The Exoteric Fasting and the Esoteric Fasting together form a pair: form and meaning, symbol and symbolized. But a pair is always resolved in a third term which is the spiritual reality (ḥaqīqah) of both components. The spiritual reality of fasting is called ‘Real Fasting’ (ḥaqīqī ṣawm). Naṣir al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī explains the reality (ḥaqīqah) of fasting:
“The fourth [pillar] is fasting, meaning that one has to surrender his seven exoteric and esoteric faculties to the command of God.
– Naṣir al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī, (Shī‘ī Interpretations of Islam, 41)
“…to refrain from every thought, word and deed which does not conform to reason and is not permitted by the intellect, that is to say, not bound to the Command of the Truthful Master.”
– Naṣir al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī, (The Paradise of Submission, 149,
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