Word ‘creature’ in verse 11:56 includes humans and animals
Fatwa No: 343015

Question

Assalaam alaykum. I was just wondering; what does verse 11:56 mean? Does it mean just animals or also humans? If if only means animals, then does that mean that Allaah forces animals to eat and drink like robots?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

This verse is not limited to animals only; rather, it is about everything that lives on the Earth of humans, animals, and other than them.

At-Tabari, while clarifying its meaning, said in his Tafseer (exegesis), “There is nothing that moves on the Earth except that Allah is its owner; they are within His grip and His dominion; all are subject to Him and humbled before Him.” 

What supports our view is the hadeeth about the supplication to relieve sorrow and distress; which reads, “O Allah! I am Your slave, the son of Your slave man, the son of Your slave woman. My forelock is in Your Hand, Your Fate will occur, Your Decree is just…

However, this does not mean that these creatures do not have any will in their actions; the Shariah and the reality are completely contrary to this, but they do not do anything in this universe without Allah’s permission. If Allah wills that they do not do something, then it will not happen. It is for this reason that Allah says (what means): {And if Allah had willed, they would not have done so. So leave them and that which they invent..} [Quran 6:137]

Besides, Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that he heard the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) say, “Allah divided Mercy into one hundred parts. He kept ninety-nine parts with Him and sent down one part to the earth, and because of that one single part, His creations are merciful to each other, so that even the mare lifts up its hoofs away from its baby animal, lest it should trample it.

Finally, we advise you, dear brother, to be concerned about what benefits you in this worldly life and the Hereafter and not to get carried away with questions that do not lead to doing good deeds - rather, in many cases, you asked questions that are of no benefit at all - so as to not waste your time and the time of others without any benefit.

Allah knows best.

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