1972-01-17 Theme: Ikhlas, audio and transcription

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IKHLAS
Theme presentation “Ikhlas”. Mr. Bennett begins the talk by announcing the word, followed by a reading of the definition from a dictionary. This in itself suggests that the word came to him unbidden, and was not from his ordinary thought processes, and he needed to clarify it for himself as well as for the community. Although the word “Ikhlas” is Arabic, it was also in use in Ottoman Turkish, and the dictionary Bennett read from was the Turkish-English Lexicon compiled by Sir James Redhouse and published in 1890. What was not read by Bennett was that in his dictionary, Redhouse concludes the definition thus: “The 112th chapter of the Qu’ran, declaratory of God’s unity, and his freedom from birth, paternity or partnership, being the quintessence of Islam.”

From the Qu’ran:

CHAPTER 112

The Unity (Al-Ikhlaṣ)
In the name of Allāh, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
1 Say: He, Allāh, is One.
2 Allāh is He on Whom all depend.
3 He begets not, nor is He begotten;
4 And none is like Him.

In what follows, although Bennett offered the dictionary definition of Ikhlas, it becomes clear that the meaning he wanted to draw from the student body was one particular subtlety. Elsewhere, Bennett mentioned in several instances that he heard voices in his head, sometimes speaking in Turkish, sometimes in English, and also that the title of the theme was sometimes given to him in this way, and even that on certain occasions he was overruled in his choice of a theme and instructed to present an alternative.

Sherborne House
First Basic Course
Week 10: Monday January 17th, 1972
ikhlāṣ (SINCERITY)
Presentation – 00:18:17
Transcribed by: Harold Johnson
Edited by: Ben Young

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