The Discipline of Saff (rows) in the Namaaz
Rasulullah (SAWS) commanded to join up your ranks and stand shoulder to shoulder. Do not fall behind and break your ranks, otherwise Shaitaan will get between you as lambs get between the legs of a sheep.
Rasulullah (SAWS) said: ‘The best of rows for prayers among men is the first, and the best for women is the last, because the last rows provide a veil for women. If only the people knew the merit of the first row of prayer, no one would reach it except by casting lots.'
Maulana Ali (AS) has said: ‘The most excellent of rows is the first, and that is the row of angels. The best position in the first row is to the right of the Imaam.'
Maulana Ali (AS), the Commander of the Faithful, has said: ‘Fill up the gaps in every row. He who can fill up the first row, or the row that follows it, let him do so. Verily this is pleasing to Rasulullah (SAWS). Complete the rows, for Allah and His angels send their salutations to those who complete the rows.'
Imaam Ja'far us-Saadiq (AS) has said: ‘Fill up the rows completely. No harm comes to the man who, finding tight space in the first row, falls back to the second in order to complete it. If you find a gap in front of you while praying there is no harm in sidling, up to it and filling the gap.'
Maulana Ali (AS) has said: Rasulullah (SAWS) admonished me, “O Ali (AS) never stand in the “ athkal .” I said: “What is ‘athkal, O Rasulullah (SAWS)?” He said: “That you should pray standing alone behind the rows.” Rasulullah meant, that he should not pray alone when there is room in any of the rows in front of him. But if there is no such space then there is no harm in praying alone behind the rows.
Maulana Ali (AS) said: ‘If a man comes to the mosque and is unable to take a position in a row, he should stand facing the Imaam and should not disturb the ranks. This will be a fulfillment of the obligation.'
Imaam Mohammad Ul-Baaqir (AS) said: “It is necessary that all the ranks be perfectly formed with no gaps in between them. Between the rows there should be space equivalent to the length of a human being prostrating. If the space is less than that between the rows during the congregation, then their prayer is not valid.”