The Superiority of the 1st Row

The Superiority of the 1st Row

By Imam Mulla Ali Al-Qari 1014H

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Allah the Most High said:

وَٱلصَّـٰٓفَّـٰتِ صَفًّ۬ا


By those ranged in ranks [ As-Saaffat:1]

Allah swears by those Angels lined up in ranks offering worship, or this could include the scholars who pray in congregation joining both their knowledge and actions, or it refers to those who line up to fight.

Allah said:

وَإِنَّا لَنَحۡنُ ٱلصَّآفُّونَ

Verily, we (angels), we stand in rows (for the prayers as you Muslims stand in rows for your prayers); (165)

There are many narrations which show and support the superiority of the first row.

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏ “‏ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلاَئِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى الصَّفِّ الأَوَّلِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Allah and the angels send blessings upon the first row.’”[1]

إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال إن الله وملائكته يصلون على الذين يصلون الصفوف ولا يصل عبد صفا الا رفعه الله به درجة

The Messenger of Allah() said: ‘Allah and His Angel send blessing to those who join the ranks. Whenever a servant completes a row by joining it Allah raises his ranks.[2]

 أَلاَ تَصُفُّونَ كَمَا تَصُفُّ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ عِنْدَ رَبِّهَا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقُلْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَكَيْفَ تَصُفُّ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ عِنْدَ رَبِّهَا قَالَ ‏”‏ يُتِمُّونَ الصُّفُوفَ الأُوَلَ وَيَتَرَاصُّونَ فِي الصَّفِّ ‏”‏

“Why don’t you draw yourselves up in rows as angels do in the presence of their Lord?” We said: Messenger of Allah, how do the angels draw themselves up in rows in the presence of their Lord? He (the Holy Prophet) said: “They make the first rows complete and keep close together in the row.”[3]

عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏”‏ لَوْ تَعْلَمُونَ – أَوْ يَعْلَمُونَ – مَا فِي الصَّفِّ الْمُقَدَّمِ لَكَانَتْ قُرْعَةً ‏”‏ ‏.‏ وَقَالَ ابْنُ حَرْبٍ ‏”‏ الصَّفِّ الأَوَّلِ مَا كَانَتْ إِلاَّ قُرْعَةً ‏”‏

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: If you were to know, or if they were to know, what (excellence) lies in the first rows, there would have been drawing of lots (for filling them) ; and Ibn Harb said: For (occupying) the first row there would have been drawing of lots. ‏[4]

“‏ أَقِيمُوا الصَّفَّ فِي الصَّلاَةِ فَإِنَّ إِقَامَةَ الصَّفِّ مِنْ حُسْنِ الصَّلاَةِ ‏”

(The Messenger of Allah directed us thus): Establish rows in prayer, for the making of a row (straight) is one of the merits of prayer.[5]


قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : إِنَّ مِنْ تَمَامِ الصَّلاَةِ إِقَامَةَ الصَّفِّ.

The Messenger [] Lining up the rows is a part of completing the prayer.[6]

 قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ خَيْرُ صُفُوفِ الرِّجَالِ أَوَّلُهَا وَشَرُّهَا آخِرُهَا وَخَيْرُ صُفُوفِ النِّسَاءِ آخِرُهَا وَشَرُّهَا أَوَّلُهَا ‏”‏ ‏.‏

the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

The best rows for men are the first rows, and the worst ones the last ones, and the best rows for women are the last ones and the worst ones for them are the first ones.[7]


 قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ لاَ يَزَالُ قَوْمٌ يَتَأَخَّرُونَ عَنِ الصَّفِّ الأَوَّلِ حَتَّى يُؤَخِّرَهُمُ اللَّهُ فِي النَّارِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏


The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying the people will continue to keep themselves away from the front row until Allah will keep them away (from the front) in the Hell-fire.[8]


Some of the noble Hanafi and Shafa’I Jurists mentioned best row is the first row right behind the Iman although it may be distant from the Ka’ba.



Taken from

الفضل المعوّل في الصف الأول

By Imam Mulla Ali Al-Qari [ رحمه الله تعالى ]

Translated by Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle

Doha, Qatar 1439©




[1] Ibn Majah 1052

[2] At-Tabarani in Al-Awsot [3711] graded as Sahih li ghayrahi by Shaykh al-Albani

[3] Muslim 430

[4] Sahih Muslim 439

[5] Sahih Muslim 435

[6] Ahmed 3/322

[7] Sahih Muslim 440

[8] Abu Dawud 679