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Are the questions which demand comparison of Islam with other religions to be considered on-topic or of-topic?

  • 2
    They're off topic on the other religious SE sites, on the basis that experts in one religion are not expected to be experts in another. Dunno what the general rule here is. Of course specific questions about how Islam views other religions are on topic.
    – TRiG
    Feb 16 '14 at 17:42
  • @TRiG Well, although I agree with that. But what about questions like say What is the fundamental difference between Islam and religion X, they both have the following same believes, so why different? Feb 17 '14 at 18:25
  • Well, you've already got one on what is unique about Islam.
    – TRiG
    Feb 17 '14 at 18:34

The definition of this site had been changed, but the about page had not been updated yet. The definition is as is in the help-center:

Islam Stack Exchange is for experts in Islam, students of knowledge, and those interested in Islam on an academic level

Although there have been exceptions. Anyway, to answer the question. Based on the above definition that this site is for the interested in Islam on an Academic level, As well as what TRiG mentioned in his comment under your question, that one is not expected to be an expert in another religion not ones own. So based on that, and what other religious sites follow on this network, I would say it is off-Topic.

As for questions that ask for how Islam views a certain religion, then they are on topic. As for questions like "What is the similarities and differences of such and such Buddhist belief with Islam, and how can it be used in Da'wah?" Then such a question I would say is on topic. Otherwise overall, this is not a comparative religion site, but a question and answer site on Islam.

  • A question like "What is the similarities and differences of such and such Buddhist belief with Islam, and how can it be used in Da'wah?" seems to me too broad unless you focus it on a certain topic of interest.
    – Medi1Saif Mod
    Feb 19 '18 at 13:24

I would answer this as follows:

Based on TRiG's comment that one is not expected to be an expert in another religion than ones own.

These questions should be off-topic if:

  • The question doesn't offer a good basis for comparison:
    Let's say we want to compare a kind of worship between Islam and religion X, but OP didn't describe how this worship is handled in religion X.
  • if the questions is not focused enough.

Note that any answer primarily will be based on the information and details given by OP, so one should be clear that any wrong information in the question post may imply a wrong comparison, unless the person answering has enough background knowledge of the religion compared with! And it primarily will -hopefully- be based on the Muslim perspective.

Else the question would either be considered as unclear or too broad (other closure-reasons can't be excluded).

The question is on-topic as long as we have a basis of comparison.

Like a comparison of specific concepts:

How is the concept of Reincarnation treated in Islam? or Does Islam believe in rebirth??

one could also add this one asking about an equivalent of a concept: Is there any Islamic equivalent of Khumra (with examples)

But of course the fact that many of these questions may lead to answers which will represent the Muslim perspective (Only) and hardly be fairly representing opposite views may lead to a case by case judgement (as preaching the truth shouldn't be the goal of this site).


I think "comparative religion" should not be the sole deciding factor as to whether or not a question is off-topic. We can just let the community close the bad ones as usual.

Some reasons:

  1. Christianity and Judaism are part of Islamic scriptures.

    In the case of Islam, both Christianity and Judaism are mentioned throughout e.g. the Qur'an, and the Gospel and Torah are part of Islam. So I don't think we can separate Islam from these religions as easily as they can separate from Islam.

  2. Comparative religion is part of Islamic studies at an academic level.

    Islamic comparative religion is the study of religions in the view of Islam. This study may be undertaken from a conservative Muslim perspective, which often sees Judaism and Christianity as having been originally similar to Islam, and later developing away from the root monotheist religion. However, some liberal movements within Islam dispute the conservative view as being ahistorical; they claim that Islam is the end-result rather than the origin point of monotheist thought. -- Islamic Studies, Wikipedia

  3. There are Islamic scholars who specialize in comparative religion. See: List of Muslim comparative religionists.

  4. There are experts in comparative religion (Google comparative religion university).

  5. The tags (7 questions, 1 closed) and (26 questions, 5 closed) make it seem like the community already welcomes these questions to some degree. There's also tags , , .

However, from meta.Judaism.SE:

However, if someone asks something like "What are the differences between how Jews do <thing>, and how <religion x> does it?", then that's off-topic. This is a question that compares two different religions, one of which is out of the scope of this site, so the whole question is off-topic. -- HodofHod

Essentially, some comparative religion questions will be inherently half-off-topic. So this is worth bearing in mind.

(For reference, here is the meta.Buddhism.SE post, and the attitude there seems to be "sometimes such questions are good and useful" and to just close bad questions as usual.)

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