I've just gone through yet another purge of comments.

This is nothing new. The diamond hammer was swung, comments disappeared, questions remained unanswered, and feelings were hurt. Such goes with the job, and has done so for the last six-odd years.

What really struck me this time, however, is how many of these comments literally had nothing to do with the topic of Islam. They were arguing about tangential topics, about biology, or psychology, or earth sciences, or medicine, or quantum physics, or this, or that, or anything. These were problematic not only because they were arguments, which is bad enough, but because they had no business being on a site about Islam in the first place.

Which naturally leads me to check the post they're attached to. Posts which, while claiming to be answering about what Islam says about a topic, supports their arguments with weak or debatable assertions about how various fields of science confirms whatever they're saying. Or posts which make questionable assertions about scientific facts that are, at best, tangential to the actual question asked; in many cases they could be pruned entirely without affecting the actual core of the post.

Sometimes it's even the question itself that's explicitly asking for this. Questions of the form of "What scientific miracles are there in the Qur'an" or "Does science contradict Islam?" are the most blatant contenders, but it can often be more subtle.

The fundamental issue with all of these, whether well-intentioned or not, is that we are a site about Islam, and we are cultivating an userbase of experts in the topic of Islam. Many of these questions or answers, on the other hand, require expertise in a topic that's not Islam.

Which brings me to the point of this post: We shouldn't be coming here to find out what "science" says about Islam. We want to know what "Islam" says about Islam.

If you want to know anything about quantum physics, you would ask an expert in quantum physics. If you want to know anything about biology, you would ask an expert in biology. Similarly, if you want to know anything about Islam, you would ask an expert in Islam (that's where we fit).

If a questions demands expertise in multiple disciplines, the majority of which is not "Islam", we are probably a terrible place to ask that. Yet these sorts of questions keep coming, and keep getting upvoted, and keep getting answered.

The problem with allowing these is that, even if the answer itself is posted by someone who happens to have the necessary overlap in interests, as a userbase we're really only qualified to judge "Islam". The peer-review process of Stack Exchange is crucial to make sure good answers rise to the top and bad answers don't. If an an answer relies heavily on facts that require expertise in an entirely different discipline to know if they're even right, much less useful, then our entire voting mechanism can't be trusted.

In other words, rather than voting that reflects the veracity of a complicated quantum physical mechanic, what you end up with is voting that reflects how a bunch of Muslims think quantum physics works. One of those is arguably useful and constructive, one of those is entirely opinion and noise. I'll leave it an exercise to the reader to figure out which is which.

This goes for answers too. Even if the question is clear and focussed, I often see answers try to prop themselves up with confirmative non-Islamic sources. Or entire answers built up from a foundation of such sources. These sources might be reliable but in my experience they're just as likely to be cherry-picked, debatable, or downright debunked. However, whether they're right or not is irrelevant: The point is that we as a site are incapable of judging them, and voting is just as likely to promote convenient misinformation as it is actual valid facts.

In my experience, these sorts of arguments rarely if ever have anything to do with Islam itself, so much as they're an attempt to either "prove" Islam to non-Muslims or a form of peer-support to build iman in someone who has trouble taking Allah's word at itself. Neither of those is what we do here.

In other words, if your question requires knowledge of something that's not Islam to answer effectively, or your answer requires knowledge of something that's not Islam to understand, much less validate, chances are you're doing something wrong.


1 Answer 1


Well, I do think that scientific questions relating to Islam should be allowed. My arguments:-

  1. Because when talking about any science on Islam SE, the predominant intention of the OP is indeed Islamic. It is anything but off-topic.

  2. The OP, in most cases doesn't want to know about science. He/she only wants to know about the islamic interpretation of the verse or hadith.

  3. Also, the post sometimes might be opinion based, but what's wrong with it? Because in my latest scientific question a simple comment from UmH satisfied me. So, what's the problem in putting forth a legitimate and a well thought-out opinion which might answer the crux of the OP's post?

  • 1
    UmH's comment there is basically saying the same thing I am here, that the question was ultimately unanswerable, that any answers it does receive would be speculative at best, and that it should be closed. If it hadn't been closed before those speculative answers were posted, there runs the risk of you or any future visitors getting misled by them.
    – goldPseudo Mod
    Jan 16, 2019 at 3:36
  • @goldPseudo UmH said this," The seven earths could mean habitable planets with life, or layers of our planet, or continents, or something similar to a multiverse regarding all of which there are supporting traditions." Seven earths could mean seven "habitable" planets, that thought hadn't crossed my mind. That's an eligible interpretation. Jan 16, 2019 at 5:29
  • @goldPseudo But there'd always be moderators like you to prevent that by means of placing alternative, intellectual arguments to those speculative answers, not by flagging the post! Jan 16, 2019 at 6:15
  • You say "1. Because when talking about any science on ISE, the predominant intention of the OpP is indeed Islamic" and "2. The OP, in most cases doesn't want to know about science." this is self-contradictory. Either you want an Islamic explication and say so or you ask about a scientific one.
    – Medi1Saif Mod
    Jan 17, 2019 at 7:46
  • 1
    The terms science and scientific are normally understood in a non-Islamic meaning. And without adding a term referring to Islam they are treated as off-topic.
    – Medi1Saif Mod
    Jan 17, 2019 at 7:54

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