by Jesse Muhammad for The Final Call Newspaper
MISSOURI CITY, Texas - If you drive down Cliffdale Street to the cul-de-sac, you will see a humble two-story home to your left. From the outside it appears to be just a normal family residence but inside it’s an entirely different story.
It is the location of the Muslim-owned private school called The Elevated Places. Small bedrooms, a living room and dining area have been turned into classrooms, giving birth to some impressive accomplishments by the staff and students—all rooted in the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad as taught by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
“We always focus on making sure we’re in line with what the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is teaching and do our best job to educate our students,” said Wakiti Muhammad, school administrator.
How did it all begin? Wakiti Muhammad and her family lost everything in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. While dealing with the emotional pain of that experience, she was very concerned about the education of her children. With so many Nation of Islam women in the area already homeschooling their children, she decided to network and unite with them in July 2006, with a school in mind.
One of those parents was Melva Muhammad, a mother of eight children. She and her husband Isaiah Muhammad owned the home and were willing to make the sacrifice to turn it into a full-fledged institution—especially since they were anti-public school. For seven months, while waiting for the completion of their present new residence, Melva Muhammad and her family slept at night in the house on Cliffdale and woke up every morning to move mattresses to make room for classes in the day time.
“We didn’t have a choice. We couldn’t wait to get a building. The need was so great, we were willing to make that sacrifice for the education of our children,” said Melva Muhammad, who has homeschooled all of her children and is also an experienced school administrator.
When deciding upon a name for the school, it was Melva Muhammad who opened to the 7th Surah of the Holy Qur’an titled “The Elevated Places” and the school was officially founded in 2007 with approximately 35 students.