The Hereafter Life of Animals in Islamic Theology: A Comparative Study between Islamic Schools and Inter-Religious Teachings

Author

Associate Professor, Department of Jurisprudence & the Principles of the Islamic Law, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

The life after death and the Hereafter life of human beings are among the tenets of all Muslims. However, the ‎question is set forth by the theologians as to whether animals’ life will end by worldly death, or like humans, they ‎will transfer to the other world and enjoy an immaterial life, too. The issue of animal Hereafter life is closely associated with the question if animals possess a rational ‎soul or not. Since the Qur’ān has regarded animals as an umma, we are to accept that there has been a kind of identity ‎and unity among the animals in understanding the world of being and the purpose of life, and this has prompted the application of the term umma to them‏.‏‎ The two ‎factors of consciousness and purposiveness in animals have caused the Qur’ān to identify them with the human beings and to ‎speak of their otherworldly life‏.‏‎ Accordingly, the resurrection of animals in the Hereafter, in addition to the ‎pleading for justice from themselves, is also meant to plead justice from the human being. Thus, the principle of ‎accepting the human’s responsibility towards animals is open to discussion, one which denies any exploitation of them ‎outside the essential purpose of their creation.‎‎

Keywords


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