In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allaah [The Exalted] informed us in Soorah An-Nisaa Ayah 119 that shaytaan said:
[وَلَأُضِلَّنَّهُ “Verily, I will mislead them]- Meaning, from the truth. [وَلَأُمَنِّيَنَّهُم – And surely, I will arouse in them false desires]; Ibn Abbaas said, “Iblees desires to hinder them from repentance and that they delay it”. (1)
[وَلَآمُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُبَتِّكُنَّ آذَانَ الْأَنْعَامِ – I will order them to slit the ears of cattle]- Meaning, cut off the ears of the cattle. [وَلَآمُرَنَّهُمْ فَلَيُغَيِّرُنَّ خَلْقَ اللَّهِ – And indeed I will order them to change the nature created by Allah]; Ibn Abbaas said, “Ibleees intends by this the religion of Allaah. And the meaning is that Allaah created his slaves upon an upright fitrah (i.e. an upright natural disposition that enables them to recognize Allaah, accept the call of the messengers when it reaches them and worship Allaah alone), as He (the most high) said:
[فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا ۚ فِطْرَتَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا ۚ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ – So set you (O Muhammad) your face towards the religion of true Monotheism- Hanifa (worship none but Allah Alone)- Allah’s Islamic Monotheism with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in the Religion of Allah’s Islamic Monotheism, that is the straight religion, but most of men know not. [مُنِيبِينَ إِلَيْهِ وَاتَّقُوهُ – (Always) Turning in repentance to Him (only), and be afraid and dutiful to Him]. [Soorah Ar-Rum Aayaat 30-31]
And that is why the Prophet said, “Every child is born on a Fitrah [a natural disposition to recognize Allaah, accept the call of the messengers when it reaches them and worship Allaah alone], but his/her parents convert them him/her to Judaism, Christianity or Magianism, as an animal gives birth to a perfect baby animal. Do you find it mutilated?” Then after (narrating this hadeeth) Abu Hurairah recited: [فِطْرَتَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا- Allah’s Islamic Monotheism, with which He has created mankind].
Therefore, the Prophet mentioned two affairs: alteration of the sound natural disposition through Judaism and Christianity and the alteration of the original natural physical appearance of the creation through mutilation. They are two affairs which iblees said that he must change-alteration of the natural disposition (through) incitement towards disbelief and alteration of the original natural physical appearance through mutilation. So he changes the sound innate natural disposition through incitement to Shirk and alteration of the original natural appearance through cutting and mutilation. This one is alteration of the sound innate natural disposition of the soul and that one is alteration of the original natural appearance of the creation. [Ref 2]
And Allaah [The Exalted] stated about Iblees:
قَالَ فَبِمَآ أَغۡوَيۡتَنِى لَأَقۡعُدَنَّ لَهُمۡ صِرَٲطَكَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَقِيمَ –
ثُمَّ لَآتِيَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَعَنْ شَمَائِلِهِمْ وَلاَ تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَاكِرِينَ
(Iblis) said: “Because You have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path. Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones (i.e. they will not be dutiful to You).” 7-16-17]
[ثُمَّ لَآتِيَنَّهُم مِّن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ – Then I will come to them from before them and behind them], meaning, “I will bring doubts to them about the Hereafter”. [وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ – and behind them], meaning, “I will make them covetous for the worldly things”. [وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ – and from their right], meaning, “I will make their religion obscure (by making them hold onto doubtful matters which they would consider to be the truth)”. [وَعَن شَمَائِلِهِمْ – and from their left], meaning, “I will command them to commit evil deeds, urge them toward it and beautify it in their eyes”.
It has also been reported from Ibn Abbaas who said that Iblees did not say, “And from above them” because he knows that Allaah is above them. Qataadah said, “O son of Adam! Shaytaan comes to you from every direction but not from above because he is not able to come between you and the Mercy of Allaah”. (3)
[Ref 1: A’laam Al-Muwaqqi’een 1-67-69]
[Refs 2 & 3: Ighaathatul Lahfaan 1/105-107]