I have a question about whether or not a certain idea has ever been discussed within the Islamic intellectual tradition, and if so, which scholar(s) and/or school(s) of thought did so. The idea is as follows: Has it ever been suggested that while the Quran as it was passed from the angel Gabriel to Muhammad was the word of God, verbatim, the codex that was produced during the reign of Caliph Uthman was perhaps not a perfect facsimile? I ask because questioning the fidelity of the Uthmanic codex seems to avoid the heretical idea that the Quran itself is imperfect, since "Quran" can refer to the unwritten Quran, the literal words of God as they were delivered to Muhammad, while at the same time acknowledging that other codices existed before the Uthmanic one.
Essentially, then, this would be the belief that the Quran -- the literal words of God -- were given to mankind verbatim through the prophet Muhammad, but through human error and the passage of time, they were not preserved properly; that the early Islamic community -- not Muhammad, not Gabriel, and certainly not God -- bungled the message. This may seem heretical since in the Quran itself it is written that what is contained in the Quran is true, but it seems to me that this can be countered by saying that God was speaking about the unwritten Quran, the Quran as it was delivered to the Prophet; this Quran was indeed true and perfect. The problem was that the fallible human beings who were given it did a poor job memorizing and then recording it.
In case my question is unclear, let me rephrase it more succinctly. I want to know if it's ever been seriously discussed that the unwritten Quran that Muhammad brought to the people of Arabia was perfect, but that the people who memorized and wrote it down were imperfect stewards of it, leading them to remember it differently and thus imperfectly by the time Uthman commissioned that it be collected.
Thank you in advance for your replies.