Comforting the Prophet
Allah comforts the Prophet in his grief over his people's denial and defiance of him,
قَدْ نَعْلَمُ إِنَّهُ لَيَحْزُنُكَ الَّذِي يَقُولُونَ
We know indeed the grief which their words cause you;
meaning, We know about their denial of you and your sadness and sorrow for them.
Allah said in other Ayat,
فَلَ تَذْهَبْ نَفْسُكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَسَرَتٍ
So destroy not yourself in sorrow for them. (35;8)
لَعَلَّكَ بَـخِعٌ نَّفْسَكَ أَلاَّ يَكُونُواْ مُوْمِنِينَ
It may be that you are going to kill yourself with grief, that they do not become believers. (26;3)
فَلَعَلَّكَ بَـخِعٌ نَّفْسَكَ عَلَى ءَاثَـرِهِمْ إِن لَّمْ يُوْمِنُواْ بِهَـذَا الْحَدِيثِ أَسَفاً
Perhaps, you, would kill yourself in grief, over their footsteps (for their turning away from you), because they believe not in this narration. (18;6)
فَإِنَّهُمْ لَا يُكَذِّبُونَكَ وَلَكِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ بِأيَاتِ اللّهِ يَجْحَدُونَ
it is not you that they deny, but it is the verses of Allah that the wrongdoers deny.
means, they do not accuse you of being a liar,
وَلَكِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ بِأيَاتِ اللّهِ يَجْحَدُونَ
(but it is the Verses of Allah that the wrongdoers deny). It is only the truth that they reject and refuse.
Muhammad bin Ishaq mentioned that Az-Zuhri said that;
Abu Jahl, Abu Sufyan Sakhr bin Harb and Al-Akhnas bin Shurayq once came to listen to the Prophet reciting the Qur'an at night, but these three men were not aware of the presence of each other. So they listened to the Prophet's recitation until the morning, and then left.
They met each other on their way back and each one of them asked the others, "What brought you!"
So they mentioned to each other the reason why they came. They vowed not to repeat this incident so that the young men of Quraysh would not hear of what they did and imitate them.
On the second night, each one of the three came back thinking that the other two would not come because of the vows they made to each other. In the morning, they again met each other on their way back and criticized each other, vowing not to repeat what they did.
On the third night, they again went to listen to the Prophet and in the morning they again vowed not to repeat this incident.
During that day, Al-Akhnas bin Shurayq took his staff and went to Abu Sufyan bin Harb in his house saying, "O Abu Hanzalah! What is your opinion concerning what you heard from Muhammad."
Abu Sufyan said, "O Abu Thalabah! By Allah, I have heard some things that I recognize and know their implications. I also heard some things whose meaning and implications were unknown to me."
Al-Akhnas said, "And I the same, by He Whom you swore by!"
Al-Akhnas left Abu Sufyan and went to Abu Jahl and asked him, "O Abu Al-Hakam! What is your opinion about what you heard from Muhammad."
Abu Jahl said, "We competed with Bani Abd Manaf (the Prophet's sub tribe) and so we fed as they fed and gave away as they gave away. So, when we were neck and neck with them, just as two horses in a race, they said, `There is a Prophet from among us, to whom revelation from the heaven comes.' So how can we ever beat them at that! By Allah we will never believe in him or accept what he says.'
This is when Al-Akhnas left Abu Jahl and went away."