Fear of losing one’s status and prestige:
Conversation between Abu Jahl and His Nephew Al-Musawwar Bin Makhzamah
Al-Musawwar Bin Makhzamah: ‘’O my uncle! Did you use to accuse Muhammad of lying before he started saying what he says now [i.e. his call to Tawheed]?
Abu Jahl: “By Allaah, indeed Muhammad was a trustworthy young man amongst us and we have never experienced lying from him.
Al-Musawwar Bin Makhzamah: “O my uncle! So why is it that you do not follow him?”
Abu Jahl: “O son of my sister! We competed with Banu Haashim in nobility [i.e. which clan is more noble], so they used to feed [the pilgrims] and we used to feed the [pilgrims]; they used to provide water for [the pilgrims] and we used to provide water for [the pilgrims]; they used to give protection [to the destitute] and we used to give protection [to the destitute] until we were equal [i.e. in competing one another for nobility]. Then they said, “There is a Prophet from us”, so when are we going to get something similar to this!!
Conversation between Abu Jahl and Akhnas Bin Shuraiq
Akhnas Bin Shuraiq said to Abu Jahl on the day of Badr [i.e. the battle of Badr]: “O Abul Hakam! Inform me about Muhammad, as to whether he is a truthful person or a liar, for indeed there is no one here from Quraish who will hear our speech?
Abu Jahl replied to Akhnas: “Woe to you! By Allaah, indeed Muhammad is a truthful person and Muhammad has never lied, but if Banu Qusay take the leadership, the position of gatekeepers of the Kabah, providers of water for the pilgrims and Prophet hood [i.e. the Prophet Muhammad is from their clan], then what will the rest of Quraish have?!
[Source: Hidaayatul Hayaaraa Fee Ajwibatil Yahood Wan-Nasaaraa’ pages 18-19, abridged and slightly paraphrased]