The age-old shaitanic illusion of taking worldly riches and honours as a proof of being loved by Allah
All along the lanes of time since the very beginning, people intoxicated with material wealth and luxury have always opposed the voice of truth and taken a stance of hostility against the prophets and the pious people, except those whom Allah willed otherwise. On top of this, they also used to argue in favor of their satisfaction with the existing stance against the people of truth by saying: Had Allah disliked our doings and ways, why would He give us wealth, recognition and power in this world? The noble Qur'an has answered it in several verses taking different approaches. The revelation of the cited verses is also related to an event of this nature which provides an answer to this absurd argument.
It appears in Hadith that, during the period of Jahiliyah, two persons ran a business in partnership. Then, one of them left the place and went to some coastal area. When the Holy Prophet ﷺ was ordained as prophet, and people in Arabia started talking about it, the former business partner then living in a coastal area wrote a letter to his former business partner in Makkah and asked him about his reaction and the reaction of other people against this person claiming to be a prophet. The former partner in Makkah wrote back telling him that no one from among the Quraish had followed him, except that a few people of no consequence, mostly poor and needy, were going for him. The man of the coast left his business behind, came to Makkah and asked his former partner there to tell him the address of the person who claimed to be a prophet. This coastal friend who used to study old scriptures, such as the Torah and the Evangel, presented himself before the Holy Prophet ﷺ " and asked him: 'What is it to which you invite people to come?' He told him about the main elements of his da'wah of Islam. Immediately after having heard the da'wah (call) to Islam in his blessed words, he said: اَشھَدُ اَنَّکَ رَّسُولُ اَلله (Ashhadu annaka rasulAllah: (i.e. ‘I bear witness that you are, without any doubt, the messenger of Allah' ). He asked him: "How did you know this?" He submitted: '[ As for your call being true, I understood it through my reason, and then the sign of it was that:] Adherents of all noble prophets who have come earlier have, in the beginning, always been the weak and the meek, the poor and needy, people who did not matter much among those they were sent to.' Revealed thereupon was the verse under study: وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِي قَرْيَةٍ مِّن نَّذِيرٍ إِلَّا قَالَ مُتْرَفُوهَا (And We did not send a warner to a township, but said those who lived a luxurious life therein," We reject what you have been sent with." - 34:34) (Ibn Kathir and Mazhari)
In this verse, the word: مُترَف (mutraf, translated above as 'those who lived a luxurious life) has been derived from: تَرَف (taraf) which carries the sense of a life abounding in material assets, ease and comfort. Hence, مُترَفِین (mutrafin) denotes rich people of a community (who are arrogant and careless about what is right or wrong) .The Holy Qur'an is saying in the verse cited above that whenever Allah has sent a messenger, these people intoxicated with their riches and pampered by a life of luxury have always confronted him with a flat denial of his mission.