قَالَ اَبُوْ عَبْدِ اللهِؑ لِاَبِي بَصِيْرٍ لَقَدْ ذَكَرَكُمُ اللهُ فِيْ كِتَابِهٖ اِذْ يَقُوْلُ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ اَسْرَفُوْا عَلٰى اَنْفُسِهِمْ لا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللهِ اِنَّ اللهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا اِنَّهٗ هُوَ الْغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْمُ وَ اللهِ مَا اَرَادَ بِذٰلِكَ غَيْرَكُمْ يَا بَا مُحَمَّدٍ فَهَلْ سَرَرْتُكَ قَالَ نَعَمْ
Imam Sadeq (peace be upon him) said to Abu Baseer (r.a.),
“Indeed, Allah has mentioned you in His Book when He says ‘O My servants, who have been extravagant upon themselves, don’t despair of Allah’s mercy. Surely, Allah forgives all sins. Verily, he is Oft-Forgiving, the All-Merciful’ (Surah Zumar (39): Verse 53)’. By Allah! He did not intend anyone by this except you, O Aba Muhammad! So, are you happy now?’ He replied, ‘Yes’.”
Please note that Allah the High has used the word ‘My servants’ in the verse but Imam (peace be upon him) clarifies that it is referring to the Shias exclusively. For, the main criterion for receiving divine mercy is correct beliefs and the standard for correct beliefs is the mastership of the Ahle Bait (peace be upon them).
Thus, here the word ‘servants’ is not in its absolute meaning. Rather, it is implying those servants whose beliefs are correct. The following verse also conveys the same concept.
1. Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 24, p. 260, H. 12
2. Kanz-o-Jaame’ al-Fawaaed