Time doesn't move at a constant rate everywhere in the universe. For instance, the faster something is traveling, the slower time will travel in the reference frame of that object. Not only that but the stronger the gravitational field, the shorter that time will pass. At a singularity (a point of infinite density) time stands still. As you go further and further back in time, the more and more compresses the universe is until you come to the singularity and at a singularity, there is no passage of time. So it's not that there was nothing before the big bang, there was just no before the big bang.
Why do people always ask what happened before the big bang?
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We don't know what happened, that's why we question it and philosophize about it. The whole big bang is a theory as well; we could very well be just 1 tiny grain of sand in another universe. No one knows, and the day we discover it might not even come.0
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