4:15 talks about fornication/adultery between two women and 4:16 talks about fornication/adultery between two men, neither one talks about heterosexual fornication/adultery. His evidence is that 4:15 does not mention men at all, only women, and 4:16 talks about two men specifically and no mention of women. Thus, 4:15-16 talk about homosexual sins while 24:2 talks about heterosexual sin. Since they talk about two different crimes, neither verse can abrogate the other.
Remarkable that this went unnoticed. I think the abrogation case is completely gone even before this interpretation, but the dilemma now is how to interpret the Hadeeth that is narrated about the Prophet (PBUH) saying "God ordained for them [another] way
" (evidently referring to the expression in 4:15) at the time of revelation of 24:2.
Ali Hasan Al-Areedh, in his book فتح المنان في نسخ القرآن. confirms that this logical interpretation was first made by Abu-Muslim Al-Asfahaani, rahimahullah. However, he dismisses it casually saying that no other scholar has understood 4:15-16 that way. In fact, he said, the Sahaaba differed on the punishment
for homosexuality, so if that interpretation was valid they would have used it as they badly needed text to decide the matter
. He says, "They are the ones who knew the Book of God best." That echoes what you posted
, Pragmatic, of Dr. Zaid's commentary on Al-Asfahaani's interpretation.
I don't know why the Sahaaba didn't consider that interpretation, but it is the most logical one and the most straightforward. God called homosexuality الفاحشة (The
debauchery) with a definite article, in three verses:
Therefore, dismissing that the same word mentioned in 4:15 may apply to homosexuality is without merit.
, God named heterosexual debauchery الزنا (fornication) when He specified rulings about it, in 24:2-3. One cannot apply that specific ruling to another debauchery that is different from fornication and adultery.
Al-Areedh doesn't give much weight to the hadeeth quoted earlier
and claimed by many to be the real abrogator of 4:15-16 and some even said it abrogated 24:2 as well! He says that it is narrated by a few (آحاد) and therefore is not eligible to abrogate a verse.