To simplify my question: What is the difference between the waswas (whispering) of the nafs (soul) and Satan? And how can we know when a thought is bad and from Satan and not just critical thinking that could be good?
For my deeper analyse and questions read through this:
As the most believe, Satan whispers into mans heart:
مِن شَرِّ الْوَسْوَاسِ الْخَنَّاسِ
الَّذِي يُوَسْوِسُ فِي صُدُورِ النَّاسِ
From the evil of the retreating whisperer -
Who whispers [evil] into the breasts of mankind
فَوَسْوَسَ إِلَيْهِ الشَّيْطَانُ قَالَ يَا آدَمُ هَلْ أَدُلُّكَ عَلَىٰ شَجَرَةِ الْخُلْدِ وَمُلْكٍ لَّا يَبْلَىٰ
Then Satan whispered to him; he said, "O Adam, shall I direct you to the tree of eternity and possession that will not deteriorate?"
I know there are more verses and hadiths about this. Those are so popular so I guess I don't need to go in detail about them.
It also seem to me that the humans nafs (soul, mind, subconscious...) itself is, i.e the human itself is blamed for actions or impulses. For instance, regarding Yusuf when the woman tried to seduce him, Yusuf himself is speaking about the nafs and not Satan: (surat Yusuf)
And (with passion) did she desire him, and he would have desired her, but that he saw the evidence of his Lord: thus (did We order) that We might turn away from him (all) evil and shameful deeds: for he was one of Our servants, sincere and purified.
He said: "O my Lord! the prison is more to my liking than that to which they invite me: Unless Thou turn away their snare from me, I should (in my youthful folly) feel inclined towards them and join the ranks of the ignorant."
So his Lord answered his invocation and turned away from him their plot. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.
Now in the later verses when freed from prison and the woman admits her fault of trying to seduce him and the planing to put him in prison, Yusuf then says:
"Nor do I absolve my own self (of blame): the (human) soul is certainly prone to evil, unless my Lord do bestow His Mercy: but surely my Lord is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."
وَمَا أُبَرِّئُ نَفْسِي ۚ إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لَأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ إِلَّا مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّي ۚ إِنَّ رَبِّي غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
In these verses (I find it) clearly that the soul itself has its own impulses or desires which the Satan is free of blame. The only blame is on ourselves (our souls)
It was We Who created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein.
وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ وَنَعْلَمُ مَا تُوَسْوِسُ بِهِ نَفْسُهُ ۖ وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ
What comes to you of good is from Allah , but what comes to you of evil, [O man], is from yourself.
مَّا أَصَابَكَ مِنْ حَسَنَةٍ فَمِنَ اللَّهِ ۖ وَمَا أَصَابَكَ مِن سَيِّئَةٍ فَمِن نَّفْسِكَ
It seems we shouldn't put the blame on someone else as humans, even blaming satan (or other people) for our failure, seems to be the wrong idea:
What! When a single disaster smites you, although ye smote (your enemies) with one twice as great, do ye say?- "Whence is this?" Say (to them): "It is from yourselves: For Allah hath power over all things."
أَوَلَمَّا أَصَابَتْكُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَدْ أَصَبْتُم مِّثْلَيْهَا قُلْتُمْ أَنَّىٰ هَٰذَا ۖ قُلْ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ أَنفُسِكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
Some thoughts and questions
There are plenty more verses and hadiths that are talking about the nafs (soul, self, ego?). These are just some references to make you able to answer in a better way.
Now, it seems to me that the nafs is responsible and also can be blamed (i.e not only the waswas of Satan).
What is the difference between the whispering (waswas) of Satan and the "whispering" (or inclinations, impulses?) of the nafs (human soul, ego, mind..)?
How do we determine whether a thought is from Satan or just from ourselves?
- Can we have bad thoughts that just are from ourselves? Or are ALL bad thoughts from Satan? What is the proof of that? (doesn't "inna nafsa la'ammaraton bi so'i" contradict this?)
How do we know that a thought is bad (from the nafs or shaytan) and not good? In some cases for instance, if you really have doubts about a matter which the vast majority follows, the vast majority would say that those thoughts or doubts are from Satan. What if those thoughts are right and in this scenario, the majority is wrong. Then this wouldn't really be a bad thought from the Satan. How can we know which of these thoughts are from Satan and which are not? (this is just an example)
Here comes a real example: Let us assume if I think "I don't believe a jinn can take over the human or listen to our thoughts"... Would this be waswas from shaytan? I guess, if it's wrong, yes then it might be... But if it isn't wrong, it shouldn't be from shaytan. How do we know a thought like this (or similar) is just from my own mind and not from Satan?
These thoughts can be TRUE. How would I know they are true but not Satan messing with my head to make me understand the religion in a wrong way? You see, if I am right, Satan says you are wrong! Stay away! You are on deep water now! You will become a disbeliever if you think like this! If I am wrong he might say "You are right!" Sometimes maybe he isn't saying a word. How do you determine something important like that?