The National Amir,Elbirru Muslim Association of Nigeria(EMAN)Arc. AbdulYekeen Mamman, has reminded muslims of their roles in all National Civic activities,amongst which include the National general Elections and National Headcount (Census)scheduled for the first/ second quarters of 2023.
Speaking at a public lecture organized by the El-birru Muslim Association of Nigeria EMAN to commemorate the Islamic New Year 1444ah At Ogaminana Central Jumaat Masjid,Adavi L.G.A of Kogi State on Muharram 1,1444 AH(Saturday, 30th July, 2022),Arc.Mamman informed muslim faithfuls on the needs for their effective participation in both exercises particularly the National Head count which will most likely be in month of April.
He said the primary and fundamental purpose of census taking, was to gather data for planning for sustainable national develop meant which is beneficial to lives of the citizens.
In his words”The population exercise is an important index and very relevant for purposes of understanding the population demographics of any community, state or country.
“The first census carried out in Madina was ordered by the Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) to assess the numbers of the Muslims for defensive purposes.
“In a hadith found in both Bukhari and Muslim with differing wording, the Companion Hudhayfa (Allah be pleased with him) said:
“We were with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) when he said, ‘Count for me how many people profess Islam.’ So we asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, are you afraid for us, while we are between 600 to 700 strong in number?!’ He replied, ‘You never know, perhaps you may be faced with tribulations,’ as Hudhayfa ( years later) observed, “And we did indeed face tribulations… to the point where a many of us wouldn’t even pray except secretly [due to fear].” [Muslim]
“Other hadiths report a higher population (1500), which shows that either the census was taken multiple times as the community grew, or that the higher figures reported all Muslims (men, women and children), and the lower number tallied men specifically.
“The reason for this census was to record the number of able-bodied men for the Muslim defenses at critical battles such as Uhud and the Trench. This proves that the taking of a census and the analysis of demographics is a Sunnah, and upheld by the Sacred Law when there is a need for it.
“The deeper lesson in the hadith is that one should never be dazzled by their large numbers nor feel overconfident, since success and safety is from Allah the Most High, and trials can come as a punishment for self-admiration.
“The taking of census itself does not lift blessings, because it is for a religiously-sanctioned communal benefit.
Census in the times of Omar and Muawiyah (may Allah be pleased with them)
“The first census in Madina was localized, limited in scope, and an informal head-count to gauge defensive strength. The first person to implement a fully-recorded, regular census in Islam was the 2nd caliph and companion, Omar ibn al –Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him).
When great amounts of wealth entered the Muslim treasury and the population grew, the question of how to distribute the wealth effectively and fairly throughout the society came up. The registries were established according to tribes and families in order to manage and track the distribution of these benefits.
During Mu’awiya’s caliphate, names of the newborn children and those who had moved into and out of each neighborhood in Egypt were being recorded on a daily basis, in order to channel government benefits equitably. This was in addition to keeping a census for the human resource aspect of military defense, or communal responsibilities.
“The census is important in our times, in order to gauge the needs of the community for better serve of its various demographic sectors, and to assess its talents, resources, strengths and weaknesses.
“As Muslims therefore, it is incumbent upon us to participate in Headcount(Census)at all times so that our communities to attract inclusiveness during mark up of government developmental plans.
“It would be wise to create time for participation in Headcount exercise, for it is part of sunnah.
“May Allah (swt) make our communities strong, and reliant on Him alone..aamiin