The Historical Emergence And Contemporary Interpretations Of Religious Authority In Different Muslim Communities


  • Prof. Dr. Matloob Ahmad
  • Dr. Abida Hafeez
  • Muhammad Farhan Ur Rehman
  • Dr Wajid Ali
  • Ms. Kalsoom Akhtar
  • Zubair Hussain


This research paper seeks to delineate the historical emergence and contemporary interpretations of religious authority within diverse Muslim communities, employing a comparative analysis in the field of Islamic studies. The study maps the historical trajectory of religious authority in Islam, from its origins through its religious and political formations. The paper begins by analyzing the divine sources of religious authority, focusing on the interpretive role of the Prophet Muhammad and the executive and legislative authority of the early Caliphs. The study then assesses the historical processes of institutionalization and canonization as they defined, implanted, and finally diffused religious authority within Islam's vast and diverse world. Here, the paper examines both the sectarian division of Islam between the Sunni and Shia traditions and the universal diffusion of Sufism, together with the diversity of modern models of religious authority within contemporary Islamic states. Finally, the paper concludes with a review of the contemporary response[1]s of Islamic movements, reformist thinkers, and diaspora communities to the challenges posed by the modern world to this ongoing production, reproduction, and negotiation of religious authority. The paper seeks to illustrate its analysis through a series of case studies of the distinctive models of religious authority in Saudi Arabia and Iran, of Sunni and Shia perspectives in South Asia, and of the impact of the orders of Sufism on religious authority in North Africa, to illustrate the solidification of this historical legacy into contemporary expression and the many voices and faces of religious authority in the contemporary world of Islam.




How to Cite

Ahmad, P. D. M. ., Hafeez, D. A. ., Rehman, M. F. U. ., Ali, D. W. ., Akhtar, M. K. ., & Hussain, Z. . (2024). The Historical Emergence And Contemporary Interpretations Of Religious Authority In Different Muslim Communities. Migration Letters, 21(S8), 116–123. Retrieved from




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