Why are there different Qurans with different Arabic words (over 30 as some people claim)? What is the correct one?
Dear, please be informed that there are no and never were versions of Quran. Quran is only one Quran. Quran has a distinct unique miraculous feature to be revealed to the prophet containing 7 Arabic tongue dialects that are manifested all over 10 reading and recitation styles that are connected, narrated and attributed with multiple frequency chains to the prophet. These reading and recitation styles do not have any differences in verses and words but only differences in some pronunciations and recitation styles, known by Muslims as "Tajweed". Except for very few known differences in some "particular words" with some readings/recitations using "an alternate synonymous word”, where these particular alternate synonymous words were recited by the prophet in these alternating ways, which always gives a miraculous broader meanings, interpretations and never a contradiction.
Quran as a word means a word to be recited. So all the 10 readings and recitation styles constitutes what Muslims call Quran. Quran can be recited in any of the recitation styles. For someone doing regular basic correct reading without being familiar with the recitation rules there would nearly be no difference at all except for the lack of a recitation style. Quran words when written in a book is always referenced, connected and attributed to the particular reading and recitation style used. This what some people confuses and mixup with the term and concept of versions.
Quran had always been memorised by heart in all generations with a transmitted frequent connected multiple narrated chains with excellency for each and all of the readings and recitation styles "till date" and did not need to be compiled or written down in one book in the first place.
After the prophet passed away Caliphate Abu Bakr gathered and formed a council of companions of scribers and reciters, approved by the prophet and whom memorises Quran by heart and ordered that Quran should be compiled in one book based on the approved written records by the prophet in a two witness system per each approved written record by the prophet although the same companions memorises Quran by heart already. This shows the sacredness of the matter.
Caliphate Othman did not burn the Quran. As Islam was spread in vast distances away from the source heart land at Othman time, new joiners of Islam far away started reciting Quran and trying writing Quran down in their own writing style in no standardised, authorised, validated and public witnessed methodology. As there was no printing press at that time, Othman was alerted and ordered that these personal books writing attempts by the new joiners of Islam far away from the source should be burnt so that they don't spread. Caliphate Othman then gathered the same companions who memorises Quran gathered by caliphate Abu bakr and headed by the same companion Zayd Ben Thatbet who is one of the prominent scribers and did the same Quran compiling methodology using the same approved written records by the prophet but this time Othman sticked only to the dialect style of Quraish which is the dialect of the prophet's tribe and the main dialect of Quran. One verse could have many approved written records therefore Othman made sure to stick this time to the dialect of Quraish only when compiling Quran incase there is any difference in the writing style which was very rare if any. Then Othman made many book copies out of the Quran and spread it to the whole Muslim land and made an order that no one should attempt to write Quran.
It's also worth to mention that the order of verses and the order of chapters in Quran were already well known, memorised orally and written down by the scribers as per the prophet instructions during the revelation period.
The sole purpose of Othman was to create a standard writing codex the same way the prophet approved it to the scribers. Othmanic codex did not add any dots nor any grammatical vocalisations or recitation rules to the words. This was put on later according to the attributed frequent connected narrated chain recitation style to the prophet. So the main way of Quran protection and preserve was memorisation and oral frequent connected transmission from generation to another and not writing.
Othman did not burn any Quran nor any versions. There are no versions of Quran. Caliphate Othman just wanted to make sure that all Muslim lands will be given the same compiled Quran with the standard writing codex approved by the prophet in the source heart land to prevent any deviations since there was no printing press at that time.
Not only the verses and words of Quran were preserved, but also the prophet's accurate vocalised readings and recitation styles were preserved. This shows an additional sacred miraculous nature to Quran and Quran's preserving.
Caliphate Abubakr and Caliphate Othman and the Companions did a great successful job and Muslims ow them till date.
Allah has fulfilled His promise in Quran:
**Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur'an and indeed, We will be its guardian.Source
: Collected from Internet...