While humans (at least most) do worship God in some manner or form, have you also wondered whether animals also worship God? Or whether animals will go to paradise? Let’s review what the Qur’an and the Bible say on this subject.
Review of Qur’an’s passages:
Let’s start with the question whether the animals worship God.
There are a number of passages that address this question.
Among the creation of God, men, the angels and Jinns (Genies) are well known to worship God- at least the believing men and genies do. The following verses from Surah (chapter) Rehman actually state that stars also worship God, not just the animals.
The sun and the moon follow courses (exactly) computed. 55:5;
And the stars and the trees do prostrate (to Him). 55:6
The following verse goes on to state that everyone in the heavens and the earth prostrate and worship God- animals, trees, mountains and the stars.
Do you not see that Allah is He, to Whom prostrate whoever is in the heavens and whoever is in the earth, and the sun and the moon and the stars, and the mountains and the trees, and the animals and many of the people; and many there are against whom chastisement has become necessary; and whomsoever Allah abases, there is none who can make him honorable; surely Allah does what He pleases. 22:18
It would be silly to think that the birds and the animals sing the praises of God and glorify Him in the same way as we do. The following verse points out that each one of them glorify God in their own unique ways.
Do you not see that Allah is He Whom do glorify all those who are in the heavens and the earth, and the (very) birds with expanded wings? Each one knows its own (mode of) prayer and praise. And Allah knows well all that they do. 24:41
Animals will also be gathered on the Day of Judgment!
I understand there is variance in the belief of Day of Judgment and the life after death between the three major monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). Our gathering on the Day of Judgment is an essential belief in Islam. The following verse indicates that it won’t be not just us- the humans, but the animals and the birds will also be gathered.
There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you. Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end. 6:38
Will the animals go to Paradise?
This is a bit more complicated subject. There are no explicit verses on this subject in the Qur’an. There are some Hadiths (sayings of Prophet Muhammad) on this subject, but far from giving a definitive answer.
All animals will settle scores between one another. A Hadith, as narrated by Abu Hurairah states:
All scores will be settled on the Day of Resurrection; even the hornless sheep will settle its scores with the horned sheep. (Muslim)
In another Hadith:
Allah 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 Allah will say, ‘Be dust!’ At the point the infidel will say, ‘Would that I were dust!’
One interpretation of this Hadith is that all animals will turn into dust in the Hereafter after Resurrection. But the popular belief is that since animals are creatures that are not accountable for their actions as they do not posses a free will, they do not have a final destination such as Hell or Paradise.
But are we misinterpreting the animals turning into dust? What is the purpose behind gathering them, Judging between them and then turning all of them into dust? If the killer/oppressor (horned) and the killed/oppressed (hornless) both turn into dust, then what’s the difference between the two? Some have argued that only the bad ones will turn into dust and the good ones will go to paradise. One can also argue as to what happens to the animals who worship God? If they also will turn into dust, like the “bad ones’, then that would not seem to be consistent with God’s fair Judgment.
The Bible on this subject:
Various animals and birds praising and glorifying the Lord can be found throughout the Bible.
And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped. Revelation 5:13-14
And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever. Revelation 4:8-9
Like the Qur’an’s verse 22:18, Psalm 148 commands all of creation to praise the Lord, including the animals, the stars and the moon.
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his host!
Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for he commanded and they were created.
He established them for ever and ever;
he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.
Praise the Lord from the earth,
you sea monsters and all deeps,
fire and hail, snow and frost,
stormy wind fulfilling his command!
Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
Wild animals and all cattle,
creeping things and flying birds!
Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and women alike,
old and young together!
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his glory is above earth and heaven.
He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his faithful,
for the people of Israel who are close to him.
Praise the Lord!
How About Animals in Heaven?
This is far from unanimous.
The Bible does talk about animals in Heaven. Isaiah 11:6 describe several types of animals living in peace with one another. Moreover the book of Genesis speaks about the serpent that deceived Eve. Sure it was the Devil’s camouflage, but taking the form of a serpent shows there were animals in the Garden of Eden.
Whether your pet will accompany you in the heavens is still far from being clear.
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