The Caliph remarked: "Allah's mercy is great; it can cover even the wrong-doers."
Abu Hazim recited another verse:إِنَّ رَحْمَتَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ مِّنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ :"Surely the Mercy of Allah is close to those who do good deeds." (7:56)
The Caliph advanced another question: "Tell me, Abu Hazim, who is the most honorable among the servants of Allah?"
"Those who are mindful of their fellow-human beings, and possess the right kind of understanding to know the truth."
"Which is best among good deeds?"
"Fulfilling the obligations laid down by Allah, and keeping away from what He has forbidden."
"Which is the prayer that is likely to be accepted by Allah?"
"The prayer of a man for him who has done him some good."
"Which is the best form of charity?"
"Giving as much as one can, in spite of one's own need, to a man in misery without trying to make him feel grateful and without causing him pain by trying to put him off."
"Which is the best form of speech?"
"Speaking the truth plainly and unresercedly before the man who can harm you in some way or from whom you expect a favour."
"What kind of man is the wisest among the Muslims?"
"He whose actions are governed by obedience to Allah, and who invites others as well to it."
"What kind of man is the most stupid?"
"He who helps another man in committing some injustice, which comes to mean that he has been selling off his faith for serving the worldly interests of that man."
The Caliph agreed with all this, and then asked him pointedly, "What do you think of me?" Abu Hazim wanted to be excused from replying to such a question, but the Caliph insisted that he should say a word of advice. Abu Hazim said: