By Nikhat Fatima,

Even as the Muslim representatives file a review petition on the judgment on the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmbhoomi rejecting the Supreme Court’s verdict, Mohammed Amir is busy constructing a mosque Masjid-e Raheemia in Hafeez Baba Nagar, Hyderabad.

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But three decades ago, Amir’s life was entirely different. 

He was one of the karsewaks to climb the dome of the 16th century Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in December 1992. Known as Balbir Singh back then, he was a staunch follower of the RSS ideology and had developed a strong hatred against Muslims who he believed had invaded India and inflicted sufferings on the Hindus of the land.

Mohammed Amit (then known as Balbir Singh) in his youth

Mohammed Amir has been living in Hyderabad since 2008 as a Maulana, quietly going about his work of preaching Islam, giving Daw’ah (inviting people to Islam), running a madrasa (seminary) and building the Masjid –e-Rahimia. Not many people here know that 26 years ago, Amir was an active karsewak who had joined in demolishing the Babri Masjid.

Talking to, he shared his version of what pushed him into joining the RSS and into participating in the demolition of the masjid.

His first brush with the RSS was when after shifting to Panipat from their village, he and his 2 brothers were often left out by the boys and even teased as village bumpkins. And one day as he was sitting alone in a park he saw some boys who unlike the others treated him not just as an equal but even addressed him as ‘aap’ and as ‘Balbir Singh Ji’. This won him over and thus in 1978 he joined the boys and his journey with the RSS began as a member of the Baal Shakha.

With time, he became a full-fledged swaymsevak who was thoroughly brainwashed. He gained popularity through his active participation in the Sangh activities. 

Balbir Singh, armed with hatred and boosted by the encouragement of the people of his home town who said, “Don’t come back without doing something remarkable” joined the rally on December 5, 1992, in Ayodhya where he saw thousands of karsevaks like him, all raring to go.

And on December 6, 1992, when the frenzied mob determined to do away with the ancient mosque, began their work, Balbir was among the first karsevaks who climbed atop the dome of the Babri masjid and struck the dome with their pickaxes.

“For a brief moment, I felt a sense of fear that was perhaps both of the military and of God. I overcame that when I heard the chants of my fellow karsevaks below. And all I saw then was an elevation of my status in the political arena”, Balbir said reminiscing the incident that took place 27 years ago.   

Amir narrated that although he was given a hero’s welcome after coming back to his home town; he saw that none of his family members was happy with him. They did not share his Hindutva ideology. Besides, he was engulfed with both guilt and fear. He feared being caught and killed by the Muslims and spent the next couple of months in hiding in different places as he was turned away from his home.

He then went to his close friend Yogendar Pal, a karsevak who was with him all along their journey in demolishing the Babri mosque and was shocked to learn that Yogendar had converted to Islam. He was now called Mohammed Omar.

Yogendar told his friend Balbir about his guilt, fears and the hallucinations he was facing after the incident. And that he was on the verge of going mad. Balbir realized this was what he was undergoing too and feared he might lose his sanity.

Yogendar explained how converting to Islam helped him soothe his nerves and overcome the guilt he felt. Following his suggestion, Balbir went to Sonepat and met Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui who had converted his friend to Islam.

After staying for some months in the madrasa run by the Maulana in Phulat, Muzaffarnagar, Balbir converted to Islam and became Mohammed Amir in 1993.

His wife also came to live with him in Phulat and converted to Islam. Later due to some tragic incident back home, she had to go away with their four children to their home town in Haryana.

Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui had advised him that he could help in building other mosques to atone for destroying one mosque. And ever since, through the Jamiat Imam Waliullah Trust for Charity and Da’wah, Amir, who learnt Arabic and to read the Quran, has identified several mosques in ruins and got them repaired with help from the Wakf Board and other donors and re-established prayers there again. He also built some new ones. He and his friend Omar together have re-established more than 90 mosques as they both took an oath to preserve and protect mosques.

At the same time, he also worked to impart religious education in madrasas and invite people to Islam. After serving in Mewat, he came down south to Hyderabad.

In Hyderabad, he is running a madrasa named ‘Dar-e-Ayub’ and also constructing a mosque called ‘Masjid e Rahimia’ for which he is collecting funds.

Md Amir starting the construction of the mosque in March

Mohammed Amir is now married to a Hyderabadi Alima (female scholar) and both of them are engaged in religious work. It was not easy for him to go about his life as there was always a risk from the RSS people who targeted him in different ways like filing false cases against him.

After the verdict on the Babri Masjid on November 9th 2019, Mohammed Amir told, “We want peace, which is why we accept this verdict. If anyone says the faith of Hindus has won, they are wrong. We Muslims also have our faith which is strong which is why we choose peace. And since we chose peace, we have won, we have not lost.”

“I hope the government will now get down to dealing with the real issues that need immediate attention,” he added.

Mohammed Amir in Hyderabad

However, he has nothing to say about the decision of the All India Muslim Personal Board and Jamiat Ulema –e hind to file the review petition. He is not even sure if anything will come out of it.

After the mosque is built, he has plans to leave Hyderabad as he feels his mission here will be accomplished. “Muslims are lagging behind in education and many of their problems will be solved if they get educated,” Amir, who is a triple post-graduate in Economics, English literature and Political science, says. 

Those interested in contributing to constructing Masjid e Rahimia which is underway can donate here: 

A/c holder: Mohammed Amir,

Bank: SBI, 

IFSC code: SBIN0004904, 

A/c No.2006 33 49 652