The notion that events bearing far-reaching consequences for the human condition took place prior to the creation of the world and of man has been a central theme in the Islamic literary tradition. In this lecture, Dr Roy Vilozny (University of Haifa) demonstrates how the raw materials of this notion in Imami-Shiʿi thought – namely, its expressions in the earliest literary strata, the Qurʾan and the ḥadith – were addressed, creatively interpreted and elaborated upon by thinkers of two later periods: the Buwayhid (945-1055 CE) and Safavid (1501-1722 CE).