Shaykh Fawzaan mentions the original nature of women in Islaam is that she is to be protected, so for this reason Allah says:
الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ
“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women” (An Nisaa, verse 34)
The Shaykh says, so the men are degrees over the women in order to protect them. He says, the command for her to cover herself is a protection for her, the order for not to travel without a guardian is a protection for her, the impermissibility for her not to free mix with men and expose herself in society is also a protection for her. Therefore the position of the righteous muslim woman in Islaam is elevated.
However, on the contrary, the disbelieving woman’s status is degrading, and for this reason it is not permissible for the believing men to marry these type of women who are involved in indecencies (unlawful relations). These women can bring confusion to family lineage and it is the cause for many problems, even for a child because he/she doesn’t know his/her father (degrading). The Shaykh says the shariah also forbids a believing man from marrying this type of woman until she repents and she goes through a waiting period if she was involved in a relationship. Therefore she must become pure and it must be certain that she is not pregnant.
Notes by Abuabdilmaalik Abdulhaqq Ibn Islaam
taken from Shaykh Fawzaan’s class on Igaathatul Lahfaan of Ibn Qayyim Al Jawziyyah