Question:
What does resurrection of animals mean in the Quranic verse which says "When the wild beasts are herded together "? Does it mean that the animals are also resurrected and held answerable for their deeds?

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Answer:
The Literal and Technical Meaning of Hashr: The word hashr literally means to collect something but hashr in the technical meaning refers to God's herding and gathering together the creatures on the Day of Judgment to hold them answerable for their deeds. The Resurrection of the Animals Generally speaking, there are two dominant views in regards to the resurrection of animals on the Day of Judgment: 1. There is no resurrection for animals and beasts. Resurrection in regard to the animals is their death because the animals are not duty-bound. Only those who are duty-bound are held responsible for their deeds. 2. Contrary to the above, there are some scholars who believe that the animals are also resurrected on the Day of Judgment because every animal owes heightened senses and the power of perception. That is to say, they have senses for which they are held answerable. Perception and Knowledge of Animals: In addition to the verses and profuse traditions which indicate the animals' perception and knowledge, man's daily experience and knowledge also affirm the fact that they have acute senses. The Quranic verses about the ants' running from Solomon's army and the hoopoe's going to a place in Yemen called "Saba" and bringing exciting news for Solomon and the birds' taking part in Solomon's maneuver etc. all indicate that animals have senses acuter than their instinct. Also, the narrations, which mention positions for animals, indicate that they have senses enabling them to perceive things; otherwise it was meaningless to grant them any ranks. It has been reported from Imam Sajjad (a.s) that he said: "A camel who stays on Arafat desert for seven years will be one of the Paradise-dwelling animals." Scientifically and experimentally speaking, we also see that the animals in general are aware of their advantages and disadvantages. They know their friends and enemies. They run away from dangers and tend to go to what benefits them. They are also trainable and have the potentials to carry out various missions. These in all signify the heightened and acute senses of the animals that are sharper than their instincts. Therefore, since perception is the criterion for man's resurrection and return to God, it is also the criterion for resurrection and return of animals. Those who believe in the resurrection of animals, resort to the Quranic verse which says, "And when the animals are herded together". They have said that the word "herded" in the verse signifies that they are gathered together and resurrected on the Day of Judgment. This saying is supported and affirmed with another verse in the Quran which says, "There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you. Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end." This verse likens the animals to humans by saying "communities like you". The last part of the verse "they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end" clearly states that they die like human beings and then they are resurrected and gathered to their Lord after their deaths. This meaning of 'resurrection' is endorsed by Islamic traditions. For example, it has been narrated through Ahl-e Sunnah from the Holy Prophet (s) that he said in the interpretation of the foregoing verse: "God resurrects all these animals on the Day of Judgment. All scores will be settled on the Day of Resurrection; even the hornless sheep will settle its scores with the horned sheep.” Detailed Answer The Literal and Technical Meaning: The word hashr literally means "to collect something" [1]. The Quran says, ﴿ذلک حشرٌ علينا يسيرٌ﴾(That will be a gathering together,- quite easy for Us) [2]. The word "hashr" in this verse has been used in the same meaning. However, the said word in its technical meaning refers to God's herding and gathering together the creatures on the Day of Judgment to hold them answerable for their deeds. "Then fear Allah, and know that ye will surely be gathered unto Him." [3] The word "wohush" is the plural form of "wahsh" which means 'beast' as opposed to domestic animals. [4] The animals which are not tame and affectionate with humans are called "beasts". [5] Resurrection of Animals: The resurrection of animals is a subject contended by theologians and commentators of the Holy Quran. Some maintain that only those who are duty-bound are held responsible for their deeds. Since the animals cannot be obligated, therefore they are not resurrected either. In fact, the resurrection of every animal is tantamount to its death. Contrary to the above, there are some scholars who believe that the animals are also resurrected on the Day of Judgment because every animal owes the power of perception. That is to say, they have senses for which they are held answerable. Perception and Knowledge of Animals: There are verses and profuse traditions which indicate that animals' have perception and knowledge. Man's daily experiences and knowledge also affirm this. The Quranic verses about the ants' running from Solomon's army,[6] the hoopoe's going to a place in Yemen called "Saba" bringing exciting news [7] for Solomon, the birds' taking part in Solomon's maneuver, [8] their speaking with each other and Solomon's being proud of having been granted the power to learn and speak the language of birds [9] indicate the fact that animals have senses higher than their instinct. The Quran says, "And there is not a single thing but glorifies Him with His praise, but you do not understand their glorification." [10] According to late AllamahTabatabai, this verse is the best reason to prove that glorification by the creatures refers to a glorification which originates in knowledge and done in the form of words. Had it not been in the form of words, it was meaningless to say that "you do not understand their glorification". [11] There are narrations which mention that animals have positions in the Hereafter. For example, it is said that a camel who goes to Mecca thrice will be one of the dwellers of Paradise. [12] It has also been reported from Imam Sajjad (a.s) that he said: "A camel who lives on Arafat desert for seven years will be one of the Paradise-dwelling animals." [13] Scientifically and experimentally speaking, we also see that the animals in general are aware of their advantages and disadvantages. They know their friends and enemies and they run away from dangers and tend to go to what benefits them. They are also trainable and have the potentials to carry out various missions. The Resemblance between Resurrection of Animals and Man: It is inferred clearly from the verses and traditions that animals have senses as human beings do, although at a lower level proportionate to their own existence. It is for the same reason, which serves as an evidence for resurrection and return of animals, that they also return to God and are resurrected. One of the verses which indicate that the animals are resurrected is the verse which says, "And when the animals are herded together" [14]. They have said that the word "herded" in the verse signifies that they are gathered together and resurrected on the Day of Judgment. There are some commentators who say that this verse refers to the preliminaries of Resurrection and the beginning of destruction of the world. [15] However, there are some commentators who are of the view that the Quranic verse which says "There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you. Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end" [16] confirms that animals are resurrected in the Hereafter." Although this verse likens the animals to humans by saying "communities like you", some scholars maintain that the verse means that they (animals) are God's creatures like us and that every one of them is a sign of God's power, greatness, knowledge and wisdom. [17] Some others believe that the verse means to say that they are also like human beings in terms of eating, sleeping, wakefulness and the way they have to struggle to live and protect themselves. Thus, they are in need of a wise contrivance to let them lead the path which is befitting them. [18] A great many other theologians and commentators have stressed that in view of the last part of the verse which says "They (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end" the animals die like human beings and they are resurrected and gathered to their Lord after their deaths. [19] This meaning of 'resurrection' has also been endorsed by Islamic traditions. For example, it has been reported from the Abuzar that he said: "We were in the company of the Holy Prophet (s) and we saw two goats goring each other up with their horns. The Holy Prophet (s) said: "Do you know why they hit each other with their horns?" "No," said his companions. The Prophet (s) said, "But God knows why. He will judge between them soon." [20] It has also been narrated through Ahl-e Sunnah narrators from the Holy Prophet (s) that he said in the interpretation of the foregoing verse: "God resurrects all these animals on the Day of Judgment. All scores will be settled on the Day of Resurrection; even the hornless sheep will settle its scores with the horned sheep.” [21] [22]

Refrence:

[1] Qarashi, Seyyed Ali Akbar, Dictionary of the Holy Quran, vol.2, p. 145 [2] Qaf (The Letter Qaf), 44 [3] Al-Baqarah, 203 [4] Dictionary of the Holy Quran, vol.7, p. 189 [5] MufradatAlfaaz-e Quran by RaghibIsfahani, root word "wahsh". [6] Nahl (Bee), 18 [7] Nahl, 21 [8] Nahl, 17 [9] Nahl, 16 [10] Isra, 44 [11] Allamah Muhammad Hussein Tabatabai, Tafsir al-Mizan (Farsi translation), MusaviHamedani, vol.17, p. 609, Tabatabai Scientific and Intellectual Foundation, 1363 (1984). [12] Al-Arusi al-Huwaizi, Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn, vol.1, p. 715, Ismailiyah Printing and Publication Institute, 1373 (1994) [13] Ibid, hadith 70. [14] Takvir, 5 [15] MakaremShirazi, Naser, TafsirNamunah, vol.26, p. 173 and 174 [16] Al-An'am, 38 [17] Tabarsi, TafsirMajma'ul Bayan, DarulMa'refah Publications, 2nd edition 1408 A.H. vol.3 and 4, p. 461. [18] Ibid. [19] Ibid. [20] Ibid; Tafsir Noor al-Thaqalayn, Ibid, vol.1, p. 715, hadith 69. [21] Muhammad Rashid Reza, Tafsir al-Manar, Ibid, vol.7, p. 326. [22] For further information refer to Behar al-Anwar, vol.7, p. 353 to 377. ------------------------------- Ref: www.Islamquest.net


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