The preservation of the Quran

We are told in the Quran that the receivers of previous Scriptures have corrupted their Scriptures (2:75,
4:46, 5:13, 5:41). This was allowed to happen with God’s will. All corruptions serve as a test to distinguish the hypocrites from the genuine believers. In addition, God is always able to correct all corruptions through the revelation of newer Scripture which bear the truth and expose the falsehood.
But since the Quran was to be the final Scripture sent to man (33:40), then any corruptions which may take place in the Quran could not be exposed in a future Scripture. Thus it was necessary that God would preserve the Quran itself against all corruptions.

Indeed, it is We who brought down the 'Zhikr' (Reminder/Quran) and We will surely preserve it.

Falsehood come not to it, from before it or behind it. It is a revelation from One who is Wise and Praiseworthy.

The exact meaning of this divine preservation is not fully understood by the majority of Muslims today. To analyse the correct meaning of the Quranic preservation, it is first important to emphasise that God promised to preserve the Quran and not the 'mushaf'. The Quran is the pure scripture as written by God, while the mushaf is the man-made publication which we buy from the bookstores.
When we speak of the ‘mushaf’ which is available today in book stores, we find that there are two authorised versions in circulation in Muslims countries today. They are the 'Hafz' and 'Warsh' versions of the Quran.
The 'Warsh' mushaf is found primarily in northern African countries such as Algeria, Morocco, parts of Tunisia, West Africa and Sudan. The 'Hafs' mushaf is found in the Muslim world in general.

We find numerous words which are spelt differently in these two versions of the Quran.
The variations found in the two mushafs, both of which are 'authrorised', mean that at least one of the two contains errors. The question here is:
Since we have an authorised printed mushaf which contains errors, does this mean that God failed to keep His promise to preserve the Quran?
The answer is obviously no, the errors are in the ‘mushaf’ and not in the Quran.
These errors, which can be found in an 'authorised' mushaf, confirm the fact that God never promised to preserve the man-made printing of the Quran and which is called the mushaf.
It follows that God will not chop off the hand of anyone who changes or adds to the Quran. Anyone with a printing shop can add or remove words from the Quran, then print and sell it.

So what does the preservation of the Quran really mean?
The Quran is preserved in the ‘lawh al-mahfooz’ (preserved tablet) with God (85:21-22) and not in the paper copy printed by humans.
But if that is the case, how good is that to us here on earth when we do not have access to the master tablet with God?
The answer is that we do. God made that possible by installing a mathematical code in the Quran which allows us to have access to the pure Quran, and which allows us to expose any corruption.
Once we have this knowledge, it would not matter if 1000 people printed 1000 different Qurans, all with errors or additions; we would always be able to detect any corruption.
And thus the Quran will always be preserved, independent of any printed mushaf.
The God given tool is the code 19 which God embedded in the Quran and which controls all features of the Book. Besides providing absolute scientific proof that the Quran is the word of God, the code 19 also exposes any alterations in the Quran or additions.

The understanding of the preservation of the Quran is always tested when the issue of the 2 added verses in sura 9 is in question.
Many people state: Since God preserved the Quran, this means that no one would be able to add any verses.
They add: This means that the last 2 verses in sura 9 are from God.
Now we can see why they say what they say! What they are unaware of is that God never promised to preserve the human publication of the Quran, and it is in the human publication which we see the 2 added verses.
We now know that God provided us with a tool with which we are able to access the pure Quran, not the printed ‘mushaf, and as a result, the Quran will always be preserved (15:9).

Nothing happens without God’s authorisation. God allowed the hypocrites to add two verses to the text of the Quran shortly after the death of the prophet, please see: Two false verses removed

To demonstrate the role of the code, please consider the following example:
If I made a statement in front of a number of people that you cannot leave a certain room in a house even if you tried, then I ask you to enter the room and I lock the door and have you locked in. I come back after 3 hours and everyone can see that you are still in the room. Can I then claim that my prediction was correct?
The answer is no, this is because by locking you in you never had the chance to leave the room if you wanted to.
What if I repeat this process but this time I leave the door unlocked, and I ask you to try to leave the room when I am gone?
Once again, I come back after 3 hours and find you have never left the room even though you have tried. Only then will everyone realise that my prediction was indeed correct.

It is the same with the code 19 which is the tool for the preservation of the Quran.
God installed a code in the Quran which guarantees the preservation of the Book even if people try to corrupt it. God does not need to physically prevent people from altering the Quran, for if God simply chopped off the hand of anyone who alters the Quran (the same as locking the room in our example above), we would never know if the code 19 works to preserve the Quran or not.
But if God allowed those who decide to alter the Quran to do so freely, and then this alteration is exposed with the code 19, then we would certainly know that the code 19 works to protect the Quran from any corruptions.

The two added verses in Sura 9 were added to glorify the prophet after he died. God allowed this addition to happen because these two verses serve as a test to distinguish the hypocrites from the genuine believers. The existence of these two verses in the ‘mushaf’ also demonstrates the effectiveness of the code 19 in preserving the Quran.

To assure us of the divine authorship, and also of the perfect preservation of the Quran, the Almighty author has rendered the Quran mathematically composed. Such mathematical composition is far beyond human capabilities. The slightest alteration of the Quran would thus be exposed.
For more details about the mathematical structure of the Quran please check the following pages:

Miracle of the Quran

Beyond Probabilities