(We know well how their talk grieveth thee…) [6:33].
Said al-Suddi: “Al-Akhnas ibn Shurayq and Abu Jahl ibn Hisham met with each other and the former said to the latter: 'O Abu'l-Hakam, tell me about Muhammad, for there is one here with us who wants to hear what you say: is he truthful or a liar?' Abu Jahl responded: 'By Allah, Muhammad is truthful. Muhammad has never lied. But if Banu Qusayy take the office of keepers of the banner, giving water to the pilgrims, gatekeeper of the House, the Nadwah and prophethood, what else remains for the rest of Quraysh?' And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”.
Said Abu Maysarah: “The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, once passed by Abu Jahl and his companions, and they asked him: 'O Muhammad, by Allah, we do not give you the lie, for we consider you truthful. What we deny is that which you have brought'. And so this verse was revealed (though in truth they deny not thee (Muhammad) but evil-doers flout the revelations of Allah)”.
Said Muqatil: “This verse was revealed about al-Harith ibn 'Amir ibn Nawfal ibn 'Abd Manaf ibn Qusayy ibn Kilab. This man used to give the lie openly to the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, but when he retired to his family, he would say: 'Muhammad is not of those who lie, and I think he is truthful', and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”.
Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi , trans. Mokrane Guezzou