What happens to animals on the Day of Judgment?

AssalaamuAlaikum brother.
Hope you are doing good in health and imaan by Allah’s Grace.

Regarding what happens to animals on the day of judgment? If you could please state an authentic hadith & a verse from Quran.

Wa Alaykum Assalaam, brother.

That question was answered very well by the reverend Sheikh Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajjid. He wrote that all animals are assembled on the Day of Judgment, just like man will be. God says in the holy Quran, describing the Day of Judgment, “And when beasts are assembled.” (81:5)

Another verse that makes this clear is, “And there is no living creature within the earth nor a bird that flies with its wings but are communities like you. We have not neglected in the Book a thing. Then unto their Lord they will be gathered.” (6:38)

But does that mean they will be questioned and tried? The answer is yes! Sheikh Al-Munajjid quotes an authentic hadeeth, reported by Muslim and narrated by Abu-Hurayra, “You shall certainly pay off all dues to their rightful owners; even a stricken lamb will be given its compensation from the horned lamb that struck it!”

God’s justice is comprehensive, which brings up the question, “Will man be judged by his treatment of animals?” The answer to that question is also yes! Two famous authentic hadeeths give us the two flip sides of this question. The Prophet (PBUH) told us that “A woman entered Hellfire because of a cat that she tormented: neither did she feed it, nor let it out of the house to graze.” Narrated by Ibn `Umar and reported by Al-Bukhaari. On the flip side, the Prophet (PBUH) told us that a woman entered Paradise because of a dog: She was very thirsty and found a well. She took off a shoe and reached down in the well and filled the shoe with water then drank it. Then she saw a dog which also looked very thirsty, so she reached down into the well one more time, filled her shoe with water and gave it to the dog to drink 🙂 How beautiful is that? And get this.. the woman was a prostitute! That hadeeth was narrated by Abu-Hurayra and reported by Al-Bukhaari.

7 Responses to “What happens to animals on the Day of Judgment?”

  1. Zayan says:

    JazakAllah Khair dear brother.

    My question here is, as you mentioned that even animals are tried on the Day Of Judgment, so on what basis are they tried? We humans are judged on the basis of deeds, but what about animals? As animals lack free will, which implies that they obey Allah(SWT). So how do they sin? And even they are sent to heaven and hell?

    • noclash says:

      We do not know that animals lack free will. Would God punish a creature for something they had no choice in?

      One verse in the Quran may imply that animals lack free will, but it actually doesn’t say that. The verse is: “Did you not see that to God prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is in the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, the moving creatures and many of the people? But upon many the torment has been justified. And he whom God humiliates – for him there is no bestower of honor. Indeed, God does what He wills.” (22:18).

      You may have noticed that the list of prostrators to God starts out with “whoever is in the earth”, which includes people many of whom do not prostrate to God. Thus, we know that this is a metaphor for the superiority of God. It is not a literal prostration. What this verse is emphasizing is that God is supreme over all creation and therefore should be the only One worshiped. This is made clear, as Ibn Katheer noted in his exegesis, by God’s mention of the sun, the moon and the stars. These are creatures which have been worshiped by man but should not have.

  2. Zayan says:

    “Allaah will judge between His creation, jinn, humans and animals. On that Day the score will be settled between the hornless and the horned, until there are no outstanding issues left, then Allaah will say, ‘Be dust!’ At the point the kaafir will say, ‘Would that I were dust!’” Shaykh al-Albaani said: This is saheeh. No. 1966; see al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, part 4, p. 966

    Can I know what this hadeeth means akhi?
    I thought that animals do obey the laws of nature and lack free-will. Because if they didn’t lack free-will then they would have ability to think, which means they would be equal to humans akhi? Am I making sense to you dear brother?

    • noclash says:

      Animals have brains, right? So, they can think. Have you ever watched a squirrel or a cat trying to leap onto a tree from a balcony? They look at where they are standing and where the tree is. They pace back and forth to see the tree from different angles. They spend a couple of minutes assessing the situation and appraising the possible risks. Then they decide to make the leap, and 9 times out of 10, it is a successful leap!

      Something is going on there, wouldn’t you say? If that’s not thinking and analysis, I don’t know what is. We know from the Quran that an ant warned its fellow ants to hurry into their dens when it saw Solomon (PBUH) marching towards them with his soldiers (27:18). Was that not a mental effort that indicates an intellect?

      The fact that animals have smaller brains than humans does not mean that they have no free will. The hadeeth you quoted confirms the more authentic hadeeth that Sheikh Al-Munajjid quoted in the post. Why would you think that animals have no free will? This an assumption and it is knocked out by the Hadeeth. To the degree animals’ will is free will be their trial on the Day of Judgment. They do not have to be equal to us and their will does not have to be completely free to stand trial. We humans punish our children and the mentally challenged among us differently from adults, because we understand the different levels of maturity, competence and knowledge.

      • Zayan says:

        AssalaamuAlaikum brother,

        Now I get it. Please bear with me & my questioning dear brother. I am learning and trying to clear out darkness I am living in. I liked the point you made about animals thinking and analysing, it did make me think. But does it mean they have limited free will? Because the Quran says

        Al-Ra’d (chapter 13, Verse 15):
        “Whatever beings there are in the heavens and the earth do prostrate themselves to Allah with goodwill or inspite of themselves: so do their shadows in the mornings and evenings.”

        So is it that animals “completely” obey the Laws of Allah(SWT) & yet have limited free-will akhi?

        JazakAllah Khair.

        • Admin says:

          Ever watched the movie “The Brothers Karamazov”? At the end of the movie, the main character is in big trouble, so he falls on his knees and stretches his hands up and says, “O God, I don’t believe You exist, but if You do, I really need Your help!”

          Have you ever heard a more pathetic attitude? This man has unwillingly surrendered to God. That is what verse 13:15 you quoted is talking about when it says that all prostrate to God. It is a metaphor for God’s superiority and dominion over all, whether a creature acknowledges it or refuses to.

          Whether any given animal has a free will is only known to God and He will judge that animal according to the degree of freedom of its will which He has granted to it. Always keep in mind what God says, “Verily, God does not do a spec’s weight of injustice, but if it is a good deed, He will multiply it and He gives from His Own a huge reward.” (4:40)

  3. Zayan says:

    JazakAllah Khair Akhi. I understand it better now. 🙂 And InshaAllah I will watch the movie. The last paragraph gave me my answer. Alhamdulilah

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