Is it preferable to be in the first row or to put a Sutrah?

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Sixth question from Fatwa No. 5133

Q: Is it preferable to be in the first row or to put a Sutrah (barrier placed in front of a person praying) anywhere in the Masjid (mosque) regardless of the first row ?

A: One should hasten to be in the first row . The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “If people were to know what is in the call to prayer and the first row , then they found no other way but to draw lots over it, they would draw lots.” This Hadith was reported by Muslim and the compilers of the Sunan (Hadith compilations classified by jurisprudential themes).

( Part No : 6, Page No: 335)

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: The best of the men’s rows (in prayers) 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. The Prophet (peace be upon him) pointed out for men the virtue of being in the first row in these two Hadiths. He considered those who are in the first row to be the best ones. One should not leave the first row in order to have a Sutrah in another place in the Masjid as doing so leads one to miss this reward.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’

Member Member Committee Deputy Chairman The Chairman
`Abdullah ibn Qa`ud `Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan `Abdul-Razzaq `Afify `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz

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