(Naught hindereth Us from sending portents…) [17:59]. Sa‘id ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Ja‘far informed us> Zahir ibn Ahmad> Abu’l-Qasim al-Baghawi> ‘Uthman ibn Abi Shaybah> Jarir ibn ‘Abd al-Hamid> al-A‘mash> Ja‘far ibn Iyas> Sa‘id ibn Jubayr> Ibn ‘Abbas who said: “The people of Mecca asked the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, to turn al-Safa hill into gold and remove the mountains [surrounding Mecca] for them so that they can engage in agriculture. It was said to him: ‘If you wish to wait for them until We may select people from them [to believe in you], or you can give them what they have asked for. But if they disbelieve after that, We will destroy them like We destroyed those before them’. He said: ‘No, I would rather wait’. And so Allah, glorious and majestic is He, revealed this verse (Naught hindereth Us from sending portents save that the folk of old denied them…)”.
Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi , trans. Mokrane Guezzou