If you follow the teachings of Islam, you may occasionally have wondered to yourself, do animals go to Jannah or is it reserved only for humans?
Often, religious teachings leave much up to our interpretation and it is not always easy to know what will or won’t happen to an animal after it has died.
However, more and more people have built strong bonds with their pets and as our society increasingly recognizes the importance, sentience, and rights of animals, it becomes even more important to think about and understand what may happen to animals after they pass away.
Many people find comfort in the concept of a heaven after the earthly life, but to think that animals cannot access this place is distressing to some, while others find that it properly sets humans aside from them and recognizes superiority.
Which belief you follow is likely to depend upon what you were taught early in life, and your perspective on the sentience and importance of animals.
It is hard to know what will happen to an animal after it dies, but it makes sense to wonder about this, especially since animals generally have much shorter lives than people, and you may be asked this by younger members of your family as they try to process the death of a family pet, or you may ask it yourself.
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer.
Do Animals Go To Jannah?
There is a lot of debate about the scriptures and whether they say that animals go to Jannah or not; no passage within the texts directly says that animals will enter Jannah, but no passages clearly state that they do not, either.
There is a lot of scope for interpretation and, depending on which parts you focus on, you may come to different conclusions. It is important to read and assess the texts for yourself to make a decision about what you personally believe.
When people ask this question, many turn to a selection of several passages, including Quran 6:38, which says “And there is no creature … except [that they are] communities like you. … Then unto their Lord will they be gathered.”
This clearly indicates that animals are to be treated on a level with humans, and that they will be brought together after death, although there is no direct mention of a heavenly reward.
However, other scriptures call this passage into doubt, or at least imply that it has a different meaning, and this may leave you confused about where animals stand and what happens to them when they die.
Unfortunately, it is not easy to determine a more concrete meaning than the interpretation above, and this is only an interpretation, which many would dispute.
Is There A Jannah For Animals?
There is no mention of a separate Jannah for animals, although there are some animals that are specifically mentioned as being intended for Jannah, including the she-camel of Saalih and the dog of the people in the cave.
No teachings suggest that animals go to their own Jannah, and although there is mention of meat being served in Jannah, there is no indication that live animals will be present.
However, other teachings declare that Jannah shall have everything that a person wishes for, and therefore, if you wish for animals, it is possible that they will be there.
Many people feel that there cannot be a Jannah for animals because they are unable to believe in the religious teachings, and therefore they cannot be rewarded for believing in those things.
However, others believe that because animals were made this way, and don’t have the capacity of belief, they cannot be disadvantaged for not believing – and therefore, they can reach Jannah.
Whether this is a separate Jannah or the same one that people will be sent to is unclear, or may depend upon who you ask.
Passage18:18 says that “all the good animals in this world … from which a believer benefits … will enter Paradise in a suitable shape,” which again seems to indicate that animals can access a reward after life.
However, it does not make it clear whether these will be in their animal form, and therefore still does not explain whether there will be animals in Jannah.
What Happens To Animals If They Don’t Go To Jannah?
Many people argue that animals cannot go to Jannah, and there are clear passages to support this, just as there are ones to support the other argument.
For example, one hadeeth says that “On that Day the score will be settled … then Allaah will say, ‘Be dust!’” suggesting that no animals will exist beyond the Day of Resurrection, because all will have become dust again on this day.
However, others argue that turning their bodies to dust is not a sign that their souls are gone from the world, and that humans also turn to dust after death, and yet humans are still delivered to heaven.
It’s unclear what happens to animals if they are not delivered to Jannah; it is possible that their bodies turn back into earth, and they have no soul to be preserved, or that it cannot be preserved because they do not believe in the teachings of Islam.
This is not satisfying to many people, but it is not surprising; many religions do not state where animals go after death.
This has frequently been asked later, particularly given that people form strong bonds with their pets now, and we spend a lot of time fighting for the rights of animals.
What happens to animals may remain a mystery unless you are satisfied by either of the teachings above; neither offers a hard answer, but both pose possible answers. Either animals do enter Jannah, but possibly in a different form, or they turn into dust.
So, there is no easy answer to the question “do animals go to Jannah?” The teachings of Islam do not say firmly one way or another what becomes of an animal that has died, and you may choose to believe that animals are all taken to heaven because they cannot sin and have no need of hell. Alternatively, you may believe that Jannah is reserved only for those that believe in Allaah, and therefore animals cannot enter it.