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The Majlis Syura Ulama (Consultative Council of Religious Scholars) in PAS was created in 1983 to give substance to newly-adopted policy of kepimpinan ulama (leadership by scholars).

Previously, the Dewan Ulama - established in the early years of PAS along with Dewan Pemuda and Dewan Muslimat (women's wing) as a sub-unit of the party - was the main avenue for the scholars to influence policies.

The new body consisted of 15 members. The Central Committee and the Dewan Ulama respectively appoints four of its members to sit in the Majlis Syura. They in turn select the remaining seven members. The council elects from among its members a Musyidul 'Am (spiritual leader) and his deputy.

Part of recent proposal by deputy Musyidul 'Am Dr Haron Din is to reduce the representation of Dewan Ulama from four persons to two through the automatic inclusion of the president and deputy president. For some leaders who are frustrated with the conservative and patronising attitude of the Dewan Ulama, this may be an exit strategy.

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