I have seen some important social questions closed as non-constructive:

I think these and similar questions are suitable for our site because:

  • Islam has many social laws
  • Most of these questions arise when someone is faced a situation that wants to do something but is not sure his/her choice is according to Shari'ah or not
  • The answers of Islam to these questions are different from the answers of a secular school or other religions
  • They have great effect on Muslim's life
  • They are very common and are the question of not a single person, but many Muslims
  • Although the question may be written as non-constructive way, but it can be edited and answered in a very constructive manner

So I think we should welcome people to ask these questions, and try to edit and answer them in a constructive way if we feel the original question is not.

What's your idea?

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closing something as non-constructive is not the same as closing it as off-topic. –  goldPseudo Jan 4 '13 at 16:37
    
@goldPseudo Thanks, updated the question –  Ali Jan 4 '13 at 16:54

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I agree that such questions are valuable, both for the questioners and for the site itself. The problem isn't the suitability of such questions, the problem is that such questions need to be constructive.

Jeff's blog post Real Questions Have Answers — and Robert's later Good Subjective, Bad Subjective — lay forth some good general guidelines on how to make such questions constructive. These guidelines, while valuable, are very general and don't really deal with the peculiarities of this site in particular.

The problem with a lot of social problems is that they're exactly that: Social problems. Just because it's a Muslim who has this social problem doesn't automatically make it an Islamic problem.

Providing a viable solution to any social problem requires a fairly in-depth knowledge of particular persons, their environment, and their situation. This is a depth of information that is unlikely available (or even possible) in the post itself, and even less likely to be possessed by any of the myriad posters waiting to answer the question. And even if a viable answer is given, how useful it will ever be to any future users is questionable at best.

Such questions are almost invariably better-asked of a local imam than of random strangers on the internet. These questions are practically the very definition of Too Localized; the Stack Exchange model does not work well here.

What the Stack Exchange model does excel at is questions posed at a higher level of abstraction; the more users who are likely to be affected (or have been affected) by the exact question, the more likely a user will be able to actually provide an exact answer to the question.

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As with any question on any site on the Stack Exchange network, all questions posted here need to walk that fine line between Too Localized and Too General. As a rule of thumb, any social problems which ask "What should I do?" are probably too localized. Any social problems abstracted out enough to ask "What should a Muslim do in this situation?" are probably fine.

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