By Abu Iyad
There are many ways which Shaytaan has at his disposal. This is so because he also has friends and allies from among humankind. Sometimes these friends and allies are not conscious that they are in fact working for him (these include Muslims). Shaytaan is a master planner and all the mischief in the world is a result of his misguidance, however, all of his handiwork is under Allah's control and will and wisdom. In the sight of Allaah and to the believers, the plan of Shaytaan is very weak:
The Messenger Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam said: “Indeed, Iblees has despaired that the righteous may worship him... but he will strive to incite discord amongst them.” [Reported by Muslim]
Meaning that he will cause them to argue and hold grudges against one another, to spread trials amongst them and make them occupied with each other making them forget Allah, their Lord. In another narration from Imaam Muslim, the Messenger Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam said: “Shaytaan has despaired that the performers of prayer in the Arabian peninsula may worship him.”
Having evil thoughts and suspicions is also a habit which Shaytaan induces. The wife of the Prophet Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam and Mother of the Believers, Safiyyah (RA) said: “The Messenger Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam was in seclusion in the Masjid. I came to visit him at night time and conversed with him. Then I got up to leave and return to my house and he got up with me to accompany me. Two men from the Ansaar walked passed us - ¬may Allah be pleased with them - and when they saw the Prophet Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam they hurried. The Messenger Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam then said: Come Here! She is Safiyyah bint Hayy. The two men then said: How free is Allah from all shortcomings 0 Messenger of Allaah. Then the Messenger Sallallahu Alyhi Wa Sallam said: “Indeed Shaytaan flows through the Son of Aadam like the blood flows (in his veins) and I feared that he might throw some evil into your hearts so that such and such might be said.” [Reported by Bukhaaree]
It is obligatory therefore, when you stand in a place and a bad opinion or suspicion is being formed about you that you explain to the one who is watching you or listening to your speech until no chance remains for any doubts or suspicions. Suspicion is one of the areas from which Shaytaan attacks. He makes you constantly observe people and listen to their words so that you misinterpret them and form a bad opinion accordingly.
Another way this happens is that he makes you suspicious of yourself in your prayer, or when performing Wudhoo'. He suggests in your mind that perhaps you did not do such and such or recite such and such, why you don’t do it again. So many people end up confused due to these evil and mischievous whisperings and find discomfort when performing these acts of worship.