Monday, January 31, 2005


1. Faith is the ability to not panic.

2. If you worry, you didn't pray. If you pray, don't worry.

3. As a child of God, prayer is kind of like calling home every day.

4. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.

5. When we get tangled up in our problems, be still. God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot.

6. Do the math. Count your blessings.

7. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.

8. Dear God: I have a problem. It's me.

9. Silence is often misinterpreted, but never misquoted.

10. Laugh every day, it's like inner jogging.

11. The most important things in your home are the people.

12. Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional.

13. There is no key to happiness. The door is always open.

14. A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.

15. He who dies with the most toys is still dead.

16. We do not remember days, but moments. Life moves too fast, so enjoy your precious moments.

17. Nothing is real to you until you experience it, otherwise it's just hearsay.

18. It's all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are done.

19. Surviving and living your life successfully requires courage. The goals and dreams you're seeking require courage and risk-taking. Learn from the turtle it only makes progress when it sticks out its neck.

20. Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

A Debt is a stain on life.


Because the specia1 offer on "How to Own Your Paychec.k Again" ends tonight (see ad above), I thought I would share this quote from my happiness book with you

"Mone.y can't buy happiness. Well, actually it can. On Skid Row, a little extra mone.y can make a big difference. Wealth and health share this in common: they don't bring joy, but their absence can leave pure misery."

In fact, studies show that the amount of mone.y we require for happiness is the amount to pay for the basic necessities without worrying that we will fall short. Above that level, mone.y can buy us comfort, convenience and other things, but not happiness.

Deb.t, on the other hand, can buy us complete misery, precisely because because we are falling short of what we need for basic necessities.

- So, get out of deb.t.
- Stay out of deb.t.
- Chase more mone.y if you wish, but to get there you should never sacrifice something that can bring happiness.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Critics are remembered

هوئي مــــدة كه "غالب" مر ككيا ثثر يـــاد آتـــا هسس

وه هر ايك بات ثثه كهنا كه يوطط هوتا تو كيا هوتا

I have heard people say that pessimism is a bad thing, infact I am always called a negative thinker and a person to be the first to critize and say what if that would happen and this would happen. The ifs and buts are always considered to be a bad thought and a bad say if someone puts them up the desk but like this verse suggest and like I always say the pessimist is an open minded person who views the cons while people only see the pros. Its vital to have a critic around you to caution you on every step you take. A few days back I had read that people ought to learn from whats pointed out rather than jump to conclusions. Not everybody discourages you or envy you. Be sure to look at the pessimists comment with caution and optimism. :-)

BTW, I am sure like Ghalib I will also be remembered as the most staunchest critic around and you might miss my warning signals too.

ان لفي الشعر حكما

يه مســــائل تصوف، يـــه تيرا بياطط "غـــالب"
تجهسس هم ولي سمجهتسس، جو نه برا خوار هوتا

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Lord and Me are but one!!!

Jab Mein Tha Tab Hari Nahin‚ Jab Hari Hai Mein Nahin
Sab Andhiyara Mit Gaya‚ Jab Deepak Dekhya Mahin

When "I" was then Hari was not, Now Hari "is" and "I" am not
All the darkness (illusions) mitigated, When I saw the light (illumination) within.

My Understanding
From the root word "Har" (everything) is derived the word "Hari" which is used as yet another name or expression for God – the most common being "Hari Om". In this doha, Kabir explains that till such time we are engrossed within the bounds of our (limited) ego – the mundane "I" – we are not able to experience or realize the all-pervasive attribute of God. Resultantly we are in a state of conflict, chaos and a state of ignorance aptly expressed as darkness or illusion in the doha. This darkness – the state of ignorance – diminishes, rather eliminates, when the all-pervasive effulgence of God (the light within) is perceived, realized or experienced. With this conviction we are able to transcend the bondage enforced by our ego.

At times we just go all around the world looking for the lord while we can find him within our inner self. Then where do we find him you might say. Just shed your ego and self centered thoughts, that has not given us only lonliness, and you will find the lord.

Pothi Padh Padh Kar Jag Mua, Pandit Bhayo Na Koye
Dhai Aakhar Prem Ke, Jo Padhe so Pandit Hoye

Reading books everyone died, none became any wise
One who reads the word of Love, only becomes wise

Kabir has very well explained the wonderful philosophy of love and wisdom. It is indeed the power of love for humanity, nature and the creation of the lord that can nurture a soul with knowledge and wisdom. People who have read much books have found nor the knowledge or the teachings imparted by the author. True knowledge has always been found by those who light the flame of love within their hearts. Look at the sufis and sants like the Kabir himself, they were taught and brought up in the craddle of mother nature.

The Fatemi philosophy also states that the love for Awliyaullah is the only way to knowledge for it encompasses the love for the lord and his entire creation.

TIme Management Principles.

As a Student, there are some basic Principles of Time Management that you can apply.

  1. Identify "Best Time" for Studying: Everyone has high and low periods of attention and concentration. Are you a "morning person" or a "night person". Use your power times to study; use the down times for routines.
  2. Study Difficult Subjects First: When you are fresh, you can process information more quickly and save time as a result.
  3. Use Distributed Learning and Practice: Study in shorter time blocks with short breaks between. This keeps you from getting fatigued and "wasting time." This type of studying is efficient because while you are taking a break, the brain is still processing the information.
  4. Make Sure the Surroundings are Conducive to Studying: This will allow you to reduce distractions which can "waste time." If there are times in the residence halls or your apartment when you know there will be noise and commotion, use that time for mindless tasks.
  5. Make Room for Entertainment and Relaxation: College is more than studying. You need to have a social life, yet, you need to have a balance in your life.
  6. Make Sure you Have Time to Sleep and Eat Properly: Sleep is often an activity (or lack of activity) that students use as their time management "bank." When they need a few extra hours for studying or socializing, they withdraw a few hours of sleep. Doing this makes the time they spend studying less effective because they will need a couple hours of clock time to get an hour of productive time. This is not a good way to manage yourself in relation to time.
  7. Try to Combine Activities: Use the "Twofer" concept. If you are spending time at the laundromat, bring your psychology notes to study. If you are waiting in line for tickets to the concert, bring your biology flashcards to memorize.

  • Plan to study hours for every hour you spend in class.
  • Study difficult (or boring) subjects first.
  • Avoid scheduling marathon study sessions.
  • Be aware of your best time of day.
  • Use waiting time.
  • Use a regular study area.

  • Choose a place that minimizes visual and auditory distractions.
  • Use the library or empty classrooms. Get out of a noisy dorm.
  • Don't get too comfortable. Sit (or even stand) so that you can remain awake and attentive.
  • Find a better place when productivity falls off.

  • Pay attention to your attention.
  • Agree with roommates about study time.
  • Avoid noise distractions.
  • Notice how others misuse your time.
  • Get off the phone.
  • Learn to say no.
  • Hang a "Do Not Disturb!" sign on your door.
  • Ask: "What is one task I can accomplish toward my goal?"
  • Ask: "Am I beating myself up?" (lighten up, don't berate self).
  • Ask: "Are you a perfectionist"
  • Ask: "How did I just waste time?"
  • Ask: "Would I pay myself for what I'm doing right now?"
  • Ask: "Can I do just one more thing?" (Stretch yourself).
Contributed by
Abdul Quadir Zaheen


Don't give up. That's about it. Sure, some people get just what they want the first time they try. Others take several attempts. If you give up after three tries, you will never know that you can do it in just four attempts. Don't give up.

How many times will it take for you to reach your goal.

Crossword Puzzles

Crossword Puzzles is a site that is sure to delight all who enjoy crossword puzzles. It bills itself as 'Interactive English Crosswords on the Web;' there are also puzzles in other languages, Afrikaans, Czech, French, German, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish to be exact. The English versions include American, Educational, Cryptic, Themed and Other Crosswords. With all of these resources at your fingertips, you'll never be without a puzzle. And the best part is, because they're online, you'll not be caught without a sharp pencil!


Opportunities do not come with their values stamped upon them. Every one must be challenged. A day dawns, quite like other days; in it, a single hour comes, quite like other hours; but in that day and in that hour the chance of a lifetime faces us.

Maltbie D. Babcock (1858-1901)

You have to be in the right place at the right time, but when it comes, you better have something on the ball.

Groucho Marx (1890-1977)

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


"Nobody stands taller than those willing to stand corrected."

William Safire provides an excellent twist on "The first shall be last and the last shall be first." We all make mistakes. To own up to them is a "tall" thing to do. Refusing to admit that we can be wrong is, well, just another mistake.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Open Content Encyclopedia

BambooWeb Dictionary!

Bamboo Web's online library contains thousands upon thousands of articles created just for your research needs. It brings you only the highest quality information.


I recall a story about a lad in the passenger seat who was explaining to his father why he doesn't bother going to church: "I know I should and I will someday. I'll have plenty of time for that later on."
His father just kept driving.

"Wasn't that our exit?" the lad asked.

"It sure was," the father said.

"Then why don't you turn back?" the lad asked.

"I know I should and I will someday," the father responded. "I'll have plenty of time for that later on."

Whatever you know you should do, don't wait for someday. The longer you go down the wrong road, the farther you will have to double back.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Tolerance of the Fâtimids toward "The People of the Book" (Ahl al-kitâb)

Diana Steigerwald

"With respect to relations between the Western and Islamic worlds, are we not seeing a conflict of stereotypes and prejudices, exacerbates by a good measure of ignorance about Islam? There are, of course, some differences, but if superficiality and trivialization can be set aside, and be replaced by the will to go deeper to seek a solid foundation for mutual understanding and respects, it can be found in the common heritage of the Abrahamic faiths and the ethical principles that they share."

In the Qur'ân, Jews and Christians are designated as Ahl al-Kitâb (People of the Book). The Book (Kitâb) refers to previous revelation such as the Torah (Tawrât), the Psalms (Zabûr), and the Gospels (Injîl). The status of Ahl al-Kitâb is distinguished from the one of idolaters (mshrikûn) (XXVII: 62s.). The latter are invited to adopt Islâm wheres Jews and Christians may keep their religion. The Qur'ân (III: 110, 199) recommends Muslims to be respectful toward Ahl al-Kitâb since there are sincere believers among them.

Islâm is a tolerant religion. Tolerance does not mean a passive adherence to all opinions, but an affirmation of our own faith while respecting other religions. Tolerance means to accept other people with their own differences; hence the Qur'ân recognizes the right of People of the Book to practice their religion. It is clearly indicated in the Qur'ân (II: 256) that Islâm may not be imposed by force.

Tolerance invites people to reflect and to dialogue in order to raise their level of understanding themselves and their relations with peoples who profess a different faith, position, or outlook. Prophet Muhammad used to explain that the People of the Book received only a part of the truth (III: 23; IV: 44). Hence certain Jews and Christians forgot the original principles of the Abrahamic faith. Muhammad considered [p. 17] the religious writings compiled by some scribes corrupted and falsified, where they differed with the Qur'ânic truth (cf. XX: 133; IX: 30-31). Thus he invited the Jews and the Christians to accept the Qur'ân which completes former revelations. The People of the Book could find the confirmation of the Qur'ânic revelation by carefully examining the Bible (cf. II: 89, 101; III: 7, 64; IV: 47). Even if the Judeo-Christian scriptures were altered, there still remain some elements of truth within them. The Qur'ân even recognizes that certain Jews and Christians are saved in the Hereafter (II: 62).

The Constitution of Medina protected Jews and Christians. They were called dhimmiyyûn (protected subjects) who were not subject to the religious tax (zakât) but were required to pay another tax (jiziya). Their goods were protected and they were given the right to practice their religions. In exchange for upholding certain obligations, they were given these rights. The Constitution stipulated that the Jews would form one composite nation with the Muslims; they could practice their religion as freely as the Muslims; they had to join the Muslims in defending Medina against all enemies. After the death of the Prophet, his direct descendants through his daughter Fâtima and his cousin `Alî, had to wait many centuries before creating in 567/909 the Fâtimid Empire, which extended from actual Palestine to Tunisia. In this Empire, the majority of Muslims were Sunnî and Coptic Christians constituted a very significant portion of the population. There were also significant numbers of Christians, called Melkites, who belonged to an Orthodox Greek denomination, as well as Jews, especially in Syria. Nâsir-i Khusraw (d. circa 470/1077), the famous Ismâ`îlî thinker, who visited Egypt, noticed that nowhere in the Muslim world had he seen Christians enjoy as much peace and material wealth as did the Copts. The Caliph al-Mu`izz hired a large number of Ahl al-Kitâb as administrators of the state. The Caliph al-`Azîz continued his father's policy of religious tolerance and married a Melkite Christian. Al-`Azîz's two brothers-in-law, Orestes and Arsenius, were nominated Patriarch of Jerusalem and Metropolitan of Cairo, respectively. In spite of Muslim discontent and jealousy, al-`Azîz permitted the Coptic Patriarch Ephraim to restore the Church of St. Mercurius near Fustât. Moreover, he protected the Patriarch against Muslim attacks.

The Caliph al-Hâkim (d. 411/1021) experienced many difficulties internally as well as externally during his reign. He temporarily adopted some antagonistic measures against Christians. Christians and Jews were forced to follow the Islâmic law. However, toward the end of his reign, al-Hâkim changed his policy. Thus, he restored some of the churches and became more tolerant toward the Christians and their religious practices. The following Caliph al-Zâhir (d. 427/1036) established a complete policy of religious freedom.

During the Fâtimid period, Christians and Jews had full liberty to celebrate their festivals. Muslims took part in these celebrations and the state participated as well. The government also used some Christian festivals as an occasion for the distribution of garments and money among the people. Christians and Jews were employed in the Fâtimid administration. They were able to reach very important ranks, even to go as high as the position of vizier. It is worth mentioning that no similar examples of employment of non-Muslim viziers are known among other Muslim contemporary dynasties. Nowhere in the Muslim world during that time could non-Muslims accede to such a rank.

The only exception to this policy of religious tolerance was under al-Hâkim's reign. According to the historian al-Maqrîzî (d. 846/1442), economic and social life deteriorated during this era. The Ismâ`îlî dâ`î Hamîd al-dîn Kirmânî (d. 412/1021), in his treatise Al-risâlat al-wâ`iza, described this critical period in which there was a great famine. Several of the hostile but temporary measures taken by al-Hâkim can be explained by the existing situation, in which some in the community were extremely perturbed by the growing prosperity of Ahl al-Kitâb and their increasing power in the state. Al-Hâkim perhaps also wanted to thwart the Byzantine Empire, which threatened Northern Syria. Broadly speaking, it must be emphasized that Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived peacefully and worked together for the well being of the Empire in all Ifrîqiya.

In the contemporary Islâmic world, the treatment of the Ahl al-Kitâb varies from one Muslim country to another. While most Muslim countries proclaim to be secular their understanding of the relations between Muslim and non-Muslim is still inspired by the perspectives which derive from pre-modern interpretations of juridical traditions. The constitutions of many countries stipulate that the Chief of State must be Muslim. However, in countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, and in some other states, religious minorities are represented in the legislative bodies.

Madelung Wilferd, "Ismâ`îliyya", EI2, vol. 6 (1978): 198-206. Steigerwald Diane, L'islâm: les valeurs communes au judéo-christianisme, Montréal-Paris: Médiaspaul, 1999. Vajda Georges, "Ahl al-kitâb", EI2 , vol. 1 (1979): 264-266.

Diana Steigerwald
Religious Studies, California State University (Long Beach)

The Ismaili
United States of America
December 13 (2002): 16-17.

The Sacrifice of Hazrat Ibrahim - Isa Masih (AS)

Every year many thousands of sheep, goats, camels and other animals are sacrificed throughout the world on the occasion of Eid-al-Adha. At this special time, Hazrat Ibrahim (peace be upon him) is remembered for his humble submission in being willing to sacrifice his son at the command of Allah. We remember that at the last moment as the prophet was about to plunge the knife into the body of his son, Almighty Allah called out to Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh) to stop and not to harm his son. Instead, Allah provided an animal as a substitute sacrifice. And so, every year similar sacrifices are performed in memory of Hazrat Ibrahim's submission to Allah.

But is there a deeper, secret meaning to this sacrifice that can benefit us today? Yes, there is a deeper meaning to the sacrifice which can only be understood by first listening to the voice of Allah in the holy Tawrat, one of the heavenly books. Why must we look into this particular holy book? Because it is this book which gives the original account of the life of Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh), including the original account of this great sacrifice. The event is recorded in the holy Tawrat, part one (Genesis), chapter 22.

In the story, Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh) and his son are walking to the hill where the sacrifice is to take place. The boy notices that they have everything except an animal to sacrifice, and so he asks his father a question, "The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" (Genesis 22, verse 7)

Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh) answers, "Allah himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son" (Genesis 22, verse 8). Notice that both the prophet and his son thought that the appropriate animal for the sacrifice was a lamb, or baby sheep. Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh) speaking as a prophet, said that Allah would provide the lamb for sacrifice. But what actually happened?

Then he [Hazrat Ibrahim] reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied.
"Do not lay a hand on the boy," he [the angel] said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."
Abraham looked up and there in the thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. (Genesis 22, verses 10-13)

Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh), or Abraham, said that Allah would provide a lamb for sacrifice. But what did Allah provide? Allah did not provide a lamb, but a ram. We know that it was a ram because it was caught in a thicket by its horns. A lamb has no horns. If this is so, then a question remains, "Was Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh) mistaken when he said that Allah would provide a lamb?"

No, he spoke the truth. This is where the secret meaning of the sacrifice comes in. For many centuries after Hazrat Ibrahim's sacrifice, the full meaning of the prophet's statement remained hidden. Then one day, a new prophet appeared to mankind-- Hazrat Yahya (pbuh). Listen to the account of Hazrat Yahya (pbuh), or John the Baptist, found in the holy Injil,

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (Injil, John 1, verse 29).

Hazrat Yahya (pbuh) undoubtedly knew the story of Hazrat Ibrahim's great sacrifice. He himself could have read the story in the holy Tawrat. He knew that Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh) said that Allah would provide a lamb to die as a substitute for his son. Hazrat Yahya (pbuh) could also know that the actual animal sacrificed at the time was a ram, not a lamb. Now as a prophet of Allah, Hazrat Yahya (pbuh) upon seeing the great messenger Hazrat Isa Masih, says to everyone, "Look, the Lamb of Allah, who takes away the sin of the world!"

According the holy Injil, Hazrat Isa Masih is a lamb. But which lamb? The lamb which Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh) first said Allah would provide. This is the lamb which had to be sacrificed to save the son of Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh). The animal which Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh) sacrificed was not the real lamb of Allah, but just a ram. It was only a temporary arrangement made until the real lamb of Allah should come. The real Lamb, Hazrat Isa Masih, would be much better than any mere animal because he could take away the sins of all men! An animal's life does not have the value of a man's life, and so the sacrifice of an animal can never take away any man's sins. But the life of Hazrat Isa Masih has inestimable value, and so he can help every man. By giving his own life as a sacrifice for sins, he could free all the sons of Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh) from their sins.

But when did Hazrat Isa Masih give his life as a sacrifice for sins? Before he was taken up to be with Allah. Of his own free will, he himself decided that he would let evil men kill him, by nailing his body to a cross:

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus [Isa]. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). Here they crucified him, and with him two others--one on each side and Jesus in the middle. Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. When he had finished the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
(Injil, John 19, verses 17,18,28-30)

Perhaps this is new knowledge to you, but it was not new to the prophet, Hazrat Isa, Spirit of Allah. He knew in advance that it would happen. Not only that, he allowed it to happen. Before all this happened, Hazrat Isa Masih had said,

No one takes imy life from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. (Injil, John 10, verse 18)

So it was Hazrat Isa's own decision to lay down his life as a sacrifice. But just as he laid his life down, he also took it up again by his own authority. He became alive again! His rising again was the proof that his suffering was not a defeat. Allah is most great! The plot of the evil men failed. Hazrat Isa Masih was victorious. After he became alive again, Hazrat Isa Masih said this,

I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.
(Injil, Revelation 1, verse 18)

In giving his life as a sacrifice, Hazrat Isa Masih fulfilled the words which Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh) spoke to his son many years before, "Allah himself will provide a lamb for sacrifice." This is the lamb which takes away the sins of all men. His sacrifice is still powerful to save men from sins today because he is not dead, but alive. The holy Injil says,

Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. (Injil, Hebrews 7, verse 25)

Hazrat Isa Masih is the lamb who saves the sons of Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh), that is, those who have the faith of Ibrahim. Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh) believed that Allah himself would provide a lamb as a substitionary sacrifice. Hazrat Ibrahim also believed that even if death should come, Allah can raise the dead to life. Allah has raised Hazrat Isa Masih, who is alive today to intercede on behalf of all those who come to Allah through him. You too may approach Allah through Hazrat Isa, who will intercede to Allah for you, and save you from the penalty of your sins.

So remember that when you see an animal being sacrificed on Eid-al-Adha, the sacrificed animal speaks of a much greater sacrifice--the sacrifice of Hazrat Isa Masih, the Lamb of Allah, who takes away the sins of men.

Eid Mubarak - May Allah Subhanu wa Ta'ala prosper you and your family.

The Above is a sketch of the pointers of Allah and his hikmat according to a muslim scholar. Huzurala (tus) has often narrated the inner meaning of "Zibhe Azeem" - The great sacrifice and related with the sacrifice of Rasulallah's son Ibrahim on Imam Husain (AS). The martydom of Imam Husain for the sake of Islam and the deen of his grandfather Rasulallah (SA). Later Moula (tus) also relates the extremely high khidmat of the Duat Kiram (RA) for Rasulallah and his progeny the Aimmat Athaar.

Friday, January 21, 2005

What is Malumaat???

Literary it means information. Information about what you may say? Well as its name suggests and as it activities declare loudly it is a "one stop" shop for advertisements and "show-offs". A news media? exactly what I was going to tell you. A news agency for the bohra community I may say. an agency on the net but is it helpful to the society of the bohras or the community?

I may sound to be be offensive on this, but then are any of those news agencies really helpful? I guess CNN is just another terror plot by the US. A plot to terrorize people with its policy of frightening people of the bullies called Osama, Saddam, or any XYZ person whom the bush administration wants to get rid of.

Malumaat is show biz and glamor for the Rasheed family a nice bunch of Khidmat Guzaars whom I truly admire from the deepest of my heart. You might think I am a double faced pig but no, don't you guys read their disclaimer which says we are not responsible for any incorrect information on their so called "One Stop" portal?? Don't the hundreds of subscribers to their mailing list ever see them state "We are not responsible for the comments posted herein" Whatever, I am close to it though not exact wordings. I have a suggestion for everyone, go home and think "Why the hell is the MALUMAAT group moderated if the moderator is not responsible for the post??". Also ask yourself loudly "What is the criteria set forth by the moderators of malumaat for a post to be allowed or rejected?? Why should a moderator edit my message before letting it through, if he is not willing to accept the responsibility of the post anyway???"

Dudes just think how can a one stop portal operate without any policy being laid out or any "Terms of USE" mentioned out clearly??" When you oppose something wrong you are bullied and banned from the group rather than a proper response. And stuff like "masalla" space and other stuff are discussed as bait and ammo for the progressives and supportors of the lanati engineer to thrive on. Shikaar pics are displayed for the world to show that we are no good eco-friendly "Show-Offs". Sorry for the harsh words but I hate to read or listen something badly expressed about my love and passion. The one-angel on earth. And that too for some dumb one-stop idiots' parade.

There are 2 things I have learned in my life of Khidmat from the most prominent and highly respected khidmat guzaars of the community and Dawat, not to mention the Rashid head Shk Ibrahim bhai himself, you ought to do khidmat with "josh" combined with full "hosh".

Well then wny are you guys voting it No.1 at I have no idea. I guess I am stupid and the rest of the world is full of intelligent beings.

There is a lot to say but let me leave it for the commentators too. Ah, one more thing I have a suggestion for all, why not find the "only portal" for the community and by the community which follows certain prescribed rules and enjoys working for the Bohra community as a whole. I know those guys but won't mention my biased opinion. Better do a research yourself. Good pictures, and quantity of pictures is ruled out for decision making.

Thursday, January 20, 2005


"Just because everything is different, doesn't mean anything has changed."
Irene Porter's words rang through for me recently. My type II diabetic father seems to be having very normal blood sugar levels recently...ever since his heart surgery.

What's the connection? Less stress. It seems that stress increases our blood sugar. Long ago, our bodies were trained to react to threats like saber tooth tigers and such, so our muscles would tense and sugar would rush through our blood, preparing to run like a locomotive or fight like a bear.

We don't need the stress or the high blood sugar to ward off modern threats like final exams, nosey neighbors, or tax bills, but we get them just the same. Yes, a lot has changed in the past several thousand years...but people remain remarkably unchanged.

As we go through the current technology revolution, remember that people are still people. They still need your warmth. They still need your smile. They still need your love.


"0pportunity's favorite disguise is trouble."

Frank Tyger is right. If things seem to be getting on without causing us TOO much pain, we often lack motivation to make the changes that really could make us soar.

But when we feel the pain, we get motivated, which is why so many great events and innovations have arisen out of adversity.

What troubles do you face? What would you like most to change. 0pportunity is knocking.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here's a free online encyclopedia that 'anyone can edit.' "As of December 2004, Wikipedia has over 1.3 million articles spread over 200 language editions" so it is an international site. "In addition to typical encyclopedia entries, Wikipedia includes information more often associated with almanacs, gazetteers, and specialist magazines, as well as coverage of current events." As one reviewer states, "As it grows and becomes a repository of 2 million entries from more and more contributors, more of whom are experts in their fields, it probably will be seen as on par with the Britannicas of the world." Now you have a chance to see the project expand as well as keep up-to-date on the most recent happenings and current events and even contribute if you so desire. Wikipedia is definitely a happening on the information highway!


"We first make our habits, and then our habits make us."

John Dryden sums up why I wrote my book about happiness around habits.  If we can change some habits that actually make us unhappy into habits that make us happy, would that not make everybody happier?  Habits such as putting painful experiences behind us instead of holding onto guilt or resentment.  Habits such as appreciating little things, rather than wishing for what we don't have.  Habits such as sharing our inner thoughts with people who will build us up rather than tear us down.

What habits are making you today?

Sunday, January 16, 2005


Don't you just love disappearing ink. No sooner do you pen a few nasty words than the ink wears away. Unfortunately, you can't scream a disappearing voice in anger, nor send disappearing emails. So thinking before you react is a wise move.
But what if you forget to think?

An apology, 100% heartfelt, is the best way to turn a scar on your relationship into a disappearing shout or a disappearing email. Of course, it won't make the words really disappear, but they sure will fade faster.

Your gateway to an Internet Presence.


A man was sleeping one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and God appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. So, this the man did, day after day.

For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all of his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.

Since the man was showing discouragement, the adversary (Satan) decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the weary mind: "You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn't moved." Thus, he gave the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.

Satan said, "Why kill yourself over this? Just put in your time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be good enough." That's what the weary man planned to do, but decided to make it a Matter of Prayer and to take his troubled thoughts to the Lord.

"Lord," he said, "I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong?

Why am I failing? The Lord responded compassionately, "My friend, when I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all of your strengt h, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so?

"Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown; your hands are callused from constant pressure, your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have.

"True, you haven't moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. That you have done. Now I, my friend, will move the rock."

*At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what God wants is just a simple obedience and faith in Him.

By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still God who moves the mountains.**

When everything seems to go wrong .... just P.U.S.H.!

When the job gets you down ... just P.U.S.H.!

When people don't react the way you think they should .... just P.U.S.H.

When your money is "gone" and the bills are due ..... just P.U.S.H.!

When people just don't understand you .... just..


P= Pray
U= Until
S= Something
H= Happens

Saturday, January 15, 2005


The lettering on the door to happiness reads "push".
I know that sometimes you push. I know that sometimes you pull, too.

When you hold a grudge or carry resentment, you are pulling. When you engage in self-doubt or guilt, you are pulling. When you take your blessings for granted, or feel envious of others, you are pulling.

Don't pull the door to happiness. The lettering reads "push".

Greetings for Eid al-Adha

One of the most well-known and pious festives of Islam as I belive is Eid a-Adha. Basically the day is for the Hajis (Pilgrims) to complete their tenets of Haj with the performinig of Zabihat (Slaughter of an Animal).
The 3 Days that follow the Eid are also marked with the same ritual, commonly known as the days of eating and drinking (Ayyam al-Akle wal- Shurb) . By drink I do not mean wine :-).
The Tsunami recently did give everyone a shock to what Allah had inflicted upon mankind, let me say it is man who brings such disaster upon himseif by disobeying Allah. Islam's most gracious festive the Eid is near and hundreds of millions are being donated by everyone in the Tsunami relief effort. What comes to mind is that Islam as an entity not an religion has granted such a festive every year when millions of Animals are slaughtered around the globe by muslims and the meat then commonly distributed to the needy.
In Mina itself a huge number of amimal slaughter takes place and the needy get their share. Looking at this it also reminds me that Islam has levied Zakat for the needy, the homeless and so on that Allah's Wali, Imam, Dai collects and distributes to them as per the need of the day. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (tus) donated a huge sum to the Tsunami relief to various countries and mumineen around the world followed his highest example.
Ah, I guess I am wavering from one topic to another.
I was reminded by the words of Shakespear "We feed ourselves for the Maggots". But we do feed cattle and livestock for ourselves and the needy. For without food people would not live.
The human population is at high rise and so is Allah's mercy for creating livestock for us. The Eid day reminds us of those not so fortunate enough to have a single meal and give them a share of our love. Islam is a single being, I say alive, to care for all of mankind and the human race regardless of their race, culture or religious and ethnic backgroud. A non-selfish person.
Remember you are not allowed to preserve the meat of the adhiyat on Eid for not later than the 13th of Zil Haj.

Friday, January 14, 2005


If you were king or queen for just one day, what would you do? Seriously, what would you do? Would you feed the hungry? Would youcreate world peace? Would you outlaw cell phones ringing in thetheatre?

I have news for you. You are king (or queen).

If you want to feed the hungry, start right now. Set aside part of your budget to feed the hungry (Surely there are some things you are spending money on now that are less important to you than basic food is to some other people.

If you want to create world peace, you can make sure to always speak politely even to rude sales clerks, queue jumpers and that neighbor whose dog thinks your flower bed is an appetizer.

If you want to get rid of annoying things like cell phone rings, look at what you do in the presence of others that might annoy them. Then stop doing it.

You are king. You are queen. Create the world you want today.

Secure Online Payments and Transfer - iKobo

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Interesting Websites

Personality Disorder

There is a wealth of information online about the various personality disorders. Many of these resources have been developed and are maintained by others who also suffer from one of these disorders. Here we list a few recommended websites concerned with the Personality Disorders. For a more comprehensive resource, please view the Links section of our Personality Disorders Center

Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Re-Visited
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.
The entry point to Dr. Vaknin's eloquent set of websites concerning Narcissistic Personality Disorder

BPD Central
Randi Kreger
BPD Central is an outstanding, regularly-updated collection of resources for people who care about someone with borderline personality disorder. Resources include warning signs, how to take care of yourself if you're in an abusive relationship, programs and therapies, feedback and more. A consistently reliable resource. - 2 Apr 1999 - KCB

Borderline Personality Disorder Sanctuary
This site has been updated and has a great deal of information. A resource for borderline, bipolar, and Attention Deficit Disorders, this site includes links, articles, information, and advice to people with these disorders. Also features a translator for their web site, as well as a nice search function. - 8 May 2000 - TMB

Self-Injury Page
Llama Central
This page comes out of the author's own experience with self-mutilation. It contains frequently asked questions about self-injury, the bodies-under-siege mailing list, and a comprehensive review of treatment modalities by theoretical orientation. Information is presented in a very organized manner. - 30 Apr 1998 - JMG

NAMI/NYS offers practical support, education, and comfort to those who suffer or have family members suffering from neurobiologically based brain diseases. This site provides a tremendous amount of information on the coping, diagnosis, treatment, and advocacy of such diseases. The provided information is useful and up-to-date. - 15 Jun 1998 - KCB

Kathi Stringer
Here you'll find Borderline Personality Disorder, regression, childhood development, gender dysphoria, dissociative identity disorders, a family album, and reactive attachment disorder resources and information. Cluttered homepage is improvement over previous version; the site is updated regularly. - 28 Apr 2000 - N BRP

Borderline and Beyond
Laura Paxton
This site is authored by a person with BPD who holds a Masters in Psychology. She gives a brief description of BPD on the site, along with online tests that can be used. She also gives advice and coping strategies for people with BPD. There are links to a forum as well as other mental health sites. She has a programme for sale, for helping people with BPD, assume a place in society in a more acceptable way. - 12 Nov 1999 - N BRP

Borderline Personality Disorder
Laura Dijksma
A former sufferer has a theory and would like your input for her research. The content is small, but it may be of interest to those of you who are looking for research on borderline personality disorder. - 6 Aug 1997 - DSC

An Overview of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy in the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder

Barry Kiehn and Michaela Swales

Patients showing the features of Borderline Personality Disorder as defined in DSM-IV are notoriously difficult to treat (Linehan 1993a). They are difficult to keep in therapy, frequently fail to respond to our therapeutic efforts and make considerable demands on the emotional resources of the therapist, particular when suicidal and parasuicidal behaviours are prominent.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is an innovative method of treatment that has been developed specifically to treat this difficult group of patients in a way which is optimistic and which preserves the morale of the therapist.

The technique has been devised by Marsha Linehan at the University of Washington in Seattle and its effectiveness has been demonstrated in a controlled study, the results of which will be summarised later in this paper.


Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is based on a bio-social theory of borderline personality disorder. Linehan hypothesises that the disorder is a consequence of an emotionally vulnerable individual growing up within a particular set of environmental circumstances which she refers to as the 'Invalidating Environment'.

An 'emotionally vulnerable' person in this sense is someone whose autonomic nervous system reacts excessively to relatively low levels of stress and takes longer than normal to return to baseline once the stress is removed. It is proposed that this is the consequence of a biological diathesis.

The term 'Invalidating Environment' refers essentially to a situation in which the personal experiences and responses of the growing child are disqualified or "invalidated" by the significant others in her life. The child's personal communications are not accepted as an accurate indication of her true feelings and it is implied that, if they were accurate, then such feelings would not be a valid response to circumstances. Furthermore, an Invalidating Environment is characterised by a tendency to place a high value on self-control and self-reliance. Possible difficulties in these areas are not acknowledged and it is implied that problem solving should be easy given proper motivation. Any failure on the part of the child to perform to the expected standard is therefore ascribed to lack of motivation or some other negative characteristic of her character. (The feminine pronoun will be used throughout this paper when referring to the patient since the majority of BPD patients are female and Linehan's work has focused on this subgroup).

Linehan suggests that an emotionally vulnerable child can be expected to experience particular problems in such an environment. She will neither have the opportunity accurately to label and understand her feelings nor will she learn to trust her own responses to events. Neither is she helped to cope with situations that she may find difficult or stressful, since such problems are not acknowledged. It may be expected then that she will look to other people for indications of how she should be feeling and to solve her problems for her. However, it is in the nature of such an environment that the demands that she is allowed to make on others will tend to be severely restricted. The child's behaviour may then oscillate between opposite poles of emotional inhibition in an attempt to gain acceptance and extreme displays of emotion in order to have her feelings acknowledged. Erratic response to this pattern of behaviour by those in the environment may then create a situation of intermittent reinforcement resulting in the behaviour pattern becoming persistent.

Linehan suggests that a particular consequence of this state of affairs will be a failure to understand and control emotions; a failure to learn the skills required for 'emotion modulation'. Given the emotional vulnerability of these individuals this is postulated to result in a state of 'emotional dysregulation' which combines in a transactional manner with the Invalidating Environment to produce the typical symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder.

Patients with BPD frequently describe a history of childhood sexual abuse and this is regarded within the model as representing a particularly extreme form of invalidation.

Linehan emphasises that this theory is not yet supported by empirical evidence but the value of the technique does not depend on the theory being correct since the clinical effectiveness of DBT does have empirical support.


Linehan groups the features of BPD in a particular way, describing the patients as showing dysregulation in the sphere of emotions, relationships, behaviour, cognition and the sense of self. She suggests that, as a consequence of the situation that has been described, they show six typical patterns of behaviour, the term 'behaviour' referring to emotional, cognitive and autonomic activity as well as external behaviour in the narrow sense.

Firstly, they show evidence of 'emotional vulnerability' as already described. They are aware of their difficulty coping with stress and may blame others for having unrealistic expectations and making unreasonable demands.

On the other hand they have internalised the characteristics of the Invalidating Environment and tend to show 'self-invalidation'. They invalidate their own responses and have unrealistic goals and expectations, feeling ashamed and angry with themselves when they experience difficulty or fail to achieve their goals.

These two features constitute the first pair of so-called 'dialectical dilemmas', the patient's position tending to swing between the opposing poles since each extreme is experienced as being distressing.

Next, they tend to experience frequent traumatic environmental events, in part related to their own dysfunctional lifestyle and exacerbated by their extreme emotional reactions with delayed return to baseline. This results in what Linehan refers to as a pattern of 'unrelenting crisis', one crisis following another before the previous one has been resolved. On the other hand, because of their difficulties with emotion modulation, they are unable to face, and therefore tend to inhibit, negative affect and particularly feelings associated with loss or grief. This 'inhibited grieving' and the 'unrelenting crisis' constitute the second 'dialectical dilemma'.

The opposite poles of the final dilemma are referred to as 'active passivity' and 'apparent competence'. Patients with BPD are active in finding other people who will solve their problems for them but are passive in relation to solving their own problems. On the other hand, they have learned to give the impression of being competent in response to the Invalidating Environment. In some situations they may indeed be competent but their skills do not generalise across different situations and are dependent on the mood state of the moment. This extreme mood dependency is seen as being a typical feature of patients with BPD.

A pattern of self-mutilation tends to develop as a means of coping with the intense and painful feelings experienced by these patients and suicide attempts may be seen as an expression of the fact that life is at times simply does not seem worth living. These behaviours in particular tend to result in frequent episodes of admission to psychiatric hospitals. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, which will now be described, focuses specifically on this pattern of problem behaviours and in particular, the parasuicidal behaviour.


The term 'dialectical' is derived from classical philosophy. It refers to a form of argument in which an assertion is first made about a particular issue (the 'thesis'), the opposing position is then formulated (the 'antithesis' ) and finally a 'synthesis' is sought between the two extremes, embodying the valuable features of each position and resolving any contradictions between the two. This synthesis then acts as the thesis for the next cycle. In this way truth is seen as a process which develops over time in transactions between people. From this perspective there can be no statement representing absolute truth. Truth is approached as the middle way between extremes.

The dialectical approach to understanding and treatment of human problems is therefore non-dogmatic, open and has a systemic and transactional orientation. The dialectical viewpoint underlies the entire structure of therapy, the key dialectic being 'acceptance' on the one hand and 'change' on the other. Thus DBT includes specific techniques of acceptance and validation designed to counter the self-invalidation of the patient. These are balanced by techniques of problem solving to help her learn more adaptive ways of dealing with her difficulties and acquire the skills to do so. Dialectical strategies underlie all aspects of treatment to counter the extreme and rigid thinking encountered in these patients. The dialectical world view is apparent in the three pairs of 'dialectical dilemmas' already described, in the goals of therapy and in the attitudes and communication styles of the therapist which are to be described.The therapy is behavioural in that, without ignoring the past, it focuses on present behaviour and the current factors which are controlling that behaviour.


The success of treatment is dependant on the quality of the relationship between the patient and therapist. The emphasis is on this being a real human relationship in which both members matter and in which the needs of both have to be considered. Linehan is particularly alert to the risks of burnout to therapists treating these patients and therapist support and consultation is an integral and essential part of the treatment. In DBT support is not regarded as an optional extra. The basic idea is that the therapist gives DBT to the patient and receives DBT from his or her colleagues. The approach is a team approach.

The therapist is asked to accept a number of working assumptions about the patient that will establish the required attitude for therapy:

1. The patient wants to change and, in spite of appearances, is trying her best at any particular time.

2. Her behaviour pattern is understandable given her background and present circumstances. Her life may currently not be worth living (however, the therapist will never agree that suicide is the appropriate solution but always stays on the side of life. The solution is rather to try and make life more worth living).

3. In spite of this she needs to try harder if things are ever to improve. She may not be entirely to blame for the way things are but it is her personal responsibility to make them different.

4. Patients can not fail in DBT. If things are not improving it is the treatment that is failing.

In particular the therapist must avoid at all times viewing the patient, or talking about her, in pejorative terms since such an attitude will be antagonistic to successful therapeutic intervention and likely to feed into the problems that have led to the development of BPD in the first place.

Linehan has a particular dislike for the word "manipulative" as commonly applied to these patients. She points out that this implies that they are skilled at managing other people when it is precisely the opposite that is true. Also the fact that the therapist may feel manipulated does not necessarily imply that this was the intention of the patient. It is more probable that the patient did not have the skills to deal with the situation more effectively.

The therapist relates to the patient in two dialectically opposed styles. The primary style of relationship and communication is referred to as 'reciprocal communication', a style involving responsiveness, warmth and genuineness on the part of the therapist. Appropriate self-disclosure is encouraged but always with the interests of the patient in mind. The alternative style is referred to as 'irreverent communication'. This is a more confrontational and challenging style aimed at bringing the patient up with a jolt in order to deal with situations where therapy seems to be stuck or moving in an unhelpful direction. It will be observed that these two communication styles form the opposite ends of another dialectic and should be used in a balanced way as therapy proceeds.

The therapist should try to interact with the patient in a way that is:

1. accepting of the patient as she is but which encourages change.

2. centred and firm yet flexible when the circumstances require it.

3. nurturing but benevolently demanding.

The dialectical approach is here again apparent.

There is a clear and open emphasis on the limits of behaviour acceptable to the therapist and these are dealt with in a very direct way. The therapist should be clear about his or her personal limits in relations to a particular patient and should as far as possible make these clear to her from the start. It is openly acknowledged that an unconditional relationship between therapist and patient is not humanly possible and it is always possible for the patient to cause the therapist to reject her if she tries hard enough. It is in the patient's interests therefore to learn to treat her therapist in a way that encourages the therapist to want to continue helping her. It is not in her interests to burn him or her out. This issue is confronted directly and openly in therapy. The therapist helps therapy to survive by consistently bringing it to the patient's attention when limits have been overstepped and then teaching her the skills to deal with the situation more effectively and acceptably.

It is made quite clear that the issue is immediately concerned with the legitimate needs of the therapist and only indirectly with the needs of the patient who clearly stands to lose if she manages to burn out the therapist.

The therapist is asked to adopt a non-defensive posture towards the patient, to accept that therapists are fallible and that mistakes will at times inevitably be made. Perfect therapy is simply not possible. It needs to be accepted as a working hypothesis that (to use Linehan's words) "all therapists are jerks".


This form of therapy must be entirely voluntary and depends for its success on having the co-operation of the patient. From the start, therefore, attention is given to orienting the patient to the nature of DBT and obtaining a commitment to undertake the work. A variety of specific strategies are described in the Linehan's book (Linehan 1993a) to facilitate this process.

Before a patient will be taken on for DBT she will be required to give a number of undertakings:

1. To work in therapy for a specified period of time (Linehan initially contracts for one year). and, within reason, to attend all scheduled therapy sessions.

2. If suicidal or parasuicidal behaviours are present, she must agree to work on reducing these.

3. To work on any behaviours that interfere with the course of therapy ('therapy interfering behaviours').

4. To attend skills training.

The strength of these agreements may be variable and a "take what you can get approach" is advocated. Nevertheless a definite commitment at some level is required since reminding the patient about her commitment and re-establishing such commitment throughout the course of therapy are important strategies in DBT.

The therapist agrees to make every reasonable effort to help the patient and to treat her with respect, as well as to keep to the usual expectations of reliability and professional ethics. The therapist does not however give any undertaking to stop the patient from harming herself. On the contrary, it should be make quite clear that the therapist is simply not able to prevent her from doing so. The therapist will try rather to help her find ways of making her life more worth living. DBT is offered as a life-enhancement treatment and not as a suicide prevention treatment, although it is hoped that it may indeed achieve the latter.


There are four primary modes of treatment in DBT :

1. Individual therapy

2. Group skills training

3. Telephone contact

4. Therapist consultation

Whilst keeping within the overall model, group therapy and other modes of treatment may be added at the discretion of the therapist, providing the targets for that mode are clear and prioritised.

The individual therapist is the primary therapist. The main work of therapy is carried out in the INDIVIDUAL THERAPY sessions. The structure of individual therapy and some of the strategies used will be described shortly. The characteristics of the therapeutic alliance have already been described.

Between sessions the patient should be offered TELEPHONE CONTACT with the therapist, including out of hours telephone contact. This tends to be an aspect of DBT balked at by many prospective therapists. However, each therapist has the right to set clear limits on such contact and the purpose of telephone contact is also quite clearly defined. In particular, telephone contact is not for the purpose of psychotherapy. Rather it is to give the patient help and support in applying the skills that she is learning to her real life situation between sessions and to help her find ways of avoiding self-injury. Calls are also accepted for the purpose of relationship repair where the patient feels that she has damaged her relationship with her therapist and wants to put this right before the next session. Calls after the patient has injured herself are not acceptable and, after ensuring her immediate safety, no further calls are allowed for the next twenty four hours. This is to avoid reinforcing self-injury.

SKILLS TRAINING is usually carried out in a group context, ideally by someone other that the individual therapist. In the skills training groups patients are taught skills considered relevant to the particular problems experienced by people with borderline personality disorder. There are four modules focusing in turn on four groups of skills:

1. Core mindfulness skills.

2. Interpersonal effectiveness skills.

3. Emotion modulation skills.

4. Distress tolerance skills.

The 'core mindfulness skills' are derived from certain techniques of Buddhist meditation, although they are essentially psychological techniques and no religious allegiance is involved in their application. Essentially they are techniques to enable one to become more clearly aware of the contents of experience and to develop the ability to stay with that experience in the present moment.

The 'interpersonal effectiveness skills' which are taught focus on effective ways of achieving one's objectives with other people: to ask for what one wants effectively, to say no and have it taken seriously, to maintain relationships and to maintain self-esteem in interactions with other people.

'Emotion modulation skills' are ways of changing distressing emotional states and 'distress tolerance skills' include techniques for putting up with these emotional states if they can not be changed for the time being.

The skills are too many and varied to be described here in detail. They are fully described in a teaching format in the DBT skills training manual (Linehan, 1993b).

The therapists receive DBT from each other at the regular THERAPIST CONSULTATION GROUPS and, as already mentioned, this is regarded as an essential aspect of therapy. The members of the group are required to keep each other in the DBT mode and (among other things) are required to give a formal undertaking to remain dialectical in their interaction with each other, to avoid any pejorative descriptions of patient or therapist behaviour, to respect therapists' individual limits and generally are expected to treat each other at least as well as they treat their patients. Part of the session may be used for ongoing training purposes.


Patients with BPD present multiple problems and this can pose problems for the therapist in deciding what to focus on and when. This problem is directly addressed in DBT. The course of therapy over time is organised into a number of stages and structured in terms of hierarchies of targets at each stage.

The PRE-TREATMENT STAGE focuses on assessment, commitment and orientation to therapy.

STAGE 1 focuses on suicidal behaviours, therapy interfering behaviours and behaviours that interfere with the quality of life, together with developing the necessary skills to resolve these problems.

STAGE 2 deals with post-traumatic stress related problems (PTSD)

STAGE 3 focuses on self-esteem and individual treatment goals.

The targeted behaviours of each stage are brought under control before moving on to the next phase. In particular post-traumatic stress related problems such as those related to childhood sexual abuse are not dealt with directly until stage 1 has been successfully completed. To do so would risk an increase in serious self injury. Problems of this type (flashbacks for instance) emerging whilst the patient is still in stages 1 or 2 are dealt with using 'distress tolerance' techniques. The treatment of PTSD in stage 2 involves exposure to memories of the past trauma.

Therapy at each stage is focused on the specific targets for that stage which are arranged in a definite hierarchy of relative importance. The hierarchy of targets varies between the different modes of therapy but it is essential for therapists working in each mode to be clear what the targets are. An overall goal in every mode of therapy is to increase dialectical thinking.

The hierarchy of targets in individual therapy for example is as follows:

1. Decreasing suicidal behaviours.

2. Decreasing therapy interfering behaviours.

3. Decreasing behaviours that interfere with the quality of life.

4. Increasing behavioural skills.

5. Decreasing behaviours related to post-traumatic stress.

6. Improving self esteem.

7. Individual targets negotiated with the patient.

In any individual session these targets must be dealt with in that order. In particular, any incident of self harm that may have occurred since the last session must be dealt with first and the therapist must not allow him or herself to be distracted from this goal.

The importance given to 'therapy interfering behaviours' is a particular characteristic of DBT and reflects the difficulty of working with these patients. It is second only to suicidal behaviours in importance. These are any behaviours by the patient or therapist that interfere in any way with the proper conduct of therapy and risk preventing the patient from getting the help she needs. They include, for example, failure to attend sessions reliably, failure to keep to contracted agreements, or behaviours that overstep therapist limits.

Behaviours that interfere with the quality of life are such things as drug or alcohol abuse, sexual promiscuity, high risk behaviour and the like. What is or is not a quality of life interfering behaviour may be a matter for negotiation between patient and therapist.

The patient is required to record instances of targeted behaviours on the weekly diary cards. Failure to do so is regarded as therapy interfering behaviour.


Within this framework of stages, target hierarchies and modes of therapy a wide variety of therapeutic strategies and specific techniques is applied.

The core strategies in DBT are 'validation' and 'problem solving'. Attempts to facilitate change are surrounded by interventions that validate the patient's behaviour and responses as understandable in relation to her current life situation, and that show an understanding of her difficulties and suffering.

Problem solving focuses on the establishment of necessary skills. If the patient is not dealing with her problems effectively then it is to be anticipated either that she does not have the necessary skills to do so, or does have the skills but is prevented from using them. If she does not have the skills then she will need to learn them. This is the purpose of the skills training.

Having the skills, she may be prevented from using them in particular situations either because of environmental factors or because of emotional or cognitive problems getting in the way. To deal with these difficulties the following techniques may be applied in the course of therapy:

1. Contingency management

2. Cognitive therapy

3. Exposure based therapies

4. Pharmacotherapy

The principles of using these techniques are precisely those applying to their use in other contexts and will not be described in any detail. In DBT however they are used in a relatively informal way and interwoven into therapy. Linehan recommends that medication be prescribed by someone other than the primary therapist although this may not be practical.

Particular note should be made of the pervading application of contingency management throughout therapy, using the relationship with the therapist as the main reinforcer. In the session by session course of therapy care is taken to systematically reinforce targeted adaptive behaviours and to avoid reinforcing targeted maladaptive behaviours. This process is made quite overt to the patient, explaining that behaviour which reinforced can be expected to increase. A clear distinction is made between the observed effect of reinforcement and the motivation of the behaviour, pointing out that such a relationship between cause and effect does not imply that the behaviour is being carried out deliberately in order to obtain the reinforcement. Didactic teaching and insight strategies may also be used to help the patient achieve an understanding of the factors that may be controlling her behaviour.

The same contingency management approach is taken in dealing with behaviours that overstep the therapist's personal limits in which case they are referred to as 'observing limits procedures'.

Problem solving and change strategies are again balanced dialectically by the use of validation strategies. It is important at every stage to convey to the patient that her behaviour, including thoughts feelings and actions are understandable, even though they may be maladaptive or unhelpful.

Significant instances of targeted maladaptive behaviour occurring since the last session (which should have been recorded on the diary card) are initially dealt with by carrying out a detailed 'behavioural analysis'. In particular every single instance of suicidal or parasuicidal behaviour is dealt with in this way. Such behavioural analysis is an important aspect of DBT and may take up a large proportion of therapy time.

In the course of a typical behavioural analysis a particular instance of behaviour is first clearly defined in specific terms and then a 'chain analysis' is conducted, looking in detail at the sequence of events and attempting to link these events one to another. In the course of this process hypotheses are generated about the factors that may be controlling the behaviour. This is followed by, or interwoven with, a 'solution analysis' in which alternative ways of dealing with the situation at each stage are considered and evaluated. Finally one solution should be chosen for future implementation. Difficulties that may be experienced in carrying out this solution are considered and strategies of dealing with these can be worked out.

It is frequently the case that patients will attempt to avoid this behavioural analysis since they may experience the process of looking in such detail at their behaviour as aversive. However it is essential that the therapist should not be side tracked until the process is completed. In addition to achieving an understanding of the factors controlling behaviour, behavioural analysis can be seen as part of contingency management strategy, applying a somewhat aversive consequence to an episode of targeted maladaptive behaviour. The process can also be seen as an exposure technique helping to desensitise the patient to painful feelings and behaviours. Having completed the behavioural analysis the patient can then be rewarded with a 'heart to heart' conversation about the things she likes to discuss.

Behavioural analysis can be seen as a way of responding to maladaptive behaviour, and in particular to parasuicide, in a way that shows interest and concern but which avoids reinforcing the behaviour.

In DBT a particular approach is taken in dealing with the network of people with whom the patient is involved personally and professionally. These are referred to as 'case management strategies'. The basic idea is that the patient should be encouraged, with appropriate help and support, to deal with her own problems in the environment in which they occur. Therefore, as far as possible, the therapist does not do things for the patient but encourages the patient to do things for herself. This includes dealing with other professionals who may be involved with the patient. The therapist does not try to tell these other professionals how to deal with the patient but helps the patient learn how to deal with the other professionals. Inconsistencies between professionals are seen as inevitable and not necessarily something to be avoided. Such inconsistencies are rather seen as opportunities for the patient to practice her interpersonal effectiveness skills. If she grumbles about the help she is receiving from another professional she is helped to sort this out herself with the person involved. This is referred to as the 'consultation-to-the-patient strategy' which, among other things, serves to minimise the so-called "staff splitting" which tends to occur between professionals dealing with these patients.

Environmental intervention is acceptable but only in very specific situations where a particular outcome seems essential and the patient does not have the power or capability to produce this outcome. Such intervention should be the exception rather than the rule.


The effectiveness of DBT has been assessed in two major trials. The first (Linehan et al, 1991) compared the effectiveness of DBT relative to treatment as usual (TAU). The second (Linehan et al, in press) examined the effectiveness of DBT skills training when added to standard community psychotherapy.

In the first randomised controlled trial, there were three main goals:

Firstly, to reduce the frequency of parasuicidal behaviours. This is clearly of importance because of the distressing nature of the behaviour but also because of the increased risk of completed suicide in this group (Stone, 1987).

Secondly, to reduce behaviours that interfere with the progress of therapy ('therapy interfering behaviours'), as the attrition rate from therapy in borderline women with a history of parasuicidal behaviours is high.

Finally, to reduce behaviours that interfere with the patients' quality of life. In this study this latter goal was interpreted more specifically as a reduction in in-patient psychiatric days, which is hypothesised to interfere with the patient's quality of life.

Participants all met DSM-IIIR criteria for BPD, and were matched for number of lifetime parasuicide episodes, number of lifetime admissions to hospital, age and anticipated good or poor prognosis.

There were 22 patients in each group. The experimental group received standard DBT as outlined above. The experience of the patients in the treatment as usual group was variable; some received regular individual psychotherapy, others dropped out of individual therapy whilst continuing to have access to in-patient and day-patient services. All participants were assessed on number of parasuicidal episodes and a range of questionnaire measures of mood. Patients were blindly assessed at pre-treatment, 4, 8 and 12 months and followed up at 6 and 12 months post-treatment. Measures of treatment compliance and other treatment delivered (e.g. in patient psychiatric days) were also taken. At pre-treatment there were no significant differences on any of the measures between the control and experimental groups including demographic criteria.

With regard to the first aim of the trial (i.e. the reduction of suicidal behaviour), during the year of treatment patients in the control group engaged in more parasuicidal acts than DBT patients at all time points. The medical risk for parasuicidal acts was higher in the control group than in the DBT group.

Patients in the DBT group were more likely to start therapy and were more likely to remain in therapy than those in the control group. The one year attrition rate in the DBT group was 16.7% compared to 50% for those in the control group who commenced the year with a new therapist. The DBT patients reported more individual and group therapy treatment hours per week than the TAU group, which reflects the intensive nature of DBT treatment. However, the control patients reported more day treatment hours per week.

With regard to the third goal of the trial, patients in the control group had significantly more inpatient psychiatric days per person than those receiving DBT (38.6 days per year as compared to 8.46 days per year for the DBT group).

These results were considered to indicate the superiority of DBT over treatment as usual. However, one major criticism of the trial is that the variable and patchy therapeutic experience of the control group may be considered to favour DBT. This criticism can be challenged, however, since one of the treatment aims of DBT is to keep the patient in therapy. This it seems to have succeeded in doing. However, it is still pertinent to enquire how well DBT would compare to a consistent treatment alternative. An attempt was made to explore this by comparing the DBT patients with those in the TAU group who received regular individual therapy. It was found that the gains of the patients in the DBT group over the TAU group remained even using this more rigorous comparison.

Despite the more intensive nature of DBT it remained cheaper than TAU, largely because of the reduction in the number of in-patient and day-treatment days received by the DBT patients.

It is of interest that, although the DBT patients showed significant gains across the three areas of interest (number of parasuicides, treatment compliance and inpatient days), there were no between-group differences on any of the questionnaire measures of mood and suicidal ideation. During the follow-up year, patients in the DBT group had higher Global Assessment Scores and a better work performance than the patients in the TAU group. In the first 6 months, DBT patients had fewer suicidal acts, lower anger scores and better self-reported social adjustment than TAU patients. In the final 6 months, DBT patients had fewer in-patient days treatment and better interviewer rated social adjustment than TAU patients.

The second trial had two parts. Firstly, it compared standard community psychotherapy (SCP) plus the group skills component of DBT with SCP alone without added skills training. Secondly, it compared the SCP group from the first part of the present study with the experimental group in the previously described randomised control trial. In this latter comparison, assignment to conditions was not random. However, all subjects were screened in the same way, during the same time frame and were all subject to blind assessment.

The results of the first part of this study indicated that the addition of DBT skills training to SCP for this group of parasuicidal borderline women did not confer any additional therapeutic benefit. In this part of the study the skills training was truly ancillary in that there were no meetings between the individual therapists and the group therapists, nor were any attempts made to assist the patient to generalise the skills learnt in the group to her everyday life.

In the second part of the study there were some pre-treatment differences between the two groups. The DBT patients were less depressed than the control group and reported higher levels of unemployment. These differences were not considered to be particularly important for three reasons. Firstly, depression was not correlated with any of the outcome variables. Secondly, although the lower depression scores favoured the DBT group, the lower unemployment favoured the SCP group. Finally, the levels of depression did not differ between the two groups after the pre-treament point.

During the treatment year there were no significant differences between the groups with regard to staying in therapy. There were some slight differences in the distribution of therapeutic hours, with DBT patients reporting more group treatment hours than the SCP group. Most importantly, however, there were no significant relationships between number of treatment hours and any of the outcome variables. Over the treatment year, standard DBT patients compared to SCP patients had fewer parasuicidal episodes, fewer episodes leading to medical treatment and fewer psychiatric in-patient days. DBT patients also reported less anger than the SCP patients.

This research then provides some evidence for the therapeutic efficacy of DBT. This evidence is primarily derived from one randomised control trial in which DBT was found to be superior on a number of variables to treatment as usual. Clearly this finding requires replication. There is also some evidence to suggest that DBT is superior to other forms of psychotherapy with this group of patients. However, this result comes from a comparison made using only a sub-sample of patients in the randomised trial (Linehan et al, 1991) and from a further comparison between two groups from different studies (Linehan et al, in press). Consequently, the effectiveness of DBT compared to other alternative treatments awaits further exploration. This will remain a challenge, particularly given the high drop-out rates from treatment of this group of patients.


Dialectical Behaviour Therapy then is a novel method of therapy specifically designed to meet the needs of patients with Borderline Personality Disorder and their therapists. It directly addresses the problem of keeping these patients in therapy and the difficulty of maintaining therapist motivation and professional well-being. It is based on a clear and potentially testable theory of BPD and encourages a positive and validating attitude to these patients in the light of this theory. The approach incorporates what is valuable from other forms of therapy, and is based on a clear acknowledgement of the value of a strong relationship between therapist and patient. Therapy is clearly structured in stages and at each stage a clear hierarchy of targets is defined. The method offers a particularly helpful approach to the management of parasuicide with a clearly defined response to such behaviours. The techniques used in DBT are extensive and varied, addressing essentially every aspect of therapy and they are underpinned by a dialectical philosophy that recommends a balanced, flexible and systemic approach to the work of therapy. Techniques for achieving change are balanced by techniques of acceptance, problem solving is surrounded by validation, confrontation is balanced by understanding. The patient is helped to understand her problem behaviours and then deal with situations more effectively. She is taught the necessary skills to enable her to do so and helped to deal with any problems that she may have in applying them in her natural environment. Generalisation outside therapy is not assumed but encouraged directly. Advice and support available between sessions and the patient is encouraged and helped to take responsibility for dealing with life's challenges herself. The method is supported by empirical evidence which suggests that it is successful in reducing self-injury and time spent in psychiatric in-patient treatment.


Linehan, M.M. (1993a) Cognitive Behavioural Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. The Guilford Press, New York and London.

Linehan, M.M. (1993b) Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder. The Guilford Press, New York and London.

Linehan, M.M., Armstrong, H.E., Suarez, A., Allmon, D. & Heard, H.L. (1991) Cognitive-behavioural treatment of chronically parasuicidal borderline patients. Archives of General Psychiatry, 48, 1060-1064.

Linehan, M.M., Heard, H.L. & Armstrong, H.E. (in press) Dialectical behaviour therapy, with and without behavioural skills training, for chronically parasuicidal borderline patients.

Stone, M.H. (1987) The course of borderline personality disorder. In Tasman, A., Hales, R.E. & Frances, A.J. (eds) American Psychiatric Press Review of Psychiatry. Washington DC; American Psychiatric Press inc. 8, 103-122.

Barry Kiehn, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Gwynfa Adolescent Service, Pen-y-Bryn Road, Upper Colwyn Bay, Clwyd, North Wales, LL29 6AL.

Michaela Swales, Chartered Clinical Psychologist, Gwynfa Adolescent Service and Lecturer in the Psychology of Adolescence, University College of North Wales, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2DG.

From November 1995 Psychiaty On-Line; Copyright © 1995