We have already mentioned the Prophet’s words “If the people knew what [great blessings were] in the call to salah and in the first row the people would vie with one another to call the azhan and to be in the first row, and if they found no way to decide [who would be allowed to make the call to salah or to be in the first row] except by drawing lots, then they would draw lots.”
Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reports that the Prophet noticed his companions going to the back rows, and he said: “Come close and follow me and let those behind follow you. People will continue going to the back until Allah will put them in the back.” This is related by Muslim, an-Nasa’i, Abu Dawud, and Ibn Majah.
‘Aishah reports that the Prophet sallallahu alehi wasallam said: “Allah and His angels send down blessings upon those who pray on the right side of the rows.” This is related by Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah.
Ahmad and at-Tabarani record, with a sahih chain, from Abu Umamah that the Prophet said: “Allah and the angels send down blessings upon the first row.” The people inquired: “O Messenger of Allah, and upon the second row?” The Prophet again said: “Allah and the angels send down blessings upon the first row.” The people asked again: “O Messenger of Allah, and upon the second row?” Finally he said: “And upon the second row.”