Muslim Father Forgives And Embraces Son's Killer

Forgiveness is a difficult concept for some to practice when a loved one is killed. For this father, however, his faith led him to forgive his son's killer.

A man who murdered a Muslim pizza delivery driver during a robbery two years ago has received forgiveness from the victim’s father, who even hugged the convicted killer in an emotional courtroom scene.

Trey Relford was sentenced to 31 years in prison on Tuesday for robbing and killing Salahuddin Jitmoud, a 22-year-old delivery driver from Lexington, Kentucky. Relford stabbed and killed Jitmoud on what was supposed to be his final delivery run of the night in April 2015.

During the sentencing phase of the trial, Jitmoud’s father, Abdul-Munim Sombat Jitmoud, expressed that he was forgiving Relford because it was what his faith encouraged him to do.

“Islam teaches that God will not be able to forgive” a person unless the aggrieved forgive them first, the elder Jitmoud said. He explained that “the door of opportunity for God to forgive him is open,” and that a better life was awaiting him if he was open to it.

Tears filled the courtroom as Jitmoud then embraced his son’s killer following his testimony.

For his own part, Relford also expressed that he was sorry for his actions.

“I'm sorry about what happened that day. I cannot do nothing to give that back to you,” he said.

Jitmoud explained that his anger doesn't remain with Relford; instead it is with the forces that pulled him away from good.

"I'm angry at the devil, who's misguiding you and misleading you to do such a horrible crime. I don't blame you. I'm not angry at you. I forgive you."

Social media is rife with people who deride and detest Islam thousands (if not millions) of times daily. But the reality is that the vast, vast majority of adherents to Islam are moral and outstanding members of our communities.

Forgiveness is a difficult concept for many to get behind. It would be understandable if this father chose instead to hold contempt for his son’s killer. That would be within his rights.

Yet, to choose a different path, one that his faith encourages as the best way forward for all involved (including the perpetrator), is a commendable, if not admirable, action that should be promoted elsewhere in society.

Banner/Thumbnail image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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