Are there any animal rights established in Islam? I remember there’s a hadith that claims the Prophet did not allow the overloading of camels. What are animals’ position in this life? What are their position in the lifeafter? This maybe a childish question but do animals go to Heaven and Hell based on their actions? If not what happens to them (turn to dust)?
For my answer to your question regarding the rights of animals, please refer to one of my earlier responses to a related question titled “Cruelty to Animals” and some follow-up discussions on that question.
Animals are a part of the total environment that God has created to produce and sustain human life. Thus, the position of animals, in fact, is that of agents supporting the production, sustenance and growth and development of human life.
As for the reward and punishment of the life hereafter, it is related with the concept of test, the knowledge of good and evil and the freedom to choose between good and evil. Animals, apparently, do not live a life of test and nor do they have the knowledge and the freedom to choose between good and evil. Nevertheless, in view of our lack of comprehensive knowledge about all aspects of the life after death, we are not in a position to say, with any degree of certainty, what exactly, if any, shall be the position of animals in the life hereafter.
I hope this helps.
December 2, 2002