophical abstract, unrelated to the historical character of Jesus.) It was partly as a response to him that the site began to specify Christian groups.
    – TRiG
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 1:06

1 Answer 1


If we follow The Amman Message then I think we can agree upon a common ground to which sects should we regard as Muslim groups. I think this should minimize your work load.

See the list here.

  • 1
    The Amman Message by itself is a bit too vague to be useful without at least some elaboration. For example, if we want to allow a group of Muslims that "... does not deny any necessarily self-evident tenet of religion" that could mean...pretty much anything. Similarly, what counts as "real Tasawwuf" and " true Salafi thought" to differentiate it from false Tasawwuf and false Salafi thought? This is exactly the sort of vagueness we're trying to define sharp lines around here.
    – goldPseudo Mod
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 0:19
  • @goldPseudo As I see it, the Amman Message could be taken similar to the probably most widely used species definition in biology as "reproductive community"; while it leaves open some small problems, it's a pretty good characterization of when two sexually reproducing organisms belong to a species. In a similar manner we will find it necessary to exclude ideas from islam.se whose proponents consider them to be Islamic while the orthodox schools consider them kufr. For example, while Quranists may not consider Maturidis to be kuffar, all orthodox schools will consider Quranists to be kuffar.
    – G. Bach
    Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 17:42
  • @goldPseudo In that sense, one could start by saying "X, Y, Z are definitely counted as Islamic", and then for any narrative that wants to present itself as Islamic one can take the litmus test of "anything that a majority of X, Y, Z does not consider kufr is also on-topic/considered Islamic here."
    – G. Bach
    Commented Apr 22, 2017 at 17:44

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