In the Beginning: Islamic Perspectives on Cosmological Origins—II
How did the cosmos come into existence? When? With what? How did the material for its creation come into existence? Is there an end to this beginning? These questions about the origin of the universe and its composition are foundational; they create worldviews. In Islamic tradition there are four distinct and often intertwined approaches to these questions: (i) sacred cosmology, based on the Qur'ān and the sayings of the Prophet; (ii) philosophical cosmologies; (iii) illuminationist and mystical cosmologies; and (iv) contemporary perspectives on scientific cosmology. This second part of the article continues description of Islamic sacred cosmology and focuses on elements of the cosmos.