Birth Anniversary of Sister Clara Muhammad,
the wife of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad
and the first lady of the Nation of Islam
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad Commemorative Center takes time to recognize the birth anniversary of Sister Clara Muhammad, the wife of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the first lady of the Nation of Islam
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 Thomas’s 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.
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 his best follower. During the early stages of the development of the N.O.I., 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 men 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 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.
‘ĪD/EID AL-AḌḤĀ GREETINGS FROM THE
HONORABLE ELIJAH MUHAMMAD COMMEMORATIVE CENTER
“Peace be upon Ibrāhīm!” Thus indeed do We reward those who do right,
for he was one of Our believing servants.
Al-Qur’ān 37 [Aṣ-Ṣāffāt “The Ones Placed in Ranks”]:109-111*
There is an ‘Īd for every nation and this is our ‘Īd. Ḥadīth**
On the occasion of ‘Īd/Eid Al-Aḍḥā, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad Commemorative Center (HEMCC) conveys best wishes for an ‘Īd Al-Aḍḥā Mubārak to the Muslim community in the United States and abroad. May your ‘Īd be a blessed and joyous one! And to our brothers and sisters returning from the pilgrimage to Makkah/Mecca, Ḥajj Mabrūr! May Allāh (exalted is He) accept your ḥājj and grant you forgiveness and your wishes!
‘Īd Al-Aḍḥā, which means festival of the sacrifice, begins at the end of the ḥajj on the tenth day of Dhul-Ḥujjah, the twelfth and last month of the Islamic calendar. The chapter of Aṣ-Ṣāffāt (“The Ones Placed in Ranks” :102-107) of the Holy Qur’ān—the sacred scripture of Muslims—relates the story of the Prophet Ibrāhīm/Abraham (may peace be upon him) being tested by Allāh and his willingness to submit to Allāh’s command to sacrifice his son, Ismā‘īl/Ishmael. Ismā‘īl’s life was saved by Allāh when He rewarded the Prophet for his intended obedience (to Allāh’s command) by bestowing upon him a ram to sacrifice in his son’s stead.
This ‘Īd commemorates the submission of the Prophet Ibrāhīm to the will of Allāh. The slaughtering of sheep for distribution to the poor and the consumption of lamb are features of ‘Īd celebrations throughout the Muslim world. According to tradition, the Prophet Ibrāhīm and Ismā‘īl rebuilt the Ka‘bah, the holy house of Allāh, in Makkah. Among the rituals pilgrims perform during ḥajj is the circling of the Ka‘bah seven times.
‘Īd Al-Aḍḥā is the Arabic term that was used during the time of the Prophet Muḥammad ibn ‘Abdullāh (may peace and blessings be upon him) to refer to this holiday. Other names for the holiday exist in numerous languages spoken by over 1.5 billion Muslims residing in over 200 countries.
The Center also extends greetings of peace to the friends of the Muhammad family, who have supported the family's work for over 80 years. For more than 40 years, the Hon. Elijah Muhammad was the leader of the Nation of Islam, the world-renowned and largest Muslim-member organization in the United States. He was also the founder of the first Muslim school system in the United States, father of the late Imam W. Deen Mohammed, mentor of Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz), Minister Louis Farrakhan and Muhammad Ali and an inspiration to thousands of followers and sympathizers worldwide.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad Commemorative Center (HEMCC) is a family project initiated in 2006 by descendants of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad. HEMCC, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is incorporated in the state of Illinois. The mission of HEMCC is to promote universal awareness of the historic contribution and legacy of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, a famous twentieth-century social reformer in the United States.
Visit us at www.hemcc.org and www.facebook.com/pages/Honorable-Elijah-Muhammad-Commemorative-Center.
*Based on The Holy Qur’an: Text, Translation and Commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali (Elmhurst, New York: Tahrike Tarsile Quran, Inc, 1988).
**A saying attributed to the Prophet Muḥammad (may peace and blessings be upon him), as narrated by ‘Ā’ishah (may Allāh be pleased with her), in Ṣaḥiḥ al-Bukhārī, volume 2, book 15 [The Two Festivals], number 72, 23 October 2012 <www.sahih-bukhari.com/Pages/Bukhari_2_15.php>.
‘ĪD/EID AL-FIṬR GREETINGS FROM THE HONORABLE ELIJAH MUHAMMAD COMMEMORATIVE CENTER
There is an ‘Īd for every nation and this is our ‘Īd. (Ḥadīth)*
On the occasion of ‘Īd/Eid al-Fiṭr, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad Commemorative Center (HEMCC) conveys best wishes for an ‘Īd/Eid al-Fiṭr mubārak to the Muslim community in the United States and abroad. May your ‘Īd/Eid be a blessed and joyous one!
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