Once your head is cleared of all preconceived notions, the next step is a horizontal reading of the Quran. A horizontal reading, or a comparative reading, is a method of textual analysis used by Biblical scholars to compare multiple accounts of a similar event, side by side, cross-referencing for contradictions. /Horizontal_reading.
In other words, reading several different articles about the same robbery allows one to compare narratives and detect contradictions. This is exactly how to study the Quran. For example, Surah Hajj will not explain the Quran’s narrative of hajj. To conceptualize hajj one must study the diversified verses, side by side, that contain the root of hajj (حجج).
The root definition, and this is the key, must remain consistent in all the verses.
Arabic words are derived from their tri-lateral root. Lane’s Lexicon, an Arabic to English dictionary, is an invaluable reference for root word definitions. tyndalearchive.com
The crux of the matter is one cannot change the meaning of the word to fit a particular narrative.
The root word hajj is translated as debate or argument in some verses and a physical pilgrimage to Mecca in others. There cannot be two separate meanings. Studying the verses side by side, highlights the contradiction. This is how Allah guards and preserves His Word. He diversifies (root صرف) a word throughout the Quran to secure its meaning. For example, securing a portfolio by diversifying the funds. The Quran directs the reader with examples, spread throughout the text, to get a full picture, a thorough understanding of the word.
No one can alter the Words of Allah
In verses 6:34, 6:115, and 18:27, Quran states no one can alter (بدل) the words of Allah. Lanes’s Lexicon defines the root (بدل) as: the changing, or altering, the form, or fashion, or semblance, or the quality, or condition, of a thing to another form, while the substance remains the same.
In other words, homonyms (words that are spelled the same but have different meanings) do not apply in the Quran. One word can not hold different meanings.
When reading the following verses, keep in mind the definition of alter (بدل) .
6:34 And certainly were messengers denied before you, but they were patient over denial, and they were harmed until Our victory came to them, and none can alter the words of Allah. And there has certainly come to you some information about the messengers.
6:115 And the word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can alter His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
18:27 And recite what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord. None can alter The Words of Allah, and never will you find in other than Him a refuge.
Hence, by altering (بدل) the words, changing the meaning and leaving the original word intact, the original message has been tampered with.
Allah guards the Quran by diversifying (صرف) His Word: horizontal reading
The Quran Corpus site is a good reference to find verses with same the root word /corpus.quran.com
6:105 And thus do We diversify the verses so the deniers will say “you have studied” and so We make the Quran clear for a people who attain knowledge.
6:46 …look how We diversified the verses and they still turn away.
6:65 …look how We diversified the verses so they may attain understanding/knowledge/wisdom.
7:58 …thus do We diversify the verses for a people who are grateful.
17:41 And We have certainly diversified in this Quran so mankind may be reminded, but it does not increase the deniers except in aversion.
17:89 And We have certainly diversified for the people in this Quran from every example but most of the people refuse, disbelieve.
18:54 And We have diversified in this Quran for the people from every example, but man in many things disputes/quarrelsome.
20:113 And thus We have sent It down, an Arabic Quran, and have diversified therin the warnings for taqwa (God-consciousness) or remembrance.
25:50 And We have diversified It (Quran) among them so they may remember.
39:23 Allah has sent down The Best Hadith (Quran), a consistent Book wherein is reiteration. The skins shiver therefrom of those who are conscious of their Lord, then their skins and hearts relax at the remembrance of Allah…
I conclude with Quran verse 3:103: And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided… The rope is the Quran’s message, which is distinctly detailed, as well as instructions on how to study It through It’s own words, and not through the lens of tradition. Hence, not dividing into sects, since each sect has their own tradition, hadith. The Christians have the bible, Jews have the mishnah, all sects of Muslims have their own hadith.
For the Quran’s message to become clear, one must study a word, its consistent root definition, and how it is used in the verses diversified throughout the Book. This will give understanding, knowledge, and wisdom behind that word.