THE LIFE & LOVE OF SISTER CLARA MUHAMMAD
Sister Clara Muhammad, (b. November 2, 1877 - d. August 12, 1972) was born Clara Evans in Macon, Georgia. She was the wife of Messenger Elijah Muhammad and the First Lady of the Holy Nation Of Islam. A strong woman in the faith that was a hard working pioneer to make the Nation Of Islam a reality in the Wilderness of North America and around the world.
She personally met Allah (God) in the person of Master Fard Muhammad, (to whom all praises are due forever) and helped her husband, (Messenger Elijah Muhammad) in many ways. She used to pass instructions to the Ministers of the Nation Of Islam for her husband, during his imprisonment. She eloped and married the Messenger before they got the knowledge of Self. They married back in 1917 while still in Georgia. The Last Messenger of Allah (God) the most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and his wife Clara Muhammad had eight children; six boys and two girls. Sister Clara Muhammad died on August 12, 1972 after years of stomach cancer. She is highly respected and deeply loved by the followers of Messenger Elijah Muhammad. And many of the Nation Of Islam schools are named in her honor, "SISTER CLARA MUHAMMAD'S SCHOOL". Messenger Elijah Muhammad said about his wife's passing:
THE THEOLOGY OF TIME
August 6, 1972
By Messenger Elijah Muhammad
"I set up and laid around my poor wife suffering with pain and what not. I prayed over her. I don't care anything about too much sleep no way. God didn't make me to sleep very long. He told me and those others that were there listening to Him, 'He [Messenger] will be like Myself, a couple of hours will be sufficient for him to sleep.' So, I sit up and laid around on the side of the bed honoring her in her helpless state of sickness. I noticed she would sleep sound as long as I was laying around on the bed or sitting there where she could opened her eyes and see me. I hated to leave out for the sake of wanting to sleep and rest. What kind of sleep and rest did God prepare for me? He didn't prepare any sleep and rest for me, no. If I'm to be like Him, He doesn't have no rest. He works night and day and I have to work night and day. So when people get restless, you'd better let them go. If you don't they'll turn into something else, then you'll have another job to do." *(Photo below of Sister Clara Muhammad's Jinaazah (Funeral Services) in 1972
Clara was born on November 2, 1899 in Cordele, Georgia to Quarters and Mary Lou Evans. Clara, her two brothers and two sisters, grew up on their parents’ ranch. They attended public school and worked in the fields. Clara's mother’s family, the Thomases, were known for their good Samaritan characteristics and their quest and support for education. These traits helped shape the great woman that Clara later became.
At the age of 17, Clara married Elijah Poole (later known as Elijah Muhammad). By the time of the Great Depression in 1929, Clara, her husband, and their two small children joined millions in the Great
Migration from the southern states to the Midwest. They took up residence in Detroit, Michigan where they met a stranger known as W. Fard Muhammad. For three and a half years Master Fard taught and groomed Elijah to be the leader of the newly-formed Nation of Islam (N.O.I.). Clara was her husband’s first convert and best follower. During the early stages of the N.O.I.’s development, Clara and her family endured many trying events.
In 1931 Clara took a courageous stand for the right to educate her children in her home when home schooling was illegal. She refused to enroll her children in public school. As a result, she and her husband were charged with contributing to the delinquency of minors. Her brave stance against a truant officer paved the way for the establishment of the largest private elementary school system for African American children in the United States of America.
For many years Clara served as her husband’s liaison to the N.O.I, delivering both written and verbal instructions to the lead minister in Chicago, while her husband and all able-bodied members of the N.O.I. were imprisoned for draft evasion. During his incarceration, Elijah Muhammad was a model prisoner and was allowed to teach his fellow inmates about Islam. His request for a Qur’an was denied. Sister Clara copied on paper English translations of verses of the Qur’an and brought them to her husband! Thanks to her courageous devotion, the Nation of Islam survived and prison inmates enjoy access to the Qur’an. Clara Muhammad remained devoted to her husband, her family, and to the Muslim schools until her death on August 12, 1972. She was the strongest and most courageous and dedicated woman of her time. She upheld a posture of grace, righteousness, kindness, and dignity and her example was unparalleled by most women of her day. Her spirit lives on.