Science of the cosmos. Theocentric in Islam, since the cosmos is inseparable from the Quranic conception of God as creator and ruler of the cosmos. Holds that God is the central reality, so the cosmos did not come into existence by chance or without ultimate purpose. Traditionally extends the cosmos to the nonphysical world, including heavens and angels. Important contributor to natural and mathematical studies of the physical cosmos, including alchemy. Highest goal is to visualize the cosmos as a book of symbols for meditation and contemplation for spiritual upliftment or as a prison from which the human soul must escape to attain true freedom in the spiritual journey to God.