Once upon a time, there was a Caliphate, and the Caliphate was hereditary. The Caliph had a thousand sons. When his grip weakened, the sons would kill or imprison each other till only one remained, who became the new Caliph. The Caliph was the supreme leader of both Church and State, and any preacher boy who claimed to be substantially holier than the Caliph was apt to wind up a head shorter. This prevented spirals of holiness competition.
The Caliphate was overthrown, because the Turks became sick of the burdens of empire, an empire in which outsiders were continually favored over Turks, not to mention that the Caliph tended to be noticeably whiter than the Turks.
In the ensuing chaos, the House of Saud grabbed quite a lot of land, on the basis that they were holier than anyone else. Since then, we have seen one movement after another claiming to be holier than the house of Saud. A day or so ago, US troops fled Yemen, abandoning their heavy weapons to the extremely holy Islamic State or the extremely holy Al Qaeda, or, very likely, both. Yemen has not fallen yet, probably will not fall for a quite a while, but the writing is on the wall.
To the extent that these movements adhere to the plain wording of the Koran and the Hadiths, they are delightfully reactionary. I particularly like Boko Haram’s position on marriage and western education. But, if you simply stick to the plain wording, that kind of limits how holy you can be. So, as each strives to be holier than the other, we are seeing increasing egalitarianism and socialism. All holiness spirals tend to wind up in much the same place regardless of religion of origin, just as all aneuploid malignant metastatic cancers look very much alike, regardless of tissue of origin. Pretty soon they will be holier than Mohammed, as Christians have long been holier than Jesus. If it were not for that, I would convert to Boko Haram’s brand of Islam right away.