Mother of the Nation of Islam
From the forthcoming book: Clara Evans Muhammad: A Biography
by Zakiyyah Muhammad
Clara Evans Muhammad (1899-1972), was a mother who had a mission that was so vastly different from the world she knew it changed the course of history. She was the co-builder of the Nation of Islam (1931-1975) along with her husband, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
Clara Was Chosen
In 1930 when the mystic W. D. Fard Muhammad founded the Lost Found Nation of Islam in the Wilderness of North America, he not only chose Elijah Poole to be the leader he also chose Clara Evans. He chose the pair realizing that Elijah needed a support and helper in the unprecedented work of building a Nation.
Her Life is Emblematic of a People
The life of Clara Evans Muhammad is more than the story of a single soul. It is a commentary on the circuitous journey of a people searching for lost identity and finding it.
It is the story of a human soul – emblematic of a people – reaching for the right to live a dignified human life. Her life describes a woman‘s faith in God for freedom from oppression, her love and devotion to husband and family and the power of maternal instincts (mother leadership) to protect and advance her goals. Clara Evans Muhammad is of the tradition of Mothers whose names are often lost to history. Her work was shadowed by her legendary husband, Elijah Muhammad, whereas other great women’s work is often enhanced by such renown. Yet, Clara’s work was unique, even unprecedented by some standards, due to the level of poverty from which she ascended after marriage. Her impact on women, education and Muslim leaders has spanned five generations influencing the largest identifiable community of Muslims in the United States of America. To that community she is Mother Clara.
The Provenance of Clara Muhammad
The provenance of Clara Evans Muhammad in that effort is monumental.
- It was Clara not Elijah who was the first to hear the Founder, W. D. Fard Muhammad and it was Clara who took her husband, Elijah, to hear him.
- Clara was asked by the Founder to promise if the child she was carrying was a boy that she would nurture him to be a great help to his father. Clara promised and delivered.
- Clara was the first official member and teacher of women in the MGT&GCC (Muslim Girls Training and General Civilization Class). It was the first official class for Muslim women.
- Clara Evans Muhammad was the primary motivator behind the pioneering University of Islam Schools established by the Founder. The school began in her home with her children.
- Clara maintained and led the Lost Found Nation of Islam in the Wilderness of North America for nearly a decade while her husband was incarcerated.
- Clara was personally responsible for bringing the Qur’an into the American penal system now called correctional institutions.
- Clara Evans Muhammad is regarded as an exemplary model of integrity, grace, elegance and perseverance for women particularly Muslim African American women.