Authority in Islam is often understood to operate as a site of negotiation. Based on textual analysis and ethnographic research, this article examines three case studies of disparate Shi'i Sufi Orders where a willing deferral of certain types of authority exists. In the first case study, the Soltanalishahi Order refer their members to an outside mujtahid for all matters relating to the shariat, therein limiting the powers of their shaykhs and qotb. The second case study looks at debates concerning the nature of the qotb's authority within a single order, particularly as it pertains to the power of touch and transmissibility of blessing (barakat) from qotb to object to person, with the order's leadership refuting the idea of charismatic embodied authority despite some of their lay members’ beliefs. Finally, the third case study addresses a group who refute the need for any centralized leadership at all and instead recognize and read the works of multiple qotbs from disparate Iranian orders. By focusing on the deferral of authority, as a type of editing, as a type of shaping, I hope to show that the refuting of certain duties is just as formative as the amassing of powers.