History of Clara Mohammed School
Clara Mohammed School was formally known as University of Islam. The first University of Islam was started in Detroit, Michigan in 1932. It was called “university” to indicate that its curricular was universal and included instructions in advanced disciplines. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad was a forerunner in the establishment of the University of Islam and supported by his wife, Sister Clara Muhammad. University of Islam was an elementary school which taught mathematics, astronomy, and the general knowledge of civilization. Schools were established in many of the cities where the Nation of Islam had a presence. By 1974 there were 47 University of Islam schools across the country.
Evolving from the model of the University of Islam were the Clara Mohammed Schools across America. The Clara Mohammed Schools have been pioneers in the development of Islamic education in the United States and abroad. They were the first schools that offered an Islamic education in America. The first school was located in the home of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Clara was the schools’ first teacher. Both Clara Mohammed and her husband, Elijah Muhammed dedicated themselves to educating their own children. They risked their lives and freedom during a time in history when independent education was illegal. Sister Clara Muhammad worked hard to bring their dream of providing proper education to their children and African-American children in America.
When Imam Warith Deen Mohammed assumed leadership of the Nation of Islam in 1975, after the death of his father, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, he transformed the University of Islam to Clara Mohammed School in honor of his mother and renamed the school system. The name Clara Muhammad signifies the united struggle for freedom of education and our obligation to educate our children. Clara Muhammad died on August 12, 1972 after a long bout with stomach cancer. Her legacy lives on.
Clara Mohammad School of St. Louis is a network school and a member of the National Clara Mohammed School Council. The University of Islam in St. Louis closed in 1976, and re-opened in 1984 as Clara Mohammed School. At that time, the student enrollment consisted of eight full-time students. By the 1990’s the student enrollment was forty-three. During the 1990’s the school consisted of Pre-school through grade eight. In 1995, Clara Mohammed School experienced its first eight grade graduating class. The school closed its doors around 2010.
In 2015, a newly formed CMS planning committee was formed to re-structure and re-open the school, for the 2018-19 school year. A board of directors was formed and assumed responsibility of the day-to-day operation and function of the school. The board serves as the gatekeeper of the school’s mission and vision statement.
Historically, the St. Louis Clara Mohammed School has been active in providing Islamic education to students, realizing the vision of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed. Our goal is to grow as model school seeking full accreditation within the next seven years. Our mission is to develop a system of exceptional Islamic education for the new millennium and use this system for the advancement of conscious life.