Settling of scores among the animals on the Day of Resurrection


Settling of scores among the animals on the Day of Resurrection
I have heard that there will be a settling of scores among the animals on the Day of Resurrection. Is this true? If it is true, how will that be done if they are not accountable?


Praise be to

It was narrated from the Prophet

(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) – in a hadeeth that has
many corroborating reports and isnaads – that he said: “Allaah will
judge between His creation, jinn, men and animals. On that Day, Allaah
will let the hornless animal settle its score with the horned until,
when there is nothing left to be settled, Allaah will say to them, ‘Be
dust.’ At that point the kaafir will say, ‘Would that I were dust.’” 

(Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in
al-Silsilat al-Saheehah, no. 1966) 

Among the versions of this hadeeth which we may mention
are the following: 

“All creatures will settle
the scores between them, even the hornless animal with the horned one,
and even one ant with another)

It was narrated from Abu
Dharr that the Messenger of Allaah

(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was sitting, and two sheep
locked horns until one of them defeated and subdued the other. The Messenger
of Allaah

(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) smiled and someone asked
him, “Why are you smiling, O Messenger of Allaah?”  He said, “It
is amazing. By the One in Whose hand is my soul, their score will be
settled on the Day of Resurrection.”

“O Abu Dharr, do you know
what they are fighting over?” He said, “No.” He said, “But Allaah knows
and He will judge between them.” 

Al-Nawawi said in Sharh Muslim,
under the hadeeth of al-tarjumah: 

“This clearly indicates that the animals will be gathered
on the Day of Resurrection and that they will be resurrected on the
Day of Resurrection like humans who are accountable, and as children,
the insane, and those whom the call did not reach will also be resurrected.
There is also evidence in the Qur’aan and Sunnah to support that. Allaah
says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And when the wild beasts shall be gathered

[al-Takweer 81:5] 

If there is a phrase in a text of sharee’ah whose apparent
meaning is not impossible whether according to sharee’ah or reason,
then it must be interpreted according to its apparent meaning. The scholars
said: reward and punishment are not essential features of the gathering
and the resurrection. The settling of scores between the hornless and
horned animals is not based on accountability, because they are not
held accountable, rather it is retaliation in kind for the sake of justice.
And Allaah knows best.” 

Shaykh ‘Ali al-Qaari quoted him in
al-Murqaah (4/761) as saying: 

“If it is said that a sheep is not accountable, how can
scores be settled with it? (Our response is) that Allaah does as He
wills, and He cannot be questioned as to what He does. The point is
to demonstrate to people that rights will not be neglected, rather the
rights of the oppressed will be settled at the expense of the oppressor” 

al-Qaari’ said: “This is a good point.
The point is that this settling of scores points in the most eloquent
manner to the perfect justice with which all those who are accountable
will be dealt. If this is the situation with regard to animals who are
not accountable, then how about those who possess reason, lowly and
noble, strong and weak?” 

See al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, p.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
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