KENTUCKY: Father of a slain Muslim pizza delivery driver on Tuesday hugged and forgave his son’s murderer, telling him he did it in the ‘spirit of Islam’.
It was a sight for sore eyes when Munim Sombat Jitmoud, a Muslim resident of Lexington, Kentucky, hugged Trey Alexander Relford, the man involved in the murder of his son and told the suspect that he was forgiven.
Relford was so overwhelmed by the scene that he started crying in the middle of the court.
“Islam teaches that God will not be able to forgive” someone until the person who was wronged forgives that person,” said Jitmoud when he spoke to media. “The door of opportunity for God to forgive him is open. … So, reach out to Him. You have a new chapter of good life coming,” he added.
Relford was emotional and apologised to the Jitmoud family for taking their son’s life.
“There’s not much I can really say. I’m sorry about what happened that day. I cannot do nothing to give that back to you.”
Salahuddin Jitmoud was making one of his last deliveries for Pizza Hut at night in April 2015 when he was stabbed to death and robbed at an apartment complex located at Lexington, Kentucky. Police had recovered his body which was lying on the breezeway at the apartment complex.
Three people were arrested for Salahuddin’s murder but only Relford was indicted as police officials claimed he was the one who had planned the robbery.
Two years earlier, Salahuddin’s mother had died which had crushed Munim Jitmoud.
Relford was sentenced to 31 years in prison after he had confessed to being guilty as an accomplice in the murder of Salahuddin.
“It’s been two years and seven months of suffering along with many nightmares,” he said. “Whatever happens to you is from Allah. Let the believer put their trust in Him.”
Jitmoud said that he read the Holy Quran to comfort his heart and the 51st verse from chapter nine particularly brought him peace. This is the translation of that verse:-
“Say, ‘Never will we be struck except by what Allah has decreed for us; He is our protector.’ And upon Allah [God] let the believers rely.”
Jitmoud whispered in Relford’s ear to “do good deeds” when he gets out of prison and that he has ‘confidence that Allah is forgiving.’
The news has been widely covered by foreign media organisations and international publications.
Story first published: 10th November 2017