Descended from a family with long history of service in the Abbasid government, he rose to power in the Abbasid court, serving as vizier in 913–917, 918–923, and 927–928.
Ali ibn Isa's political career, coinciding with the terminal decline of the Abbasid state, was turbulent, marked by a power struggle with his rival Abu'l-Hasan Ali ibn al-Furat and his supporters, resulting in frequent periods of exile. In contrast to the largesse and extravagance of Ibn al-Furat, Ali ibn Isa was austere and a determined opponent of corruption, which earned him many enemies. Nevertheless, he was later remembered as the "good vizier" for his administrative talent and honesty.
- Bonner, Michael (2010). "The waning of empire, 861–945". In Robinson, Chase F. (ed.). The New Cambridge History of Islam, Volume 1: The Formation of the Islamic World, Sixth to Eleventh Centuries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 305–359. ISBN 978-0-521-83823-8.
- Bowen, Harold (1928). The Life and Times of ʿAlí Ibn ʿÍsà, ‘The Good Vizier’. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. OCLC 386849.
- Bowen, Harold (1960). "ʿAlī b. ʿĪsā". In Gibb, H. A. R.; Kramers, J. H.; Lévi-Provençal, E.; Schacht, J.; Lewis, B. & Pellat, Ch. (eds.). The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Volume I: A–B. Leiden: E. J. Brill. pp. 386–388. OCLC 495469456.
- Kennedy, Hugh (2004). The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates: The Islamic Near East from the 6th to the 11th Century (Second ed.). Harlow: Longman. ISBN 978-0-582-40525-7.
- van Berkel, Maaike M. L. (2013). "ʿAlī b. ʿĪsā b. Dāʾūd b. al-Jarrāḥ". In Fleet, Kate; Krämer, Gudrun; Matringe, Denis; Nawas, John; Stewart, Devin J. (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE. Brill Online. ISSN 1873-9830.