In his book, منهج القرآن في تطوير المجتمع, Dr. Muhammad Al-Bahiyy follows a valid approach for refuting abrogation claims: that verses which appear to have different rulings about the same issue are not in conflict, but rather are gradual legislations. He argues, rightly, that changing a society from tribalism and chaos to law and order cannot be done in one sweeping move; it has to be gradual and has to build on robust foundations built step-by-step.
He follows that by assuming something which is not actually certain, and that is the order of revelation of Chapters. He doesn't attempt to substantiate that order.
Even if we concede that order, Al-Bahiyy actually makes a strange statement as he builds up his argument. He says, on page 12, that the first mandate for prayer was in this verse, which Al-Bahiyy says is a Medinite verse which has been placed in the Meccan Chapter 11 (سورة هود):
The reason his statement is strange is that we know, from many hadeeths, that the prayer was mandated during the Ascension Journey and there's no controversy that it was during the Meccan era.
He doubles up on the strange statement by saying, on page 13, that the next stage in legislating the prayer mandate happened by another Medinite verse placed in the Meccan Chapter 20 (سورة طه)!
He even confirms that the verse is referring to "an early period of the Prophet's mission when Muslims were few and weak." Well, that was in Mecca!
Then he triples up! He says that Chapter 20 is number 45 in the revelation order, while Chapter 11 is number 52 in revelation order. Doesn't that mean that the second verse (20:132) -and second step in the legislation- was before the first verse (11:114) and first step? And if the order of the two Medinite verses is correctly chronological, then why does he bother telling us about the order of revelation of the Chapters in the first place?
I don't understand how he couldn't notice these discrepancies. Am I missing something here?
And why would he even bother with that? He could've simply shown the verses, as they develop the legislation step-by-step, until it is complete. He would've made his point that way.