The women of Islam need not westernise to expand their rights and roles within their societies. With this thought in mind I ventured into searching for those women in Islamic history and literature and found some of them. They were strong, some of them mystical, others exemplary. In my list, the following are on top:
Khadija was strong, with "character and conviction". She faced difficulties when she married our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) but kept to her faith.
Aishah was young yet a fine leader of Islam. She was outspoken and defended the weak, very pious and generous.
Rabia rejected all wordly pleasures. She was austere, simple and gave us glimpses of Allah in her writings.
Each of them deserve to be our role models. And they need to be studied, their lives read and their values imitated.