brightness_1 It is Sunnah for men to seek praying in the first row as it is the best row for men ...

Abu Hurayrah (ABPWH) reported that Allāh’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “The best of the prayer rows for men are the first rows and the worst are the last rows, and the best of the prayer rows for women are the last rows and the worst are the first rows.” (Muslim no. 440)

The best means having the greatest reward, and the worst means having the least reward.

This Hadeeth applies in the situation when men and women pray together with no separation. Thus, the last row would be the best for women, being furthest away from men’s sight. However, if there was a barrier such as a curtain or a wall, or if there was a separate room for women, the best row for women in this case would be the first row, as they are already separate from men, according to the general reward of the first row as indicated by many Ahādeeth, one of which is:

Abu Hurayrah (ABPWH) narrated that Allāh’s Messenger (PBUH) said, “If the people knew the reward of answering the Adthān and praying in the first row in congregational prayer, and found no other way to obtain this reward except by drawing lots, they would do so, and if they knew the reward of offering Dthuhr prayer early in its specified time, they would compete for it, and if they knew the reward of ‘Ishā’ and Fajr prayers in congregation, they would attend them even if they had to come to prayer crawling.” (Al-Bukhāriy no. 615, Muslim no. 437)