Short Answer: Allah is the Most Just, and if humans who suffered at the hands of others will be rewarded, it stands to reason that animals who suffered–especially at the hands of humans, with our higher intellect–will be rewarded, too.
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Dr. Shabir Ally from Let The Quran Speak addresses this question in the video below.
Ilyas Ally: Okay, Dr. Shabir, the question here is from a viewer who is asking: “I would like to know why animals, who are not created to be tested like human beings were, why did they have to suffer?”
“And, you know, we see them being tortured and eaten by other animals. So, why did God do that to other animals?”
Dr. Shabir Ally: Yeah, this is a difficult question for believers to answer because there’s a lot of this going on—animals eating other animals, there’s a food chain.
But at the same time, we have in the Islamic tradition the understanding that on the Day of Judgement, all justice will be done.
So, somebody who suffered–like if one animal hurt another one–then the justice will be done between the animals.
But I think it’s more than this, that anyone who has suffered here in some way will have some sort of reward in the life hereafter. Human beings we know that to be for sure.
But, it seems to me that for animals too, that animals may have some sort of soul not like the human soul, but some sort of existence by themselves.
And for that they will get some reward in the life hereafter, as well. At least this is my hope.
I hope this helps answer your question. Please keep in touch.
(From AboutIslam’s archives)