Allaah said:

Cut off (from the wrist joint) the (right) hand of the thief, male or female, as a recompense for that which they committed, a punishment by way of example from Allah. And Allah is All-Powerful, All-Wise. {5:38}

And He said:

The woman and the man guilty of illegal sexual intercourse, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. {24:2}

What has preceded are two aayaat that describe the punishment of two major sins; stealing and fornication.  A great deal of time can be spent speaking of these sins but as time will not allow, there is something in particular that should be noted: The aayah that refers to stealing begins with the male thief before the female, although the aayah about fornication begins with the female fornicator before the male. This is undoubtedly done by The Most Wise for great wisdom. I will make mention of a few lessons that can be summarised in to two main points of interest:

1) When it comes to stealing the warning for males is greater as thieving occurs more in males than in females. This is because the man has a stronger urge to steal and has more power and determination to carry it out.  Women, however, have a weaker urge in this regard and their hearts do not drive them as much to commit such an act. Having said that, it does not mean that women cannot or do not steal as Allaah ordered their hand to be cut and it is incomprehensible that Allaah would order a punishment for something that does not happen.  The Muslim woman resides in her house as a queen; her provision reaches her without her needing to venture out to search for it. The man, however, goes out to work and will see many allurements from the dunya that may entice him to take that which is not his, therefore Allaah, in His great Wisdom began the aayah of stealing with the male.

2) When it comes to fornication the warning for females is greater than that of males since in general she is the reason why fornication takes place. When she opens up the door, by speaking or dressing in impermissible ways which reveal her beauty, by showing willingness to a man that she will allow that which is not allowed, then she ultimately makes the act of fornication possible for both herself and the male that she indulges in this wicked sin with. Were the woman to take care and cover herself, and restrain herself to the behavior of the righteous woman, the road to this major sin would have been closed. Furthermore, Allaah starts with the woman in this aayah as the harm that comes from this immoral act is greater for her than it is for the man. This is evident even in the Western world where fornication and immorality are rampant. The woman is left mentally damaged, spiritually damaged and simply heartbroken. Although the man will be left less broken and more able to move on from the situation. The result of fornication, whether it happens in a Muslim country or a Kaafir one, is disastrous. The fornicator woman may be left pregnant and alone with no support. If she is not married, she will be known to the people as a fornicator and her reputation will be tarnished.

May Allaah keep us firm in His obedience and keep us away from such sins. Any good that may come from this article is goodness granted from Allaah and any bad is purely from myself and Shaytaan. May Allaah send His Salaah and Salaam upon the Final Messenger, Muhammad, his wives, his companions and all those that follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgement.