The Excellence of Standing in the First Row (In Salat)

Imam Al-Nawawi’s Riyad-us-Saliheen
Chapter 194
The Excellence of Standing in the First Row (In Salat)

1082. Jabir bin Samurah (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) came out to us (once) and said, “Why do you not stand in rows as the angels do before their Rubb?” We asked: “O Messenger of Allah! how do the angels stand in rows before their Rubb?” He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) replied, “They complete each row beginning with the first and filling all the gaps.”
[Muslim].

1083. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “If people came to know the blessing of calling Adhan and the standing in the first row, they could do nothing but would draw lots to secure these privileges.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

1084.Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “The best of the men’s rows (in Salat) is the first row and the worst is the last; but the best of the woman’s row is the last and the worst of their rows is the first.”
[Muslim].

1085. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: When the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) perceived a tendency among his Companions to stand in the back rows, he said to them, “Come forward and be close to me and let those who come after you, follow your lead. If people continue to fall behind (i.e., in acquiring virtues), Allah puts them behind.”
[Muslim].

1086. Abu Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) used to gently pat our shoulders when we were standing in rows at the time of Salat and say, “Keep (the rows) straight; do not differ from each other lest your hearts should suffer from discord. Let those of you who are mature and prudent be nearer to me, and then those who are next to them.”
[Muslim].

1087. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Keep your rows straight (during Salat in congregation), for keeping the rows straight is part of the perfection of Salat.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

1088. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: When the Iqamah had been announced, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) turned his face towards us and said: “Make your rows straight and stand close together, for I can see you from behind my back.”
[Al-Bukhari].

1089. An-Nu`man bin Bashir (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying, “Straighten your rows; otherwise, Allah will create dissension among you.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

The narration in Muslim is: An-Nu`man bin Bashir (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) directed us to keep our rows as straight as arrows. He continued stressing this until he realized that we had learnt it from him (recognized its significance). One day he came into the mosque and stood up. He was just about to say Takbir (Allah is  Greater) when he noticed a man whose chest was projected from the row, so he said, “O slaves of Allah, you must straighten your rows or Allah will certainly put your faces in opposite directions.”

1090. Al-Bara’ bin `Azib (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) used to pass between the rows from one end to the other, touching our chest and shoulders (i.e., arranging the rows) in line and saying, “Do not be out of line; otherwise your hearts will be in disagreement”. He would add, “Allah and His angels invoke blessings upon the first rows.”
[Abu Dawud].

1091. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Arrange the rows in order, stand shoulder to shoulder, close the gaps, be accommodating to your brothers, and do not leave gaps for Satan. Whoever joins up a row, he will be joined to Allah (i.e., to the Mercy of Allah); and whoever cuts off a row, he will be cut off from Allah (i.e., from His Mercy).”
[Abu Dawud].

1092. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Stand close together in your rows, keep nearer to one another, and put your necks in line, for by Him in Whose Hands my soul is, I see the Satan entering through the opening in the row like Al-hadhaf (i.e., a type of small black sheep found in Yemen).”
[Abu Dawud].

1093. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Fill (complete) the first row, then the one next to it; and if there is any deficiency (incompleteness), it should be in the last row.”
[Abu Dawud].

1094.`Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah and His angels invoke blessings upon those who are on the right side of the rows.”
[Abu Dawud].

1095. Al-Bara’ (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Whenever we performed Salat behind the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), we liked to be on his right side so that his face might turn towards us (at the end of the Salat). One day, I heard Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) supplicating, “O my Rubb! Shield me from Your Torment on the Day when You will gather (or said, `resurrect’) Your slaves.”
[Muslim].

1096. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him)reported: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Let the Imam stand in the middle (so that those praying behind him should be standing both on his right and his left) and close the gaps.”
[Abu Dawud].