Starting from the period of seclusion (daur us-satr) of the Faatemi Taiyebi Imaams starting from 21st Imaam Taiyeb (as) in 12th century AD till now, the chief missionary - Da’i-e-Mutlaq operates as the sole representative of the Imaam (as) in the seclusion. He has a great command and influence on the belief and practices of the Taiyebi Bohras. The first missionary (Da’i-e-Mutlaq) Saiyedna Zoeb, the son of Moosaa (d. 546 AH/1151 AD), carried on the mission from 532 AH/1138 AD in Yaman after the seclusion of the Imaam. Total 24 missionaries (Du’aat-e-Mutlaqeen pl. of Da’i-e-Mutlaq) served the mission in Yaman till 974 AH/1567 AD. Then the centre of the mission (markaz-e-Da’wat) got transferred to Ahmedabad (Gujarat). Bohras remained as a united single community till the 26th Da’i-e-Mutlaq Saiyedna Dawoodji Burhaanuddin, the son of Ajabshah (d. 999 AH/1591 AD) in Ahmedabad. A major split occurred after this which resulted in the formation of two groups – Dawoodis, who believed in the appointment of 27th Da’i-e-Mutlaq Saiyedna Dawoodji Burhaanuddin, the son of Qutubshah (d. 1021 AH/1612 AD) and Sulaymaanis.
After the death of 28th Dawoodi Da’i-e-Mutlaq Saiyedna Shaikh Aadam Safiyuddin (d. 1030 AH/1621 AD) in Ahmedabad, a major split occurred in mainstream Dawoodi Bohras and those who adhered to the rightful authority (da'iship) of the 29th Da’i-e-Mutlaq, the grandson of 28th Da'i, Saiyedna Ali Shamsuddin, the son of S. Ibraheem (d. 1046 AH/1637 AD), the Martyr (shaheed) came to be known as Alavi Bohras. This schism divided the mainstream Dawoodi Bohras into two different communities viz. Alavi Bohras and Dawoodi Bohras (who stuck to the mainstream name that was before the split).
The 32nd Da’i-e-Mutlaq Saiyedna Jivabhai Ziyauddin (d. 1130 AH/1718 AD) on the instructions of 31st Da’i-e-Mutlaq Saiyedna Hasan Badruddin (d. 1090 AH/1679 AD) shifted the seat of Da’wat from Ahmedabad to Vadodara (Badri Mohalla) in 1110 AH/ 1699 AD. Total 7 missionaries (Du’aat-e-Mutlaqeen pl. of Da’i-e-Mutlaq) served the mission in Ahmedabad from 974 AH/1567 AD till 1090 AH/1679 AD. Since then the community has its centre in Vadodara and it became the cradle of the mission. During the period of 35th Da’i-e-Mutlaq Saiyedna Noorbhai Nooruddin (d. 1178 AH/1764 AD), Surat city became the seat of Da’wat for a short span of 20 years. It is the endeavors and efforts in the various fields by their missionaries (du’aat) that has led to the present progress and prosperity of Alavi Bohras. It is the result of their unending efforts that the community is now in the lap of a modern age with the realization of the wholesome commitment of a true faithful Bohra towards personal-social relations and it has achieved excellence in the field of education and business.
The illustrious and learned 41st Da'i, Saiyedna Jivabhai Fakhruddin (1347 AH/1929 AD), was an accomplished scholar, a prolific writer and poet, a capable organizer and a man of vision. He made the handwritten copies of numerous old manuscripts to make is accessible to the pupils for higher studies. He composed different genre of poetry in Arabic, Urdu, Persian and Lisaan ud-Da'wat on varied topics such as merits of Ahl ul-Bayt (as) - the household of Mohammad ul-Mustafaa (saws), the pillars of Islaam and Imaan, morals, merits of Moharram ul-Haraam and Ramazaan ul-Mo'azzam, truly guided mission (da'wat ul-haqq), Imaam and Da'i, martyrs of Karbala and Imaam Husain (as), the city of Vadodara, merits of faithful believers and who serves the Da'wat selflessly, Qur'an-e-kareem etc. He named his composition as "Diwaan-e-Haseen". It is a practice to recite the selected compositions or verses (abyaat) in the assembly (majlis) of Da'wat. Some of his compositions have become so famous that have got memorized by the majority of the people. During the period of fifty years of his mission, he re-vitalized the community, fostered strong faith, organized the mission's objectives with broad-mindedness and far-sightedness, promoted welfare and education, guided the community to shun the irreligious customs, practices and social vices, and emancipated the community from the clutches of ignorance.
The 42nd Da'i, Saiyedna Fidaali Badruddin (1377 AH/1958 AD) was a strong man of principles and discipline. During his time a number of community buildings were constructed for the welfare of the people. He always took the path of truth and justice and stayed in Mumbai for 9 months in 1366 AH/1947 AD to safeguard the community from the evil eyes of the hypocrites. The 43rd Da'i, Saiyedna Yusuf Nooruddin (d. 1394 AH/1974 AD), has the distinction of constructing the most splendid and beautiful mosque "al-Masjid un-Nooraani ul-Alavi" at Vadodara in 1393 AH adorned by the delicate calligraphy and dressed in the white marble. The huge task of building this mosque continued for 6 yrs and it was the most sought after destination for sight-seers in Vadodara. All these missionaries (du'aat) led the Faatimid mission to the same cause and shaped the life of the believers and their deeds (a’amaal) in accordance with the teachings of Qur'an-e-Kareem and Isma'ili Jurisprudence (fiqh).