Debra Majeed

Dr. Debra Majeed photo

Debra Majeed


Disclaimer: the work linked below reflects the view of the author and does not necessarily reflect the view of ISPU.

Debra Majeed, Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Beloit College, is a religious historian who makes the interconnection between religion, gender and justice central to her life’s work. With the publication of her groundbreaking work, Polygyny: What It Means When African American Muslim Women Share Their Husbands in 2015, Dr. Majeed continues to work with mosque communities for the cultivation of resources and support for healthy marriage regardless of form. Her current research has expanded to include the care and support of Muslim widows, domestic abuse as an act of violence that happens in the lives of women, and the advocation of the normalization of Muslim marriage contracts.

Most recently, concern for family life issues led Dr. Majeed to develop Queen City Family Advocates, a grassroots initiative that interrogates and challenges attitudes, norms and policies that undercut the health and wellbeing of families in Charlotte. As its first endeavor, Queen City Family Advocates compiled and distributed “The 2020 Election: Where NC Candidates Stand of Issues Key For Muslims,” a guide created by NC Muslims to help NC Muslims become more politically literate, encourage further political participation, and strengthen their sense of agency.

Dr. Majeed is certified as a Guardian ad Litem, or legal advocate for abused and neglected children. Dr. Majeed retired from Beloit in 2020; she is the first African American female and first Muslim to be tenured in the 175-year history of the college, and the first to be awarded Emeritus status. Her contributions to social justice on the campus and in the wider community during her 21 years of teaching led the City of Beloit to proclaim January 21, 2011, “Dr. Debra Majeed Day.” Dr. Majeed received her doctorate in Religious & Theological Studies from Northwestern University in 2001.


PhD, Religious & Theological Studies, Northwestern University

Areas of Expertise

  1. Gender and Islam
  2. African American Muslims
  3. Women and US Mosques
  4. Muslim women and family law
  5. Marriage and family life
  6. Muslim Womanism
  7. Muslim Womanist Ethnography Polygyny
  8. Qur’an and Women
  9. Quran and Spousal Maintenance


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