The author of Tafseer Ayyashi quotes in his interpretation of Safvan: I asked Imam Reza (A.S) to give appointment to Muhammad bin Khalid to meet him. Meanwhile, I told the Imam (A.S) that he has abandoned his previous stances and declares that he wants to follow him.
Imam Reza (A.S) said: ask him to come, when the son of Khalid entered, he stated: dear Imam, I repent from my past and I know that I was not fair to myself.
He told the Imam (A.S): I ask for forgiveness for my past and I like you to accept my apology and forgive my vicious past. The Imam (A.S) responded: yes, I accept, since if I don’t, I would spoil his own attempts as well as those of his companion (Imam pointed to Safvan) and also this would be an example of opponents’ allegations. The Almighty God ordained his Prophet (PBUH):
“Thus it is due to mercy from Allah that you deal with them gently, and had you been rough, hard hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you; pardon them therefore and ask pardon for them, and take counsel with them in the affair; so when you have decided, then place your trust in Allah; surely Allah loves those who trust.” (3: 159) (1)
Then Imam (A.S) inquired about his father. He responded: My father has passed away. The Imam (A.S) also beseeched God to bless his father. Imam Reza (A.S) meant: if I don’t accept your apology, Safvan’s remarks about us would be undermined which would be an excuse for the enemies who would say why your Imam did not forgive him.
1.Tafseer Ayyashi, Vol. 1, P203.