Interviewer: what do you think about polygamy? Is this Egypt's method of family planning?
Ali Gum'a: This is a storm in a teacup. Our statistics show that cases of polygamy do not exceed two percent. That's one thing. Mistresses and adultery have become widespread throughout the world, beginning with the heads of state here and there – and I don't want to mention specific Western countries – and culminating with illegitimate children, who are recognized, due to the constraints of reality. I'd like to know if this is preferable to having a rate of two percent [polygamy] among marriages, according to the reliable official statistics? What is this? Are we supposed to allow adultery and ban marriages? In my opinion, this is preposterous.
Interviewer: In Judaism, a man is permitted to have four wives?
Ali Gum'a: Of course! Moses has four wives, and so did Abraham…
Interviewer: But today, it is not permitted.
Ali Gum'a: Today, yesterday…what's the difference? To this day, Judaism permits polygamy. The Hindus permit polygamy. The Buddhists permit polygamy. There is not a single religion on the face of the earth that bans polygamy, but all religions agree that women are not allowed to have more than one husband.
Ali Guma: ...in Islam, Allah permits us – just like in all religions – to marry several wives, and have things done out in the open. For whose benefit is all this? For the benefit of the woman, because a woman who is taken as a mistress remains in the shadows, and loses all her rights. The man does not owe her anything. But since [Allah] permits marrying another wife, she gains respect, status, and rights.
Interviewer: What about the way women are punished?
Ali Gum'a: Polygamy is one thing, and the punishment is another. Islam never punishes just the woman, but always both the woman and the man.... There is no bias against women. Adultery is a sin for both men and women.