The Prophet (Sallallaahu aayhi wa sallam) said “The deen is naseehah (Sincere advice).” [Muslim, Abu Dawud & Nisa’e] …and this is simply some naseeha.
A woman is closest to Allaah when she is in her home.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Woman is ‘awrah, and if she goes out, the shaytaan raises his hopes (of misguiding her). She is never closer to Allaah than when she stays in her house.” [Narrated by Ibn Hibbaan and Ibn Khuzaymah; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Shaheehah, no. 2688]
Why? Because she is a fitna.
The Prophet (Saw) said, “I did not leave any fitna more harmful than the fitna of women upon men.” [Bukhari & Muslim]
Even in her home, she must not be alone with a non-mahram.
Umar (ra) reported that the Prophet said, “A man shall never keep alone with a woman except that the third between them is the Shayton.” [Tirmidhi]
When times call for it, and a women needs to go out, she should stay far away from men as possible, closely clinging onto the sides of the wall, not in the open.
Hamza bin Abu Usaid Ansari transmitted through his father that the Prophet was coming out of the Masjid when he found that the men and women had got mixed up. He asked the women to go behind and said, “It is not proper for you to walk in the middle of the street. You should walk on the edge of the street.” After this command, women walked so near the walls of the houses that their long sheets (over-garments) sometimes got stuck into the walls. [Abu Dawud]
In the masjid, the last row is the best for her. Why? Because this way she is away from men.
Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet (May peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The best of the men’s rows is the first and the worst is the last, and the best of the women’s rows is the last and the worst in the first.” Narrated by Muslim under No. 664. (Because they are away from men)
However their houses are better for them.
And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said concerning a woman’s prayer in the mosque: “Their houses are better for them.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (567) and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood. ”
And the prayer in the masjid is rewarded, yet still their homes are better for them, so what about going out for less important things?
In the corner of her room is the best place for her (in her home).
Umm Humaid Sa’idiyya(raa) reported, She asked, “Oh Prophet of Allah, I desire to offer prayers under your leadership.”
The Holy Prophet said, “I know that, but your offering the prayer in a corner is better than your offering it in you closet and your offering the prayer in your closet is better than offering it in the courtyard of your house, and your offering the prayer in the courtyard is better than offering it in the neighboring Masjid, and your offering it in the neighboring Masjid is better than your offering it in the biggest Masjid of the town.” [Ahmad & Tabarani]
Even if she is next door to the ka’bah, her home is still better for her.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:
The Sunnah indicates that it is better for a woman to pray at home, no matter where she is, whether she is in Makkah or elsewhere. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not prevent the female slaves of Allaah from coming to the mosques of Allaah, but their houses are better for them.”
He said that when he was in Madeenah, even though prayer in the Prophet’s Mosque brings more reward, because a woman’s prayer in her own house is more covering for her and farther removed from temptation (fitnah), so if she is in her house then this is preferable and is better.
[See Fataawa al-Jaami’ah li’l-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, vol. 1, p. 207. See also Question # 3457.]
When a woman does go out, Shaytaan beautifies her (in the eyes of men)
Abu Ahwas from Abdullaah who said that the Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “The women is object of concealment, when she leaves the house, Shaytaan (the Devil) beautifies her” [Tirmidhi 1173, Ibn Khuzaymah 1685-1687, Tabaraani 10/132, Abdur-Razaak 5116, authenticated Sahih by Shaykh Al-Albaani in Sunan of At-Tirmidhi 1173]
She is an adulteress if she wears perfume out of the house.
Abu Moosa Al-Ash’ari reported that Allaah’s Messenger said, “Every eye commits zina (fornication). And when a woman wears perume and then passes by a gathering of men (so they smell her perfume), she is an adulteress (by that).” [Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasaa’i and Ahmad. Classified saheeh by Shyakh Al-Albaani]
Don’t even ask about a woman who beautifies herself for other than her husband!
Fadala Ibn Ubayd reported that the Messenger of Allaah said, “Do not ask about three; … (and third) A woman whose husband is absent and who has suficient provisions and then she displays her adornment to strangers and mixes freely.” [Ahmad, Al-Haakim and others. Classified saheeh by Shaykh AL-Albaani and Imam Muqbil]
A woman’s real responsibility is in her home.
From ‘Umar (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that Allaah’s Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “Each of you is a guardian and is responsible for those whom he is in charge of.
So the ruler is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects;
a man is the guardian of his family and is responsible for those under his care;
a woman is a guardian of her husband’s home and is responsible for those under her care;
a servant is the guardian of his master’s wealth and is responsible for that which he is entrusted with;
and a man is the guardian of his father’s wealth and is responsible fore what is under his care.
So each one of you is a guardian and is responsible for what he is entrusted with.“
[Reported by al-Bukharee (Eng. Trans. 9/189/no.252) and Muslim (Eng. Trans. 3/1017/no.4496)]
The basic principle is that a woman should remain at home, and not go out except for necessary purposes.
“And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance” [al-Ahzaab 33:33].
Although this is addressed to the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), it also applies to the believing women. It is only addressed to the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) because of their honour and status with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and because they are examples for the believing women.