In my question: "Which scholars argue that mentioning Gods name while slaughtering is not obligatory?", I got an answer that I think somehow answered my question about which scholars say it is not obligatory to mention Gods name while slaughtering. But the answer did also contain lists of scholars who say that one must mention the name of God while slaughtering. While I think it is good information, in my opinion I do not think it is related to my question.

I then recommended that we should remove the content which didn't address my question. But we had different of opinions about that and he said: "that the answer is more complete and useful if all three views are represented". So we decided that he would create a separate answer which was specific to my question, and keeping the old answer, in order to make sure all views are represented.

Now, I respect this, but my opinion is still that an answer should be specific to the question, and if someone else wants to know about the other point of view, they could ask that as a separate question. Therefore I'd like to know how our policy is about this or similar situations:

Question: Should answers be specific to the view that is asked for in the question?

1 Answer 1


On other sites...

My experience is that ordinarily providing useful content beyond the scope of the question is welcome. If the OP doesn't care about it, they can just ignore it, yet it remains useful to other readers.

On math.SE, this arises in various ways:

  • Someone might ask a question about [specific case of problem], and an answer resolves [general case of problem].

  • I often additionally provide code snippets for verification, going beyond what was asked for.

  • The author may be incapable of asking the most appropriate question due to insufficient familiarity with the topic. So it's best to answer the underlying (yet unasked) question as well.

  • Sometimes there's interesting remarks to be made about history, applications, alternative approaches, etc.

CodeReview.SE explicitly points out that you may get more than you ask for on their on topic page:

Reviewers may comment on any part of the code

Feel free to call attention to specific areas you are concerned about (performance, formatting, etc). However, any aspect of the code posted is fair game for feedback and criticism.

At Islam.SE...

Here, some additions are unwelcome, e.g. attempts to manipulate others into one viewpoint, wacky forms of apologetics, and so on. It's also accepted that questions may explicitly limit the scope to a certain viewpoint, so it would be inappropriate to violate those specified bounds.


  • Sometimes it's important to answer the unasked aspects of a question in order to avoid being misleading. An example is Does the Quran allow husbands punish their wives? where the top answer is maybe 80% additional material.

  • Sometimes there's pertinent or interesting information the author might wish to include.


  • Is it useful? Could the information be useful to someone (not necessarily the OP) who is interested in the question?

  • Is it harmful? And would getting rid of it cause more harm then it resolves? (Options include: downvote, edit [possibly after a time delay], comment, flag, ignore, let someone else handle it.)

This particular case...

To me, this case is clearly both useful and not harmful.

In regards to your comment, bear in mind, you're maybe around 1% of the audience. And it's not like you're somehow hindered by the additional information.

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