(O ye who believe! Let not a folk deride a folk who may be better than they (are)…) [49:11].
This was revealed about Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shimas. The latter was hard of hearing and when he came to see the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, the Companions made room for him in order for him to sit next to the Prophet so that he could hear him. He came one day when people were already seated and started stepping over people, saying: “Make room! Make room!” One man said to him: “You have found a place, so sit down!” Thabit sat down but he was angry. He tried to tease the man. He said: “Who are you?” The man said: “So-and-so”. Thabit exclaimed: “What, the son of so-and-so”, and he mentioned his mother about whom they used to taunt him in the pre-Islamic period. The man lowered his head out of embarrassment. Then, Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse.
(… not let women (deride) women who may be better than they are) [49:11].
This was revealed about two of the wives of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, who derided Umm Salamah. What happened is that the latter tied her loins
with a white dress and spread its extremity behind her such that she dragged it behind her. ‘A’ishah said to Hafsah: “Look at what she is dragging behind her! It looks like a dog’s tongue”. This was their derision of her.
Anas said: “This was revealed about the wives of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, who made fun of Umm Salamah because she was short.
‘Ikrimah reported that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “Safiyyah bint Huyayy ibn Akhtab went to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, women revile me, saying: O Jewess, daughter of Jewish parents!’ The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said to her: ‘Could you not have said to them in reply: my father is Aaron, my uncle is Moses and my husband is Muhammad’. Then, Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”.
(…nor insult one another by nicknames…) [49:11].
Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Mihrajani informed us> Abu ‘Abd Allah ibn Battah> ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz> Ishaq ibn Ibrahim al-Marwazi> Hafs ibn Ghiyath> Dawud ibn Abi Hind> al-Sha‘bi> Abu Jubayrah ibn al-Dahhak> his father and uncles who said: “The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, came to us and, when some men used nicknames to call others, it was said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, those who are called by these nicknames do not like it’. This verse was then revealed (…nor insult one another by nicknames…)”.
Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi , trans. Mokrane Guezzou