The Alavi Bohras are a Taiyabi Mustaali Ismaili Shi'i Muslim community from Gujarat, India. In India, during the time of the 18th Fatimid Imam Ma'ad al-Mustansir Billah around 1093 AD, the designated learned people (wulaat) who were sent from Yemen by the celebrated missionaries under the guidance of the Imam established a Dawah in Khambhat.
After the division of the Mustaalid community, the Yemenite Dawah followed at-Tayyib Abi l-Qasim as their Imam, and the Bohras are the modern descendants of Taiyabi converts and immigrants.
Subsequently, splits occurred at various instances in the mainstream Bohra community regarding the spiritual appointment in the succession of the representative of the Imam or Da’i in Ahmedabad between 1422-1640 AD. Two major splits during this period resulted in the formation of three major groups of Bohras: Alavis, Dawoodis and Sulaymanis. Alavis are the smallest in number of the Bohras.
One Dai succeeded another until the 23rd Dai in Yemen. In India also Wali-ul-Hind were appointed by them one after another until Wali-ul-Hind Moulai Jafer, Moulai Abdul Wahab and Moulai Qasim Khan bin Hasan (11th and last Wali-ul-Hind, d.950AH, Ahmedabad). The last three wali were of great help in the era of the 21st to 24th Dai. It was during this time when the Dawat was transferred to India from Yemen, that the 23rd Dai-al-Mutlaq Mohammed Ezzuddin performed nass (transfer of authority) on Yusuf Najmuddin ibn Sulaiman in Sidhpur, Gujrat, India.
Due to persecution by the local Zaydi Shi'a ruler in Yemen, the 24th Dai, Yusuf Najmuddin bin Sulayman (d.1567 AD), shifted the whole administration of the Dawat (mission) to India but continued to live in Yemen and died there. The 25th Dai Jalal Shamshuddin (d.1567 AD) was first dai to die in India; his mausoleum is in Ahmedabad, India. Dai Jalal's tenure as Dai was very short, only a few months, but before that he was Wali-ul Hind (after Moulai Qasim) for about 20 years under 24th Dai Yusuf while the Dai was in Yemen.
Following the death of the 26th Dai in 1591 CE, there was a dispute as to who was to succeed him. Suleman bin Hasan, the grandson of 24th Dai, was wali in Yemen and claimed the succession, supported by the other Yemeni Bohra. However, the Indian Bohra denied his claim of nass, declaring supporting documentation to be forged. The two factions separated, with the followers of Suleman becoming the Sulaymanis, and the followers of Dawood Bin Qutubshah becoming the Dawoodi Bohra.
Again in the period of the 29th Dai Abduttayyeb Zakiuddin, a small group of Alavi Bohra separated from Dawoodi Bohra under Ali bin Ibrahim (1034 AH/1634 AD), the grandson of 28th Dai Sheikh Adam Safiyuddin.
The Da'i of the present time i.e. the representative (naa'ib) of Imaam uz-Zamaan (the imaam in the progeny of Imaam Taiyeb), Saiyedna Abu Hatim Taiyeb Ziyauddin. Vadodara is the center of Davat for Alavi Bohras.