8

As Robert explains in this post, we're trying to forge a Q&A site about Islam (the religion) rather than about subjects of interest to Muslims (the people).

As for Islamic history, it seems to be a bit less defined how much of it would be "about Islam (the religion)". Obviously there have been significant historical events in the Islamic world which have influenced doctrine and practices (the whole Sunni/Shia thing, for example), but there's also a lot of history which isn't really "Islamic history" so much as "history which involves Muslims".

The following post, to me, seems to be in the latter category:

So the question I lay forth for the community is thus: Where, if anywhere, is the line between Islamic history that is on-topic, and that which is off-topic?

(Note also that there is another Stack Exchange site—appropriately named history.stackexchange.com—dedicated to answering history questions.)

  • 2
    This is a difficult issue. I think the scope should at least include the early Islamic history and other religiously significant historical events. The main criteria IMHO is the following: is this question mainly about Islam or about history per se. Is the best expert to answer the question a historian or an expert in Islam? – Kaveh Jul 2 '12 at 21:39
10

Off the top of my head, I know of these sites which have history tags:

  • Sports.SE
  • Programmers.SE
  • Christianity.SE
  • Mi Yodeya (Judaism.SE)

I'm sure there are plenty more. With that said, I don't see why Islamic history should be off-topic, unless it is about sectarianism, which is off-topic.

As far as "history that involves Muslims" goes, I would have to give that a big X. This is a site about Islam, not Muslims. So, questions of any kind about Muslims are off-topic.

  • 1
    Mostly agree with this. But I think you are misreading Aarthi's post. There is nothing in it that says questions about sectarian issues are off-topic, what is objected to in that post is sectarian behavior on the site. Please reread the 6th and last paragraphs. – Kaveh Jul 3 '12 at 15:09
  • 1
    @Kaveh I misworded that sentence. Unconstructive sectarianism is off-topic. – Dynamic Jul 3 '12 at 15:59
3

History had a significant impact on Islam and the modern philosophy of Islam today.

It's a very blurred line between history of Islam and history involving Muslims. I personally think that the Crusades was a politically motivated war and not really suitable here, but others will have a different opinion and think that its a defining moment in Islamic history.

I'd say that history involving early Islam - the Rashidun Caliphate, early Shia', pre-Islamic (Islamic view of previous prophets) should be fair game. Anything that can be responded with a direct quote from the Qur'an is fine. If it's related to the Prophet's closest friends and family and their actions, I think it should be fine too.

A clear litmus test is whether the question can be answered with a Hadith. If there is a Hadith that addresses the question, it should fit in just fine. If it can't be addressed by a Hadith, it might be a better fit for history.SE.

0

some parts of Islam history are highly related to Islam. like the Camel war.

also many parts of Islam is based on sayings of some persons. and some of those persons were liars and made fake Hadith for money of Kings. so talking about facts about persons also is not off topic in order to distinguish authentic sayings of prophet.

0

This issue keeps coming up over and over again. Here is my proposal:

It is worthwhile to make a distinction between two kinds of history:

  1. History related to Sunni-Shi'a differences
  2. Other less controversial history

I make this distinction because of experience on this website.

For the latter, I think Kaveh had the right idea: The guideline should be the content of the post. If it is clearly more history than "Islam" then it's probably off-topic. If not then it remains on-topic. However if the user makes an effort to make it clear that there is a non-trivial connection with Islam and that a significant historical discussion is needed to make their point, then I'd be OK with considering that on-topic.

For the first, my preference is to avoid discussions wherein those historical incidents are the primary subject. I understand this is not ideal, but for the sake of all our sanity and to prevent heated argument and debate this topic invariably provokes (and leads to no resolution) I still suggest this. We are all understandably very sensitive about this topic, and so it needs to be treated with special care. Posts that denigrate one sect or the other, dredge up old historical contentions and disagreements, and the like should be considered off-topic and delete-worthy. For posts where this is not the primary topic, historical references to Sunni-Shi'a incidents should be kept to a minimum and only as necessary, and not as opportunities to promote the rightness of wrongness or blameworthiness of some sect.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .