The MMA is a conglomeration of distinct Islamist parties that ran under a single banner during Pakistan’s 2002 provincial elections. Islamist movements are defined as those which derive inspiration from the Islamic scriptures, the Qur'an and Hadith, and vie to capture the state. Historically, literature concerning Islamism and Muslim political institutions has been propagated via the Orientalist discourse, where the rejection of certain post-Enlightenment, national, and secular values has been translated into such movements’ retrogressive nature. In fact, much of Islamism and its ideology are critiqued as a launching pad for fundamentalism and radicalism, as political movements such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and the ‘Islamic’ revolution of Iran are highlighted. However, social science and ethnographic work has proven that Islamism emerges out of middle-class lay intellectuals concentrated in urban centers. In the case of Pakistan and the MMA, Islamists united in 1993 under the Islamic Front and in 2000 under the Pakistan-Afghanistan Defense Council, yet the formation of the MMA in 2001 was the first time such a coalition entered the electoral process. It currently comprises the following notable groups:
Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman's faction of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam or simply JUI-F. The Largest more hardline and traditional stream of thinking - with popular appeal amongst clerics and the Pashtuns and Baluch of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan or JUP. A traditional Barelvi political party which is popular with traditional and folk Muslims in Pakistani villages in Sindh and Punjab.
Tehrik-e-Jafaria Pakistan or TJP. The Shia group also known as the Tehrik-e-Islami.
Jamiat Ahle Hadith. religious political party of Pakistan deriving from the Ahl-al-Hadees movement.
Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) (Urdu: متحدہ مجلس عمل) (United Council of Action) is a coalition of religious and theocratic parties consisting of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) (Assembly of Islamic Clergy, Fazl-ur-Rahman Group), Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (Assembly of Pakistani Clergy), Tehrik-e-Jafaria Pakistan, Jamiat Ahle Hadith and a few other smaller groups. Jamaat-e-Islami was part of alliance but alliance became largely Non- Functional after political disagreement over participating or boycotting election of 2008. JUI-F, leading member of group practically left the alliance to take part in the 2008 general elections and to be a part of coalition PPP government. When JUI-F revived the Alliance in 2012 Jamaat-e-Islami refused to join it. The religious alliance formed the government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2002 and leaded the coalition government in Balochistan with PML(Q). It is strong in the two small provinces. It is socially ultra-conservative and economically moderate socialist. It strongly opposes US military presence in Pakistan. In the Angus-Reid pre-election polls of 22 December 2007, the MMA was in fifth place, with 4% of the vote. The MMA in the National Assembly is actually JUI-F who decided to use the name MMA at the general election in 2008 after the remaining parties in the MMA decided to not take part in the general election. It currently holds 7 seats in the National Assembly. The MMA that contested the 2002 general election has disbanded, according to the head of Jamaat-e-Islami.