The other theory was that the universe was created in its present form.
Neither of these theories turn out to be right. It was only in the early 1900’s when Albert Einstein came up with his General Theory of Relativity that proved that the universe had a beginning. Although at that time, many scientists found it exceedingly difficult to accept this fact, that the universe had a beginning, almost all cosmologists and astrophysicists now regard it as an undeniable fact that the universe did have a beginning.
The Universe had a beginning
In less that half a century, man’s view of the universe, formed over millennia, has been transformed. Hubble’s discovery that the universe was expanding, and the realization of the insignificance of our own planet in the vastness of the universe, were just the starting point. As experimental and theoretical evidence mounted, it became more and more clear that the universe must have had a beginning in time, until in 1970 this was finally proved by Penrose and myself, on the basis of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. That proof showed that general relativity in only an incomplete theory: it cannot tell us how the universe started off, because it predicts that all physical theories, including itself, break down at the beginning of the universe. However, general relativity claims to be only a partial theory, so what the singularity theorems really show is that there must have been a time in the very early universe when the universe was so small, that one could no longer ignore the small-scale effects of the other great partial theory of the twentieth century, quantum mechanics. At the start of the 1970s, then, we were forced to turn our search for an understanding of the universe from our theory of the extraordinarily vast to our theory of the extraordinary tiny. That theory, quantum mechanics, will be described next, before we turn to the efforts to combine the two partial theories into a single quantum theory of gravity.
Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, pg 54-55
This is crucial because then we can start to expound the creation of Allah’s universe, and of life in particular, at the very beginning … when there was “nothingness”.
Allah, the Originator of the Universe
- (1) To Him (Allah) is due the primal origin (Arabic: bada’a) of the heavens and the earth: When He decrees a matter, He says to it: “Be”, and it is.
Al Baqarah 2:117
Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s commentary on the above verse:
Lest anyone should think that the heavens and the earth were themselves primeval and eternal, we are now told that they themselves are creatures of God’s will and design. Cf. vi. 102, where the word bada’a is used as here for the creation of the heavens and the earth, and khalaqa is used for the creation of all things. Bada’a goes back to the very primal beginning, as far as we can conceive it. The materialists might say that primeval matter was eternal: other things, i.e. the forms and shapes as we see them now, were called into being at some tome or other, and will perish. When they perish, they dissolve into primeval matter again, which stands as the base of all existence. We go further back. We say that if we postulate such primeval matter, it owes its origin itself to God. Who is the final basis of existence, the Cause of all Causes. If this is conceded, we proceed to argue that the process of Creation is not then completed. All things in the heavens and on the earth are created by gradual processes. In “things” we include abstract as well as material things. We see the abstract things and ideas actually growing before us. But that also is God’s creation, to which we can apply the word khalaqa, for in it is involved the idea of measuring, fitting it into a scheme of other things. Cf. liv. 49; also xxv. 59. Here comes in what we know as the process of evolution. On the other hand, the “amr” (Command, Direction, Design) is a single thing, unrelated to Time “like the twinkling of an eye” (liv. 50). Another word to note in this connection is ja’ala “making” which seems to imply new shapes and form, new dispositions, as the making of the Signs of the Zodiac in the heavens, or the setting out of the sun and moon for light, or the establishment of the succession of day and night (xxv. 61-62). A further process with regard to the soul is described in the word sawwã, bringing it to perfection (xci. 7) but this we shall discuss in its place. Fatara (xlii. 11) implies, like bada’a, the creating of a thing out of nothing and after no pre-existing similitude, but perhaps fatara implies the creation of primeval matter to which further processes have to be applied later, as when one prepares dough but leaves the leavening to be done after. Badaa (without the ‘ain), xxx. 27, implies beginning the process of creation: this is made further clear in xxxii. 7 where the beginning of the creation of pristine man from clay refers to his physical body, leaving the further processes of reproduction and the breathing in of the soul to be described in subsequent verses. Lastly, baraa is creation implying liberation from pre-existing matter of circumstance, e.g. man’s body form clay (lix. 24) or a calamity from previously existing circumstances (lvii. 22). See also vi. 94, n. 916; vi. 98, n. 923; lix. 24, nn. 5405-6.
- Praise be to Allah, who created (out of nothing) (Arabic: fatara) the heavens and the earth, …