LEXINGTON, Ky. – The father of a murdered Muslim pizza delivery driver has forgiven his son’s killer, embracing him in an emotional, tearful scene in the court, saying he did it in the spirit of Islam.
“Islam teaches that God will not be able to forgive someone until the person who was wronged forgives that person”, Abdul-Munim Sombat Jitmoud told CNN affiliate WKYT.
Jitmoud hugged the defendant, Trey Alexander Relford, who cried as it happened.
“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 told Relford in court.
The son, Salahuddin Jitmoud, was making one of his last deliveries for the night as a Pizza Hut delivery driver when he was stabbed to death and robbed at an apartment complex in Lexington, Kentucky, according to WKYT.
Three people were arrested in the crime, which took place in April 2015, but the grand jury only indicted Relford, who was sentenced to 31 years in prison.
Jitmoud’s father told Relford he forgives him “on behalf of Salahuddin and his mother,” who died two years before her son.
“It’s been two years and seven months of suffering along with many nightmares,” Jitmoud told CNN. “Whatever happens to you is from Allah. Let the believer put their trust in Him.”
According to CNN affiliate WLEX, Relford told the Jitmoud family, “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.”
After the death of his son, Jitmoud read the Qur’an to find comfort, which he found it in the 51st verse of the ninth chapter of the Qur’an which reads, “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.”
After this, Jitmoud came to a place of forgiveness.
“I’m angry at the devil, who misguided you and misled you to do such a horrible crime,” Jitmoud told Relford in court Tuesday. “I don’t blame you. I’m not angry at you. I forgive you.”
After the sentencing, Jitmoud said he whispered into Relford’s ear to “do good deeds” when he gets out of prison and that he has “confidence that Allah is forgiving.”