SPECIAL NOTE: Users who want to hide rep can already do so here http://stackapps.com/questions/3105/hide-all-pointless-user-data-gravatar-badges-and-reputation http://stackapps.com/a/3847/14787 , so it's really a choice for the website whether they want to provide the option or not, though it's not very necessary now since we can all use the link above to hide rep. Note that rep isn't hidden when you access the profile page.

Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh I think it's definitely shirk to ask and answer questions on this site with the intention of wanting to get points instead of wanting to spread knowledge for Allah's sake. How can we change this site so that theres no shirk I recommend just not letting users see how much people upvote your questions.


migrated from islam.stackexchange.com Dec 20 '12 at 23:33

This question came from our site for Muslims, experts in Islam, and those interested in learning more about Islam.

I recall reading some fatawa that consider collecting prizes for things that help in learning Islam (e.g. memorizing Qur'an) to be fine. In that regard, reputation points can be seen as a form of prize. – goldPseudo Dec 21 '12 at 5:10
islamqa.info/en/ref/89746 – user926 Dec 23 '12 at 2:45

No it is not shirk. When asking or answering for points, then there will be no reward even if it benefits others, while asking and answering for the sake of Allah with the right intention than that Insha'Allah is rewarded. It's all about sincerity here, but if a user starts worshiping the points by making it his only goal to get as much of it and by letting go of worship like salat and other things just because he is obsessed with this site, than that is delving into shirk because he is taking the points over Allah. Other than that, if one is not obsessed to that degree (which I doubt Insha'Allah anyone is) than it is a matter of lack of sincerity and the result is only no reward, it renders it useless.

As for trying to stop a possibility that might happen, I don't think making upvotes invisible to others is the answer, because upvote and downvote show the quality of it. Rather I think either of two things should be done:

  1. No reputation
  2. Make reputation of a user invisible to others except for the user himself or herself

Both of these will have bad results, for if number one is to be implemented, we won't be able to tell who is worthy for certain privileges and who isn't. That means anyone can come sign up and be able to do what only a trusted member can d, delete, close, and other things which might lead to major kayos.

If the second option is implemented, than it might discourage others from even answering. So the best thing to do is leave it up to the User and God, because if it is Allah's will that someone come here and be lead astray, no matter how hard we try, we won't be able to stop it.

Exactly, the second option, "it might discourage others from even answering." If people are discouraged from answering because other people don't get to see how many points they have, isn't that clear insincerity?! – user926 Dec 21 '12 at 15:05
I hope we'd get an option to make ourselves not able to see our points and badges but still gradually gain priviledges according to the points. So we get a choice to help us become sincere. Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/159421/… – user926 Dec 21 '12 at 15:12
Assalamualaikum. Note: using the app I actually got the option to not see reputation. Alhamdullilah that's what I've needed. – user926 Dec 23 '12 at 2:54

The voting system is fundamental to the Stack Exchange mechanic; the idea being that by voting on questions and answers, those posts which are useful end up on the top and those which are not useful end up on the bottom. By extension, those users which are deemed useful (in that they are writing useful posts) by the community are thus granted more privileges with which to moderate the site. If this is removed, then there is little to differentiate us from a typical forum, which is almost exactly what Stack Exchange is trying to avoid.

Aside from that, crippling the voting system would not remove the actual issue of people writing posts for the wrong reasons. The point system is basically just a method of quantifying community approval; even without the points, or without showing the points, that wouldn't stop people from writing things just because they want their peers to approve of it. The only difference is that that approval would then be measured through comments, or in chat, or just by number of times the post is referenced, or by any number of other potential methods.

Removing or hiding the point system would only be treating a symptom, not the actual problem. And short of anonymizing the entire system, there's no real way to remove the "peer support" motivation of this site.

In other words, those users who are strong in iman and who post for the right reasons would post for the right reasons regardless of the point system. And those users who are weak in iman and who post for the wrong reasons would post for the wrong reasons regardless of the point system.


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