Question: Can you pray with the imam at the front, one follower to his right, and then the rest of the followers in the second row?
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Thank you for your important question.
When three or more people are praying together, the imam should be in the front with the two or more followers forming a line behind him. If they do not do this, it is offensive, and those who do not observe it will not have the reward of the group prayer. It is not, however, sinful per se. [Bushra al-Karim, Ba ‘Ishn]
I pray this helps.
[Ustadh] Farid Dingle
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.