The Dawoodi Bohra Community hailing mainly from Gujarat in western India traces its ancestry to early conversion during the reign of Fatimid Caliph Imam, al-Mustansir in the 11th century. The early converts of the eleventh century comprised of a single group owing allegiance to the al-Dai al-Mutlaq in Yemen, the head of the religion. In the 16th century, the seat of al-Dai al-Mutlaq moved from Yemen to India and has remained there since. The al-Dai al-Mutlaq operates as the sole representative of the secluded Imam as such has a great influence on the history, faith, and practices of the Bohras. They are called "Dawoodi" after their twenty-seventh al-Dai al-Mutlaq Syedna Dawood ibn Qutubshah (d.1612). The word Bohra is derived from the Gujarati vohra, meaning, "to trade".
The Dawoodi Bohras are reputed to be the best organised and wealthiest of all Muslim communities. The present al-Dai al-Mutlaq, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin has continued his predecessors endeavors with particular emphasis on strengthening the communitys Islamic practices and on the promotion of its Fatimid heritage.