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As far as I'm aware, only humans and jinn are accountable for their actions and beliefs - is this a correct assessment? If it isn't, are there other creatures on earth that we can interact with that are accountable?

As far as I know, both humans and jinn have a ruh. That begs the question, is there any species that will be accountable on the day of judgement, but does not have a ruh?

If there are any classical works available on this in English (I don't know Arabic), I'd be interested.

In particular, I'm interested in what creatures are accountable to the extent that they go on to live forever in paradise and hell.

  • How do we know that Jinn have ruh? – ozbek Nov 11 '16 at 7:15
  • I thought I read that, but now I'm unable to locate a source. – G. Bach Nov 11 '16 at 7:20
  • Among the classical works there's the Quran and sunnah ;) – Medi1Saif Nov 17 '16 at 7:15
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Accountability for actions is for all creatures that have a soul (humans, jinns, and animals) . Accountability for belief is only for humans and jinns. Eternity in heaven or hell is only for humans and jinns.

Accountability for actions

I will only address animals in this section, as it goes without saying that both humans and jinns are accountable for their actions and beliefs (discussed below).

From the Qur'an 81:5, we know that animals get resurrected on Judgment Day:

وَإِذَا ٱلۡوُحُوشُ حُشِرَتۡ

And when the wild beasts are herded together.

and from Qur'an 6:38:

وَمَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ۬ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَلَا طَـٰٓٮِٕرٍ۬ يَطِيرُ بِجَنَاحَيۡهِ إِلَّآ أُمَمٌ أَمۡثَالُكُم‌ۚ مَّا فَرَّطۡنَا فِى ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ مِن شَىۡءٍ۬‌ۚ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّہِمۡ يُحۡشَرُونَ

And there is no creature on [or within] the earth or bird that flies with its wings except [that they are] communities like you. We have not neglected in the Register a thing. Then unto their Lord they will be gathered.

When gathered on Judgment Day, such creatures will go through a portion of the hisab (accountability) that humans and jinns will go through, which is qassaas, as per the following hadith in Sahih Muslim:

رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ لَتُؤَدُّنَّ الْحُقُوقَ إِلَى أَهْلِهَا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ حَتَّى يُقَادَ لِلشَّاةِ الْجَلْحَاءِ مِنْ الشَّاةِ الْقَرْنَاءِ

The claimants would get their claims on the Day of Resurrection so much so that the hornless sheep would get its claim from the horned sheep.

and also in another hadith that is in Al-Silsila Al-Sahiha (by Al-Albany):

يقضي الله بين خلقه الجن والإنس والبهائم وإنه ليقيد يومئذ الجماء من القرناء حتى إذا لم يبق تبعة عند واحدة لأخرى قال الله كونوا ترابا فعند ذلك يقول الكافر يا ليتني كنت تراباً

My own translation (treat with care): Allah judges between His creation, jinn, men and animals. Allah will let the hornless animal settle its score with the horned animal, until when there is no account to be settled, Allah will say to them: "Be dust." This is when the kaafir will say: "Would that I were dust!"

From the above (and there are several other hadiths on the topic), it becomes evident that animals and birds will be (1) resurrected, (2) be held accountable, (3) go through settlement of actions, and (4) be turned to dust (no eternity).

Note that marine creatures were not specifically mentioned, but in Arabic language, the words animal and beasts may refer to marine creatures, too.

Accountability for beliefs and actions

The accountability of both humans and jinns is clear from many verses in the Qur'an, so I will mention only a few (as examples).

From Qur'an 72:11-15, it is evident that jinn have both believers and non-believers, and that both will be held accountable and go to heaven or hell (it is advisable to read the entire chapter):

وَأَنَّا مِنَّا ٱلصَّـٰلِحُونَ وَمِنَّا دُونَ ذَٲلِكَ‌ۖ كُنَّا طَرَآٮِٕقَ قِدَدً۬ا وَأَنَّا ظَنَنَّآ أَن لَّن نُّعۡجِزَ ٱللَّهَ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَلَن نُّعۡجِزَهُ ۥ هَرَبً۬ا وَأَنَّا لَمَّا سَمِعۡنَا ٱلۡهُدَىٰٓ ءَامَنَّا بِهِۦ‌ۖ فَمَن يُؤۡمِنۢ بِرَبِّهِۦ فَلَا يَخَافُ بَخۡسً۬ا وَلَا رَهَقً۬ا وَأَنَّا مِنَّا ٱلۡمُسۡلِمُونَ وَمِنَّا ٱلۡقَـٰسِطُونَ‌ۖ فَمَنۡ أَسۡلَمَ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ تَحَرَّوۡاْ رَشَدً۬ا وَأَمَّا ٱلۡقَـٰسِطُونَ فَكَانُواْ لِجَهَنَّمَ حَطَبً۬ا

And among us are the righteous, and among us are [others] not so; we were [of] divided ways. And we have become certain that we will never cause failure to Allah upon earth, nor can we escape Him by flight. And when we heard the guidance, we believed in it. And whoever believes in his Lord will not fear deprivation or burden. And among us are Muslims [in submission to Allah ], and among us are the unjust. And whoever has become Muslim - those have sought out the right course. But as for the unjust, they will be, for Hell, firewood.

From Qur'an 6:130, Allah is addressing both humans and jinns, asking them about His messengers to them and how they were warned of Judgment Day:

يَـٰمَعۡشَرَ ٱلۡجِنِّ وَٱلۡإِنسِ أَلَمۡ يَأۡتِكُمۡ رُسُلٌ۬ مِّنكُمۡ يَقُصُّونَ عَلَيۡڪُمۡ ءَايَـٰتِى وَيُنذِرُونَكُمۡ لِقَآءَ يَوۡمِكُمۡ هَـٰذَا‌ۚ قَالُواْ شَہِدۡنَا عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِنَا‌ۖ وَغَرَّتۡهُمُ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَشَہِدُواْ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِہِمۡ أَنَّهُمۡ كَانُواْ ڪَـٰفِرِينَ

"O company of jinn and mankind, did there not come to you messengers from among you, relating to you My verses and warning you of the meeting of this Day of yours?" They will say, "We bear witness against ourselves"; and the worldly life had deluded them, and they will bear witness against themselves that they were disbelievers.

Two verses later, Allah makes it evident that both are accountable for their actions:

وَلِڪُلٍّ۬ دَرَجَـٰتٌ۬ مِّمَّا عَمِلُواْ‌ۚ وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِغَـٰفِلٍ عَمَّا يَعۡمَلُونَ

And for all are degrees from what they have done. And your Lord is not unaware of what they do.

Both jinns and humans can end up in heaven (or hell) as Allah tells us in Qur'an 55, which again is best read as a whole chapter. In it, Allah is addressing both jinns and humans (the forms of addressing a single entity, two entities, or three or more entities in Arabic are different, and in this chapter all addresses use a two-entity form). In verse 39 to verse 46, Allah is addressing both jinns and humans about what will happen to the disbelievers (This is Hell, which the criminals deny.), and to the believers (But for he who has feared the position of his Lord are two gardens).

I am not aware of any classical works in English on this topic, though, but if I do find something, I will add it here at a later stage.

  • Thank you; do you have a source for the claim that jinns and animals have souls? – G. Bach Nov 20 '16 at 15:03
  • @G. Bach, I know of no verse in the Qur'an or a hadith attributed to the Prophet that clearly and without doubt mentions who has souls. This deduction is attributed to scholars, as in Jami' Al-Masa'el Al-Hadithiya (جامع المسائل الحديثية) by Abi Mu'ath Tariq ibn 'Awad-Allah, and Al-Fatawa Al-Hadithiya (الفتاوى الحديثية) by ibn Hajar – III-AK-III Nov 20 '16 at 18:56
  • I'm wondering whether this list is complete, i.e. whether it has been mentioned anywhere whether these are the only creatures on earth that will be judged with respect to an eternal abode. I realize that vague references to other worlds exist, which is why potentially islam might recognize alien civilizations, but let's put that aside here. – G. Bach Nov 25 '16 at 8:35
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Human and Jinn are accountable (We have not been told another Type)

And he creates what they don't know 16:8 (If NASA discovered anything please tell us)

Angels are not they are servants of God (Will be friends in Eden)

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