Ibnul-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in At-Turuq Al-Hakeemah (1/406-408):
And from that, is that it is obligatory upon the ruler to prevent the mixing of men and women in the marketplaces, (public) areas and gatherings of men. Maalik (may Allah have mercy upon him and be pleased with him) said: “I hold that it is for the Imaam to give priority to scrutinizing the goldsmiths (who are) sitting in the gatherings of women. And I hold that he should not leave the young woman to sit with the goldsmiths. As for the woman of high rank and the man who is a lowly servant, (the woman) having no (reason to have) concern for the gathering and he (the servant) does not care who sits with him, then I do not see a prohibitive problem with that.”
The Imaam will be asked about that; and the fitnah in it is great. He (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “I have not left behind a fitnah more harmful upon the men than women.” And in another Hadeeth: “Separate the men and women.”And in another Hadeeth, he said to the women: “You should be on the outer borders of the path.”
It is obligatory upon him (the ruler) to prevent the women from going out beautified and wearing make-up. And he must prevent them from wearing clothing in which they are Kaasyaat ‘Aariyaat (Clothed but Naked at the same time); such as clothing that is loose and flimsy. He should prevent them from speaking to men in the streets and he should (likewise) prevent the men from that. And if the ruler sees that it causes corruption to the woman that she, adorns herself with makeup, beautifies herself or her clothing with dye or the likes, then some of the jurists have permitted with regards to that, and they were correct, that he may confine the woman (to her home) if she frequently goes out of her house; and that is the least of the monetary punishments; especially if she goes out wearing make-up. Rather, silent agreement of the women upon that is considered to be aiding in sin and disobedience; and Allah will question the ruler concerning that. The Chief of the Believers, ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him), prevented the women from walking in the pathways of men and mixing with them in the streets. So it is upon the ruler to follow his example in that.
Al-Khallaal said in his Al-Jaami’: “Muhammad ibn Yahyaa Al-Kahhaal informed me that he told my father, ‘Abdullah, ‘I see the evil man with the woman (i.e. I see that it is the evil man who mixes freely with women)’ He said: He has spoken correctly with it (this statement).’ And the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) informed me (Thus as is in Ash-Shaamilah) that the woman who perfumes herself and goes out of her house is a fornicatress. And he forbade the woman from attending Salatul-‘Ishaa in the Masjid if she has scented herself with incense.”
The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “When the woman goes out the Shaytaan accompanies her.” There is no doubt that allowing for the women to mix freely with the men is the origin of every trial and evil; and it is from the greatest reasons for the descending of punishment which is general (encompassing everyone) just as it is from the reasons for corruption of the general and specific affairs. Mixing between men and women is the reason for increase of Fawaahish (lewdness) and fornication; and it is from the reasons for general death and contagious diseases. When the prostitutes mixed with the hosts of Moosaa and began to commit acts of Faahishah (prostitution) amongst them, Allah sent the diseases to them so that in one day 70,000 people died. And the story is well known in the books of tafseer.
So from the greatest reasons for general death is the abundance of az-Zinaa (fornication) brought about by allowing women to mix freely with men and walk amongst them beautified wearing make-up. If the rulers knew what that contained from corruption of the Dunyaa and the people under their custody with regards to the religion, then they would be the most stern in the prevention of that.
‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “When az-Zinaa spreads in a village then Allah permits its destruction.”
Ibn Abid-Dunyaa said: Ibraheem ibnul-Ash’ab told us: ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Zayd al-‘Amaa told us, on the authority of his father, from Sa’eed ibn Jubayr, from Ibn ‘Abbaas who said: Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “A people have never shorted (others) in their measurements nor reduced their weights except that Allah ‘Azz wa Jal has prevented them from expansion. And fornication has not spread amongst a people except that death has spread amongst them (as well). And the act of the people of Loot has not appeared amongst a people except that ignominy spreads amongst them. And a people have not abandoned commanding the good and forbidding the evil except that their actions are not raised up (to Allah) and their supplications are not responded to.”
And may prayers and peace from Allah be upon his Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.
Translated by: Raha ‘Azeezuddeen Batts