Not too long ago the common belief among most Muslims was that every manuscript of the Quran all throughout history have been 100% identical, that if there were to be any variations between the manuscripts that this would contradict God’s promise that He would preserve the Quran.
[15:9] Absolutely, we have revealed the reminder, and, absolutely, we will preserve it.
إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ
So note my surprise in the in the following video of Dr. Shabir Ally openly discussing the variations in spelling and occasional mistakes that scribes in the past have made when transcribing the Quran. The discussion revolved around the review of one of the oldest manuscripts of the Quran called the codex Parisino-petropolitanus aka The Paris Manuscript.
In this video Dr. Shabir Ally admits a number of points that submitters have been making for many years, such that the spelling of words in the past were not unified therefore there are some variations between text regarding how to spell certain words. Also, that when it comes to the vowels, there are many instances where the vowel will be present in some manuscripts and not in others, most notably the use of “ا” alif. As pointed out in a previous article, this is not limited to ancient manuscripts, but can be even observed in modern Quran scripts today. Years ago scholars would never openly admit such things and instead spread lies to make their followers believe that it is physically impossible for manuscripts to have variations between one another.
Does this mean that God failed his promise, or instead that the billions of Muslims were following blindly the lies propagated by their imams and scholars? Obviously if you trust in God and follow the Quran we know that it is the latter and not the former. For one, even despite these variations in spelling the general text across all manuscripts are the same, minus obvious human error that occurs when transcribing or even printing the Quran.
I have personally gone through the painstaking process of comparing some of the oldest manuscripts letter by letter against modern scripts and I have never seen a single noteworthy variation in the texts aside from what was stated above. So despite the variations in spelling in some manuscripts, what does this mean for God’s promise that He will preserve the Quran?
The mistake that people have made is that they thought the way that God preserved the Quran was through the decentralized approach of individuals memorizing the Quran since its revelation. This is the reason that the name some people give to an individual who memorizes the Quran is Hafez, which means guardian, as they believe these people are partaking in the task of guarding the preservation of the Quran. While this is partially true, this is not what is being implied 15:9, as while the general content of the Quran has been preserved by this means the absolute authenticity of every letter of every verse and sura has not.
For this task God has utilized another method that is similar to an approach we use today when we want to securely send and authenticate a digital message, which is an advanced form of public-key cryptography based on the number 19. For a summary of how God used encryption to preserve the Quran watch the following video:
This method validates every letter and every word of the Quran providing the followers of the Qruan assurances that the message we have today is the intact message that was originally transmitted to prophet Muhammad.
For a summary of the mathematical structure of the Quran and how this method has been able to guard and preserve the text of the Quran and identify any anomalies check out this link for more details along with the video below: