In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] reported a 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?!” (1)
Al-Allaamah Abdur Rahmaan Al-Mu’allimee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] stated some of the reasons that prevents a person from accepting the truth: It may be that clinging to falsehood gave him prestige, fame and a livelihood, so it becomes difficult for him to acknowledge that (what he is upon is) falsehood and thus all those benefits (i.e. the fame, prestige, livelihood etc) would disappear. When another person clarifies the truth for him, he sees that by acknowledging such truth it would necessitate an acknowledgement of the clarifier’s virtue, knowledge and correctness due to that clarification, and thus that becomes great in the eyes of the people and many people follow him [i.e. the person who clarified the truth]. So you will find some of those attributed to knowledge being eager to prove the mistakes of other scholars even if that is done by way of falsehood due to envy and seeking to diminish their status amongst the people. (2)
[Ref 1: An Excerpt from Hidaayatul Hayaaraa Fee Ajwibatil Yahood Wan-Nasaaraa’ pages 17-19]
[Ref 2: At-Tankeel Bimaa Fee Ta’need Al-Kawthariy Minal Baatil’ 2/180-181 with the checking of Imaam Albaanee (rahimahullaah)]