The animals that will be in Paradise according to the reports are of three types:
1 – Specific animals which it is said will themselves be in Paradise, such as the dog of the people of the Cave and the she-camel of Saalih (peace be upon him). There are no saheeh reports concerning them.
2 – Those which are mentioned in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, which Allaah has prepared for the believers in Paradise, whether they are mentioned in specific terms, such as the birds of which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And with the flesh of fowls that they desire”
or mentioned in general terms, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And We shall provide them with fruit and meat such as they desire”
Another example is the bull which Allaah has prepared as food for the people of Paradise, as was narrated from Thawbaan the freed slave of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), who said: “I was standing by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when one of the Jewish rabbis came and said, ‘Peace be upon you, O Muhammad,’ and I pushed him back so hard that he nearly fell over… He (the Jew) said: ‘What would be their food after this?’ He (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)) said: ‘A bull which was fed in the different quarters of Paradise would be
slaughtered for them’…” Narrated by Muslim, 315.
3 – Those animals which have been specifically mentioned in the saheeh Sunnah, which will be in Paradise. These include:
(a) It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Pray in the sheep pens and wipe their dust (raghaam), for they are among the animals of Paradise.”
Narrated by al-Bayhaqi, 2/449; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3789.
Raghaam means dust (as translated here). The word has also been narrated as ra’aam, which refers to the mucus that comes from the sheep’s nose. What is meant is to wipe the dust from it, or wipe away what comes from its nose, so as to look after it and take care of it. This was the view of al-Manaawi in Fayd al-Qadeer.
(b) It was narrated that Abu Mas’ood al-Ansaari said: A man brought a bridled she-camel and said, “This is for the sake of Allaah.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “You will have seven hundred she-camels in return on the Day of Resurrection, each of them bridled.” Narrated by Muslim, 1892.
Al-Nawawi said: What is meant by makhtoomah (bridled) is that it has a khitaam (bridle) on it, which is like a halter. And it was said that that it may be understood as meaning that he will have the reward of giving seven hundred she-camels, or it may be understood as it appears to be, and that he will have seven hundred she-camels in Paradise, each of them bridled, and he will be able to ride them wherever he wants, for pleasure, as was narrated concerning the horses and camels (nujab) of Paradise. This interpretation is more clear. And Allaah knows best.
Sharh al-Nawawi, 13/38.
The ahaadeeth about the camels and horses to which al-Nawawi referred are as follows
(a) It was narrated from Abu Ayyoob that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The people of Paradise will visit one another on white camels as if they are rubies, and there are no animals in Paradise apart from camels and birds.”
Narrated by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer, 4/179.
Al-Haythami said: This was narrated by al-Tabaraani. Its isnaad includes Jaabir ibn Nooh who is da’eef (weak). Majma’ al-Zawaa’id, 10/413. It was also classed as da’eef by al-Albaani in Da’eef al-Jaami’, 1833.
(b) It was narrated from Sulaymaan ibn Buraydah from his father that a man asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “O Messenger of Allaah, will there be horses in Paradise?” He said, “If Allaah admits you to Paradise, you will not wish that you could be carried on a horse of red rubies which will fly wherever you want in Paradise, but that will happen.” And another man asked him, “O Messenger of Allaah, will there be camels in Paradise?” but he did not say something like he had said to his companion. He said, “If Allaah admits you to Paradise, you will have therein whatever your heart desires and will delight your eyes.”
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2543. Classd as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 3/522.
A similar report was also narrated by Abu Ayyoob from al-Tirmidhi, 2544; and also classed as saheeh by al-Albaani, 3/423.
And it was narrated in saheeh ahaadeeth that the souls of the martyrs are in the crops of birds in Paradise which fly wherever they want.
It should be noted that the birds, horses and camels in Paradise are not the same as those in this world; they resemble them in name only. What they are really like is known only to Allaah. But we know that they are extremely beautiful, because they are one of the delights that Allaah has prepared for His close friends in Paradise. This was indicated by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the hadeeth quoted above, in which it says that the horses of Paradise are of red rubies, and will fly with their rider wherever he wants.
We ask Allaah to bless us and admit us to Paradise by His mercy, for He is the Most Generous.