[Al-Isra’ 17:27] The Brothers of the Shayatin

Ingratitude leads to wastefulness. In many places, and even in our own masajid, we often find people taking a few bites of food and then throwing the rest away without no remorse whatsoever. This is a trait of ingratitude. Rasulallah s.a.w. condemned wastefulness and excessiveness – including eating excessively and using excessive water for wudhu’.

But what is even worse is when one spends on something that has been made haram. And this is exactly what is being referred to in Surah Al-Isra’ where Allah s.w.t. says:

“Verily, people who are excessive in their wastefulness are BROTHERS of the Shayatin, and the Shaitan is ever ungrateful to his Lord.”
[Al-Isra’ 17:27]

Scholars said that excessiveness here means spending money on sin, wrongful and corrupt things, and the word “brother” in this context means:

1. That he is constantly with that person; i.e. this person who spends on corrupted matters never leaves Shaitan. This is the majority opinion of the scholars.

2. That he resembles the person; i.e. the person resembles Shaitan who uses the blessings bestowed by Allah against the commandments of his Rabb.

3. That he benefits one another. What it means is that when someone embarks on something haram, he is actually marketing and helping that industry flourish (eg. drugs, cigarettes and the likes, pornography, etc). So not only does he support the causes of Shaitan, he also actually gives Shaitan a level of confidence that he can indeed lead people astray.

I think we’ve heard this Ayah so many times that we end up taking it lightly – but look how hateful this trait really is. May Allah s.w.t. protect us.

1 – The Beginning and the End with Omar Suleiman: Waste Not
2 – Tafsir Ibn Kathir