أُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ نَتَقَبَّلُ عَنْهُمْ أَحْسَنَ مَا عَمِلُوا وَنَتَجَاوَزُ عَن سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ (Such are the people from whom we accept the best of what they did and overlook their evils.... - 46:16) This, too, is a general rule, and if the verse was revealed with reference to Sayyidna Abu Bakr ؓ ، then he would be the first to be included in its generality. A quotation from Sayyidna ‘Ali ؓ which is given below also indicates that sense of the verse is general. Ibn Kathir has reported the narration of Muhammad Ibn Hatib (رح) that once he was with Sayyidna ‘Ali ؓ along with some other persons who blamed Sayyidna ` Uthman ؓ for some wrong-doings. There upon Sayyidna ‘Ali ؓ said:
کان عثمان ؓ تعالیٰ عنہ من الّذین قال اللہ تعالیٰ فیھم اُولٰٓیٔکَ الَّذینَ نَتَقَبَّل عنھُم اَحسَن مَا عَمِلُواونَتَجَاوَزُ عن سَیِّاٰتِھِم فِی اَصحابِ الجَنَّنۃِ وَعدَ الصِّدقِ الَّذِی کَانُوا یُوعَدُونَ ۔ قال واللہ عثمان واصحاب عثمان ؓ تعالیٰ عنہم ، قالھا ثلاثا۔ (ابن کثیر)
(` Uthman was one of those people about whom Allah Ta’ ala has said: "Such are the people from whom We accept the best of what they did, and overlook their evils, (so they will be) among the people of Paradise according to the true promise that was made to them." (46:16) I swear by Allah that ` Uthman and his companions were examples of this verse." Sayyidna ` Ali ؓ repeated this three times.