“Although the Big Bang singularity arises directly and unavoidably from the mathematics of general relativity, some scientists see it as problematic because the math can explain only what happened immediately after—not at or before—the singularity.”

Ever since Man became aware of the world around him he tried to find explanations for each and every individual occurrence that  grabbed his attention.
Eventually he became aware of the various links that exist between ‘things’ so he started to look for a ‘theory of everything’.
Right now Man seems stuck in the middle of the road.
I’ll assume the presumptuousness of my proposal but what about getting out of this sink hole by giving up mathematics as the main tool of investigation into the matter?
After all mathematics is nothing but just another language. A special kind of language, OK – a lot more precise than all the others, but still a language – nothing but another medium for rational thinking. And just as it happens in any medium/language, nothing can be expressed in that medium before it has been ‘grappled’ with the mind.
Of course that I don’t propose to give up mathematics altogether, that would be both ludicrous and absolutely inefficient.
The problem with our over-dependency on mathematics is that we no longer think first in words/concepts and then translate those into mathematical equations for verification but proceed the other-way around. We first ‘do our math’ and only then try to describe with words whatever imaginary place we have arrived at by using calculus. Doesn’t make much sense, does it? Specially if one looks at it from this angle…
So what do we know about this so called Big Bang?
– Planck says that things cannot be divided further than 1 quantum.
– Heisenberg says that we cannot calculate anything with absolute precision.
– Einstein says that everything is tied together – ‘relative’ to each other.
– Stephen Hawking demonstrated – using calculus, of course – practically the same thing as Einstein when he convinced us that black holes are not exactly one way highways to nowhere. The implication of what Hawking says being that the ‘known’ Universe is somehow encapsulated towards the rear and has only one ‘open side’, the one that faces towards the ‘future’ – whatever that means.
And we still look desperately for a precise description of what happened during and even before the ground/moment 0… Really?!?
How about adopting a more practical attitude and accepting that each level of organization implies a certain amount of “in-determination”, the equivalent of those demonstrated by Heisenberg for the sub-atomic ‘world’ and by Schrodinger for ‘cats’ in general?
Maybe this way it would be easier for us to accept not only that we’ll never be able to find out what existed before the ‘Big Bang’ (if anything even imaginable in our terms) but also that it would be absolutely useless – my hunch being that we cannot ‘go back’ completely through a ‘layer’ of in-determination. A plastic analogy would be that we can see through a soap bubble but we cannot actually cross it and a more scientific one that Hawking taught us how to calculate what happens inside a black hole but never advised us to go there and check for ourselves…

And now, that we have reached this point, here is my scenario for what happened during … call it what you like.

At first there was nothing. No space, no time, no matter/energy of any kind.
‘Nothing’ in the sense that everything that existed – and that still exists – was so ‘indiscriminate’ as to be completely uniform. The pure bred scientists would use ‘congruous to itself’ to describe this state. Amorphous would be a very weak term for what I have in mind.
White light is a very pointy thing while pitch black is a lot more than its opposite. Light creates shadows, black creates opportunities. There can be ‘nothing’ between a light source and the observer while absolutely everything can hide in the dark.
That was that existed ‘before’. An immense ‘black nothing’.
Everything started/changed when the first ‘symmetry’ crashed in shatters – and who really cares about the ‘why’ of the matter since there was, by definition, no possible cause for anything, for nothing existed yet? I don’t know which symmetry and, again, I don’t really care. For me it is enough that from then on the continuous nothing became divided into ‘quanta’ that started to simultaneously aggregate furiously among themselves and disperse wildly.
The aggregation process gave birth to what we now call ‘things’ (mater, energy) while the ‘dispersion’ gave birth to both space and time.

Coming back to where we started from – ‘math can explain only what happened…’ – I must remind you that math cannot explain anything. Only people can do that, including through the use of ‘math’.