Cosmic creation and the end of convention

The Qur'an speaks of the creation of the universe as either a process or an instantaneous response to the divine command ''Be!'' so that ''it becomes'' (kun fa-yak├╝n) (2:117; 3:47; 6:73 and elsewhere). Within the qur'anic formulations there are various aspects of the creative process, including the dimensions of creation ex nihilo (ibda'), creation (khalq) that occurs through combining and developing elements that already exist, and God's continuous divine management (tadbir) (32:4-5) of creation.

The idea that the natural order and physical creation as we know it will be transformed or overturned at the eschaton is found repeatedly in the Qur'an. Despite the incredulity of his unbelieving audience, in the epoch of the Prophet the concept of judgement and ''the Hour'' seems to have had a radical urgency. ''How shall you know? Perhaps the Hour is near'' (42:17). The eighty-first sura forcefully describes how the natural order as humans know it will be overturned:

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