They officiate at ceremonies and collect taxes. Loyalty is assured by a mishaq or ritual bath which has to be taken by all Bohras at teenage years. There are positive rewards and psychological benefits for continued membership of the community: advice and consolation, business credit, a system of titles, Anjuman Shiat-e-Ali, social, educational and business organisations, scholarships, student hostels, hospitals, musafirkhanas (traveller's rest houses), a cooperative bank and various forms of patronage. All these are financially supported by a system of private taxation or tithes which is somewhat heavier than the usual Muslim 'zakat.'
The Bohras of the present day, who live mostly in Maharashtra and Gujarat, were once all Hindu Brahmins and were converted to Islam about 900 years ago. During the time of the eighteenth dai in Yemen, two missionaries, Maulai Ahmad and Maulai Abdullah were sent to India and landed at Cambay. It is said Abdullah gained the confidence of the local inhabitants by his miracles.
The tombs of these two missionaries in Cambay and of their first converts, the owner of the well, Kaka Akela and his wife Kama Akeli, are revered and visited by the Bohras of India.
More recently, the dissident progressives, who call themselves the Pragati Mandal, have abandoned this issue and have concentrated their efforts on democratising the organization and obtaining popular control over its expenditure so that more of the income from endowments, charities and tithes will be spent on the welfare and education of the poorer members.