Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(O ye who believe!) This was revealed about Thabit Ibn Qays Ibn Shammas who raised his voice in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) upon the visit of the delegation of Banu Tamim. And so Allah forbade him from doing so. Allah said: O you who believe in Muhammad (pbuh) and the Qur'an; in reference to Thabit, (Lift not up your voices above the voice of the Prophet) Allah bless him and give him peace, nor insist in talking when the Prophet (pbuh) is talking, (nor shout when speaking to him) nor call him by his first name (as ye shout one to another) as you would do with one another; rather you should reverence and honour him and address him by: “O Prophet of Allah” or “O Messenger of Allah” or “O Abu'l-Qasim”, (lest your works be rendered vain while ye perceive not) lest your good works be nullified for failing to observe propriety and reverence towards the Prophet (pbuh) while not knowing that your works are nullified.
The following was revealed regarding those who raised their voices in the presence of the Prophet (s): O you who believe, do not raise your voices — when you [want to] speak — above the voice of the Prophet, when he is speaking, and do not shout words at him, when you [wish to] confide in him, as you shout to one another, but [speak] lower than that, out of reverence for him, lest your works should be invalidated without your being aware, that is to say, for fear of this [happening] as a result of the raising of voices and the shouting mentioned.
(O you who believe! Make not (a decision) in advance before Allah and His Messenger,) meaning, do not rush in making decisions before him, rather, follow his lead in all matters. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, commented;
(Make not (a decision) in advance before Allah and His Messenger,) "Do not say anything that contradicts the Qur'an and Sunnah.'' Qatadah commented, "We were told that some people used to say, `Revelation should be sent down about such and such matters,' and, `such and such practices should be rendered allowed.' Allah the Exalted disliked this attitude.'' Allah said,
(and have Taqwa of Allah.) meaning, `in what He has ordered you;'
(O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet,) This contains another kind of favorable behavior. Allah the Exalted is teaching the believers that they should not raise their voices above the voice of the Prophet. It was stated that this Ayah was revealed about Abu Bakr and `Umar. Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abi Mulaykah said, "The two righteous ones, Abu Bakr and `Umar, almost earned destruction when they raised their voices before the Prophet who was receiving the delegation of Bani Tamim. One of them recommended Al-Aqra` bin Habis the member of the Banu Mujashi` while the other recommended another man. Nafi` (a subnarrator) said: "I don't remember his name.'' Abu Bakr said to `Umar, `You only wanted to contradict me,' while `Umar said, `I did not intend to contradict you.' Their voices then became loud, thereupon Allah the Exalted sent down this Ayah,
(O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds should be thwarted while you perceive not.)'' `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr said, "After that, `Umar's voice was so low that the Messenger of Allah had to ask him to repeat what he said so that he could understand what he was saying to him.'' `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr did not mention the same regarding his father, Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him. Muslim did not collect this Hadith. In another narration collected by Al-Bukhari, he said that a delegation from the tribe of Banu Tamim came to the Prophet and that Abu Bakr recommended Al-Qa`qa` bin Ma`bad to be appointed as their leader, while `Umar recommended Al-Aqra` bin Habis. Muslim did not collect this narration. Al-Bukhari recorded that Anas bin Malik said, "The Prophet missed Thabit bin Qays and a man said, `O Allah's Messenger! I will find out about his news.' That man went to Thabit and found him sitting at home with his head lowered and asked him, `What is the matter' Thabit said, `An evil matter!' And he said that he used to raise his voice above the voice of the Prophet. He feared that his good deeds would be useless and he would be among the people of the Fire. The man went back to the Prophet and conveyed Thabit's statement and returned to Thabit with a wonderfully good news. The Prophet said,
(Go back to him and tell him this news; you are not among the people of the Fire. Rather, you are among the dwellers of Paradise.)'' Al-Bukhari collected this Hadith with this wording. Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik said, "When this Ayah was revealed,
(O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet), until,
وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تَشْعُرُونَ
(while you perceive not), Thabit bin Qays bin Ash-Shammas, whose voice was loud, said, `I was the one who raised his voice above the voice of Allah's Messenger. I am among the dwellers of the Fire. My good deeds have been done in vain.' He remained in his house feeling distressed, and the Messenger of Allah noticed his absence. So some men went to Thabit and said to him, `The Prophet noticed your absence. What is the matter with you' Thabit said, `I used to raise my voice above the voice of the Prophet and speak loudly in front of him. My deeds have been rendered useless and I am among the people of the Fire.' They went to the Prophet and told him what Thabit said and the Prophet said,
«لَا، بَلْ هُوَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّة»
(Nay, he is among the dwellers of Paradise.)'' Anas commented, "We used to see Thabit walk among us knowing that he was (to be) among the dwellers of Paradise. During the battle of Yamamah, our forces suffered retreat. Suddenly, Thabit bin Qays bin Shammas came, having put on his Hanut and shrouds, and said, `The worst habit is the one you acquire from your enemy and do not set a bad example for your companions.' And he went on fighting until he was martyred, may Allah be pleased with him.'' Allah then prohibited speaking to the Prophet in a loud voice, just as one speaks loudly to another in a way that offends him. Instead, they were required to speak to him in terms of respect, honor and calmness. This is why Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,
(lest your deeds should be thwarted while you perceive not.) means, `We ordered you to refrain from raising your voices to the Prophet, so that he will not get angry with you, because in doing so, you will also anger Allah.' The good deeds of he who caused the Prophet's anger will become useless without him even knowing. In the Sahih, there is a Hadith that states,
(Verily, a man might utter a word that pleases Allah the Exalted, even though he does not recognize the significance of his word, and on its account Paradise is written for him. Verily, a man might utter a word carelessly that angers Allah the Exalted, and on its account, he is cast in the Fire farther than the distance between the heavens and earth.) Allah then ordains lowering one's voice before the Messenger and encourages, directs and recommends this better behavior.
(Verily, those who lower their voices in the presence of Allah's Messenger, they are the ones whose hearts Allah has tested for Taqwa.) whose hearts have been purified by Allah and made as a residence and dwelling for the Taqwa,
لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ
(For them is forgiveness and a great reward.) Imam Ahmad recorded in the Book of Az-Zuhd that Mujahid said, "Someone wrote to `Umar, `O Leader of the faithful! Who is better, a man who does not feel the desire to commit a sin and does not commit it, or a man who feels desire to commit a sin, but does not commit it' `Umar replied, `He who feels desire to commit a sin, but does not commit it,
(they are the ones whose hearts Allah has tested for Taqwa. For them is forgiveness and a great reward.)'''
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This is the etiquette that was taught to the people who sat among the audience of the Holy Prophet or came to visit him. Its intention was that the believers should treat 'the Holy Prophet with the highest respect and reverence when visiting him and talking to him. Nobody should raise his voice louder than his: the people should not be unmindful of the fact that they are addressing the Messenger of Allah, and not a common man, or a person of equal rank; therefore, there should be a marked difference between one's tone of conversation with the common people and one's tone of conversation with the Holy Prophet, and no one should talk to him in a voice louder than his.
Although this etiquette was taught for sitting in the Holy Prophet's assembly and its addressees were the people who were living in his time, the people of the later ages also should observe the same respect and reverence on the occasion when the Holy Prophet's name is mentioned, or a command of his is stated, or his sayings are explained. Besides, this verse also points out what attitude the people should adopt when talking to persons of a higher rank and status than themselves. A person's talking before the men of a higher rank in a way as he talks before his friends or the common men, is in fact a sign that he has no respect for them in his heart, and he does not recognize any difference between them and the common people.
This shows what high position the person of the Holy Prophet occupies in Islam. No one beside the Holy Prophet, whatever his rank and status, has a position that unmannerly behavior towards him should deserve in the sight of Allah the same punishment which is, in fact, the punishment for disbelief. In respect of ordinary people it is at the most a sort of rudeness, an uncivilized conduct, but in respect of the Holy Prophet a little lack of reverence is such a grave sin as can destroy all the services of one's lifetime. For the reverence of the Holy Prophet is indeed reverence of that God Who has sent him as His Messenger and lack of reverence for him amounts to lack of reverence to God Himself.
That is, "Only those people give due reverence to the Messenger of Allah, who have passed successfully through the tests and trials set by Allah and proved by their steadfastness that their hearts indeed possess taqwa (piety). " From this it follows automatically that the heart which is devoid of reverence for the Holy Prophet is, in fact, devoid of taqwa, and a person's raising his voice louder than the Holy Prophet's is not only an uncivilized act outwardly but also a sign of the absence of taqwa in his heart.
…and do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet…That is, ‘Do not address him except when seeking to understand [from him].’ Then He explains the honour of the one who reveres Him, and says:
(O ye who believe! Lift not up your voices above the voice of the Prophet…) [49:2]. This verse was revealed about Thabit ibn Qays ibn Shimas who was hard of hearing and loud. When he spoke with a person he always raised his voice. He might have annoyed the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, with his loud voice when he spoke to him. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse. Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Muzakki informed us> ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Muhammad al-Zahid> Abu’l-Qasim al-Baghawi> Qatan ibn Nusayr> Ja‘far ibn Sulayman al-Dab‘i> Thabit> Anas who said: “When this verse (O ye who believe! Lift not up your voices above the voice of the Prophet) was revealed, Thabit ibn Qays said: ‘I am the one who used to raise his voice above the voice of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace; I am therefore of the inhabitants of hellfire’. This was mentioned to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and he said: ‘He is rather of the people of the Garden’ ”. This was narrated by Muslim from Qatan ibn Nusayr. Ibn Abi Mulaykah said: “The best ones, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, did almost perish. They raised their voices in the presence of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, when some horsemen from the Banu Tamim came to see him. One of them suggested al-Aqra‘ ibn Habis [for the leadership of Banu Tamim] while the other suggested another man. Abu Bakr said to ‘Umar: ‘You only wanted to oppose me!’ ‘Umar responded: ‘I did not want to oppose you’, and they raised their voices while arguing with each other. Allah, exalted is He, revealed about this (O ye who believe! Lift not up your voices above the voice of the Prophet…)”. Ibn al-Zubayr said: “After this verse was revealed, the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, could hardly hear what ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab said to him; he had to ask again about what he said”.