After the martyrdom of the legatee of Prophet Mohammad Rasoolullaah, Ameer ul-Mumineen Maulaana 'Ali in 40 AH, his son Hasan al-Mujtabaa became the first Imam and this institution of Imamat i.e. succession of al-A'immat al-Faatemiyeen continued from father to son till the 21st Imam. This 21st Fatimid Imam at-Taiyeb Abul Qaasim went into seclusion from Egypt in 528 AH, in Yemen under the guidance of Hujjat-e-Imam Saiyedah Hurrah Malekah Arwaa bint Ahmad from 532 AH, one Da'i succeeded another through the tradition of Nass - the exclusive spiritual appointment, until the 23rd Da'i i.e. from 1st Da'i Saiyedna Zoeb bin Saiyedi Moosa till 23rd Da'i Saiyedna Mohammad Izzuddin. In Sindh and India too Wulaat ul-Hind were appointed by these Du'aat one after another until Wali-ul-Hind Maulaai Ja'far, Maulaai 'Abd ul Wahab and Maulaai Qaasim Khan bin Hasan (11th and last Wali-ul-Hind, d. 950AH, Ahmedabad). The last three walis were of great help in the era of the 21st to 24th Da'i i.e. Saiyedna Husaamuddin (921-932 AH), Saiyedna Shamsuddin (933 AH), Saiyedna Izzuddin (933-946 AH) and Saiyedna Najmuddin (946-974 AH). It was during this time when the seat of Da'wat e Haadiyah was transferred to India from Yemen, the 23rd Da'i ul-Mutlaq Mohammed Izzuddin performed Nass (transfer of authority) on Yusuf Najmuddin bin Saiyedi Sulaiman in Sidhpur, Gujarat, India.
Due to constant harassment and persecution by the local Zaydi Shi'a ruler in Yemen, the 24th Da'i, Yusuf Najmuddin bin Saiyedi Sulayman (d. 1567 AD), shifted the whole administration of the Da'wat e Haadiyah (rightly guided mission) to India but continued to live in Yemen in the last years of his tenure and died there in Taibah. The 25th Da'i Jalaal Shamsuddin (d. 1567 AD) was first Da'i to die in India and he was torch-bearer in establishing the representation of the Imam of the Time from the progeny of Mohammad Rasoolullaah though he stayed for only 4 months on the Seat of Da'wat; his mausoleum is in Ahmedabad, India. As mentioned his tenure as a Da'i ul-Mutlaq was very short but he played a pivotal role as one of the most trusted person from Hudood and as a Mazoon during the period of 23rd and 24th Da'i.
Following the death of the 26th Da'i Saiyedna Dawoodji Burhaanuddin bin Saiyedi Ajabshah in 997 AH/1591 AD in Ahmedabad, there was a dispute as to who was to succeed him. Sulaiman bin Hasan, the grandson of 24th Da'i, was the then Wali in Yemen and claimed the succession, supported by other Yemeni Bohra groups. However, the Indian Bohras denied his claim of Nass, declaring supporting documentation to be forged and doctored. The two factions separated, with the followers of Sulaiman becoming the Sulaimanis, and the followers of 27th Da'i Saiyedna Dawoodji Burhaanuddin bin Saiyedi Qutubshah becoming Dawoodi Bohras.
After the death of the 28th Da'i, Saiyedna Sheikh Aadam Safiyuddin, in 1030 AH/1621 AD, a small noble devoted faction of Alavi Bohras in Ahmedabad recognized his grandson Saiyedna 'Ali bin Saiyedi Ibraahim (d. 1046 AH/ 1637 AD), the great martyr, who was Mazoon, Mansoos and treasurer of Kutub e Da'wat, as his successor and got separated in 1030 AH from the majority Dawoodi Bohra who believed in 'Abd ut Taiyeb Zakiyuddin. From then onwards, Alavi Bohras followed a separate line of Du'aat residing mainly in Vadodara (Gujarat, India) where they have their own locality. Saiyedna 'Ali was supported by his uncle and his Mansoos Saiyedna Taiyeb Zakiyuddin (d. 1047 AH/1638 AD) with the loyalty of very few staunch followers. Saiyedna 'Ali never carried his protest to the court of Mughal Emperor Jahangir to declare him as a legitimate Da'i. Unverified accounts of this episode could be found in many publications. But Saiyedna 'Ali ordered his associate Mukaasir Hasan Badruddin in 1031 AH/1622 AD to go to the Mughal court in Lahore to meet Jahangir to complain on his behalf about the atrocities meted upon Alavis in Ahmedabad by their opponents. The help came and the lives of Alavis became better than before. This relief was short-lived and again the harassment sprung up more fiercely. Mukaasir Hasan Badruddin went again to Lahore for the same reason and then traveled to Kashmir to meet Emperor Shah Jahan in 1046 AH/1637 AD, the year of the martyrdom of Saiyedna 'Ali. Hasan Badruddin was not present at the time of the burial of Saiyedna 'Ali.
Saiyedna 'Ali, the 29th Alavi Da'i was born in the walled city of Vadodara in Fakhri Mohalla, when 27th Da'i Saiyedna Dawoodji Burhaanuddin bin Saiyedi Qutubshah was alive in Ahmedabad. His father Saiyedi Ibrahim died during his childhood. He became Haafiz ul-Qur'an in a tender age and when his grandfather 28th Da'i Saiyedna Shaikh Aadam brought him to Ahmedabad for further studies in Uloom-e-Da'wat in the majlis of 27th Da'i, by seeing face of Saiyedna 'Ali, 27th Da'i gave glad-tidings to 28th Da'i that, "This son will become the Light of your Eyes, so educate him as he is going to become the man of great acclaim."