Those were they unto whom Allah bestowed His Grace from among the Prophets, of the offspring of Adam, and of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Nûh, and of the offspring of Ibrâhim and Israel and from among those whom We guided and chose. When the Verses of the Most Gracious (Allah) were recited unto them, they fell down prostrating and weeping.
Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have given up As-Salât (the prayers) and have followed lusts. So they will be thrown in Hell.
In Surah Maryam ayat 58, Allah s.w.t. tells us about amazing Prophets, and then in ayat 59 is a description of bad generation (khalfun) that came after. The question arises is if such amazing Prophets came before, then how can the generation after became so bad?
Allah s.w.t. elaborates how things went wrong in the same ayat:
1. They wasted / neglected / careless with their prayers. The scholars commented:
– They were not particular about the TIMING of the prayer i.e. not punctual.
– They neglected the CONCENTRATION (khusyu’) in prayer.
– They started to LEAVE the masjid empty due to worldly pursuits & pleasures.
Note that these people still pray! But they lack the 3 aspects mentioned above.
2. They followed their carnal animal desires.
This is the beginning of the slippery slope of their downfall. What we learn is that if we neglect our prayers & follow lusts, then we will slip & fall. Everything else will snowball & go downhill from there onward.
So they will be thrown in Hell. (Maryam 19:59)
Reference: Tafseer on Surah Maryam by Sheikh Abdul Nasir Jangda