Salam Dear Sister,
Thank you very much for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
Thank you also for your care about animals and their fate.
Islam Demands Kindness to Animals
Let’s agree first that you should not break down because of what happen to animals and their sufferings.
Rather, you should work hard to stop this suffering and pain as much as you can.
Do you know that there are six chapters of the Quran named after some animals?
These are Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow), Surat Al-An`am (The Cattle), Surat An-Nahl (The Bee), Surat An-Naml (The Ant), Surat Al-`Ankabut (The Spider), and Surat Al-Fil (The Elephant).
In the opening verses of Surat An-Nahl, Allah the Almighty shows His Power in creating the heavens, the earth and the man.
After that, Allah reminds man of His bounties on him by saying:
And the grazing livestock He has created for you; in them is warmth and [numerous] benefits, and from them you eat.
And for you in them is [the enjoyment of] beauty when you bring them in [for the evening] and when you send them out [to pasture].
And they carry your loads to a land you could not have reached except with difficulty to yourselves. Indeed, your Lord is Kind and Merciful.
And [He created] the horses, mules and donkeys for you to ride and [as] adornment. And He creates that which you do not know.
And upon Allah is the direction of the [right] way, and among the various paths are those deviating. And if He willed, He could have guided you all. (Quran 16:5-9)
Show Them Mercy
Islam teaches that if you keep an animal, you must provide it with proper food and drink, and not cause it any harm or injury by mistreating it.
You should not also use it for target practice or make it fight another animal or expose it to heat or cold.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“Whilst a man was walking on the road, he became very thirsty. He found a well so he went down into it and drank, then he came out. There he saw a dog that was panting and biting the ground out of thirst. The man said: this dog is feeling the same thirst that I felt. So, he went back down into the well and filled his shoe with water, then he held it in his mouth until he climbed back up, and he gave the water to the dog. Allah appreciated (his action) and forgave him.” The Companions said: O Messenger of Allah, will we have reward with regard to these animals? He said: “In every living thing there is reward.”
Regarding the Fate of Animals After Death
With regard to the fate of animals in the Hereafter, Allah says what gives the meaning of:
And when the wild beasts are gathered… (Quran 81:5)
In another verse we read what means:
And there is no creature on [or within] the earth or bird that flies with its wings except [that they are] communities like you. We have not neglected in the Register a thing. Then unto their Lord they will be gathered. (Quran 6:38)
Commenting on this, the great Companion Ibn `Abbas says:
“Everything will be gathered, even the flies.”
All animals will settle scores between one another. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
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!’
This hadith means that all animals will turn into dust in the Hereafter after Resurrection Day.
Because animals are creatures that are not accountable for their actions, they do not have a final destination such as Hell or Paradise.
When Allah judges between animals in the Hereafter, this is just to show that Allah is Just and Fair. This is a lesson for the humans who will be held accountable for their deeds.
Let’s busy ourselves with things that save us in the Hereafter. Among these things is our care for the animals.
We should do our best to rescue them and stop their sufferings.
I hope this answers your query.
Salam and please keep in touch.
(Originally published in October 2016)