with due respect, my personal observation is that, taken collectively, "most" sunni awaam believe in big sounding titles awarded to contemporary public figures - even if they change allegiances, the titles merely get transferred to the new face. Allamah is the lowest you can get. And many people also suffer from weird variations of the recency effect: so the real/perceived scholar who lives close to or visits the mosque closest to one's place of residence, is generally the most correct in all cases. As you remove to farther places, scholars' begin to dim in erudition and importance. Then, the scholars closer to one in time are more correct than the earlier ones, at least they have the carte blanche authority to interpret or misinterpret the earlier ones (often the latter). Religious issues are frequently viewed through the lens of a 'scholar proximus'. And these effects apply not just to sunnis but muslims of all stripes - at least here in India.