I am going to be controversial as usual and challenge the authenticity of the popular belief and understanding amongst nearly all Muslims, that the Qur’an is protected from changes and corruption directly by divine intervention. The Qur’anic verse, “it is God who sent down this revelation, and it is God who safeguards it” (15:9), and the fact that a Qur’an of today is still the same replica of the earliest one, discounting a few negligible discrepancies, reinforces this belief, totally bypassing the reality of the human agencies, specially in the early period, that worked damn hard from the individual to the government carefully preserving the Qur’an (I know the hard work that goes into it, as I memorised the Qur’an at the beginning of my journey into Islamic learning).
However, the Qur’an also states that everything occurs by the will of God, yet we exert our full energy in all our matters, and of-course, this does not take away the power of God, as God’s will manifests through the human will and action, and through the rest of the natural phenomena. Henceforth, to detach the human equation when it comes to understanding the verse 15:9, I feel it isn’t an understanding consistent with the Qur’an.
The unexpressed fear and equation people are making here, is that to understand the will of God in this manner in this case, also throws in the human nature of making mistakes and contradictions; and thus the Qur’an will be suspected to contain these human shortcomings too. Certainly this is a possibility, however, it should be viewed from the perspective that though it is human nature to make mistakes and contradictions, yet the Qur’an reached the 21st century well preserved as humanly possible, and thus the Muslims of the past have succeeded in their dedication of the preservation and the promulgation of the Qur’an.
To see it any other way, takes away the acknowledgement of this fact, and I also strongly feel that on many counts this could also have a paralysing effect and create a lackadaisical psychosis; and thus eliminate diligence in the Muslims to protect, preserve and successfully promulgate the Qur’an forward.