Praise be to Allah.
The animals that will be in Paradise according to the reports are of three types:
- 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 Salih (peace be upon him). There are no authentic reports concerning them.
- Those which are mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah, which Allah has prepared for the believers in Paradise, whether they are mentioned in specific terms, such as the birds of which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And with the flesh of fowls that they desire.” [Al-Waqi`ah 56:21]
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.” [At-Tur 52:22]
Another example is the bull which Allah has prepared as food for the people of Paradise , as was narrated from Thawban the freed slave of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), who said: “I was standing by the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah 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 Allah be upon him)) said: ‘A bull which was fed in the different quarters of Paradise would be slaughtered for them’…” (Narrated by Muslim, 315)
- Those animals which have been specifically mentioned in the authentic Sunnah, which will be in Paradise. These include:
- It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Pray in the sheep pens and wipe their dust (ragham), for they are among the animals of Paradise.” (Narrated by al-Bayhaqi, 2/449; classed as sahih by Al-Albani in Sahih Al-Jami`, 3789)
Ragham means dust (as translated here). The word has also been narrated as ra`am, 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-Manawi in Fayd Al-Qadir.
- It was narrated that Abu Mas`ud Al-Ansari said: A man brought a bridled she-camel and said, “This is for the sake of Allah.” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah 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)
“What is meant by makhtumah (bridled) is that it has a khitam (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 Allah knows best.” (Sharh An-Nawawi, 13/38.
The hadiths about the camels and horses to which An-Nawawi referred are as follows
- It was narrated from Abu Ayyub that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah 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 At-Tabarani in Al-Kabir, 4/179)
Al-Haythami said: “This was narrated by At-Tabarani. Its isnad includes Jabir ibn Nuh who is weak. Majma` Az-Zawa’id, 10/413. It was also classed as weak by Al-Albani in Da`if Al-Jami`, 1833.”
- It was narrated from Sulayman ibn Buraydah from his father that a man asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), “O Messenger of Allah, will there be horses in Paradise?” He said, “If Allah 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 Allah, will there be camels in Paradise?” but he did not say something like he had said to his companion. He said, “If Allah admits you to Paradise, you will have therein whatever your heart desires and will delight your eyes.” (Narrated by At-Tirmidhi, 2543. Classed as hasan by Al-Albani in Sahih At-Targhib, 3/522.)
A similar report was also narrated by Abu Ayyub from At-Tirmidhi, 2544; and also classed as sahih by Al-Albani, 3/423.
And it was narrated in authentic hadiths 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 Allah. But we know that they are extremely beautiful, because they are one of the delights that Allah has prepared for His close friends in Paradise. This was indicated by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in the hadith 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 Allah to bless us and admit us to Paradise by His mercy, for He is the Most Generous.
And Allah knows best.