J So woe unto the praying
Z who are heedless of their prayers,
4-5 For the possible meanings of woe (wayl), see 2:79c; 104:1c. These verses could be seen as a reference to the prayer of the disbelievers, about which another verse says, Their prayer at the House is naught but whistling and clapping. So taste the punishment for having disbelieved! (8:35). Nonetheless, the majority of commentators interpret them as a reference to those who, because of their heedlessness, receive no benefit from their prayers when they perform them and fear no retribution when they do not (Q) or to the hypocrites, who pray in public, but not in private (IK, Ṭ). These verses can also be taken to indicate those who fail to perform their prayers at the proper time or who do not complete the required bows and prostrations (IK, Q), or interpreted as applying to those who perform all of the prayers properly, but fail to do so with humility, contemplation, and remembrance of God. A ḥadīth states, “This is the prayer of the hypocrite. He sits watching the sun until it is between the two horns of Satan [i.e., just above the horizon]. Then he stands and pecks out four [prayer cycles] in which he remembers God but little” (IK). Regarding the implications of neglecting prayers, see 19:59c.