This is another excerpt from Bill Warner’s book Abridged Koran where the verses of Koran are arranged in their chronological order and provided with facts from prophet Muhammad’s life, giving context for them.
CHAPTER 4. Public teaching (Continued)
The Quraysh listen to Mohammed’s reading
I203 Three of the Meccans decided, each on their own, to sit outside Mohammed’s house and listen to him recite the Koran and pray. As they left they ran into each other. They said that they should not do it again as someone might think that they cause others to listen.
But on the next night they all three did the same thing. And so on the third night as well. They then talked among each other.
One said, “I heard things I know and know what was meant by them. And I heard things I don’t know and I don’t know what was intended by them.”
The other agreed.
The third said that he had always had a competition with one of Mohammed’s recent converts. They had both fed the poor and helped the oppressed. They had always been as equals, but now his friendly rival claimed that he had a prophet and his friend did not. Hence, he was now superior. He said, “But I can never believe in this man, Mohammed.”
I204 So the next time Mohammed called upon them to submit to Islam, they said,
“Our hearts are veiled; we don’t understand what you say. There is something in our ears so we can’t hear you. A curtain divides us. You go follow your path and we will go ours.”
The Koranic response:
17:45 When you recite the Koran, We place an invisible barrier between you and the unbelievers. We place veils over their hearts and deafness in their ears so that they do not understand it, and when you mention only your Lord, Allah, in the Koran, they turn their backs and flee from the truth. We know absolutely what they listen to when they listen to you, and when they speak privately, the wicked say, “You follow a mad man!” See what they compare you to. But they have gone astray and cannot find the way.
17:49 They say, “When we are nothing but bones and dust, will we really be raised up from the dead to be a new creation?”
Say: Yes, whether you be stones, or iron, or any other thing which you conceive to be harder to resurrect.”
When they say, “Who will bring us back to life?”
Say: He who created you the first time.
They will shake their heads at you and say, “When will this happen?”
Say to them, “Perhaps it will be soon—a day when He will call you, and you will answer by praising Him, and you will think that you have waited only a little while!”